A Fucked Up Life. A bilingual Poem & Translation from Spanish by Vera Moreno

A fucked up life

living in Zurich to work in a small town
working in a small town to live in Zurich

everything for
a small retirement benefit

everything for
tomorrow´s future



every single morning the alarm o´clock

                                 the train leaves at 6.09

                                 the train leaves at 6.09


teaching three modules when the rest of teachers

teach two

wishing to change that


                          and as the cuckoo, open your beak,
                          open your beak, but nothing changes

getting up again
taking the same seat at 6.05

sleeping on the same train seat
on the way to work
sleeping standing
on your way back 

                yawning at the wrong time
                yawning at the wrong time

getting to the small town exhausted
getting  back to Zurich      more  than exhausted

knowing that today is a piece of gold for 
the retirement benefit, the retirement benefit
the precious  golden retirement benefit
cooking not so much ´cos the lack of sleeping

 DON´T DREAM
                                                         DON´T DREAM much
                                                         DON´T DREAM
                                                         DON´T DREAM much




a fucked up life
a fucked up life

living in Zurich to work in a small town
working in a small town to live in Zurich

having a reduced future for
a little retirement benefit in Switzerland

                             having a reduced morning
                             to sleep or not to sleep
                             to sleep or not to sleep
                             never dreams, never dreams
                                             sleeping on a train, sleeping on a train 
                                                but never do it, but never do it       in class
                            
Can´t- get - out, can´t get out, can´t get out

                             from the clock, 		from the cow, 
                             from the knife,  		from the cheese
                             from the Swiss       	fucking snow,
                             				fucking snow, 
                             					           can´t get out
                             from fucking Switzerland
                             				
							from fucking Swiss 
							white clean tyranny.



Vera Moreno
from The broken bodies´ fitness center
César Simón Poetry Award 2019

 
 

 
Vera Moreno (Madrid, 1972). A multifaceted writer, teacher, rhapsodist, and cultural activist. She loves performance and videopoems.
 
She holds a Master Degree in Artistic, Literary and Cultural Studies from the Autonomous University of Madrid; and a Sociology and Political Sciences Degree from the Complutense University of Madrid. She also did Women´s studies at Utrecht University in NederLands.
 
In 2013 she was recognized as a New Voice by the feminist publishing House Torremozas (Madrid). Vera Moreno was published by Amargord publisher in a double poetry book called The whole orange (La naranja entera) in 2016. Three years later, she won the César Simón poetry reward at the University of Valencia with the poems book called The broken bodies´ fitness center (El gimnasio de los rotos). Next year a new book is coming.
 
Some of her texts and poems have been translated into Dutch, Esperanto and English.
 
As a cultural activist she created in 2001 a innovative cultural radio space of one minute lenght called Europe for Culture on Europe FM national radio station. In 2012 Vera Moreno designed and coordinated participative literary events called Literary Moondays (Lunes literarios) at the Rivas city hall – centro cultural del ayuntamiento de Rivas, and co-founder of the poetry channel on youtube Poesía a domicilio / Poetry delivery, with the great Dominican poet Rosa Silverio (2021).
 
 
 
 

Una vida jodida

vivir en Zurich para trabajar en un pequeño pueblo
trabajar para vivir en Zurich
tener una pequeña pensión, 
para el día de mañana

 cada mañana el despertador
			           el tren sale a las 6.09
                                
impartir tres módulos cuando el resto imparte dos
querer cambiar, 			     
                                   y como el cuco, abrir la boca

levantarse de nuevo
sentarse a las 6.05 en ese tren


dormir sentada
dormir de pie
dormir en el tren de ida  
dormir en el tren de vuelta

                                              bostezar a destiempo

llegar al pueblo exhausta
llegar a Zurich exhausta
sabiendo que el día cotiza en bolsa o en la pensión
cocinar poco por el sueño

NO 
                                                                          soñar

una vida jodida
vivir en Zurich para trabajar en un pequeño pueblo
trabajar para vivir en Zurich

tener un mañana reducido
una pensión pequeña en Suiza

					tener una mañana reducida
					               dormir o no dormir
						       dormir o no dormir
                                                en el tren sí, en clase no

no-poder-salir 
			   del reloj, la vaca, la navaja, el queso
                                                                          la nieve



Vera Moreno
Poema procedente de el gimnasio de los rotos
Premio de Poesía César Simón 2019

 
 
 
 
Vera Moreno (Madrid, 1972). Escritora polifacética, docente, rapsoda y activista cultural.
 
Licenciada en sociología (UCM) y máster en estudios artísticos, literarios y gestión de la cultura (UAM).
 
En 2013 fue incluida en el premio Voces Nuevas de Torremozas. Ha publicado el doble poemario La Naranja entera con Amargord (2016), y en 2019 ganó el premio Cesar Simón de poesía de la Universidad de Valencia con su poemario El gimnasio de los rotos. En 2022, llegará una nueva entrega.
 
Parte de su obra ha sido traducida y publicada en holandés, esperanto e inglés.
 
Creadora del espacio radiofónico Europa por la Cultura para la cadena Europa FM (2001); creadora de los encuentros participativos los Lunes Literarios en Rivas (2012), y co-fundadora del canal de poesía en Youtube Poesía a domicilio, junto con la poeta dominicana Rosa Silverio (2021).
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Heidegger Looks at the Moon. Collected Poems by R.W. Haynes, Reviewed by Robin Ouzman Hislop


R.W.Haynes. Larado. Texas. USA.
 
Heidegger Looks at the Moon is the latest volume of poetry by RW Haynes, who is well known to us at PLT (Poetry Life & Times), where as well as having been Interviewed, his various previous works, as well his poems have been hosted. Haynes is an individual of many abilities, a scholar of Greek language, he is versed in the Classics, a playright, novelist, a biographer on the Texan Playright Hoorton Foote & poet, he teaches at A&M International University of Texas, Laredo, USA, where he’s been a lecturer for the last 30 years in Anglo Saxon Literature, Dramatics in Chaucer, Shakespeare & Ibsen’s plays amongst other activities.
 
It is not surprising, perhaps, that his poetics are in the classicist metric style and form. Almost inevitably, I find, we see, surrupetitiously appearing in verses a tightening of form in Shakespearean vogue. I think he will be the first one to admitt that he is almost in bondage to the sonnet and drawn by the fascination and challenge of being able to render a vast scope of vision into such a compact and condensed form. Also what we learn from Haynes is his overwhelming admiration for theater, but more so for the actual actors who perform theater, where he says, he literarily stands in awe and reverence of them as artists in their medium. I mention this because it is reflected, I believe, in his works as a poet, which introduces many varied persona as mediums for his poetic voice. Of course both history and place, he is from the deep south USA, figure extensively in his writing, an example features in his sonnet Downtown Waco. Midnight. Heidegger Looks at the Moon. In it’s opening line The Bush Library really ought to be here! Apparently Waco was on the list but it got removed to Dallas ‘The loss of the Library was the worst blow to hit the city since the 1953 Waco Tornado killed 114 people’ he comments in another text.
 
According to Haynes, as I understand it, he views emmotive conflicts as conditions of the human species over time as intrinsic to their existence, passion, love, hate, grief, despair from antiquity to the present he regards are fundamental in the human make up. And his poems intensifiy in a contemporary idiom and context this phenomena, sometimes with irony, sometimes with humour, sometimes with compassion. Having said all that, I would add, that his poems by no means make for easy reading, if the reader believes it can just pick up the volume and flipantly peruse it for a couple of hours and come away gratified, it’s in for another think. It is a work that you have to go back to again and again. These are poems that demand you give them attention, that you work at them, because in their own genre, they are masterfully crafted. I personally found in reading them, that just at the moment you feel most comfortable with the verses, stanzas, you are saying to yourself, yes I am with it, what appears to be a harmless snug line tucked away in a stanza rivets you with its complexity and plunges you into new depths, which is what a poem should do, imo.
 
The very title Heidegger Looks at the Moon, Heidegger is a complex philosopher and Haynes believes that poetry should be philosophical (in this I share his viewpoint) he believes in the etymology of the word Sophia, as the love of wisdom ( a hope, which I would also like to share in). Heidegger thought of humans as linguistic beings, language is the house of being, but he also feared that language could be our own entrapment, that the way we spoke about a certain object or event made it into what it was and also alienated us from what it really is. This of course is a great simplification but I think i could say that his concern was that instead of talking about nature, we end up only talking about ourselves, which prevents us from being activated, acted upon or impacted by anything, and in which we become the living dead to quote. This is only to say, without being specifically Heideggerian, if we are to think of philosophy (wisdom) as the task of poetry, it could be to awaken us from this anthropocene epoch, which sees the environment as its own, by the use of poetic language to recover the world which is ours and to which we belong. Haynes poetry in its idiom both ancient and modern, in it’s scope and intensity, it’s range of variety and mood, in its quest, is perhaps a kindling beacon towards that lost light. Editor Poetry Life and Times Robin Ouzman Hislop

 

Three Selected Poems:
 
(i.)
 
Downtown Waco. Midnight. Heidegger Looks at the Moon.
 
The Bush Library really should be here,
For each dead city needs a laugh or two,
A little something so the skeletons can jeer
On nights like this when there’s little to do
And nothing to haunt but the haunting lack of hope
Where words are born to sputter anxiously
Toward brief life in some half-bungled trope
Irrecoverable etymologically.
Is there another cyclone on its way
To re-mix this desperation here?
To make words and deeds mutually obey
A dim correspondence–never more clear
Than the misshapen moon cruising so high
Over the Brazos in the hopeless Waco sky?
 
(ii.)
 
Cleghorn Resists the Various Swirls of Evil
 
The preposition shudders politely when
A cutthroat solipsist invites it in,
And shyly declines his invitations
To join his murdered nominalizations,
His cold, intransitive redundancies
Pickled in glass, words that neither please
Nor move, motionless as the center of pain
In a sinking island sunk in a hurricane.
“Why, sir,” she whispers, “I didn’t mean to win,
But ever since William of Normandy came in
I’ve gathered force, and, alas, your frantic dream
To drown the world in a fantastic stream
Has withered, and you are no longer strong.
Believe me, sir, follow the lemmings along.”

 
So wrote Mr. Cleghorn, and saved his text
And closed his laptop, frowning a bit,
For greater labor awaited him next
And he was not yet composed for it.
Against his personal code of action,
He had slept in a red shirt, carelessly,
And he felt that invidious subtraction
Of force that accompanies inevitably
Such disregard for cosmic propriety
And leads to poor judgment both in poetry
And in the war of life, where certainly
Color sucks away sensitivity.
Dressed as clowns, thus, in Morpheus’ arms,
Sleeping fools multiply their harms.
 
And foolishness here is a rich resource,
He thought, reflecting on the bureaucrats
Who seek to keep the city down by force,
Predatory gangsters, scheming rats,
Networked against pressure from outside
To recognize justice and the Constitution,
To give up conspiracy, xenophobic pride,
Blackmail, bribery, theft, and pollution,
To exile the chiseler, the fake, and the buffoon
Who manufacture credentials from trash,
Grease the right palms (thank you, cousin!), and soon
Convert these shameless forgeries to cash
And smirk to think how the honest man’s labor
Buys electricity for his well-connected neighbor.
 
Growling bloodthirstily, three deadly wolves appear,
Greeting their master, emerging from his fit,
Three whom Cerberus would flee in fear,
Dire wolves indeed, as ever biscuit bit,
And Cleghorn calls all three ferocious creatures
And hauls them by the ears and roughly pets
Their shaggy coats, examining their features,
Claws, and fangs, and as each wolf gets
His morning greeting, he comfortably reposes
Himself in a strategic, warlike position
From which, no doubt, he fiercely proposes
To tear and mangle all opposition.
Thus, surrounded by three mighty dogs from Hell,
Their master meditates and speaks a secret spell.
 
Barricaded in eccentricity
Of a kind, alert to angel whisperings
And curious voices fluting delicately
Essences of many marvelous things,
He reaches toward a lost integrity
And hears the ghosts of long-lost harmony.
 
(iii.)
 
Meeting in Green Light
 
In that parade of corpses, one turned
To look at me. The green moonlight
Scorched her cadaverous face and burned
It greenish pale and deathly white.
Green fangs smirked familiarity,
And a sudden spark lit up one dead eye
As she hoarsely crooned, “Hey, babe, it’s me.
You used to say speed kills. That’s still a lie.
What kills you, fast or slow, is that you die.”
Cold inside, but this wrecked specter
Awakening some sad sympathy yet,
I croaked out in a stunned response to her:
“The alleyways and dungeons I forget,
For angels of sunlight dragged me out
And wrapped me with jasmine and morning glory,
And sweet dreams shifted my mind about,
To sacred miracles in a marvelous story.
They gave me cool white wine and cantaloupe
And pride was driven out by mindless hope.”
“So dogs do yap and howl in Heaven, then,”
She said and stared vindictively at me,
“Just as they do for burning devils when
The cold moon shines upon the murderous sea.”
“Perhaps,” I said, “but words one understands
Are ruled by a magic kept out of our hands,
And whippoorwills’ disturbing song at night
Fades out as nighthawks launch themselves for flight.”
 
 
 
Heidegger Looks at the Moon by R. W. Haynes
978-1-64662-686-1 www.finishinglinepress.com
 
 
R. W. Haynes, Professor of English at Texas A&M International University, has published poetry in many journals in the United States and in other countries.As an academic scholar, he specializes in British Renaissance literature, and he has also taught extensively in such areas as medieval thought, Southern literature, classical poetry, and writing. Since 1992, he has offered regular graduate and undergraduate courses in Shakespeare, as well as seminars in Ibsen, Chaucer, Spenser, rhetoric, and other topics. In 2004, Haynes met Texas playwright/screenwriter Horton Foote and has since become a leading scholar of that author’s remarkable oeuvre, publishing a book on Foote’s plays in 2010 and editing a collection of essays on his works in 2016. Haynes also writes plays and fiction. In 2016, he received the SCMLA Poetry Award ($500) at the South Central Modern Language Association Conference. In 2019, two collections of his poetry were published, Laredo Light (Cyberwit) and Let the Whales Escape (Finishing Line Press).
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

LAKE TITICACA. A Poem by Lorraine Caputo

I.
The fuchsia-orange sun
is cresting the Eastern cordillera
Its colors seep through muslin clouds
& sheen upon the icy lake

II.
Across the altiplano between
maroon worn-ribbed mountains
& bright turquoise waters

Shaggy-roofed adobe homes
land parceled by stone walls
In swampy pastures graze
sheep & llama, cows &
long-haired donkeys

The weekly market at
Benemerita Zepita
Pollera-skirted women sit upon
dwarf grass, surrounded by
their herds of livestock

Beyond the distant shores
of Titicaca the snowy
Andes horizon


III.

On this bank of the deep
cerulean lake edged with marshland
A woman, child to back
tends her sheep

Totora boats anchor
amidst golden-green reeds
A small boy beats
fresh-plowed earth
with a hoe

On the far side
dark copses speckle
parch hills
Ghostly into the clouds rises
that snow-capped range


 
 
Wandering troubadour Lorraine Caputo is a documentary poet, translator and travel writer. Her works
appear in over 250 journals on six continents; and 18 collections of poetry – including
On Galápagos Shores (dancing girl press, 2019) and Escape to the Sea (Origami Poems Project, 2021).
She also authors travel narratives, articles and guidebooks. In 2011, the Parliamentary Poet
Laureate of Canada honored her verse. Caputo has done literary readings from Alaska to the Patagonia.
She journeys through Latin America with her faithful travel companion, Rocinante (that is, her knapsack),
listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth. Follow her travels at:
www.facebook.com/lorrainecaputo.wanderer
or https://latinamericawanderer.wordpress.com.

 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)