Almost A Nocturne. A Poem by Noni Benegas Translated from Spanish by Amparo Arrospide and Robin Ouzman Hislop

Editor’s note: this poem is a lengthy text, the translation is given first & then the original follows & finally the relevant bio info.
 
ALMOST A NOCTURNE
 
Guilt is an argument
to feel alive, fear
another;
any defense
improvised from a threat,
is another;
being told you’re smarter
than someone else
is another;
the best argument is perhaps
to remember
how we had prepared everything
to write without guilt
instead of loafing about
not to sleep a wink
and feel life slip by.
To worry about distant friends
who do not call, not knowing
if they’ re still alive
yet another.
But the maximum argument
to feel alive is to feel
that you’re wasting your time.
Any incentive,
drug or dressing that heals
the “malheur de vivre”
is, in short, a force driving the
guilt of being alive
but insufficiently.
To think that nobody cares,
that there is no friend
aware of you
makes us prone
to experience guilt
which in turn lets us
experience being alive.
I refuse to speak in the first person
because I don’t know
if I’m an individual
alive
outside language.
 
It’s the time when wolves
go out to howl at inhospitable
nature;
I barely feel my toes
scratch the edge of the bed
rub each other
like sticks on distant drums;
their percussion reverberates
through my body with waxed ears
of a mummy
but more alive,
than Clarice’s clock
pounding at dawn.
 
Nothing makes sense,
Would it, if I’d lived with you,
X, H or J of my past, present, or future?
And here, I survive
without a dog or cat
or a clock.
But even so
even so if
I waste time on this
my mental calculator
catches on
and condemns me
with such lucid argument
to experience
the guilt that makes me feel alive
in a bad way.
 
In this uncertain
existence, to the friend who feeds us
to reinforce their vitality
while feeding ours,
I reply with warmth
but no tea,
because it keeps you awake
and makes you think
which prevents
living
as something natural.
 
Living is natural
like this light coolness
on my back
and this slight discomfort
of a quilt too warm
making you successively
put off and on
words of life
with their doubts, meanderings:
live, living, surviving.
 
Little by little
an appetite is born;
I continue living
as I begin to wake up
turning in bed
-left right-
wanting day to come
promising “ficar bonito”.
 
I begin to understand
St John Perse’s list of posts,
it must have been
at dawn,
scattered like a man’s crumbs
through his long lined verses
whose sum: one over one
make the poem.
And I’m already awake,
while tire wheels roll
out of my cotton filled ears
like waves on the sidewalk,
behind a closed glass
behind my life
with a drawn curtain
already standing
already rhetorical.
 
Haven’t you ever thought of having children
friend ?
you wouldn’t be able to sleep at night
for their screams,
but a part of you can do it
because of it…,
although another’s life
isn’t an argument
to lose sleep over
or recover it,
there are borders between us,
jagged boundaries as between
stamps.
 
I turn off
and on
the coolness on my back persists
as if after so much searching
my back was the dark side of the moon
my feet explore
at the bottom of galaxies
through black holes
tunnelling under the quilt
at the edge of the bed.
Between turning on and off
there is a photogenesis of night
that appears
at will.
Click, clack
René Daumal
click, clack
Lota Macedo
click, clack
Oscar Manesi
click, clack
A. Pizarnik
click, clack
me you him
blasphemy
error.
 
An association is like placing a carriage on a track
to set in motion,
thus night rolls
with a click
like Clarice’s clock;
the clock is a camera filming
passing time.
 
What a big animal
in the dark!
I don’t know my limits,
I turn on the light
for the shameful life
of that autonomous hand
filming outside myself
on paper, with pencil,
the pretensions of the poet writing
as a movie shot
in which I’m absent;
only the coolness
and the instep of my right foot
as it molds my left leg’s calf
gives me back my limits.
How disgusting life is
when you want to go to the toilet
but it’s just a plane traversing
your hollow belly over the Gulf of Mexico
before the storm
is unleashed,
taking into account
that being alive
is a way of being
harassed
by terrestrial functions.
Body drifting,
but there is too much light
to say so
night fails
and is rhetorical.
Rhetorical, the warp and woof
of a gem illuminated tapestry
from another age.
Darkness
orders and disorders the world
at the same time
and now everything
feels like my back;
I want to be hungry
or pee to stand up again
not this coolness without limits.
 
She/he lied to me
and now they pay the price
by losing the meaning
of their lie.
The only reason
for being alive
is to whisper these things
in my ear.
 
Night is a field
of phosphenes and barbed wire
that starts in
the frontal lobe;
as long as my mouth
pours this fluidity
from above
I will believe in a soul,
click, clack.
In Madrid
I switch on
the light
in my Paris room
knowing
through this motion
I exist
click, clack,
at dawn.
I want to roll myself up in the quilt
in an interspatial rocket
riding the coolness of galaxies,
not this earthly
red light
but the dust of stars
precipitated suddenly blue.
 
How relative
language is…
Little by little I recover
to form a notion of reality,
to breath for my frontal lobe
so it becomes night once more.
My only privacy
is with myself,
at times I’m so far
I don’t recognize myself,
but they talk to me, watch me
and there I am,
at times I’m so close
I can spare knowing me.
In the morning I will recover
my identity
like one who puts her toes
inside the quilt’s capsule
so that they form a whole,
so that they complete a whole.
 
To the traitor/ess
I do not know you
as a person,
you’re not on my path
or maybe yes, as one more mask.
This I know now.
I don’t know if I’ll know later
when the various layers
of myself overlap
and I fly over the cosmos
in the space capsule
of my quilt.
I’m not me
but my balance is so delicate
that I can try to be me,
and some do try again
(psycho)
for the pleasure of recognizing themselves.
 
Noni Benegas
Translated by Robin Ouzman & Amparo Arrospide
 

CASI UN NOCTURNO
 
La culpa es un argumento
para sentirse vivo, el miedo
otro;
la defensa, cualquier defensa
improvisada ante una amenaza,
otro;
ser más inteligente que alguien
(y que lo digan)
otro;
recordar cómo habíamos preparado todo
para escribir sin culpa
en vez de haraganear,
el mejor, quizás,
a fin de no pegar ojo
y sentir la vida pasar.
Preocuparse por los amigos lejanos
que no llaman y se ignora si aún viven
otro,
pero el argumento máximo
para sentirse vivo es sentir
que se está perdiendo el tiempo.
Cualquier aliciente,
droga o apósito que cure
del “malheur de vivre”
es, en definitiva, un
propulsor de la culpa
del hecho de estar vivo
sin estarlo lo suficiente.
Pensar que a nadie le importa
y no hay ninguna amistad
que se interese,
nos hace proclives
a experimentar la culpa
que a su vez permite
experimentar la sensación
de estar vivos,
y me niego a hablar en singular
porque no se si yo,
fuera del lenguaje,
estoy viva
en particular.
Es la hora en que los lobos
salen a aullar a la naturaleza
inhóspita;
apenas percibo los dedos de mis pies
que arañan el borde de la cama
y se frotan entre si,
como palillos sobre lejanos tambores;
su percusión reverbera
en mi cuerpo con oídos encerados
de momia
pero más vivo,
que el reloj de Clarice
palpitando en la madrugada.
 
Nada tiene sentido,
¿lo tendría si viviera contigo,
X, H o J de mi pasado, presente, o futuro?
Y aquí,
sin perro ni gato
ni reloj alrededor
sobrevivo;
pero aún así,
pero aún así,
si pierdo el tiempo en esta comprobación,
la calculadora mental
barrunta la falta
y me condena
con ese argumento lúcido
a experimentar la culpa que me hace sentir viva
de mala manera.
 
Al amigo que nos da de comer
para reforzar su vitalidad
mientras alimenta la nuestra,
le replico, en esta incertidumbre
de existir, con simpatía
pero sin té,
porque quita el sueño
y te hace pensar,
lo cual impide
vivir
como algo natural.
 
Vivir es natural
como este ligero frescor
en la espalda,
y la leve molestia
del edredón demasiado cálido
que hace que te quites y pongas
-sucesivamente-
las palabras de la vida
con sus dudas y recovecos:
vivo, viviente, sobreviviente.
 
De a poco nace
el apetito;
sigo viviendo
a medida que despierto
y volteo sobre la cama
-izquierda, derecha-
con ganas de que venga el día
y pueda “ficar bonito”.
 
Empiezo a entender
la enumeración de oficios en St John Perse;
tiene que haber sido
de madrugada,
mendrugos de hombre
desparramados en el versículo
cuya suma: uno más uno
hacen el poema.
Ya estoy de pie,
mientras ruedan
fuera de mis oídos algodonados,
ruedas de neumáticos
como olas en la vereda,
tras el cristal cerrado
tras mi vida con la cortina
echada, ya de pie
y ya retórica.
¿No has pensado tener hijos
amiga ?
no podrás dormir de noche
por sus gritos,
pero una parte tuya sí podrá hacerlo
a causa de esto…,
aunque no es argumento
la vida ajena
para perder el sueño
o recuperarlo,
hay bordes entre nosotros,
límites dentados como entre
estampillas.
 
Apago,
y enciendo,
y sigue el frescor en la espalda
como si después de tanto buscar
fuera ese el lado oscuro de la luna,
que los pies investigan
al fondo de las galaxias
por los agujeros negros,
-túneles bajo el edredón-
hacia el borde de la cama,
y entre encender y apagar
hay una fotogénesis de la noche
que aparece
a voluntad.
Clic, clac
René Daumal
clic, clac
Lota Macedo
clic, clac
Oscar Manesi
clic, clac
A. Pizarnik
clic, clac
yo, tú, él
blasfemia
error.
 
Y una asociación es como poner un vagón en una vía
para echarlo a andar,
así la noche con el clic
rueda
como el reloj de Clarice;
el reloj es la cámara que filma
el tiempo que pasa.
 
¡Qué animal tan grande
en la oscuridad!
No conozco mis límites,
enciendo
para la vergüenza de vivir
de esa mano autónoma
afuera de mi filmando
sobre papel, con lápiz,
el paripé del poeta que escribe
como una toma de película
en la cual no estoy yo;
sólo el frescor
me devuelve mis límites
y el empeine del pie derecho
cuando moldea la pantorrilla de la pierna izquierda.
Qué asco vivir
cuando tienes ganas de ir al baño
pero es sólo un avión que atraviesa
la oquedad de tu vientre como el golfo de México
antes de desencadenarse
una tormenta,
sin perder de vista
que estar vivo
es una manera de estar
acosado
por las funciones terrestres.
Cuerpo a la deriva,
pero hay demasiada luz
para decirlo
falla la noche y es
retórico.
Retórico es un retor luminoso
de carbunclos de otra época.
La oscuridad –y ahora todo
es una espalda-
desordena el mundo a la vez
que lo ordena;
quisiera tener hambre
o pis para reincorporarme
y no este frescor sin límites.
 
Me mintió
y ahora paga su mentira
con la desaparición del objeto
de su mentira.
La única razón
de estar vivo
es poder dictarme estas cosas
al oído.
 
La noche es un campo
de fosfenos y alambradas
que empieza a partir
del lóbulo frontal.
Mientras la boca
siga derramando
ésta liquidez de arriba
creeré en el alma,
clic, clac,
y aprieto el interruptor
de mi cuarto en París
en otra lámpara
en Madrid,
y sé que existo
por este tacto
clic, clac,
en la madrugada.
Me quiero enrollar en el edredón
con forma de cohete interespacial
para surcar el frescor de las galaxias,
no esta luz colorada
de la tierra
sino el polvo de estrellas,
precipitado súbitamente azul.
 
Cómo relativiza
el lenguaje…
De a poco me recupero
y cobro noción de lo real,
respiro para mi lóbulo,
para que sea de noche otra vez;
no tengo intimidad
más que conmigo misma,
y a veces estoy tan lejos
que no me reconozco,
pero me hablan y miran
y ahí me encuentro,
aunque a veces estoy tan cerca
que me eximo de conocerme.
Por la mañana recuperaré
mi identidad
como quien mete los dedos de los pies
dentro de la cápsula del edredón
para que formen un todo,
para que completen el todo.
 
Al traidor/ra
No te reconozco
como persona,
no estás en mi camino
o tal vez sí, una máscara más.
Esto que sé ahora
no sé si lo sabré luego
cuando diversas capas de mi
se superpongan
y en la cápsula espacial
de mi edredón conmigo
sobrevuele el cosmos.
Yo no soy yo
pero mi equilibrio es tan delicado
que yo puedo ser yo,
y algunos vuelven a intentarlo
(psico)
por el placer de reconocerse a sí mismos.
 

 
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
 
Editor’s Note: see also Poetry, National Literature Prize 2018, Francisca Aguirre, Translated from Spanish by Amparo Arróspide & Robin Ouzman Hislop

The Sap Declaration of Independence. A Poem by Amparo Arróspide. Translated from Spanish

Editors Note: this piece is an extract and translation from the larger work of Valle Tietar a volume of poetry written in Spanish – here we can only provide a taste & glimpse of its originality, a work in defence of fauna & flora & to those for whome the Spanish tongue is available, where the book may be purchased, if so desired. www.elsastredeapollinaire.com
 

CUBIERTA Tan cerca de ningún lugar V2

      Cast: Representatives and Chorus

 
To the people of Pain and to all peoples in the world
 
Today the SAP nation restores its lost and long-desired sovereignty, after centuries of trying in vain to coexist with the Spanish Sapiens

    Apiens Apiens Apiens

 
The SAP nation, its languages and cultures have a most ancient history. For millennia it has exercised self-government in fullness, with the Stone being the highest expression of historical rights. During periods of freedom, granite gneiss has been,the column where our non-institutions were crystallized

    Llized Llized Llized

 
Justice and individual and collective non-human rights are the basis for the constitution of the SAP REPUBLIC
 
Since the times of the Copious Mounts, the SAP policy has played a key role with an exemplary, loyal and democratic attitude

    Ude Ude Ude

and with a deep sense of non-State
 
This allegiance has been met with the denial of recognition to the SAP and with a slave driver and herbicide discrimination. Millions of creatures, millions of creatures were and are tortured and killed
 
The non-human citizenship Statute could be a new stable and lasting framework for a bilateral relation between SAP and PAIN. But it is an agreement again and again broken by the Spanish Sapiens

    Apiens Apiens Apiens

 
After listening to our non-citizens, the Stone, the Forest and the uncivil society called a referendum. Despite brutal arson fires to prevent it, a majority vote was cast in favour of the constitution of our REPUBLIC

    Ublic Ublic Ublic

 
And NOW we, democratic representatives of the non-people, freely exercising our right to self-government and complying with the mandate granted by the non-citizens
 
WE CONSTITUTE the REPUBLIC of the SAP, as an independent and sovereign non -State, constitutional, democratic and antisocial
 
WE START the greening process
 
WE URGE the supra and subterranean international community, infernos and supernos, to intervene to stop the violation of law in progress and to witness the process still under negotiation
 
WE APPEAL to non-States and to human organizations to recognize our Republic

    Ublic Ublic Ublic

 
WE URGE the Stone to adopt any necessary measures to implement this Declaration
 
WE APPEAL to each one of the non-citizens to make us worthy of the freedom we grant ourselves and to build a non-State that translates our collective desires into flight and whirlwind!
 
We, the Legitimate Representatives of the No People (signatures)
 
In Tietar Valley, on the 11th Maw (former October), 2033.
 
 

 
Amparo Arrospide (Argentina) is a Spanish poet and translator. She has published seven poetry collections, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos algunos poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar, Presencia en el Misterio, En el Oido del Viento, Hormigas en Diáspora and Jaccuzzi, as well as poems, short stories and articles on literary and film criticism in anthologies and in both national and foreign magazines.
She has received numerous awards. Editor’s Note: see also Poetry, National Literature Prize 2018, Francisca Aguirre, Translated from Spanish by Amparo Arróspide & Robin Ouzman Hislop

Inutile. A Poem by Noni Benegas. Translated from Spanish by Noël Valis

Excerpt from Fragments of an Unknown Diary

Inutile                                                                                   Inútil

insolent                                                                                 insolente

insociable                                                                              insociable

insecure filthy                                                                       insegura sucia

cupriferous carbona soaked                                                  cuprífera carbona rehogada

lens lamina                                                                            lente lámina

leavened                                                                                levadiza

villain                                                                                    villana

vultiferous jerk                                                                      vultífera fregada

insomniac                                                                              insomne

maniac                                                                                   maníaca

criminoid désolée decisive                                                    criminante desolante decisiva

incisive                                                                                  incisiva

leeks mangled beef                                                               puerro ropa vieja

snitch                                                                                     soplona

salivating drooling dissolving                                               salivada babeante borrosa

brute                                                                                      bruta

brutally brute                                                                         abrutada brutal

 

malapertous                                                                          malabuena

malapropous                                                                         malhabida

beflavorous                                                                           saborida

borealeous                                                                             brisada

brumeous                                                                              brumosa

lunar rapide                                                                           lunar rápida

unmissed                                                                               mal ida

unwelcome                                                                            malvenida

seated seatless                                                                       ensillada sin silla

second sally                                                                          resalida

aligned                                                                                  ahilada

related                                                                                   recontada

recuperated                                                                           recuperada

cured                                                                                     curtida

cooked                                                                                  cociente

crunched                                                                               crujiente

stitched                                                                                 cosida

chosen                                                                                  elegida

papa loved                                                                           papá amada

papa pretty                                                                          papá linda

papa talk                                                                              papá diálogo

papa love                                                                             papá amor

papa always                                                                         papá siempre

 

broken bashed bent                                                            rota estrujada revertida

exonerated                                                                          exonerada

extracted                                                                             extraída

launched                                                                              lanzada

mama suppressed                                                               mamá elidida

mama scolded                                                                     mamá reñida

mama twisted                                                                      mamá torcida

mama out                                                                            mamá fuera

mama far                                                                             mamá lejos

mama hurry                                                                         mamá prisas

mama hollow                                                                       mamá hueco

mama never                                                                         mamá nunca

mama old                                                                             mamá vieja

mama death                                                                         mamá muerte

mama space                                                                         mamá espacio

mama freedom                                                                     mamá libertad

mama voice                                                                          mamá voz

mama laughing                                                                    mamá riente

mama suffering                                                                    mamá doliente

mama pardon                                                                       mamá perdón

mama please                                                                        mamá porfavor

mama plea                                                                            mamá ruego

mama purchase                                                                    mamá compra

mama vigilant                                                                       mamá avizora

mama idea                                                                            mamá idea

mama recuperate                                                                 mamá recupera

mama leftover                                                                      mamá sobras

mama rags                                                                           mamá guiñapo

mama mummy                                                                    mamá momia

mama whine                                                                        mamá queja

mama fate                                                                           mamá sino

mama loving                                                                       mamá amante

mama late                                                                           mamá tarde

 

garden gone                                                                        jardín ido

gathered                                                                              recogido

garden rigged                                                                      jardín jarcias

never-ever                                                                            jamases

garden grasped                                                                    jardín asido

threads                                                                                 hilo

garden moon                                                                        jardín luna

gleams                                                                                  riela

carp play                                                                               lúdica carpa

sounds                                                                                  suena

pool star                                                                               charco estrella

garden plot                                                                           jardín tramo

peril                                                                                       trance

 

Works by Noni Benegas

Poetry

Argonáutica. Prologue José María Valverde. Barcelona: Laertes, 1984. (Platero Prize)

La balsa de la Medusa. Alicante: Caja de Ahorros Provincial de Alicante, 1987.

(Miguel Hernández National Prize for Poetry)

Cartografía ardiente: Madrid: Verbum, 1995.

Las entretelas sedosas: Montilla: Aula Poética Casa del Inca, 2002.

Fragmentos de un diario desconocido. Ferrol: Esquío, 2004. (Esquío de Poesía Prize)

De ese roce vivo: Madrid, Huerga&Fierro, 2009

Animales Sagrados: Barcelona, Igitur, 2012 ( Vila de Martorell Prize)

Lugar Vertical: Barcelona, Igitur, 2012 ( Ciutat de Palma, Rubén Darío Prize)

El ángel de lo súbito: A selection of poetry, whit an introduction by Benito del Pliego, Madrid, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2013

Fragmentos de un diario desconocido. Reedition, Madrid, eMe, escritura de Mujeres en español, Ed. La Palma, 2017

Poetry in translation

Burning Cartography: A bilingüal selection spanish-english, introduced and translated by Noël Valis. Austin, TX, Host, 2007. Second edition with added poems in 2011

Animaux sacrés et autres poémes: A bilingüal selection spanish-french translated by Annie Salager, Sète, Al Manar, 2013  (Voix Vives, de Méditerranée en Méditerranée)

Criticism

Ellas tienen la palabra. Dos décadas de poesía española. (with Jesús Munárriz). Introduction by Noni Benegas. Madrid: Hiperión, 1997. 4th ed., 2008.

Ellas tienen la palabra. Las mujeres y la escritura. Collects the introduction to the anthology of the same name, a new prologue, articles, interviews and an epilogue. Madrid,Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2017

Ellas resisten. Mujeres poetas y artistas. Textos 1994-2019: Madrid, Huerga&Fierro, 2019

 

Bio: Translator. Noël Valis (born 24 December 1945) is a writer, scholar and translator. She is a Professor of Spanish at Yale University.  She received her B.A. from Douglass College and earned a Ph.D. in Spanish and French at Bryn Mawr College. An Hon. Woodrow Wilson Fellow, she is a recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Valis is a Full Member of the Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española (an affiliate of the Real Academia Española) and a Corresponding Member of the Real Academia Española. In 2017 she won the Victoria Urbano Academic Achievement Prize (Premio Victoria Urbano de Reconocimiento Académico), given by the International Association of Hispanic Women’s Literature and Culture (Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica), for her work in Hispanic women’s and gender studies. Her translation of Noni Benegas’s poetry, Burning Cartography, was awarded the New England Council of Latin American Studies’ Best Book Translation Prize.

 

 

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) and his latest Collected Poems Volume at Next-Arrivals

Amparo Arróspide Reviews Goddess Summons the Nation Collected Poems by Tony Martin Woods

Goddess Summons the Nation Paperback
Goddess Summons the Nation Kindle Edition
 
 
Goddess summons the Nation
 
a book of poems written with the vocation of songs and minstrelsy, articulated in four chapters with revealing titles, Substructure, Superstructure, Demolition and Flowers. Full of irony, the poetic voice, which is an ethical, indignant voice, wants the written script to transcend in spoken writing (The grapes / don’t die / in the vineyard / with the harvest / in the summer. // They transcend / and translive / victorious / in the wine, // like the poem in the song … ). This book talks to the reader in short, concise verses, with lexicon of the perspective of one who stands on the brink of historical abyss (The West bleeds to death /…). To paraphrase Ezra Pound, this book has style, that is to say, limpidity, as opposed to rethoric; where the poet in dealing with his own time, sees that language does not petrify in his hands; he has prepared for new advances along the lines of true metaphor, that is interpretative metaphor, or image, as diametrically opposed to untrue or ornamental metaphor. These poems daringly address Brexit and Trump, the policy of closing borders and xenophobia, and a nation that appears personified in female allegories – I am the matriot / the highest patriot / I serve my shares / I sooth my country /…, and cyborgs who leave a planet in ruins ( his brain compressed in a zip folder / stored in a private cloud // No memories / just data / …), our own planet from which figs also flee (with millions of figs like me, like you / away from a supernova / of stupid national greed / … ). In one poem, Time to leave Brexit, we can also read the condensed intention of the book: I’ve never been an island, / Nor a chunk of it. / I could never be one / Cause I’m a social being / made of flesh / And emotions. Images of flesh and bone, and emotions that readers will share.
 
Editor’s Note: see also Artvilla.com Goddess Summons the Nation. By Tony Martin Woods.
 
Goddess summons the Nation
 
un poemario escrito con vocación de cancionero y de mester de juglaría, articulado en cuatro capítulos con títulos reveladores, Substructure, Superstructure, Demolition y Flowers. Pleno de ironía, la voz poética, que es una voz ética, indignada, y que pretende que la escritura escrita trascienda en la escritura hablada (The grapes/don´t die/in the vineyard/with the harvest/in the summer.// They transcend/and translive/victorious/in the wine,// like the poem in the song/…). Se interpela al lector en versos breves, concisos, con léxico de nuestro tiempo y una temática actual de quien se sitúa al borde del abismo histórico (The West bleeds to death/…). Parafraseando a Ezra Pound, este es un libro con “style, that is to say, limpidity, as opposed to rethoric”, donde el poeta “in dealing with his own time, sees to it that language does not petrify in his hands; he has prepared for new advances along the lines of true metaphor that is interpretative metaphor, or image, as diametrically opposed to untrue or ornamental metaphor”. Los poemas se atreven con el Brexit, con Trump, con la política de cierre de fronteras y xenofobia, con una nación que aparece personificada en alegorías femeninas – I am the matriot/ the highest patriot/ I serve my shares/ I sooth my country/, y con cíborgs que abandonan un planeta en ruinas (his brain compressed in a zip folder/stored in a private cloud// No memories/just data/…), planeta del que también huyen los higos ( with millions of figs like me, like you/ away from a supernova/of stupid national greed/…). En uno de sus poemas, Time to leave Brexit, también podemos leer la intención condensada del libro: I´ve never been an island,/Nor a chunk of it./ I could never be one/Cause I´m a social being/made of flesh/And emotions… Imágenes de carne y hueso, y emociones que compartirán lectores y lectoras.
 
 

 

 
 
Antonio Martínez Arboleda:
Antonio (Tony Martin-Woods) started to write poetry for the public in 2012, at the age of 43, driven by his political indignation. That same year he also set in motion Poesía Indignada, an online publication of political poetry. He runs the poetry evening Transforming with Poetry at Inkwell, in Leeds, and collaborates with 100 Thousands Poets for Change100tpc.org/. Tony is also known in the UK for his work as an academic and educator under his real-life name, Antonio Martínez Arboleda at the University of Leeds. His project of digitisation of poetry, Ártemis, compiles more than 100 high quality videos of Spanish poets and other Open Educational Resources. http://www.artemispoesia.com/ . He is the delegate in the UK of Crátera Revista de Crítica y Poesía Contemporánea , where he also publishes his work as translator from English into Spanish. He published his first volume of poetry in Spanish, Los viajes de Diosa (The Travels of Goddess), in 2015, as a response to the Great Recession, particularly in Spain. His second book, Goddess Summons The Nation, is a critique of the ideas of nation and capitalism, mainly in the British Brexit context. It incorporates voices of culprits, victims and heroes with mordacity and rhythm. It consists of 21 poems, 18 of which are originally written in English. It is available in print and kindle in Amazon and other platforms. Editor’s note: further information bio & academic activities can be found at this link: https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/languages/staff/91/antonio-martinez-arboleda
 
 
 
 

 
 
Amparo Arrospide (Argentina) is a Spanish poet and translator. She has published seven poetry collections, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos algunos poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar, Presencia en el Misterio, En el Oido del Viento, Hormigas en Diáspora and Jaccuzzi, as well as poems, short stories and articles on literary and film criticism in anthologies and in both national and foreign magazines.
She has received numerous awards. Editor’s Note: see also Poetry, National Literature Prize 2018, Francisca Aguirre, Translated from Spanish by Amparo Arróspide & Robin Ouzman Hislop

Homage to Francisca Aguirre – The Lullaby Poems (Translated from Spanish)

Francisca Aguirre, Premio Nacional de las Letras 2018 El jurado la ha elegido 
“por estar su poesía (la más machadiana de la generación del medio siglo)
entre la desolación y la clarividencia, la lucidez y el dolor"

Francisca Aguirre, National Literature Prize 2018
The jury chose it "because its poetry is (the most Machadian* of the generation 
of the half century) between desolation and clairvoyance, lucidity and pain"

* In the tradition of Antonio Machado

https://elpais.com/cultura/2018/11/13

Francisca Aguirre was born in 1930 in Alicante, Spain, and fled with her family to France 
at the end of the Spanish Civil War, where they lived in political exile.  When the Germans 
invaded Paris in 1942, her family was forced to return to Spain, where her father, painter 
Lorenzo Aguirre, was subsequently murdered by Francisco Franco's regime.  
Aguirre published Ítaca (1972), currently available in English (Ithaca [2004]), when she was 
42 years old. Her work has garnered much critical success, winning the Leopoldo Panero, 
Premio Ciudad de Irún, and Premio Galliana, among other literary prizes.  
Aguirre is married to the poet Félix Grande and is the mother of poet Guadalupe Grande.



From "NANAS PARA DORMIR DESPERDICIOS" 

LULLABIES TO LULL THROWN AWAYS

by FRANCISCA AGUIRRE

Translated by Amparo Arrospíde & Robin Ouzman Hislop ***

NANA DE LAS SOBRAS                                                                             A Esperanza y Manuel Rico Vaya

canción la de las sobras, eso sí
                      que era una nana para dormir el hambre.
Vaya canción aquella
                      que cantaba mi abuela con aquella voz
que era la voz de la misericordia
disfrazada de voz angelical.
                             Porque la voz de mi abuela
nos cantaba la canción de las sobras.
                             Y nosotras, que no conocíamos el pan,
cantábamos con ella que
                             las sobras de pan eran sagradas,
las sobras de pan nunca se tiran.

Siempre recordaré su hermosa voz
cantando aquella nana mientras el hambre nos dormía.
                                         **
LULLABY FOR LEFTOVERS                                                          To  Esperanza and Manuel Rico

Well, a leftovers song,
                    that truly was a lullaby to lull hunger to sleep.
Wow, that song 
                    my grandmother sang with a voice
that was the voice of mercy
disguised as the voice of an angel.
                              Because my grandmother´s voice
sang for us the leftovers song.
                              And we, who did not know bread,
sang together with her that
                              bread leftovers were holy,
bread leftovers shall never be thrown away.

I will always remember her beautiful voice
singing that lullaby while hunger lulled us to sleep.

                                                                                                       **

NANA DE LAS HOJAS CAÍDAS                                                                       
                                                                                                                       A Marián Hierro
Casi todo lo que se pierde tiene música,
                                                             una música oculta, inolvidable.
Pero las hojas, esas criaturas parlanchinas
que son la voz de nuestros árboles,
                    tienen, como la luz, el agua y las libélulas
una nana secreta y soñadora.
                    Lo que se pierde, siempre nos deja
                       un rastro misterioso y cantarín.

Las hojas verdes o doradas
              cantan su desamparo mientras juegan al corro.
Cantan mientras los árboles las llaman
como llaman las madres a sus hijos
sabiendo que es inútil, que han crecido
                     y que se han ido a recorrer el mundo.

                                                                                                      ****

LULLABY FOR FALLEN LEAVES
                                                                                                                     To Marián Hierro

Almost everything which is lost has a music,
                                                                     a hidden, unforgettable music.
But leaves, those chattering creatures
who are the voices of our trees
                       have -- like light, water and dragonflies --
a secret dreamy lullaby.
                                   That which is lost to us, always leaves
                                           the mysterious trace of its song.
Green or golden leaves
                        sing of their neglect as they dance their ring a ring of roses.
They sing while trees call to them
as mothers do calling their children
knowing it is futile, as they have grown up
                                     and left to travel the world over.
                                                                                          
                                                                                                                               **

NANA DE LAS CARTAS VIEJAS

Tienen el olor desvalido del abandono
y el tono macilento del silencio.
Son desperdicios de la memoria, residuos de dolor, 
                                                   y hay que cantarles muy bajito
para que no despierten de su letargo.
En ocasiones las manos se tropiezan con ellas
                                                  y el pulso se acelera
porque notamos que las palabras	
                                                 como si fueran mariposas
quieren bailar delante de nosotros
y volver a contarnos el secreto
                                                 que duerme entre sus páginas.
Son las abandonadas,
                                 los residuos de un tiempo de desdicha,
relatan pormenores de un combate
                                 y al rozarlas oímos el tristísimo andar
de los presos en los penales.

                                                                                                         **

LULLABY FOR OLD LETTERS

They give off the helpless smell of neglectfulness
and the emaciated tone of silence.
They are memory´s cast offs, residues of pain
                                                   and should be sung to in a low croon
so as not to awaken them from their lethargy.
Sometimes your hands chance upon them
                                                   and your pulse races
because we realize that words
                                                   wish to dance before us
as if they were butterflies
and tell us again the secret
                                                  sleeping inside their pages.
They are the neglected,
                                                  the remnants of unhappy times,
recounting the details of a struggle
                                                  and as we brush them we hear the saddest steps
of prisoners in jails.

                                                                                                          **

NANA DEL HUMO

La nana del humo tiene muchos detractores,
casi nadie quiere cantarla.
                                            Muchos dicen que el humo los ahoga,
otros piensan que eso de dormir al humo
                                            no les da buena espina,
que tiene algo de gafe.
                                   El humo no resulta de fiar:
en cuanto asoma su perfil oscuro
todo son malas conjeturas:
                                             se nos está quemando el bosque,
aquella casa debe de estar ardiendo.
El humo es un extraño desperdicio,
                                             tiene muy mala prensa.
Es un abandonado,
                                   es un incomprendido;
casi nadie recuerda que el humo es un vocero,
un triste avisador de lo que se nos avecina.
Y por eso, cuando lo escucho vocear con impotencia
yo le canto la nana del silencio
                                   para que no se sienta solo.
                                                                                                            

                                                                                                                       **

LULLABY FOR SMOKE

The lullaby for smoke doesn´t get many supporters,
almost nobody wants to sing its song.
                                               Many say smoke stifles them,
others think to lull smoke to sleep
                                               makes them queasy, 
that it´s a bit of a jinx.
                                  Smoke is not trustworthy:
as soon as it rears its dark head
it conjures up conjectures
                                                        -- a forest fire,
a house burning down.
Smoke is a weird remain,
                                             it´s got bad reports.
It´s a reject,
                                  it´s a misunderstood thing;
almost nobody remembers smoke is a herald,
a sad forwarner of what looms over us.
That´s why, when I hear it calling out helplessly,
I sing to it the lullaby for silence
                                             so that it doesn´t feel so lonely.


                                                                                                     ***
Translators:

Amparo Arrospide (Argentina) is a Spanish poet and translator. She has published 
seven poetry collections, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos y algunos 
poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar, Presencia en el Misterio, En el Oido del Viento, 
Hormigas en Diáspora and Jaccuzzi, as well as poems, short stories and articles on 
literary and film criticism in anthologies and in both national and foreign magazines. 
She has received numerous awards. 

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) and his latest 
Collected Poems Volume at  Next-Arrivals 

3 Poems by Alisa Velaj, Limit, His Widow & He, Translated by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj

LIMIT
 
The woman watching the see is blind. For her, the sea waves are the soul waves.
From now on, the chopped light of the immense water container is what she will see
running deeper and deeper inside herself.
 
The blind woman and the ship that could never sail are of the same age.
The ship and her last lover have the same farsightedness.
 
Her last lover was a sailor and a fool. He heard only the melody
coming from the beating stick, turning a deaf to ear to all the island’s playing drums.
 
The blind woman and her last lover loved the flute sounds at dusk.
 
He never told her that the sea light had the shape of his destroying love for her.
However, she would willingly pretend that she had understood him.
She feared that he might also go blind if she told him the truth.
 
 
HIS WIDOW
 
His widow will continue to live her earthly years under the shadow of the emperor’s courtyard.
 
He, the most wonderful tree, left her soul empty with the crowds still conquered by him.
 
The crowds always look at his widow as a mantel of leaves.
 
When the blossoms wither, the mantel ceases to exist. At this moment even the crowds stop thinking.
 
In spring the mantel rejuvenates again. His widow gladdens because of the freshened memory of the citizens who never knew the dictator.
 
His widow loved the crowd and the leaf.
 
They both have short memory.
 
 
HE
 
He will not be able walk out of the house where he and the Eagle stay imprisoned.
 
He is there, and the guitar sounds coming from beyond the window, though tempting,
fail to encourage him.
 
He and the Eagle love and hate each other infinitely.
 
She will not pluck his eyes out, for he has given up watching since his childhood.
To both of them, light particles are as strange as colors.
 
She will not blind him, and he will cry one day, he will cry a lot because of her farewell.
 
At that moment he will be a child conscious of his loss, while the fir-trees will throw
thick shadows over the sadness of the undiscovered oases.
 
 

 
 
Alisa Velaj has been shortlisted for the annual international Erbacce-Press Poetry Award in UK in June 2014. Her works have appeared in more than eighty print and online international magazines, including: FourW twentyfive Anthology (Australia), The Journal (UK), The Dallas Review (USA), The Linnet’s Wings (UK) The Seventh Quarry (UK), Envoi Magazine (UK) etc etc. Velaj’s digital chapbook “The Wind Foundations” translated by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj is published by Zany Zygote Review (USA). Her poems are also translated in Hebrew, Swedish, Romanian, French and Portuguese. Alisa Velaj’s poetry book “With No Sweat At All” (trans by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj) will be published by Cervena Barva Press in 2019.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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) and his latest Collected Poems Volume at Next-Arrivals

On the razor’s edge, Iceland. A Poem by Anna Maria Dall’Olio



Islanda sul filo del rasoio
Sospiro.                                         Spuma sgorga.
Ghiacciaio fulminato
frana fiume fluente.
							Astronomico il debito statale.
                                                        Soverchi tassi d'interesse.
                                                        Basso livello medio salariale.

Vasti strazi nell'infero profondo.
Campi di lava.			O grano.
Fili d'erba sul filo del rasoio.
("Latte & Limoni", 2014)
On the razor’s edge, Iceland
Something sighed					    
a flowing river is falling 
foam flows out.

                                                                       Too high is the national debt
                                                                        too high are interest rates
                                                                        too low are median incomes.

The toxic torture in the deepest depths.
Either lava or corn fields.
On the razor’s edge, blades of grass.





Anna Maria Dall’Olio

She has been teaching English in Italian high schools since 1987. She devoted herself to fiction, poetry and playwriting. In 2005 she was ranked second in “Hanojo – via Rendevuo, a Vietnamese cultural competition for the millennial celebration of Hanoj (1010-2010). Moreover, she was ranked first/second/third in lots of literary competitions for her Italian poems (2006-2018).She published a short novel, “Segreti” (“Secrets”, 2018). Besides, she published 5 collections of poems:”Sì shabby chic” (“So shabby chic”, 2018), “L’acqua opprime” (“Water oppresses”, 2016), “Fruttorto sperimentale” (“Experimental Food Forest”, 2016), “Latte & Limoni” (“Milk & Lemons”, 2014), “L’angoscia del pane” (“Bread is anguish”, 2010). Finally, She wrote “Tabelo” (“Table”, 2006), a play in Esperanto dealing with mobbing as a supreme artistic form.

Web site: www.annamariadallolio.it

 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) and his latest Collected Poems Volume at Next-Arrivals

Evolution. A Poem by Antonio Martínez Arboleda

 
Animals programmed to kill:
 
Some demand entertainment
to appease the flames
of their DNA,
which they try to bypass
through consciousness
or convenience.
 
Others simply survive
without questioning their appetites
(They make great TV in their chase and struggle).
 
Meanwhile
the veggie rest
distil the fluids
of their neighbours:
 
A chain of convivial parasites.
 
And all this happening
in a Cosmos with lamps
that come and go
without rehearsal,
like the lights of the ceiling of a disco,
 
a Cosmos that keeps shifting
energy and mass
without remorse,
like accountants play with figures
 
The absent Developer
sated his thirst for creativity
in only six days,
leaving behind
a beautiful,
ugly,
random,
orderly,
bloody,
dusty,
tender,
holly rocky Mess.
 
His desk is covered by mountains
of meaningless,
timeless paperwork.
 
If Intelligence is just artificial,
what is then Faith?
 
Customer Services are down.
 
Don’t settle for evolution.
 
 

 
www.leeds.ac.uk/arts/people/Spanish Portuguese and_Latin American Studies/Antonio Martinez Arboleda
 
Antonio Martínez Arboleda:
Tony Martin-Woods started to write poetry for the public in 2012, at the age of 43, driven by his political indignation. That same year he also set in motion Poesía Indignada, an online publication of political poetry. He runs the poetry evening Transforming with Poetry at Inkwell, in Leeds, and collaborates with 100 Thousands Poets for Change. Tony is also known in the UK for his work as an academic and educator under his real-life name, Antonio Martínez Arboleda. His project of digitisation of poetry, Ártemis, compiles more than 100 high quality videos of Spanish poets and other Open Educational Resources. http://www.artemispoesia.com/. He is the delegate in the UK of Crátera Revista de Críticay Poesía Contemporánea , where he also publishes his work as translator from English into Spanish. He published his first volume of poetry in Spanish, Los viajes de Diosa (The Travels of Goddess), in 2015, as a response to the Great Recession, particularly in Spain. His second book, Goddess Summons The Nation, is a critique of the ideas of nation and capitalism, mainly in the British Brexit context. It incorporates voices of culprits, victims and heroes with mordacity and rhythm. It consists of 21 poems, 18 of which are originally written in English. It is available in print and kindle in Amazon and other platforms.
 
 
 
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)