Vision of Moth-Eaten Pianos Falling into Ruins

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.