The building

March 14, 2016 in Poetry

IMG_1240

Rebecca Seaberry

1

Once upon a time it was imposible to wonder.

Once upon a time a city, another city, every space that’s known as a city and what they hold inside

their guts.

Once upon a time the tar, the concrete, the noise, the windows facing nowhere.

Once upon a time a buildings and streets complex, the kind of anarchic government that rules it,

the dense and numerous population inhabiting it, busy with their own most important occupations.

And You. And Him.

What are two men living in the same building?

What are two men living

What are two men

What are

What

What are two men?

Two male sexed human beings

What is the male inside the human body?

What is the male sexed body?

What is

What

What is sex?

2

Once upon a time You had your own name.

A proper noun, they call them.

A proper noun is the special word that we use for a person, place or organization, like John, Marie,

London, France or Sony. A name is a noun, but a very special noun – a proper noun. Proper nouns

have special rules.

Once upon a time walking meant walking towards You. Towards a proper noun with special rules

but without a metaphor. Tramping around the small section of the city that kept my body away from

the place that you called home.

A building.

A last floor.

And You.

It was around these days when I started to walk around the same path everyday. Looking for

reasons not to go there. Not to get there. Not to go up. Thinking about the other girls up and down

the elevator.

A building

A last floor.

And Him.

An older man who wasn’t You, who wouldn’t take off his sunglasses while in front of a camera with

who he discussed his job.

A job around, through and about the body.

A job from flesh to flesh.

In front of the camera.

A video camera is a device that captures images by converting them into electrical signals, in most

cases turning them into video signal, also known as television signal.

In other words, a video camera is an optical transducer.

3

Once upon a time Him, an older man, spoke about a world unbeknownst to me. About the control

that happens when a body above another body. About the flesh we are and the flesh we desire.

About the flesh we are and the flesh we’ll become. About the flesh we are and the flesh we

consume.

A carnivore, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is “An animal that feeds on flesh.”

In front of the camera Him, who wasn’t really You but could have been, spoke about desire and

capitalism while actually speaking about the videos in which flesh against flesh, flesh rubbing flesh

penetrating flesh pushing flesh consuming flesh feeding on flesh devouring the flesh.

I’ve heard that what hurts of love it’s not love itself. What hurts about love, they say, is not what

they taught us when we were children. What hurts about love, I heard, is the language in which

love develops.

If I have learnt my lesson right.

Still, it takes us one conversation to learn that what hurts of love stops hurting from that darkened

place called lust. Or so I heard.

That’s why some of the us prefer the possibilities held inside our bodies.

That’s the reason why Him understood the organic relationship between money and flesh.

A body is a body is a body is a body.

A body is also profit.

Sex, as cinematography and love, exists inside its own language.

A video camera is an optical transducer.

I’m proud of turning regular girls into porn stars.

Eyes are also made of edible flesh.

A body is a body is a body is a body.

A body is also an optical transducer.

A body is also a translator.

A body is also a credit card number.

4

Once upon a time that older man lived in the same building that made You appear the first time.

What are two men living in the same building?

That’s why I have already crossed the threshold one first time far before meeting You.

What is the male sexed body?

That was also the first time I learnt what flesh means through a lens.

What is sex?

Very few things prepare you for life as the notion that you can go body shopping.

What is love?

Flesh collapsing. A close up.

The sound that befalls penetration. The click of the tongue. The percentage of water loss. The

percentage of water exchange.

The consuming.

What is a camera?

The process of running camcorders begins with the decomposition of light from three components

(red, green and blue) through a prism of dichroic mirrors. On the other side of the prism are

sensors, which reconstruct the image and forwarded to the circuits preamplifiers.

What is pornography?

Cameras, as the body itself, are built with a gap to allow light coming through.


 

MarieJo Delgadillo is a Mexican journalist and multidisciplinary artist. Having worked for over six years interviewing artists, politicians and everyday people to find out about them, and publishing in newspapers and magazines both nationally and internationally, she is now expanding her own creative work. Currently interested in finding ways poetry and journalistic investigation can work together, exploring topics as pornography, fashion, capitalism and the idea of the body as a commodity. She is also a dance instructor. Her literary work in spanish can be read athttps://mariejodelgadillo.wordpress.com/ and she tweets as @MarieJoDel.

Si/Re/No/ A Transgender Swimming

March 14, 2016 in Poetry

SI/RE/NO

Un subtítulo aparece mientras nado:

Aquí se ve el cuerpo transgénero nadando.

Desde cuando que no he visto al mar,

tanto tiempo que me siento incomodo

en su presencia.

Somehow, coming out to the ocean (the interpersonal and geographical event) is different than coming out to family or friends. I’m swimming in a pool and this (woman’s) shape displaces water in a way (that makes no sense). Wouldn’t it be sweet if a shark came and bit off  these parts I have (ceased to want).

Le hago promesas de novio al mar:

algún día regresare con un pecho liso y firme.

Entraré a el océano sin camisa,

un hombre entre la olas sin tetas que desplacen el agua fuera de este ojo marino. Jamas (seré hombre.) Este cuerpo, tal como es,

esta hecho de papel

que se despedaza en la boca mojada del mar.

You,

my salty,

do you still love me (if I am to become a man)?

Do you desire me, want me, need me, forgive me? Am I your dovefish? Your lovecruise?

Turning over in the serpentine water,

a warm thing,

fluid thing, it ripples around me,

transparent when wet,

then drying to white crystals on my skin.

Cerca, muy cerca,

unos hombres han subido su lancha a la playa.  Están limpiando tiburones muertos, c

ortándoles las aletas y las cabezas.

Si me quito la camisa los hombres van a ver

que no soy hombre. Pero si nado con camisa

no sabrás lo tanto que te quiero.

The men in the boats are men, aren’t they?

One is making a thing with his hands.

He is weaving slowly a beautiful net

for catching fish.

He is making lace to eat with.

“The sea belongs to Mexicans,” says the man who is my uncle without being my uncle.

Este momento en que estoy nadando es

un matrimonio arreglado, es el deseo de morir. Este momento en el agua, no tiene nada que ver con mi cuerpo, este

cuerpo cuya geometría rechaza el desplazo de agua en la forma de un sireno.

The men in the boats watch me while they cut and pile pieces of dead sharks. They pile them so high that the towers topple and create a land bridge from this beach to Japan, which eases the export of shark fins. But the sea belongs to those Mexicans not to this

(Mexican?) body.

This body doesn’t even belong to itself. The sea, meanwhile, (belongs to men). These men. And if/when I become a man, I ask not if you will belong to me, o sea, but, will I belong to men?

Cuando era niña soñé dos sirenos andróginos que se alineaban perfectamente, labio a labio, pecho a pecho. Esto sirve de comprobante que una vez fui lesbiana y que nunca he sido lesbiana. No lo soy (y es imposible que lo sea en el futuro.) (Incluso, jamas seré tu lesbiana y jamas lo fui.) También es posible que siempre seré lesbiana.

(My anatomy is a shark attack. It preys on people en route between Mexico and Japan.)

No soy mujer.

No, soy mujer.

Sí.

Soy hombre.

Ahora. ¿Hoy? No.

No soy hombre.

Si soy hombre, soy sireno.

¿Sí o no?

Sí, lo soy.

Soy

re

no.

A Transgender Swimming

As I swim, I caption my actions clinically:

Here we see a transgender swimming.

I haven’t seen the ocean in so long I feel awkward around it.

Mi confesión al mar es un momento

geográfico, geológico, interpersonal,

un suceso incomparable al mismo momento replicado con amigos y familiares.

Nadando en este ojo azul de agua salada,

este cuerpo (de mujer) desplaza el agua

(en maneras que no tienen sentido)

y tengo un deseo profundo: quisiera que un tiburón me quitara a mordidas estas partes de mi cuerpo (que he rechazado.)

To swim in saltwater is to make lover’s promises. Someday I will return with a

hard, flat chest, shirtless,

a man between swells withouts tits to

displace the water in tidal pools.

I will (never be a man).

This body is made of paper

and comes to pieces in the wet mouth of the sea.

Tú,

mi amor sabor sal,

me amas (¿aunque me convirtiera en hombre?)

¿Me deseas, me anhelas, me perdonas?

¿Seré tu pez, tortolita?

¿Tu lancha de besos?

Volteándome bajo las aguas serpentinas,

cosa calorosa, cosa fluida, serás siempre

esa presencia transparente mientras mojada,

que queda seca en mi piel en forma de cristal.

Some men have pulled their boat onto shore nearby. They are cleaning dead sharks and cutting off their fins and heads. If I swim topless they will see me in this pool, so I cannot show my love in a gesture of swimming.

Los hombres en el barco,

¿son hombres, qué no?

Algo esta pasando entre

las manos de uno de ellos.

Esta tejiendo pausadamente

una hermosa red de pesca.

Esta tejiendo encaje con que comer.

“El mar le pertenece a los Mexicanos,”

dijo mi tío sin ser mi tío.

I go swimming like an arranged marriage.

I go swimming like a deathwish.

I go swimming like I am unrelated to this body. This body who’s geometry refuses to displace water in the shape of a merman.

Los hombres me miran mientras despedazan los cuerpos de los tiburones haciendo columnas de sus cuerpos sangrantes. Una de estas columnas se cae, formando un puente de carne entre Mexico y Japón, que facilita la exporta de mariscos. Este mar le pertenece a esos Mexicanos, no a este cuerpo

(¿Mexicano?).

Este cuerpo ni se pertenece a si mismo, mientras el mar (le pertenece a hombres, estos hombres.) Si yo me convierto a hombre, mar mío,

no es que me pertenezcas a mi,

si no que yo le pertenezco a los hombres.

As a child I dreamt about androgynous merpeople aligning perfectly face to face so that their nipples would touch. This is clinical proof that I was once a lesbian and I have never been a lesbian. And I will not (and cannot) ever be a lesbian (or your lesbian) again. Also note that I may never stop (being a lesbian.)

I hear a wave crashing,

rolling, then pulling across the sand.

It’s sounds like it’s saying,

“Cunt,

tits,

ass.

Cunt,

tits,

ass.”

 


 

Migueltzinta C. Solís was raised in Mexico and California. He earned his B.A. from The Evergreen State College in interdisciplinary studies. Migueltzinta’s work has appeared in Midnight Breakfast, Lunch Ticket, PANK, and Apogee, and he is an alumnus of VONA/Voices. He is a graduate student in writing at UC San Diego, and also works in performance and textile art.

Migueltzinta on this translation: “The first draft of this poem was in both Spanish and English without any translation across the two languages. That draft lacked narrative strength so I wrote a second draft in Spanish and a third in English. I was going to set them side by side and be done, but when I did that they were just two separate poems with a thematic connection. By shuffling the paragraphs together I hoped to bring back that sense of lingual inter-dependence that existed in the original draft. There is also the reward, if you know both languages, of finding out that the poems do not fully, literally translate. The poem in Spanish ends in a completely different way than its English version. But even if you were bilingual you might still miss this because you had decided to read it only in one language.”

Sobre la pureza

March 14, 2016 in Poetry

I’m not a pure man

You want me alba You want me foams You want me nacre Like an amaryllis

is it necessary

possible

does it taste good

Above all, chaste With faint perfume Closed corolla

have you tasted absolutely pure water

Hispanics in 2012 represented 8.2 percent of the total Federal workforce. Whites made up 65.4 percent, Blacks represented 18.2 percent, Asian/Pacific Islanders 6.1 percent, American Indians 2.0 percent, and 0.1 percent of the workforce was of unspecified ethnicity

lab water

no grain of sand or manure

Not a moonbeam Filtering me Not a margarita May call herself my sister

I love

I like to eat pork

potatoes

chickpeas

sausage

eggs

chicken

lamb

turkey

fish

seafood

Hispanics account for about 15 percent of all jobs, but a whopping 36 percent of all high school dropouts

I like to drink rum

beer

brandy

wine

I fuck

Hispanics make up about half of all farm workers and laborers, 44 percent of grounds maintenance workers, and 43 percent of maids and house cleaners

impure / completely impure

You want me snowy You want me white You want me alba

thinks that are shit

the purity of the 90 year old hymen

fiancées that masturbate each other instead of getting laid

boarding schools where pederast animals open up their provisional semen flowers

the clergy

the academics

the grammar Nazis

the purity

If you believe race does not matter in America, you are wearing a powerful and dangerous blindfold only education can remove

of those who insist on being pure

of those who claim they’ve never had blennorrhea

of those who never licked a glans

of those who never sucked on a clitoris

You who drank all The glasses by hand With fruit and honey Purple lips

the purity

You who at the banquet Covered in grape leaves Let the flesh Celebrate Bacchus

of those who never got to be

impure enough

to know what purity is

You want me snowy You want me white You want me alba

These figures suggest that at least two separate, simultaneous things are happening. It’s likely that network effects within racial and ethnic communities have contributed to certain professions having far-above-average concentrations of certain groups. The stratification of work probably suggests that there are underlying education (and family) differences.

impure enough

to know what purity is.


Marco Antonio Huerta featuring Alfonsina Storni & Nicolás Guillén

Marco Antonio Huerta is a Mexican translator and post-conceptual poet. Won the Carmen Alardín Poetry Award in 2005. Is the author of the poetry collections: La semana milagrosa (Conarte, 2006), Golden Boy (Letras de Pasto Verde, 2009), Hay un jardín (Tierra Adentro, 2009). During the summer of 2009 he decided to kill his own lyrical self. Magnitud/e (Gusanos de la nada, 2012) is a poem-in-progress written together with Sara Uribe and translated into English by John Pluecker. His work has been published in several periodicals and anthologies in Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, and the United States. He has performed on experimental writing gatherings such as Not Content, curated by Vanessa Place and Teresa Carmody (Los Angeles, 2010), the &Now Festivals (San Diego, 2011; Paris, 2012), and Los límites del lenguaje (Monterrey, 2012). His interest is now focused in language as a community builder, especially in virtual contexts. 

Like the First Cigarette

May 30, 2015 in Poetry

Like the first cigarette, the first hugs. You had
A little star made of paper
Bright on top of the cheekbone
And you occupied the marginal scene
Where the parties gather the solitude, the music
Or the gentle desire of a jointly return, almost always later.
And not the darkness, but these hours
That make the streets into stage props
For the private love,
They crossed together
Our possible fleeting shadows,
With our elevated chests and smoking.
Silhouettes with a voice,
Shadows in which began taking shape
This story that today we are truly,
Once the heart’s piece was bet.
Although the furniture
Got used to us.
In front of that window — which wouldn’t shut well —
In a room similar to ours,
With books and similar bodies,
We were loving each other
Under the first yawn of the city, its announcement,
Its arrogant protest. I had
A little star made of paper
Shining above the lip.


By Luis García Montero
Translated from the Spanish by Taynã Chiaparro


 

Taynã Chiaparro is a graduate student at the University of Missouri Kansas City, with degrees from UMKC and the University of São Paulo.

Luis García Montero (b. 1958) is a Spanish poet and professor at the University of Granada. His poetry, which has been awarded Spain’s National Poetry Prize and the National Poetry Critics Prize, takes a down-to-earth approach to what he calls the “poetry of experience,” in which the collective connects to the individual and colloquial language expresses a new sentimentality.

 

Vision of Moth-Eaten Pianos Falling into Ruins

May 30, 2015 in Poetry

A man in a frock coat representing incest

Receiving congratulations from incest’s hot wind

An exhausted rose supports a bird’s corpse

Leaden bird where do you keep your basket of songs

And the rations for your brood of clock-like snakes

When you’re done being dead you’ll be a drunken compass

A halter on the bed waiting for a dying gentleman from the Pacific islands sailing a divine, cretinous musical turtle

You will be a mausoleum to the plague’s victims or an ephemeral equilibrium between two trains that collide

While the plaza fills with smoke and rubbish and rains down cotton, rice, water, onions, and traces from highest archaeology

A gilded skillet with my mother’s portrait

A park bench with three coal statues

Eight copies of paper manuscripts in German

A few days of the week made of cardboard with blue noses

Beard hairs from various presidents of the Peruvian Republic driving themselves like stone arrows into the pavement and producing a violent patriotism in people with bladder disease

You will be a tiny volcano prettier than three thirsty dogs curtsying and giving advice to each other on how to grow wheat in mothballed pianos


By César Moro
Translated from the Spanish by Esteban Quispe


 

Esteban Quispe is currently a student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, studying Modern Languages and specializing in Spanish and French.

César Moro (born Alfredo Quíspez Asín in 1903) was a Peruvian Surrealist poet who wrote in Spanish and French. He spent many years in Paris and in Mexico in connection with artists and poets such as Andre Breton, Leonora Carrington, Wolfgang Paalen, Benjamin Péret, Remedios Varo, Xavier Villaurrutia, etc. While in Mexico he wrote his best known collection of poetry, La tortuga ecuestre. He died in 1956.

 

Odor and Gaze

May 30, 2015 in Poetry

The fine, secluded odor of your armpits

Heap-on-heap of straw crowns and fresh hay cut with fingers and asphodels and fresh skin and far off gallops like pearls

Your hair’s scent under the blue water with black fish and sea stars and sky stars under the infinite snow of your gaze

Your gaze of sea cucumber of whale of rain of diaries of suicides with wet eyes of your white coral branch gaze

Daytime sponge while the sea spits out sick whales and every staircase repulses its wayfarer like the plague-infected beast that inhabits the wanderer’s dreams

And sparkling blows to the temples and the wave that erases the sparks to leave on the tapestry the eternal question of your dead object’s gaze your putrid, flowery gaze


By César Moro
Translated from the Spanish by Esteban Quispe


 

Esteban Quispe is currently a student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, studying Modern Languages and specializing in Spanish and French.

César Moro (born Alfredo Quíspez Asín in 1903) was a Peruvian Surrealist poet who wrote in Spanish and French. He spent many years in Paris and in Mexico in connection with artists and poets such as Andre Breton, Leonora Carrington, Wolfgang Paalen, Benjamin Péret, Remedios Varo, Xavier Villaurrutia, etc. While in Mexico he wrote his best known collection of poetry, La tortuga ecuestre. He died in 1956.

 

In the Woods of Pennsylvania

May 30, 2015 in Poetry

When a giant tree commits suicide,
Tired of already being dry and not producing
Birds, without waiting for man to cut it down,
Not waiting for the wind,
With no leaves, it launches its last tune

Symphonic explosion where once were nests
All its wooden holes creak,
Two drops of sap still drop
When its stem bursts the air,
Its tons roll down the fields,
The wolves cry and the deer tremble,
All squirrels go to meet it,
Foreseeing that is some beauty what dies.


By Gloria Fuertes
Translated from the Spanish by Sofia Sharkey


 

Dianny Sofia Sharkey was born in Cali, Colombia in 1990 in a working class family. She was raised moving back and forth between Bogota and Bucaramanga. At age 19 she moved to the United States. She graduated with honors from the University of Missouri Kansas City in May 2015.

Born in Madrid in a working class family, Gloria Fuertes (1917–1998) considered herself a self-taught poet. She participated in the mid-century poetic generations (“Generación de los 50”, Postism) and taught for a short period in the United States in the early 1960s. Later she became a popular writer of children literature in Spain.

 

Death in Beverly Hills

May 30, 2015 in Poetry

In telephone booths
There are mysterious inscriptions drawn with lipstick

They are the last words of sweet blond girls
That, with bloody cleavage, take refuge there to die.

Final night under the pale neon, final day under sky of hallucinations,
Streets newly watered with magnolias, yellow lights of
The patrol cars at dawn.

I will wait for you till half past one, when you leave the cinema – and at
That hour, the one who’s body was like a branch of orchids
Is dead in the Morgue.

Wounded in the nightly shooting, kept in the corners
By the search lights, slapped in the night-clubs,
My true and sweet love cries in my arms

A final light, the most slender and clear,
It seems to be sliding away from the closed night-clubs:
This light that stops those passing by
And speaks gently about their childhood.

Music from another time, song to the beat of those old
Notes from the night we met Ava Gardner,
A girl wrapped in a clear raincoat that we kissed
One time in an elevator, in the dark between two floors, and
She had such blue eyes, and she always spoke in a very low
Voice — Her name was Nelly.

Close your eyes and listen to the song of the sirens in the night
Made silver with bright signs.

The night gets warm blue avenues.
Shadows embracing shadows in swimming pools and bars.

In the dark sky the stars fought
When she died of love,
And it was as if she smelled a perfume very slowly.


By Pere Gimferrer
Translated from the Spanish by Jesse Wells


 

Jesse Wells is currently a student at the University of Missouri Kansas City.

Pere Gimferrer is a Spanish poet born in 1945. Gimferrer’s first poetry books in early 1960s (Message from the Tetrarch, The Sea is Burning, Death in Beverly Hills) made waves with their fantasy, references to popular culture, film, adventures and exoticism, in a time when Spanish poetry was considered also a political arm against Franco’s dictatorship (1939-1975). Gimferrer was part of a new generation of poets, influenced by mass media and international authors like Ezra Pound or Saint-John Perse. In the 1970s, he wrote his poetry mainly in Catalan and garnered many awards.

 

Survival

December 20, 2014 in Fiction


While waiting her turn, her mind flashbacked to the time of the separation — a year she will never forget. It was in early June of 2011 when it was announced that the economies of all countries would be collapsing due to…what? She no longer remembered. Besides, did it matter now? She had just turned 18, she had been born here on the northern border…Aha! She thought, 34 years ago. It seemed to be like a disgrace but now it was the only way to live…well, one would say to survive. First began a shortage of everything: of food, of medicine, of governmental services, and of jobs. In less than six months, the structure of life that everyone had known for years or, rather, centuries had disappeared. Ten more years had to pass so that some type of order could be established. Today, the legal intersection, at least in what is left of our continent, is precisely Tijuana, and the only ones allowed to cross over are the ones that rely on dual citizenship, are authorized, and most importantly, are healthy—since those with the slightest sign of illness are terminated. “20451993,” she overheard. She stood before the tracker, her heart beat loudly…then a robotic voice said, “Clean.”


By Kim Ochoa
Translated, from the Spanish, by Pepe Rojo


SObrevivir

 
Pepe Rojo (1968) has published five books and more than 200 texts (short stories, essays and articles dealing with fiction, media and contemporary culture). He cofounded Pellejo/Molleja (with Deyanira Torres and Bernardo Fernández), an indie publishing firm, and edited SUB (sub-genre literature), NUMERO X (media culture) and PULPO COMICS (mex-sf comics anthology) for them. He has produced several interactive stories for Alteraction, and published two collections of Minibúks (Mexican SF and Counter-versions) at UABC, as well as the graphic intervention “Philosophical Dictionary of Tijuana.” He is currently an MFA Candidate in Writing at UCSD.
 

Tijuana: Host of the 2044 Olympic Games + Copyright

December 20, 2014 in Fiction


TIJUANA: Host of the 2044 Olympic Games

Tijuana, B.C.: Juan Pérez is the first Mexican to win a gold medal in the obstacle course. He exclusively tells us, “My main motivation was that they’ve replaced the hurdles with border walls.”

 

TIJUANA: Copyright

The discussion regarding intellectual rights has risen to such absurd extremes that now Tijuana has been charged with plagiarism. Credit to the authors is demanded or Tijuana will be stripped of its status as a city.


By Edgar Hernández
Translated, from the Spanish, by Pepe Rojo


Olimp

 
Pepe Rojo (1968) has published five books and more than 200 texts (short stories, essays and articles dealing with fiction, media and contemporary culture). He cofounded Pellejo/Molleja (with Deyanira Torres and Bernardo Fernández), an indie publishing firm, and edited SUB (sub-genre literature), NUMERO X (media culture) and PULPO COMICS (mex-sf comics anthology) for them. He has produced several interactive stories for Alteraction, and published two collections of Minibúks (Mexican SF and Counter-versions) at UABC, as well as the graphic intervention “Philosophical Dictionary of Tijuana.” He is currently an MFA Candidate in Writing at UCSD.
 
Edgar Hernández is a Communications grad student from UABC, Tijuana.