Beatriz Hierro Lopes-It’s almost dark #sexwork is decent

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B/W 1951 Caucasian boy + Black girl walking on rural train tracks / Louisiana / documentary shot credit: Archival Films? No known artist.

It’s almost dark.
Women of different ages await the arrival of someone […] While waiting, they talk to the stones with eyes that bear the widowhood of days. I’ve seen them all my life. Away from the stones, close to the sea. In the days when striped beach huts were hired, picnic lunches and folding chairs were taken to the sand and the children were learning to swim in the sea, well away, golden little dots appearing in the tides. I can see their whole lives. They used to arrive in the morning and leave when the afternoon came to an end, shaking the sand off their feet. Their faces broken by the sun reach out today to the stones’ muteness. I see them and I walk on: this street is a route far too far away from the sea.
It’s dark. The traffic lights illuminate the clearings. The city is a forest where each man is a model for the meagreness of the vineyards. Slow, they walk along the avenue, vine bodies burnt by the January moonlight. The wind triggers no movement at all, not a single gesture: only twigs lie along the dark overcoat of these cold days. These are no women to be talking to stones. […]  I see them coming up the avenue, their shadows going down it, piercing them like a section of a past to which returning is not denied. Each one separate, divided, two marching selves, walking the streets in opposite directions and none truly knows up to which point they’re allowed to go back.
[…]

Beatriz Hierro Lopes

Translated by Ana Hudson, 2015

http://www.poemsfromtheportuguese.org/Beatriz_Hierro_Lopes

“Beatriz Hierro Lopes was born in Porto. She has a degree in History.
Poetry books since 2000: É quase noite (2013), Espartilho (2015)”

É quase noite.
Mulheres de diferentes idades esperam a chegada de quem as há-de levar. Enquanto esperam, falam às pedras com os olhos que carregam a viuvez dos dias. Vi-as toda a vida. Longe das pedras, junto ao mar. Quando se alugavam barracas listadas, se levava almoço e cadeiras desdobráveis para a areia, os miúdos aprendendo a nadar no mar, distantes delas, sendo só os seus pontinhos dourados, aparecendo entre marés. Vejo-lhes toda a vida. Chegavam de manhã e partiam ao fim da tarde, sacudindo dos pés a areia. Rostos quebrados de sol que hoje convergem até à mudez das pedras. Vejo-as e passo: esta rua é um caminho demasiado distante do mar.
Está escuro. As luzes dos semáforos alumiam as clareiras. A cidade é uma floresta em que cada homem serve de modelo à magreza das videiras. Marcham lentos ao longo da avenida, corpos de vinha queimada pelo luar de Janeiro. Nenhum movimento é despoletado pelo vento, nem um só gesto: só galhos estendidos ao longo do sobretudo negro destes dias frios. Não são mulheres que falem às pedras. São os homens para quem o haver ainda rosto é uma irregularidade que brevemente será suprimida. Uma individualidade que se esgota na divergência entre o andar recto e o andar por dentro. Vejo-os caminhando avenida acima, e as suas sombras caminhando avenida abaixo, atravessando-os como parte de um passado a que não negam regresso. Cada um separado, dividido, dois eus caminhantes, passeando pelas ruas em direcções opostas, sem que alguém saiba verdadeiramente até onde se pode regressar.
Voltar só é possível até um certo ponto. Regressa-se e regressa-se à possibilidade possível, e o que não é possível, o voltar à forma original, embrionária de colo materno, mantém-se na linha questionável deste horizonte que os braços podados das videiras já não podem alcançar. Resta-lhes isto, o corpo metafórico de uma ideia que apenas existe como forma de dizer: — já é noite há tanto tempo.

 

 

 

 

 

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our Black bodies/ blending with this night A.X. Nicholas #poem #BlackLiberationMonth #sex

zp_audre-lorde-in-berlin_1984_photograph-c2a9-dagmar-schultz

1.
Strange
.             that we wake
in the center of the night/
.             the naked image-of-ourselves
locked black & beautifully together on this bed.

2.
The sand & miles-of-water
before us/
.              our Black bodies
blending with this night/
.              the far city
floating (How strange!) in this sky.

3.
Strange
.              how your thighs
tremble like the tomtom-of-drums in the night/
.               opening/closing
hot & dark as Africa round my waist.

 

From The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

Because if you write it enough maybe you can save them? by Yovanka Paquete Perdigao

Beautiful and sad and strong and vulnerable.

– See more at: http://brittlepaper.com/2015

By Yovanka Paquete Perdigao

I.

You are one of those introverts that fidgets way too much and, drinks too much wine to conceal how shy you really are. It’s not easy for you to connect with people, usually it takes a second meeting to come out of your shell and a third to really be comfortable around someone. But first time encounters you do the standard nodding at whoever is talking and smile even though you have no clue what they just said. Then they ask you the usual niceties of your background, you gladly volunteer that you used to be a refugee. “Three times a refugee, once in my country and twice in Ivory Coast.” They usually look at you unsure to offer pity, hugs, or just act as normally as possible. You’ve always loved to throw off people with the refugee line, it’s sometimes the best icebreakers for an introvert like you. You chuckle. If pressed, you tell them that you spent the summer of 1998 underneath a bed with your sister afraid a bomb might rip the ceiling.

II.

They become awkward, and you laugh even more. You remember that strangely enough you spent that whole summer too laughing away. Like when your aunty was too big to fit underneath the bed so she hid in the closet. Or when you crossed your city waving around a white flag. Just in case. Or when you finally arrived in Senegal and sat inside the bathtub of the hotel looking at the luxurious soap bottles.

 III.

You don’t tell people that although you are one the fortunate ones, although you pretend like it’s nothing, although you pretend like you barely remember it, you live in a house of ghosts with a pen that doesn’t stop writing.

Because if you write it enough maybe you can remember what went wrong?
Because if you write it enough maybe you can give them another life?
Because if you write it enough maybe you can save them?

Because if you don’t write, who will tell their story?

The door closes ,and you hear Nha Clara sighting as usual:

“Guerra fidjo, Guerra ta dana tudo” (War child, war ruins everything)

 

– See more at: http://brittlepaper.com/2015

“How the River” by Julia Runcie

Beautiful view of city and backlands. I like the poem better starting in the middle. The whole poem is at the bottom.

Julia Runcie

HOW THE RIVER


I know the city is not less simply
because I want less of it.
But how different it is, now,
to wade across the tumbled creek
when once I crossed
the out-flung arms of bridges
and was speechless at their beauty
and never for a moment thought
of how the river lay
beneath the bridge.

.

.

http://www.rattle.com/poetry/how-the-river-by-julia-runcie/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rattle%2FCNOS+%28Rattle%3A+Poetry+for+the+21st+Century%29

The whole poem:

Julia Runcie

HOW THE RIVER

Strange that for so many years
I walked among the peopled buildings
and did not think of mountains.
I took my comfort
in the streetlight
and the stoplight.
I lay not wakeful
for the owl’s low hooting in the canyon.
I know the city is not less simply
because I want less of it.
But how different it is, now,
to wade across the tumbled creek
when once I crossed
the out-flung arms of bridges
and was speechless at their beauty
and never for a moment thought
of how the river lay
beneath the bridge.

Billboards in the rain, Dvorah Fogel #YiddishPoetry …Today the rain dissolved the vermilion letters

http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/fogel-dvoyre

“Together with her husband and son, Fogel was killed in the Lwów ghetto in 1942.

Fogel’s remarkable experimental poetry, all written in the 1930s, was, in the spirit of early twentieth-century art, radically avant-garde and attuned to all the modernist minimalisms.

She attempted to fuse modern art and poetry in a new style that she termed “white words,” striving, as she put it, to create a new lyric poetry of the urban condition: a poetry of cool stasis and of geometric ornamentation with a rhythm of repetition that can replace melodiousness and dynamism, in which monotone becomes theme.

In her creative prose she employed repetitive detached impressions (“montages”) to achieve the same goals.

Contemporaneous and later critics considered her style too intellectual, studied and obscure, and lacking in traditional Jewish and feminine thematics.

Yet Fogel herself regarded her project not as a deliberate experiment, but rather as “a necessity, achieved and paid for with life’s experience.

Billboards in the rain.

Today the rain coats gray houses
with another coat
of gray,

you, far away.

Everyone away,
there’s no one to be with.

I lean
against a wall of billboards
pasted with posters of lemon and orange.

Today the rain dissolved
the vermilion letters
announcing the film
of the red ballerina.

Red lines, caressing,
and other hands heavily moving
across hot yellow figures.

In a row of ten gray houses
a red and yellow wall of boards,
the only sign of life.

And one can lean against it
as against the human body
now far off,
out of reach.

Dvorah/Dvoyre Fogel

From: a Treasury of Yiddish Poetry edited by Irving Howe and Liezer Greenberg.
USED and NEW: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=13535919967

.

.

The streets of London, UK. Smash the Windows by Maura Dooley!

By Maura Dooley. This is how I remember London and the summers I spent in Tufnell Park Road with family friends. Curry the favourite dish, sambal on a sandwich, dog in the park, someone paid to clean the park, pale day light and shortcuts that sometimes ended up in a different place that only looked alike.

Smash the Windows.
OR, TEN SOUTH LONDON FIDDLE TUNES

1. The Misted Pane
2. Egg on a Bap
3. Knock at the Door
4. A Draught of Air
5. Turd on the Step
6. Fox in a Wheelie Bin
7. Toke on the Swings
8. Parakeet in the Oak
9. The Short Way Home
10. Glass on the Pavement

Tufnell_Park_-_geograph.org.uk_-_261505
.
.
Homesick for London. Especially Tufnell Park and Hyde Park, Kew Gardens, Nando’s Charing Cross Road, National Portrait Museum, Southwark Cathedral, Royal Festival Hall…The Docklands.
.
From: London a History in Verse, ed by Mark Ford.

NEW: http://www.localbookshops.co.uk
USED: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=9186279941

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/10564444/Curry-why-the-British-are-moving-on-from-Chicken-Tikka-Masala.html

Link

Creation story

God’s child kept blocks in his apron’s pocket,
which it had been playing with in the clouds.
But when she, tired, bored, then wished to clear the decks
She saw into the box and could not fathom

how ever to fit them, neatly ordered stacked.
Because God was stern, but slept, so was no danger.
She let them drop, without a further glance
and made straight for a pretty sculpted angel.

The blocks fellthrough stark empty skies,
And reached an empty world, where
They remained as thrown.

Most shattered into hills and dales;
And those, whole, in one piece, formed here and there
the far wide cities and the smallest towns.

Translating, I departed from the rhymes and the almost rhymes out of necessity when the english words don’t rhyme and also because I want to show that Slauerhoff played with leaving out parts of speech, much like Joss Whedon encouraged in Buffy and Firefly. I think his play works especially well because the poem is about creating a world that is not there there and which has holes. Some of the loss of almost rhymes is sad because his choice of words was lovely. Learn Dutch!

“They remained as thrown” was the most difficult to translate because in Dutch part of the verb (“waren”=were) is left out but the last word of this line (geworpen=thrown) rhymes with the last word of the poem (dorpen). Anyway. It is a different poem in English. I love how Slauerhoff stops the story. Leaving the rest to our imagination. The whole poem stops and start and restarts at odd moments. How to play with language. When you read it aloud you need to leave space between inside some of the lines. Where depends on how you speak. The alliterations in the poem and inner rhymes are beautiful.

Also: I like he puts down the answer before we ask the question in the second stanza. He makes the lines work for him. Doesn’t let the mind dictate how he tells his story. Pay attention because G-d isn’t.

Third stanza is funny: you expect more but no.

Creation story

God’s child kept blocks in his apron’s pocket,
which it had been playing with in the clouds.
But when she, tired, bored, then wished to clear the decks
She saw into the box and could not fathom

how ever to fit them, neatly ordered stacked.
Because God was stern, but slept, so was no danger.
She let them drop, without a further glance
and made straight for a pretty sculpted angel.

The blocks fellthrough stark empty skies,
And reached an empty world, where
They remained as thrown.

Most shattered into hills and dales;
And those, whole, in one piece, formed here and there
the far wide cities and the smallest towns.

Dutch: Scheppingsverhaal.

Gods kind had blokken in zijn boezelaar,
Waarmee het in de wolken had gespeeld.
Maar toen zij op wou bergen, moe, verveeld,
Zag ze in de doos en wist niet hoe ze daar

In passen moesten, keurig ingedeeld.
Want God was streng, maar sliep – dus geen gevaar.
Zij liet ze vallen, zag er niet meer naar
Om en ging vlug naar een mooi engelbeeld.

De blokken vielen door een leeg heelal
En kwamen op een leege wereld, waar
Ze bleven zooals ze er heen geworpen.

De meeste sprongen stuk tot berg en dal.
En die heel bleven vormden hier en daar
De groote steden en de kleine dorpen.

© 1998, Erven J. Slauerhoff / K. Lekkerkerker / Uitgeverij Nijgh & Van Ditmar
From: Verzamelde gedichten
Publisher: Nijgh & Van Ditmar, Amsterdam, 1990.