The Poetry of Noni Benegas Read by Robin Ouzman Hislop Translated from Spanish by Noël Valis

From BURNING CARTOGRAPHY
The Poetry of Noni Benegas
Translated by Noël Valis

Another Light
For Paul Virilio

Groping through the house, blind steps
of chalk
with the light of dreams
suddenly opaque or radiant
Who shimmers that screen
in the darkened brain?
Like skin withering on the inside
the mystery of that glow persists

Otra luz
A Paul Virilio

A tientas por la casa con pasos
de tiza
con la luz de los sueños
tan pronto opaca o radiante
¿Quién alumbra esa pantalla
en el cerebro a oscuras?
Como la piel se aja desde dentro
el misterio de ese fulgor persiste

**

A Flower
For Ana Basualdo

The camellia sliver in the wake
of the boat at night
when the petal draws back
a trembling universe
like the line of flotation

**

Una flor
Ana Basualdo

La tenue camelia en la estela
del barco nocturno
cuando el pétalo descorre
un universo trémulo
como la línea de flotación

**

Traveling

Travelers who reach Medina de Raj-Kasar
are surprised to see its image repeated
–for instance—in the guide’s
topaz ring or in the pool-encircled moat
or even in the festive fountain’s inner courtyard
Travelers who reach Medina de Raj-Kasar
after crossing between two moons
the desert of Al-Ahmir
sigh before the delicate towers and dream
of filigreed chambers and soothful hookahs
Do travelers reach Medina
or someone reach Raj-Kasar at a precise moment
dusty curious indolent?
Medina de Raj-Kasar traveling toward the Atlas
of travelers
is pleasantly surprised before the fresh-faced passenger
standing intrepid in the middle
of the glittering oasis

**

Viajar

Los viajeros que llegan a la Medina de Raj-Kasar
se sorprenden al divisar su imagen repetida
–pongamos por caso—en el anillo de topacio
del guía o en la acequia que rodea el foso
o aun en la fuente que acoge el patio interior
Los viajeros que arriban a la Medina de Raj-Kasar
luego de atravesar entre dos lunas
el desierto de Al-Ahmir
suspiran ante las finas torres y sueñan
con el salón filigranado y el narguile conciliador
¿Llegan los viajeros a la Medina
alguien arriba en un momento preciso a Raj-Kasar
polvoriento curioso indolente?
La Medina de Raj-Kasar viajando hacia los viajeros
del Atlas
se sorprende gratamente ante el rubicundo pasajero
que se alza impávido en medio
del iridiscente oasis

**

Frida Kahlo
For Jan Lumas

Was it a work of art or her desire? a column
like harvested steel then fangs like jade
careening steeply
It beat with the bold haste
of temples foretold: the wind adrift
in teeth the eyebrows a buffalo bower
the stamp of the sphinx on asphalt
Was it a work of art or her desire? a column
of damp chalk posed day after day beneath the
agile pupil forever flowering

**

Frida Kahlo
A Jan Lumas

¿Era una obra de arte o su deseo ? una columna
de símil de acero segada más una alta carena
de colmillos de jade
Latía con la prisa impávida
de los templos futuros: el viento entornado
entre los dientes las cejas de dosel de búfalo
la impronta de esfinge sobre el asfalto
¿Era una obra de arte o su deseo ? una columna
de tiza húmeda posada día tras día bajo la
ágil pupila en floración perenne

**

Interruptions

Is it true her face keeps the impressions
of wakefulness,
the landscape seen through the train window
fleetingly deciphered;
is it true her face is interrupted?

Seated across from me
was the sacred icon
of an old Hollywood actress
old age stamped in her features,
not definitively decayed,
but very close.

In improbable transit
those features;
an abandoned aerodrome
with grass on the runway and wind
from the ends of the world.

But there is a canal
that boats go up, of liquid
crystal, oars and noises and houses
alive on its banks,

Her face swarms
swirling with malice.
Could she only have seen what she saw?
As if something were suspended
between two canals
in the stagnant waters of her cheek . . .

Is it true her face is interrupted,
what if the interruption isn’t a landscape or a sound
but simply me?


**

Interrupciones

¿Hasta qué punto su rostro guarda las impresiones
de la vigilia,
el paisaje visto a través de la ventanilla
descifrado por momentos;
hasta qué punto su rostro tiene interrupciones?

Sentada frente a mí
era un Buey Apis que era
una vieja actriz de Hollywood
pues anunciaba la vejez en sus rasgos,
no definitivamente añeja,
pero ya próxima.

De tránsito improbable
esos rasgos;
cerrado un aeródromo en desuso
con hierbas en la pista y viento
de techo del mundo.

Mas hay un canal
que las barcas remontan de cristal
fluido, remos y ruidos y casas
vivas en las orillas,

hay un hormigueo en su rostro
hecho de malicia y remolinos.
¿Sólo habrá visto lo que vio?
Si algo quedara en suspenso
entre dos canales
en el remanso de la mejilla . . .

¿Hasta qué punto su rostro tiene interrupciones,
si la interrupción no fuera paisaje o sonido
sino simplemente yo?

**

 

 
Noni Benegas, born in Buenos Aires and resident in Spain since 1977, is the author of seven books of poetry; a selection is collected in El Ángel de lo súbito, Ed. Fondo de Cultura Económica, (Madrid, 2014). Burning Cartography, Ed. Host, (Austin TX, 2007 and 2011) is a selection of these poems in English, and Animaux Sacrés, Ed. Al Manar (Séte 2013) in French. She has won the Platero Prize from the UN in Geneva; the Miguel Hernández National Prize for Poetry, as well as Vila de Martorell award, the Rubén Darío Prize from Palma in Mallorca, the Esquío Prize in Galicia. She is the author of the influential anthology of contemporary Spanish women poets Ellas tienen la palabra, Ed. Hiperión (Madrid, 2008, 4th edition) whose introductory essay, with a new prologue, articles, interviews and an epilogue has been recently collected by Ed. Fondo de Cultura Economica in 2017 with the same title. Ellas Resisten. Mujeres poetas y artistas (1994-2019) is a selection of her essays on women writers and artists published by Ed. Huerga & Fierro
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; at Artvilla.com
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

CODA: THE GHOSTS GO HOME. A Poem by EM Schorb.

      O lost and by the wind grieved,
      ghost, come back again.
      —Thomas Wolfe

. . . so this is luck says Maxine
you can take your freaking luck and shove it
Mama says it was the aliens who helped us
hundreds of flying saucers piloted by
Elvises in sequined pod suits
they lifted us off the cliff
I told you they would I told you
she’s nuts Buddy we’re dead right now
dead and floating away Max dispersing smoke
and just when I thought I was going to heaven
to God’s bright musical castle
where I could play the organ
play Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland
for all the heavenly days of my death
O.K. Buddy but what in hell do you think
I’m travelling for
we left the other goddamned Disney place
three thousand miles back
I want to get away from it all
that’s my heaven
every place is the same Max
every place is Disneyland
now don’t you start sniveling Mama
but home is where the heart is
my heart is with Harry in Orlando
poor old Alzheimer man
I loved him so much
for God’s sake we got all freaking bummed out
I sent a card back home to tell
how you’ve acted you son-of-a-bitch you killed us
and I think you did it on purpose
you think you can drive through space now Buddy
still steering Max
Maxine
what Mama
you children are enough to drive me out of my mind
but the National Star
and the Pod People keep me sane
look at all that space
can you fly this thing Buddy
an American G.I. can do anything he has to do Mama
Buddy sometimes you remind me of Harry
why thanks Mama
doughboys is what we called G.I.s in my day
like you he came back full of holes
but gassed in Belleau Wood
beautiful name to be so horrible
I know I don’t tell you very much
but now that I know we are all going to
heaven together or somewhere
well wherever the pod people take us
I love you both
we love you too Mama
don’t we Max
O.K. so all us suckers love each other
just keep this smoke floating
Mama I think Maxine is blubbering up
crocodile tears Buddy she’s hard as a rock
no Mama you should see her up here
shut up Buddy
she’s had too much beer
no I think the crash is just now sinking in on me
but I’m not going to stop drinking my Lite
I don’t care if I’m dead
you are dead Max we’re all dead
Buddy are you sure you can fly are you
does smoke rise up from a fire
and finally vanish in the sky
I keep on truckin’ like I always done Max
through war and peace Mama
our flag must still wave
through hell and high water Max
I could go on flying this big beautiful
Winnebago with the eagle wing span of an
Enola Gay forever across America
back and forth across this great big
God bless America country

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
 
 
E.M. Schorb’s Murderer’s Day, was awarded the Verna Emery Poetry Prize and published by Purdue University Press, and a subsequent collection, Time and Fevers, was the recipient of the Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Award for Poetry and also an Eric Hoffer Award.
 
Other works include 50 Poems, Hill House New York; Words in Passing, The New Formalist Press; The Ideologues and Other Retrospec­tive Poems, Aldrich Press; Eclectica Americana, Hill House New York; Manhattan Spleen, Aldrich Press; Last Exit to East Hampton, Kelsay Books; and The Poor Boy, Dragon’s Teeth Press, Living Poets Series. The title poem, “The Poor Boy,” was awarded the International Keats Poetry Prize by London Literary Editions, Ltd., judged by Howard Sergeant.
 
Schorb’s novel, Paradise Square, received the Grand Prize for Fiction from the International eBook Award Founda­tion at the Frankfurt Book Fair. A Portable Chaos was the First Prize Winner of the Eric Hoffer Award for Fiction. His latest novel, R&R, a Sex Comedy, has won the Beverly Hills Book Award for Humor. But Schorb maintains that he is first and foremost a poet, and his poetry has appeared in numerous publi­ca­tions, such as Agenda (UK), The American Scholar (US), Frank (FR), The Hudson Review (US), Stand (UK), Poetry Salzburg Review (AU), Queen’s Quarterly (CA), The Yale Review (US), and Oxford Poetry (UK), among others.

Spike. Poem excerpt from Cartoon Molecules by Robin Hislop


 
A runaway on a Singularity slippery slope need not be a despairingly
Sisyphean slide back but spike upward to an extremely great verticality
allowing something relatively harmless today start a trend that results
in something currently unthinkable a – Pandorean pandemonium
 
still he didn’t want to kill himself and his crew so he hatched a plan
that systems possessing the same patterns of causal organization will instantiate
the same types of conscious states irrespective of whether the organization
is implemented in neurons – silicon – plastic or any other substrate
 
taken to its heart we would vanish into its stronger existence – do the angels
really only take back what is theirs – what has streamed out of them – or is there
sometimes – as if by oversight something of our being as well? – do we not see
the swirling return to ourselves (how should we see it?) the world today being
as it is a vast unsupervised laboratory – in which a multitude of experiments
are simultaneously under way
 
brain-computer interfaces have already left the laboratory which allows gamers
to interact directly with their consoles – a high resolution neuro-signal
acquisition and processing wireless neuroheadset uses a set of sensors to tune
into electric signals produced by the brain to detect player thoughts feelings
and expressions and connects wirelessly to most PCs’ — all this for only $299!
 
partly this is because we cannot agree on what such purposes are – and even if
we were to – suddenly he knew that when he heard the music he would be unable
to resist steering toward the island’s rocks – the problem wasn’t the present
rational Ulysses – but instead the future illogical Ulysses – the person he’d become
when the Sirens came within earshot
 
but that is the gods’ affair – if only we too could discover a pure contained – human
place – a strip of fruitful land of our own – between river and stone!- for our own heart
exceeds us – the curve of the graph grows exponentially steeper – until that spike is
the Singularity – beyond the veil of the opaque wall – the unthinkable – the horizon
of the final dawn looms – lanced on the spear of the terrible angel.

 
 
After Rainer Maria Rilke. Duino Elegies
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds) .