Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I'm enjoying a burst of creative energy after what's been a rather dark few months for me. Here's a bit of revised, still in transition, work...

Translating Cagada

inspired by the first lines of "A Chronicle of Death Foretold"

I am translating Garcia Marquez at midnight,
but only--te quiero mucho, adios--rolls
off my tongue, not whole phrases or knowing how

to use conditional, imperative. It's imperative

to translate cagada. I expect "caged," find "shit."
Dictionary pages flutter, reveal bird shit splattered
on trees in dreams interpreted by wiser women.

A wiser woman once told me, it is imperative to speak

your mother tongue. Unless, upon death,
you become trapped, forever rolling
in a hell of every language except your own.


Blogger Matt said...

as always, your beautiful intensity for exploring language and culture appears. One suggestion (building further on one of the strengths of this poem) is to us a metaphor of simile in the first stanza, like your association between bird and shit and caged in the 3rd and death in the final. Perhaps translating marquez at midnight is like making love, or being kind david's concubine, or being enslaved on a spanish rowboat bound for antartica. Not sure what its like for you, but you might explore the possibilities. Also, the poem reads like there is a lot more going on than is revealed. Continue exploring, it is beauty.

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