jueves, 22 de octubre de 2015

TOMÁS P. MORÍN [17.263] Poeta de Estados Unidos


Tomás P. Morín

Poeta, EE.UU. Tomás P. Morín fue educado en la Universidad Estatal de Texas y la Universidad Johns Hopkins.

Sus poemas han aparecido en Borderlands: Tejas Poetry Review, The Baltimore Revisión y MARGIE. Él trabaja para el Estado de Texas y Texas Lutheran Universidades.  

Tomás P. Morín es el autor de A Larger Country, ganador del Premio ABR / Honickman, y traductor de Las Alturas de Macchu Picchu (The Heights of Macchu Picchu) de Pablo Neruda. Con Mari L'Esperance, ha co-editado Coming Cerrar: Cuarenta Ensayos sobre Philip Levine.


ANTES DEL AEROPUERTO, SUSHI

El anciano está sentado delante
del patio vacío comiendo
pollo frito o cualquier otra cosa,
probablemente compró el trozo entero, y no
en la casa de sushi
donde entramos,
no inspiraba exactamente confianza,
pero cuando regresamos
desde paseo de la fama a nuestra mesa
con los palillos
en la caja que tú decoraste
hace tantos años que lo olvide,
y les conté a mis compañeros de toda la vida
que no necesito utilizar los desechables
envueltos en papel como pajitas,
que no son tan delicadas
como las suyas que parecían pulidas
como si estuvieran sacadas de un tejo,
tan distintas de mis palos ensamblados
que eran poco más que pantagruélicos
mondadientes para alguna raza de gigantes
que yo tenía solamente para adecentarme
con un limpio chasquido
y demostrar su inutilidad,
nunca conocí a un tonto como yo,
sólo al ingeniero que había registrado
la patente para el diseño de mis palillos
así que la operación fue un fracaso
excepto por tu risa,
un desenlace inesperado
por el que yo habría abortado la ulterior colección
a propósito, y la siguiente vez
sólo había llegado nuestra ensalada de algas
para mí, un amante toda la vida
de la cucharilla y el tenedor
para no dar pie con bola en un plato diminuto
con mis pinzas chinas,
sólo que no lo hice y antes de que me diera cuenta
mi mano era Fred Astaire sobre zancos
y la ensalada de algas se había acabado,
seguida por la mitad del maki,
y sólo había una pieza rosa
que lo separaba de la hueva crujiente
y su rollito de arroz que yo escupí
porque lo sentí en la lengua
y sabía a muerte,
lo que tiene mucho sentido
porque estaba muerto,
y nuestra comida terminó allí,
me gustaría ahora celebrar
las virtudes de mantener una mente abierta
a la nueva comida, a cómo
la vida nos puede sorprender tanto, un día
ya no estoy comiendo sirope de arce en un filete
o sobre un trozo de queso como cabía
esperar de alguien que nunca ha estado
en Vermont, prefiero sushi
y controlo los palillos y miro hacia arriba
para ver una trenza de pelo dorada
nunca me había dado cuenta de que era dorada
desenredada sobre su hombro
tan lentamente que parece viva
tanto que por un instante
de repente somos tres
en la mesa: yo, tú, y tu trenza
que a ti no parece molestarte
está perdiendo lo que sólo unos pocos minutos
antes yo hubiera llamado con gravedad
una batalla, excepto que ahora entiendo
que la atracción de la tierra
no siempre es molesta e impaciente,
que puede ser amable, puede animar
un revoltijo del pelo suelto
y, al hacerlo, ralentizar el tiempo
y esa canción sobre adioses
y el pesado abrigo de invierno
que llena el cielo de todos los aeropuertos urbanos
a finales de verano, ralentizar esa música
lo suficiente para hacer un soul
con dos pies izquierdos como los míos
brincando y bailando.

Versión de Carlos Alcorta


Nature Boy

If I had enough cages to keep all the birds
I’ve collected over the years then I would have
to open a shop because there’s only so much room
in a two-bedroom walk-up for 48 birds,
not to mention the dancing bears and the frogs,
or the different varieties of fish, the one
species of flea, and I almost forgot the proud
dogs and the lone mule, the profane one
who entered my life to curse at scribes and pharisees;
and maybe he’d let the mouse I found
forever dying at the end of a poem
ride on his back like a whiskered Christ
and if not, maybe my yeti could do it
when he’s not downtown working
security at the store or teaching the parrots
how to say brotherhood in grunt
and how to comb out the tangles and mud
from his hair whose sweat reminds me
of that bearded collector of  beasts
with the ark who would have no doubt
understood how I feel, that prophet
of change under whose spell I want to confess
that I’m a Christian of   the Old Testament,
that my grandfather hung all his goats
upside down, their throats over a bucket,
and slapped their chests like that other Nature Boy
who strutted around the ring
like a peacock with his feathered hair
that stayed immaculate
even on the nights he lost to our hero
Wahoo McDaniel who never played the heel,
he who hailed from the lost tribes
of Oklahoma, who made us want to be chiefs
so much we wore pigeon feathers
and circled each other inside a green square
of water hose until someone finally rang the bell
that was never there and we sprung
toward each other like animals in love or at war.


Love Train

For D’Andra

My bowl brimming with pretzels,
the snack you wanted least,
I slid open the door of our sleeping car
where we had been enjoying the country rushing by,
as if   we were the first two people
to look down into the valleys and see
bright necks of pines stretch across farms
and streams to the groves they once cradled.
You had asked for Earl Grey cookies
sandwiched around buttercream or marshmallows
made of chocolate, but all the tea bags had been dunked
and the chocolate melted over biscotti.
When I came bearing the salted and twisted news,
the room was empty but for a heel. It was black
as a bunting, and wound with zippers,
and every time the car rocked
it looked ready to fly and escape
into the cold, tangled air
of   travel that always feels heavy
with joy and desire, and a little sadness,
always a little sadness,
because of the leaving, which is what I do
when I realize I’m in the wrong room
and that numbers have betrayed me again
while I was hunting and gathering,
foraging like Homo habilis
who probably never lost his cave.

Out of patience, I opened every door
marked with threes and eights, those conjoined twins
disastrously separated at birth,
and roused the scabbed eyes of sleepers
like a beggar, no, an angel,
a begging angel who has written on his heart
will work for love.
Having not found our room, not heard
the sharp swing of   your voice,
I descended upon the passenger cars
and row upon row of couples asleep
or staring out the windows like zombies
trying to remember what happens next
once the newspaper is well-thumbed,
the tea has gone cold, and the conversation is dead.

I called for you, in vain, even using your secret names,
the ones only the night knows:
wind-kiss, brilliant-fruit, dervish-moon    . . .
Over and over, I said your names,
over and over until they filled
the wounded air of  the car
and when there was no more room
for another sound, they caught and hooked
the ring of   the brakes hugging the rails.

Just when I thought I wouldn’t find you,
you were there, the train was pulling away,
and I was watching you slowly eat
a dish of whipped cream and bananas
— the house special — in a cafe
in a city we didn’t know.
When you finished, we started walking
down a road that bent like a smile,
a shy smile, like the one the Japanese cat wore
on your purse. The road, we were told,
would take us to the end of   the line
where all lovers in search of   joy
packed on bullet trains — they’re the fastest
on two continents — arrive every hour.


Goosestep

A collector of   walks, I was practicing my llamastep
when one of   those white geese with the knob
of cheddar on its bill honked at the goslings
ignoring the art of the rank and file so adored
by Mussolini and other assorted lunatics
who I have trouble believing could ever raise one leg
parallel to the earth they scorched without falling
prey to gravity that was given a special kind of dominion
over the fascist paunch, a shabby thing
I have never seen hang around the waist of a goose,
though who can say for sure under all that heavenly
down where the hips of a goose begin and end; and even
if   tomorrow some budding scholar published a treatise
titled The Mystery of Goose Hips to fanfare,
it would be an exaggeration of   the grossest kind
to equate a goose’s trumpet with the barking
from the balcony by the sad bullies whose love
of   the locked leg I will never understand
since the knee was so obviously made to flex,
which means locking one is most likely a kind of sin
against Darwin or God, both of whom I think
would disapprove of anything so unnatural
as even twenty people moving in stiff unison
to music unless the brass and strings
were just about to sway and bend to the hot
version of  “When the Saints Go Marching In.”



*

His poems have appeared in Slate, Threepenny Review, Boulevard, New England Review, and Narrative. 


Grinning in Sardinia

On dirt-packed roads that thinned and fell apart 
like breath in winter, we sputtered along 
in our car, a yellow coupe with a memory 
for recording groves of myrtle and secular pine 
in kilometers. For six days we milled around forts, 
bays, and bare, gold dunes stormed and conquered 
too often to accurately count 
on the island shaped like a foot, no, the print 
of a foot—God’s, in fact. 
Or so the locals say. 
                                    At the rough, southern tip 
where the limestone runner’s heel 
would have first struck, we break bread 
at the wobbly table we’ve claimed as our own 
for the last time and take in every detail: 
the sleepy violets on the table, 
the handmade menus that smell like fish, 
which is to say fresh 
off the boat, and the waiter, 
the lanky one missing teeth 
whose mouth sounds like a piano 
tuned for serenades, 
who is flirting with you 
while I sit and grin 
as I imagine Odysseus must have grinned 
at his wife’s bold suitors 
because we are in the birthplace 
of the dropwort after all, that sweet 
ditch-daisy Carthaginians brewed 
for criminals and the elderly, 
who, knowing no better drank it 
and danced as their faces twisted 
into a smile Socrates would have known, 
that tender old clown 
who saw the humor in death, 
who would have seen the wisdom 
of spending the last of our jigsawed days 
feasting and raising our glasses 
to the most merciful god of glee 
until laughter did us part.  



Circus Pony

What joy to say our short, winter days 
are behind us now. Gone the old life we filled 
with empty laughter, the times we’d pack 
the backseat with every hitchhiking clown 
we happened upon—our record was eight 
until the year our fathers died. Gone 
the red-nosed hours, our grotesque smiles 
drawn large and wide, when we rehearsed 
our cold routines of “Hey, are you ok?” and “Fine. 
I’ll be fine.” Remember the long seconds—three 
slow ones in all—before your face 
that took an hour to apply turned grave 
or the look you wore, sadder than any clown’s 
in the rain, that was my cue to knit my brow 
and continue fumbling with the three-sizes-too-small 
hammer you handed me so I could once more fix 
the swaybacked rocking horse we purchased 
to ward off an unspoken future in which we 
are continents apart, surrounded by our hungry 
new families as we slice and dismantle 
the same braised roast and lament how 
we could have let hope stray, how the story 
of our lives might have been different 
if it had contained, however lame, something 
we could have ridden into the sunset on.    








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