Poems from Laura Giordani translated from Spanish by Amparo Arróspide & Robin Ouzman Hislop

Language is the territory of the common, of the community. Through my writing I try to make visible not only what is not so due to our sensory handicap, but what has been made invisible: small daily holocausts, omissions, our most intimate violence.

Poetic language contains the seed of insubordination, of becoming disobedient to a way of looking at the world and naming it; politics is the place where we situate ourselves to articulate as speakers, enlightened, subaltern, omniscient, decentered, etc.

It does not matter if we do it about a bird, a milk tooth or an intimate event. In my opinion, the political load of a poem is not dependent on certain topics, but on the insistence that invites us to breathe in a system that otherwise suffocates us, to resist so that we don’t let our eyelids drop in resignation.

Editor’s Note: extract from an interview with Laura Giordani. http://www.tendencias21.net/ Laura-Giordani-La-poesia- contiene-la-semilla-de-la- insumision_a13660.html

————————–

(i.)

[Qué te hicieron caballito, que las manos de tu amo

se hundan en tu carne abierta

hasta que llore polvo de ladrillo,

hasta que la fusta con que te azotaba

caiga con él de rodillas.

Con manos imantadas

Hundir los dedos en la tierra negrísima de la infancia, Cuando las yemas ardan, escarbar con manos imantadas por una ternura abandonada junto a los restos: el desguace nuestro.

Botones sueltos, fotografías de familia: los esposos en un muelle con cuatro hijos y dos baúles, un viejo de ojos claros junto a su silla de enea, escarpines de lana amarilleando sin término, el ajuar con las mismas iniciales de aquel ataúd chiquito y blanco.

Un mechoncito rubio en la mano, único consuelo.

Mujeres pariendo en camas de hierro, niños amamantados por cabras.

[veni, sonnu, di la muntanedda

lu lupu si mangiau la picuredda

oi ninì

ninna vò fa1

A la infancia a través de las manos, palpar el fondo de los cajones para conocer el revés nuestro, las costuras de un relato siempre en hilachas.

Ella se fue y algo se rompió dentro

[algo sordo, como llorando.

Escondimos las rodillas lastimadas por el pavimento.

Llegaron como una peste las palabras y las llevamos a la boca creyendo en su alimento.

Los contornos adquirieron relieve, los pétalos del corazón fueron cayendo –uno a uno—como en aquel juego.

Sobrevino la sintaxis, la separación, el desastre.

[La guardiana del tacto]

1. Nota: Canción de cuna siciliana. Oh, ven, sueño, de la montañita / El lobo se comió a la ovejita / Oh, el niño /Quiere dormir.

(i.)

[What did they do you little horse that the hands of your master

should sink into your opened flesh

until it weeps brick dust

until the whip with which he lashes you

falls with him to his knees.

With magnetised hands

To sink our fingers into the blackest earth of childhood, when fingertips burn, hands magnetised by a discarded tenderness that dig searching the remains – our scrap.

Loose buttons, family photographs: spouses on the quayside with four children, two trunks, an old man with clear eyes next to his wicker chair, woollen stockings forever fading, the trousseau with the same initials as that little white coffin, a little lock of blonde hair held in the hand their only consolation.

Women giving birth in iron beds, children suckled by goats.

[veni, sonnu, di la muntanedda

lu lupu si mangiau la picurredda

oi nini

ninna vó fa*

Childhood reached through our hands feeling the bottom of drawers

knowing our underside, the seams of a story always in rags.

She left and something broke inside.

[something deaf, as if weeping

We hid our knees scraped on the pavement.

Words came like a disease, we put them in our mouths believing in their nourishment.

Outlines became distinct, one by one, as in that childhood game, the petals of innocence fell.

Then syntax, separation, disaster.

[The Guardian of Touch]

* Sicilian Lullaby. Oh come, sleep, from the little mountain/The wolf ate the little lamb/Oh, the child/Wants to sleep.

(ii.)

Con guantes de goma anaranjada ella ahogaba los cachorros recién nacidos en el fuentón de lata: no son puros, seguro que fueron los perros de Moroni – sentenciaba y aguantando la respiración hundía a los perritos todavía ciegos, buscando el calor de la collie que aullaba junto a la puerta. Anegaba sus pulmones en el fondo hasta que flotaran y los metía en una bolsa de nylon que cerraba con nudos bien apretados. Luego se sacaba los guantes color naranja y con esas mismas manos cortaba el pan y trenzaba el pelo de mi amiga Alejandra.

[Todavía me persigue el llanto de aquella perra,

el frío mortal del lavadero.

Mi amiga creció, tuvo hijos, otra casa. Su madre siguió baldeando con desvelo la vereda cada mañana, ahogando – primavera tras primavera—perros sin raza.

[Extraño país]

(ii.)

With orange rubber gloves, she, my friend’s mother, drowned the new born pups, in a tin basin.

These are mongrels, sure from old Morini’s, she judged, as she held her breath to drown the still blind puppies as they searched the warmth of the collie, who howled beside the laundry door.

She flooded their lungs in the bottom until they floated putting them into a nylon bag that she tied in the tightest of knots.

Afterwards, she took off those orange rubber gloves and with the same hands cut bread and braided my friend Alejandra’s hair.

[Now the howl still haunts me

deadly cold in the wash place.

My friend grew up, had children, another house. Her mother continued every morning to thoroughly wash the pavement down drowning spring after spring mixed breeds.

[ Strange Country]

(iii.)

El sobretodo azul que pusiste

sobre los hombros de la muchacha aquella

volvía empapada del interrogatorio

temblando

la mojaban la picaneaban*

cada noche

la dejaban junto a tu colchón

con un llanto parecido al de un cachorro

ese gesto a pesar del miedo

a pesar del miedo te sacaste el sobretodo azul

para abrigarla

no poder dejar de darle ese casi todo

en medio del sobretodo espanto

la dignidad puede resistir

azul

en apenas dos metros de tela

y en esos centímetros que tu mano

sorteó en la oscuridad hasta sus hombros

sobre todo

[El sobretodo azul]

(iii.)

The blue overcoat you put on
 over the shoulders of the girl
 soaked from interrogation
 shaking
 watered tortured with the picana1
 each night
 they´d left her next to your mattress
 with a puppylike whimper
 that gesture despite the fear
 over all the fear you took off your blue overcoat
 to warm her
unable to resist giving over all
over all the horror
in its midst
dignity can stand
blue
in just two meters of cloth
those centimeters your hand
covered in the dark over her shoulders
over all else.

[The blue overcoat]

1 The “picana” is a wand or prod that delivers a high voltage but low current electric shock to a torture victim.

 

laura

 

Laura Giordani (1964, Córdoba, Argentina)

Because of the Argentine military dictatorship, in the late 1970s she went into exile with her family in Spain, where she has lived almost half her life.
She studied Psychology, Fine Arts and English language.
She participates in writers´meetings and gives poetic recitals in Argentina and Spain.
She has written the following poetry collections:
Apurando la copa (2001), Celebración del brote (2003), Cartografía de lo blando (2005), Noche sin clausura (2006), Sudestada (2009), Materia oscura (2010) and Antes de desaparecer (2016).
Her poems have been included in several anthologies, she has also collaborated in journals from Argentina, Brazil, Germany and Spain.

The following link reviews her latest work Antes de desaparecer ( Before disappearing) from which the above poems are extracts http://www.tendencias21.net/Antes-de-desaparecer–de-Laura-Giordani-una-manera-de-ampararse_a32021.html

 

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Amparo Arróspide (Argentina) has published five poetry collections: Presencia en el Misterio, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos y algunos poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar and En el oído del viento, as well as poems, short stories and articles on literature and films in anthologies and international magazines. She has translated authors such as Francisca Aguirre, Javier Díaz Gil, Luis Fores and José Antonio Pamies into English, together with Robin Ouzman Hislop, who she worked with for a period as co-editor of Poetry Life and Times,at Artvilla.com a Webzine. Her translations into Spanish of Margaret Atwood (Morning in the Burned House), James Stephens (Irish Fairy Tales) and Mia Couto (Vinte e Zinco) are in the course of being published, as well as her two poetry collections Hormigas en diáspora and Jacuzzi. She takes part in festivals, recently Transforming with Poetry (Leeds) and Centro de Poesía José Hierro (Getafe).

robin-portrait-july-sotillo-2016-by-amparo
 
 
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Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; at Artvilla.com his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, and the recently published Moon Selected Audio Textual Poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation
of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Poem by EVA MARÍA CHINCHILLA on a homage supplement published in “Cuadernos del Matemático” Nº 56-58, dedicated to Leonard Cohen,Translated from Spanish by Robin Ouzman Hislop & Amparo Arróspide

          We are the lesser who will never be able to write
          a good love poem than those of us who will never
          be able to write a love poem in time.

 
 
I love your temperature. That’s what I love,
not you
 

Gentle, gallant, it keeps the milky warmth of a blade of wheat
offering itself at dawn
breaking earlier than myself, heralding
— from its delta-
 
the descent of dreams
 
I love your eyes. For their sea, for their fairy
for their
id
 
and whilst each time i shatter the image of blue cliches
you invade that which has no colour, each time leaving it within
that which i’ll never
discover
 
not you
 
I love your caligraphy. Remains of eternity, my inheritance
that you pretend as yet yours
 
voice that sweetly swathes me
and tungsten. Impossible firefly, there
I love your caligraphy because it cleanses each time the wound of having thought i knew you
 
(and the treasure of the hidden note in the third stanza, when id
shipwrecks
where we read
because it cleanses each time the wound of having thought i knew you
 
to read again now
 
because it gently opens the wound whether i knew
how to love
despite not knowing
 
I love your caligraphy because it lets me recognise you
a balm which you prepare for me, it says
 
to recognise has been to know
 
so
 
there exists the possibility that i have
you, that´s what your caligraphy says, it says my
my love for you
that i have not yet known,
 
it extends before my eyes and on my skin bares – a code so familiar as to be indeciph–
sunsets and a bond of views without other qualification than their
certainty
 
this breeze that rustles my skin, carouses my blood, tempers
and forgives me
me, you, me
 
 
 
 

          Somos menos quienes nunca lograremos escribir
          un buen poema de amor que quienes nunca
          lograremos escribir a tiempo un poema de amor

 
 
Amo tu temperatura. Es lo que amo,
y no a ti
 
Suave, donosa, guarda el calor lácteo de la espiga. Se entrega de madrugada, antes
que yo amanece y anuncia
–desde su delta—
 
la bajada de los sueños
 
Amo tus ojos. Por su mar, por su hada
por su
id
 
y mientras yo destrozo cada vez la pantalla de los tópicos
del azul, invades lo que no tiene color, lo dejas dentro cada vez jamás
encontraré
 
no a ti
 
Amo tu caligrafía. Restos de eternidad, herencia mía
que simulas tuya aún
 
voz de tela que me arropa
y wolframio. Luciérnaga imposible, ahí
 
amo tu caligrafía, porque desinfecta, cada vez, la herida de haber creído conocerte
 
(y la nota del tesoro escondido de la tercera estrofa, cuando naufrague
id
donde hemos leído
porque desinfecta, cada vez, la herida de haber creído conocerte
para ahora leer
 
porque abre con suavidad la herida de si supe amar
lo que conocía
a pesar de no sabr que lo
 
amo tu caligrafía porque me deja reconocerte
un bálsamo que tú preparas para mí, dice
 
reconocer ha sido conocer
 
entonces
 
existe la posibilidad de que te haya
a ti eso dice tu caligrafía, dice mi
te amo a ti
que yo no he sabido saber,
 
extiende ante mis ojos y en mi piel expone –en un código tan familiar como indesci—
amaneceres y miradas en unidad, sin otro calificativo que el de
 
indudables
 
esa brisa se extiende por mi piel, navega por mi sangre, me templa
y me perdona
 
a mí, a ti, a mí
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eva Chinchilla, evachin. Poet. Author of Años Abisinios (2011), Verbo rea (2003), and a third poetry book currently in production. Participant in anthologies such as La noche y sus etcéteras. 24 voces alrededor de San Juan de la Cruz (2017), Hilanderas (2006) o Estruendomudo (2003). She is also a board member of poetry magazine Nayagua, which is a publication by the José Hierro Poetry Foundation, where she was a teacher from 2007 to 2016. Member of the Genialogías Association and the 8que80 collective of female poets; co-editor of Diminutos Salvamentos poetry collection. She walks along the haiku and flamenco lyrics paths. A philologist (hispanist), with a degree free master in continuous training and questioning. Born in Madrid (1971).
 
 
Eva Chinchilla, evachin. Poeta. Autora de Años abisinios (2011), Verbo rea (2003), y un tercer poemario en prensa; incluida en antologías como La noche y sus etcéteras. 24 voces alrededor de San Juan dela Cruz (2017), Hilanderas (2006) o Estruendomudo (2003). Forma parte del consejo de la revista de poesía Nayagua, que se edita desde la Fundación Centro de Poesía José Hierro de Getafe, donde fue profesora desde 2007 hasta 2016. Integrante de la Asociación Genialogías y el colectivo 8que80 de mujeres poetas; coeditora de la colección diminutos salvamentos; andariega del camino del haiku y de las letrillas flamencas. Filóloga (hispanista), con master sin titulación en formación y cuestionamiento continuos. Nació en Madrid (1971).
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; at Artvilla.com his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, and the recently published Moon Selected Audio Textual Poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation
of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Somewhere Over. An Audio Textual Poem by Robin Ouzman Hislop

 
 

 
 


Oh when the saints	          tread tenderly
flora & foliage are abundant	   so the pain
with bird song	    is not seen	       with the
lessening of     in my eyes     human traffic
bury me here    go marching in      & laugh
in the face of the wind      & come back next year
bring me the face     somewhere over the rainbow
when will we return?     of the grateful dead
i wanna be     & i will sow	 skies are blue
the flora of tomorrow      will the deserts be green
again amongst that number as when homo erectus
trecked through them?            once in a lullaby
what did they seek freedom?   before confusion
 & the babble of tongues   when the saints go marching in

 
 
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Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com . You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Episodes. An Audio Textual Poem by Robin Ouzman Hislop


 
 


 
 

episodes however brief	virus in the slaughterhouses 
obedience to the state  or there is fragmentation
a world of fragmentation is not of epiphanies	
but epitaphs	they tell us	 surrounded by hegemony
that camouflages our right of way	we multiply 
in the expectancy to gain the wealth of the world 
it is our sadness	    as we grow old
the fear we cannot care for each other
this is what the walk of life has led us to
misunderstanding 	the unknowable unknowables
the something and the nothing noths	
helpless as leaves upon a tree 		
we struggle on in our suffering as so many millions 
upon millions have done 	must do in silence & stoicism 	
remembering
lost friends & relatives without blame for we cannot enter 
their minds		i had had a surprising dream 		
about death i figured	but so personal i didn't want to speak 
about it	to anyone	in case i might make it happen
early morning mist rain	thunder rolls on the blue mountains 
this really is the kingdom of exile	where we play with words		
the silent absent words	yet embedded in every action	
even as we think 	before we speak     words that tell 
truth & falsehood are fragments	episodes however brief

 
 
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Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com . You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Go Go Go Poem. Audio. Robin Ouzman Hislop

 

 
go go go
there’s no grail in the grainy day
i’m so tired of stirring glue
one more time lady of the night
go go go i’m outta sight
power plays with psychopathy
what’s left of words our pathology
i took my baby down to MeJico
the place you know you go go go
i’m so tired of stirring glue
& tomorrow’s just another shoe
where there’s no lack for being strange
where the world’s already twisted & maimed
one more time lady of the night
what’s gonna make it through & through
we’ll all be dead at the sight of you
go go go i’m outta sight
we’re pathologically psychotic
you can put it got it got it
our words blasted in the thunder
& tomorrow’s rainbow’s no penumbra
where psychopathy plays the one number
kick arse this world so full of shite
come on down lady of the night
go go go i’m outta of sight
i’m so tired of stirrring glue
we’ll all be dead at the sight of you
holocaust plague & famine too
the map’s rotting over the ruins
words turn to bones in their tombings
like waxwork effigies we melt in the blue
i’m going down to MeJico
you know the place you go go go
come on down lady of the night
i’m gonnna dance with you outta sight
we’re on a wave that’s gonna disappear
a field that evaporates in thin air
then suddenly again you’re standing there
dancing with time forever there
come on down lady of the night
i’m gonna dance with you outta sight
 
 
 
 
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Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com . You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)