miércoles, 28 de octubre de 2015

TINA CHANG [17.294]

Tina Chang

Tina Chang es una poeta americana, profesora y editora. En 2010, fue nombrada Poeta Laureada de Brooklyn.

Chang nació en 1969 en Oklahoma, hija de inmigrantes chinos, que se habían reunido en Montreal, donde su madre trabajaba como enfermera y su padre estudió su doctorado en física. La familia se mudó a Queens, Nueva York cuando tenía un año de edad, donde se crió con excepción de un periodo durante su juventud, cuando Chang y su hermano fueron enviados a vivir en Taiwan con sus familiares durante dos años. "Empecé a cuestionar incluso a una edad muy joven, bueno, ¿qué es el lenguaje?", Dijo. "¿Cuál es el papel de las palabras?" 

Más tarde asistió a la Universidad de Binghamton. Recibió su maestría en arte de la poesía de la Universidad de Columbia.

Es profesora de poesía en el Sarah Lawrence College y en la City University de Hong Kong. 

Junto con poetas Nathalie Handal y Ravi Shankar, ella es la co-editor de la Lengua para un Nuevo Siglo: Contemporáneo: Poesía desde el Medio Oriente, Asia y más allá, WW Norton, 2008. Su última colección de poesía, De dioses y extraños, fue publicada en octubre de 2011.

Su trabajo ha aparecido en numerosas publicaciones como The New York Times, McSweeney, y Ploughshares. 

Ha ocupado residencias en Colonia MacDowell, Residencia de Djerassi artista, Vermont Studio Center, Fundación Valparaíso, Ragdale, la Fundación Constanza Saltonstall, Azul Mountain Center y el Centro de Virginia para las Artes Creativas. 


Half-Lit Houses . Four Way Books. 2004. ISBN 978-1884800528 .
Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond . WW Norton. 2008. ISBN 978-0393332384 .
Of Gods & Strangers . Four Way Books. 2011. ISBN 978-1935536178 .


Poetry 30: Poets in their Thirties , (MAMMOTH Books, 2005)
Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation , (University of Illinois Press, 2004)
Asian American Literature (McGraw-Hill, 2001)
Identity Lessons (Penguin, 1999).

Birthing a boy

Mi niño fue una vez un pensamiento sin nombre,
Encerrado en el compartimento de mi creación.
Estuvo alojado dentro de mí durante mucho tiempo,
Suspendido inmóvil en el agua, sus miembros flotando en una pantalla,
Huellas dactilares intrincadas como mapas aéreos.


Mi child was once a thought and he had
No name, locked in the stall of my making.
The child was housed inside me for a long time,
Held still in water, his limbs floating on a screen,
Fingerprints intricate as aerial maps.

La imagen que acompaña a este post fue durante parte de la tarde del pasado domingo, domingo de la Gran Votación, la fotografía que abrió la edición digital del New York Times.  Una mujer de cuarenta años sosteniendo en sus brazos a un bebé. Una habitación revuelta iluminada desde el fondo por luz natural.

La fotografía ilustraba un reportaje sobre el nuevo bardo oficial del barrio de Brooklyn, la poetisa Tina Chang. Como resulta que el domingo fue el Día Mundial de la Poesía  se podría pensar que el reportaje le servía al periódico para cumplir con la cuota conmemorativa. Pero no, en ningún párrafo del mismo se menciona que aquel fuera el día del género lírico.

Empress Dowager Boogies

Last night I found my face below
the water in my cupped hands.

The mask made of copper and bone
criss-crossing to make a smirk,

a false glamour, a plated glaze.
I unwound myself from the heavy

machinery of my body's burden.
The lute, the light, chime.

I'll get up and partner myself
with music, the purple moon

peeling itself like a plum.
Men stand in a circle and

they will ask and ask again.
I want to pick the thick bud,

to lose myself in the body's posture
bending in or away, to let

my majesty and birthright go
and gesture toward a waking life.


On an island, an open road
where an animal has been crushed
by something larger than itself.

It is mangled by four o'clock light, soul
sour-sweet, intestines flattened and raked
by the sun, eyes still watchful, savage.

This landscape of Taiwan looks like a body
black and blue. On its coastline mussels have cracked
their faces on rocks, clouds are collapsing

onto tiny houses. And just now a monsoon has begun.
It reminds me of a story my father told me:
He once made the earth not in seven days

but in one. His steely joints wielded lava and water
and mercy in great ionic perfection.
He began the world, hammering the length

of trees, trees like a war of families,
trees which fumbled for grand gesture.
The world began in an explosion of fever and rain.

He said, Tina, your body came out floating.
I was born in the middle of monsoon season,
palm trees tearing the tin roofs.

Now as I wander to the center of the island
no one will speak to me. My dialect left somewhere
in his pocket, in a nursery book,

a language of childsplay. Everything unfurls
in pictures: soil is washed from the soles of feet, a woman
runs toward her weeping son, chicken bones float

in a pot full of dirty water.
I return to the animal on the road.
When I stoop to look at it

it smells of trash, rotting vegetation,
the pitiful tongue. Its claws are curled tight
to its heart; eyes open eyes open.

When the world began
in the small factory of my father's imagination
he never spoke of this gnarled concoction

of bone and blood that is nothing like wonder
but just the opposite, something
simply ravaged. He too would die soon after

the making of the world. I would go on
waking, sexing, mimicking enemies.
I would go on coaxed by gravity and hard science.


I am haunted by how much our mothers do not know.
How a republic falls because of its backhanded deals,
stairwell secrets. My mother does not know I am lying
with a man who is darker than me, that we do not
have names for how we truly treat our bodies.
What we do with them. The other possesses me.
Without him the perception of me fails to exist.
My mother now is taking her sheers and cutting
through live shrimp. When I was a child she peeled
each flushed grape until only the pale fleshy bead
remained. She placed them onto a plate in one shining
mound, deseeded, in front of me. How I sucked and bled
the fruit of all their juice, hypnotized in front of the buzz
of television in each version of my childhood. I am
her daughter. This is certain. I am lying down with a man
who is darker than me and maybe this poem is my
real republic, my face is my face, or is it stolen from
my mother and hung over mine? If I were a dream
you could say my countenance was a string of flickering lights
made of teeth or an expression unraveling like a carpet
into a narrow river of another life. Does truth matter
when it's floating face up or face down?
The answer to this makes all the difference.


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