martes, 20 de diciembre de 2016

Indifference, IC VocalesV


I didn’t bury anyone to get this far,
I only swallowed a few souls
and broke some promises
I made
knowing I would never deliver on.

I didn’t kill
even if I wanted to,
I opted for some conciliatory terms
that made no sense
but gave me peace.

That’s what they said.

I was born in a prison,
I’m not saying this figuratively.
I was born in a dark cell.
Have you ever been to one?
Have you ever approached a man
who has lost everything
except his humanity?

No, you haven’t.
A prison must seem a faraway place for you
a wonderland, perhaps.
Like Chernobyl is a touristic place
for tourists,
or a place of creation
for artists.

Where is home for you?
Someone asked me
and I looked at him
and forced myself to smile:
home is where I am right now
for as long as I stay.

There is something beautiful in this lack of identity
abandonment, I guess
or even better, indifference.


martes, 13 de diciembre de 2016

Dunya Mikhail, Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea


Memories swarm around me like buzzing flies.

Every sorrow and mistake ads up
to a tally of daily ruination.
And nothing is as long as memories’ shadow
except the moment that transforms
wood into rebab.

My mistakes were drawn like butterflies.
Light was projected onto them
to make them burn.

I stepped back.
The mistakes appeared like a wavy vision
beating against the shores of the seven senses
so that the pages dispersed and gathered and burst
with intuitions and questions.

We remember some things that have been lost
not through carelessness
but from their own pitch-black light
like a flower dying from too much fragrance.

-Dunya Mikhail

I was in a hurry, Poem by Dunya Mikhail

Dunya M.

Yesterday I lost a country.
I was in a hurry,
and didn’t notice when it fell from me
like a broken branch from a forgetful tree.
Please, if anyone passes by
and stumbles across it,
perhaps in a suitcase
open to the sky,
or engraved on a rock
like a gaping wound,
or wrapped
in the blankets of emigrants,
or canceled
like a losing lottery ticket,
or helplessly forgotten
in Purgatory,
or rushing forward without a goal
like the questions of children,
or rising with the smoke of war,
or rolling in a helmet on the sand,
or stolen in Ali Baba’s jar,
or disguised in the uniform of a policeman
who stirred up the prisoners
and fled,
or squatting in the mind of a woman
who tries to smile,
or scattered like the dreams
of new immigrants in America.
If anyone stumbles across it,
return it to me, please.
Please return it, sir.
Please return it, madam.
It is my country…
I was in a hurry
when I lost it yesterday.

- Dunya Mikhail -Translated by Elizabeth Winslow

Fragment Tablets by Dunya Mikhail

Cruzamos las fronteras ligeramente
como nubes.
Nada nos lleva, pero
mientras avanzamos nosotros llevamos
la lluvia, un acento, y la memoria de un lugar

-Dunya Mikhail (Bagdad, Iraq)

martes, 6 de diciembre de 2016

Ice (Part III) CR



He says I suffer from a spiritual emptiness

that I cannot fulfill

because I have no god.

Do you want to be my god? I ask him

I can’t, he answers back, sipping from his glass.

The windows are open, his place is a living creature

breathing between walls,

as the sun reflects its light on our faces.

We look at each other in silence,

I get distracted by the particles of dead skin

floating in the air, illuminated by the rays of light.

I sit down on the couch, with one of his grave flowers

in my hand:

I think I feel a certain pleasure

for disaster,

and a god would only offer me hope.

Hope is an illusion, so you and all your gods

are selling me lies.

He sits on a chair across the room,

and crosses his long legs:

And yet, you want to buy them,

because you keep on asking, you keep on wanting,

you keep on waiting.

You don’t know what I am waiting for.

Disillusionment, my dear

that’s all we’re waiting for.


lunes, 28 de noviembre de 2016

martes, 22 de noviembre de 2016

The names of all things, CR-VocalesV

You watered my ashes and said you had a garden,
you bombed my bed, and said you were at war,
but at war with whom, darling?

You called me by a name you invented, and said it was my own,
you walked away, and called it abandonment.

You invaded a country and called it your home
you invaded other people's bodies
and called it love.

You furnished your old-age with a few flowers
and called it a tomb.
You insist on hurting yourself
and call it "moving forward."

CR- VocalesV

sábado, 12 de noviembre de 2016

The words I promised, CR VocalesV

The distance between my heart and my guts
is not large enough to fit your body.
I know it, because I have crawled inside me.
I’m a burning child,
by an occupying power
that speaks a language I can’t understand,
and mumbles a few words
that make me feel nothing.
You inhabit the ruins of my body,
an old cathedral
that survived a thousand wars.
I stopped calling your name
a while ago.
And here they are
the words
I promised never to write for you.

CR -VocalesV

martes, 11 de octubre de 2016

Ice (part II) CR-VocalesV

Georgia O'keeffe

I squeezed the ice in my hand with diligent anguish
as if squeezing the absence of a lover,
or my own death at the hands of a stranger.
I closed my eyes and remembered better days,
maybe they weren’t better at all, but now they’re gone
and seem more bearable, more simple, less tragic.
The cities were burning and I was in the midst of each of them,
but the flames didn’t touch me, though it was me who started the fire.
I was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
burying my own body, butterflies on my chest,
I was beautiful, I was young, and I was fearless.
I was in Alexandria in a madhouse
and I was alive
swimming in the Nile at night, almost touching
the Mediterranean with my feet.
In Amsterdam I was the wind and the North Sea
furiously crashing against all of those who defeated me.
In Gaza, I was the memory of a homeland,
I fell at the hands of the enemy,
but I- was- the city.
I was a Muslim
I was a Christian
I was a Buddhist
I died an Atheist.
I praised my executioners with the same devotion
I made love to the men I loved,
because yes, I entered that temple a few times,
I entered that place, like a young girl
and I escaped that place, transformed,
and my transformation was nothing but decay.

Open your eyes, he commands
I fear I will drop the ice, but the ice has already melted.
I’m shivering again, I’m not travelling through deserts anymore,
I’m back in the cold room, under a gaze that calms me
even if everything else warns me that it should threaten me.
This should help with the constant cold, he hands me a blanket.

And all this rage, Rod?
what do I do with this rage?

He takes a few notes and walks away.


sábado, 8 de octubre de 2016

Maureen Thorson, Fragment from Applies to Oranges (via lifeinpoetry)


At first, heartbreak made me beautiful.
My skin fluoresced. I hypnotized trees.
The orphans followed me around town,
drunk on my pain. I ate only my own
hunger, gave off a scent like bitter oranges
or chlorine. Loss left me strangely whole,
as if my sadness, were it strong enough,
could turn your ship around. That was back
when I aged. Now, like an astronomer
who seeks no first causes, but only to map
the connections pinned out over the sea,
I want to diagram the light that shines out
through the holes you pricked into me.

- Maureen Thorson

viernes, 7 de octubre de 2016

Ice (part I), CR-VocalesV

Georgia by Yousuf Karsh

Rod takes my hand and gives me an ice cube
squeeze it, he says, harder,
he looks at me furiously, squeeze the damn thing.
I cry
no, no, please, I can’t, this is not what I want.
The ice cube burns my hand, I bite my lips
and I feel the taste of mucus and tears as I sob.
He opens my hand tenderly, it’s ok sweet girl, it’s over now.
I’m lying on a stretcher unable to move,
I look at the ceiling, tears rolling down
forming tiny puddles of salty water on his shoes
as he looks at me from above.
Some minutes pass, maybe an hour goes by
and I hum and old song.

Sit down now, he requests
I’m shivering, and a cold sweat damps my hair
on a table he places a bucket full of water and ice.
There’s a cognitive response towards cold
and he is all about cognitive responses,
that’s what he told me the first day I met him.
He strips me off my robe
Breathe, count until three while inhaling
count until six while exhaling
And so I count as I breathe,
I look at the wall

there’s a post-it with a verse from a book
I read a long time ago
“I want my annihilation to be total.”
Sharp, so sharp, the pain is so sharp.
I begin biting my fingers until they bleed
ripping off little pieces of meat,
meat for other humans to play with.
I regain consciousness, retrieving my gaze from the wall
as I look at him with empty despair
I try to scream, but a thousand birds
come out of my mouth instead.
Rod takes my head and submerge it in the icy water
he pulls me out by the hair,
count, now, louder.
He repeats the same gesture five times,
then leaves the room.
I’m frozen, my heart is melting in the bucket with ice,
I wish I could melt too.

CR - VocalesV

jueves, 6 de octubre de 2016

Mujer Callejera de Sandra Cisneros... (English version below) Loose Woman by Sandra Cisneros

Mujer Callejera

Dicen que soy una bestia.
Y una fiesta en sí. Cuando al principio
pensaba que eso es lo que era una mujer.

Dicen que soy una perra .
O una bruja. Afirmé
lo mismo y nunca hice una mueca.

Dicen que soy una macha*, un infierno sobre ruedas,
viva-la-vulva*, fuego y azufre,
odiando a los hombres, devastando,
monstruo-mujer lesbiana.
No necesariamente,
pero me gusta el cumplido.

La turba llega con piedras y palos
para mutilarme y lastimarme
De todos modos, cuando abro mi boca,
se tambalean como ginebra.

Diamantes y perlas
caen de mi lengua.
O sapos y serpientes.
Dependiendo del ánimo que tengo.

Me gusta la picazón que provoco.
El susurro de los rumores
como crinolina.

Soy la mujer del mito y la mentira.
(Cierto. fui artifice de algunas de ellas.)
Construí mi casa de mala reputación.
Ladrillo a ladrillo. Trabajosa,
amada y mazonada.

Yo vivo así.
El corazón como vela, lastre, timón, proa.
Ruidosa. Indulgente en exceso.
Mi pecado y éxito -
Pienso en mí con gula.

Por lo que todos dicen soy
un peligro para la sociedad .
Soy Pancha Villa.
Rompo las leyes ,
altero el orden natural ,
enojo al Papa y hago llorar a padres.
Estoy más allá de la mandíbula de la ley.
Soy la bandida, enemiga pública de las más buscadas.
Mi imagen feliz con una sonrisa en la pared.

Infundo terror entre los hombres.
No me puede molestar lo que piensan.
¡Que se vayan a la ching chang chong!*
Por esto, la cruz, el calvario .
En otras palabras, soy anarquía.

Soy un objetivo - bueno,
tiroteo fuerte,
lengua afilada,
pensamiento agudo,
de rápido hablar,
pies sueltos,
suelta de lengua,
dejé suelta,
mujer callejera .
Cuidado, cariño.

Soy perra. Bestia. Macha .
Ping! Ping! Ping!
Rompo cosas.

Loose Woman

They say I’m a beast.
And feast on it. When all along
I thought that’s what a woman was.

They say I’m a bitch.
Or witch. I’ve claimed
the same and never winced.

They say I’m a macha, hell on wheels,
viva-la-vulva, fire and brimstone,
man-hating, devastating,
boogey-woman lesbian.
Not necessarily,
but I like the compliment.

The mob arrives with stones and sticks
to maim and lame and do me in.
All the same, when I open my mouth,
they wobble like gin.

Diamonds and pearls
tumble from my tongue.
Or toads and serpents.
Depending on the mood I’m in.

I like the itch I provoke.
The rustle of rumor
like crinoline.

I am the woman of myth and bullshit.
(True. I authored some of it.)
I built my little house of ill repute.
Brick by brick. Labored,
loved and masoned it.

I live like so.
Heart as sail, ballast, rudder, bow.
Rowdy. Indulgent to excess.
My sin and success–
I think of me to gluttony.

By all accounts I am
a danger to society.
I’m Pancha Villa.
I break laws,
upset the natural order,
anguish the Pope and make fathers cry.
I am beyond the jaw of law.
I’m la desperada, most-wanted public enemy.
My happy picture grinning from the wall.

I strike terror among the men.
I can’t be bothered what they think.
¡Que se vayan a la ching chang chong!
For this, the cross, the calvary.
In other words, I’m anarchy.

I’m an aim-well,
loose woman.
Beware, honey.

I’m Bitch. Beast. Macha.
Ping! Ping! Ping!
I break things.

- Sandra Cisneros

martes, 27 de septiembre de 2016

Families, Poem by Fatimah Asghar

My boyfriend picks up his bloodline
like a simple phone call.

He has a whole book he's never opened
on an uncle murdered in The Sudan.

On christmas, we find his grandmother
hid him a gift before she even knew

he existed - a binder full of recipes
pulled from each corner of his blood.


My best friend says the word granddaddy
and it sails from her lips.

Even after they buried him, my best friend
Says granddaddy and a thousand horses

gallop, brandishing his flag. She says his name
and her spine becomes a mermaid, the whole

house oceans. My best friend says granddaddy,
each syllable honeyed with love and there he is -

sitting at the table, as though he's never left.


I say family and shine a light into a graveyard
I say mother and the word dies before I finish.

- Fatimah Asghar

Poem by Fatimah Asghar.
*Photo: Marina Abramovic

*Music in the background: Alexandre Desplat

Fathers' Suicides, CR VocalesV

I saw a man reading Berryman in the subway
with tears in his eyes
and I knew I would never make anyone cry like that
and I felt sad and inadequate.
He saw me staring at him and I turned my head violently
upset with his intromission, breathing heavily, trying to calm myself down
I looked straight to the window
pitch black, light, light, pitch black, black, black, black.

I woke up at a hospital, I had had a panic attack
All I could remember were the dirty hands
of the stranger reading Berryman.
The nurses walked silently around, with their white suits and white shoes,
their hidden problems and obsessions.
“Alcohol, drugs?” None, I say. (My addictions come from other sources)
“Therapy?” Yes, I sigh. (More of a habit than a real solution)
You’re free to go. I gave her a timid smile, I waved goodbye.
In a corner I cried.
I remembered A’s words:
“If you have too much heaviness in your life you’ll be unable to move”
I can’t move, I thought, so I let myself slip down the wall onto the filthy ground
where I sobbed until sunset.

As I walked back
I saw you marching at the head of your soldiers
I saw blood running down your nose
you saw bruises in my knees:
“You have too much heaviness to move”
I heard you thinking,
while in reality you were yelling my name.
My name, that gave me an identity that I can’t figure out,
my name made of two syllables that you cut short to one,
You pronounced my name that day
in the same way as one pronounces an execution.

I bowed and when I lifted my head
all the flowers were burning.
And the flowers became men
and the men became corpses.


*In the photo Marina Abramovic
*The song played in the background is Amore (Ryuichi Sakamoto)