sábado, 7 de noviembre de 2015

RUBÉN QUESADA [17.414] Poeta de Estados Unidos

Rubén Quesada (Foto por Sam Logan)

Rubén Quesada 

Poeta latino de EE.UU., traductor, crítico y editor. Doctorado en Inglés por la Texas Tech University y M. F A. en Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts from University of California, Riverside.

Autor de Next Extinct Mammal (Greenhouse Review Press), traductor de Luis Cernuda, Exiled from the Throne of Night (Aureole Press), Director editorial y fundador de Stories & Queer, un espacio artístico de creación  sin ánimo de lucro en comunidades locales para personas homosexuales y de color con difusión online y archivo digital.

Fundador del Codex Journal, es editor de poesía para The Cossack Review y Cobalt Review, y escritor para Luna Luna Magazine. Actualmente está editando la antología,  Latino Poetics (University of New Mexico Press, forthcoming). 

Latino Poetics es una colección que recoge pensamientos alrededor de la poesía latina, su naturaleza y función. La antología recoge ensayos sobre la poesía de poetas latinos, nuevos, emergentes y ya establecidos. Útil tanto para lectores nóveles como para profesores de poesía, así como para cualquiera interesado en el lugar de la poesía latina en los Estados Unidos. Es profesor asistente de Inglés y escritura creativa para las artes performativas en  Eastern Illinois University. 

Chica con oración

Cuando caigo    de agotamiento
Regresa el mismo sueño. Soy un niño doblando
     La esquina camino a casa. Hay luz pero el sol no brilla. Se esconde
                               Detrás de un lienzo gris de nubes. Un cruce familiar a mi izquierda
Que lleva
a una tienda de barrio. He estado aquí muchas veces.
                               El día se detiene. Entonces escucho
 Un grito
Detrás de mí. Cuánta gente grita.
                Una niña de doce años ha cruzado la calle
Y es atropellada y arrastrada
                Por un coche a la fuga. Su rostro magullado,
Brazos destrozados hasta el hueso; entonces mi madre la ayuda a salir
A la cuneta. Y de nuevo, todo en silencio;
                Lentamente el padrenuestro rompe sus labios partidos
Mientras nosotros perdonamos a aquellos que nos ofenden.

Paisaje de invierno

                La última vez que nos separamos miré por encima de ti
                Mientras ibas a casa para ver la nieve

                En la cuneta—parches de acera que brillaban

                Radiantes como el fondo inacabado de una pintura;
                Tu sonrisa desabotonada un copo frágil deshaciéndose

                En la distancia. Un ancho pedazo de nubes se cernía
                En lo alto—las sombras nocturnas te abrazaban
                Junto a un arce. Empezabas a desaparecer

                En el fondo, tus vaqueros desatando
Una tormenta eléctrica de retorcidas costuras amarillas, dando puntadas
                Crepitando muslos abajo. El sol enrojecido desnuda

                El cielo; ramas como cuervos nos despiden.

Paisaje antillano [1]

                Este pueblo no necesita ventanas
                -nunca las necesitó. Lo mejor son los días de viento
                Cuando el olor de los lirios de las Antillas o el petricor
                Resbala sobre mí como el espejismo de un cálido día
                De verano. Me acuesto y escucho pasar los burros. Más allá
                De la amplitud de mis rodillas extendidas
                Imagino un futuro donde las nubes caen del cielo
                Con forma de olivos a la orilla del mar. En el futuro
                Todos los aviones caerán incontrolablemente de lo alto-
                Nubes de miembros humanos ensangrentados que luego se evaporan
                En ceniza. Estoy repleto de miedo. Oigo el latigazo discordante
                De una espadaña que empuja a los bueyes hacia olas de espigas
                Como pinceles del horizonte que no pueden callar; cada áspera cabeza
                Fustiga, se balancea como el cuello flojo de un ganso muerto. Soy
                Ingrávido en mi pensamiento. Cierro los ojos. Huelo una rosa marina.

[1] Inspirado en Pissarro
*Traducción de Alberto Villamandos

Girl with Prayer

When I fall          from exhaustion
     the same dream comes. I am a child turning
the corner toward home. It is light out but the sun does not shine. It hides
                behind a gray canvas of clouds. A familiar crosswalk is to my left
                toward a convenience store. I’ve been here many times. 
                               The day is still. Then I hear
from behind me. So many people scream.
                                A twelve-year-old girl has crossed the street 
                then she is hit and dragged
                                                    by a runaway car. Her face bruised,
arms blasted to bone; then my mother helps her off the street
to the curb. And again, everything is silent;
                slowly the Lord’s Prayer ruptures her split lips
as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Winter Landscape
The last time we parted I looked past you
as you headed home to see the snow bank

along the curb—patches of sidewalk glowing

brightly like the unfinished foreground of a painting;
your unbuttoned smile a fragile flake melting

in the distance. A wide hunk of clouds hovered

above—night’s shadows embraced you
beneath a sugar maple. You began to fade

into the background, your blue jeans stirring

an electric storm with yellow wiry seams, stitching
sizzling down your thighs. The blushing sun undresses

the sky; branches like scarecrows wave goodbye.

Antilian Landscape

This town has no need for windows
—it never has. What’s best is on windy days
when the smell of Antilles lilies or petrichor
washes over me like an illusion of a warm summer
day. I lie and hear the donkeys pass. Beyond
the amplitude of my outstretched knees
I imagine a future where clouds fall from the sky
in the shape of sea side olive trees. In the future
all planes will fall uncontrollably from above—
clouds of bloodied body parts and then evaporate
into ash. I am filled with fear. I hear the discordant whip
of a cattail push oxen forward into the failed hushing
waves of grain brushing the horizon; each coarse head
whips, pivots like the loose neck of a dead goose. I am
weightless in thought. My eyes close. I smell a sea rose.

(from Next Extinct Mammal )


                        City of Bell
Every morning, I discovered the artichoke colored walls
that had been painted and repainted, again and again,
to conceal the names of Tortilla Flats or Grape Street
gangs. Inside, a toothsome smell—dust and incense—
as if ashes of locos and homies had been put to rest
on countertops and floors. As if nobody dared pass
through the glass double doors, not for a gallon of milk,
nor a suitcase of Coors. All year round above the register
hung a Kung Hei Fat Choy sign and at the end of every aisle
sat a golden Buddha, an altar with incense haunting us
through the night. And for twenty years or more
it stood like a waning Godzilla with a sign on the door
in creamy vanilla that read: Yes, we cash checks!

(Previously appeared at THEthepoetry )


            After Jacques-Louis David's Oath of the Horatii
And there once was a time on earth when giants and gods prevailed. But here
decisions about life are made by men who die for the sake of valor.
O, mortals, you women who hold back your gleaming hearts from cliffs' imminent with grief  
curb your cries and instead boldly speak; take the oath and follow into war!
Guard your men against death's wretched spell; unravel a shadow of black silk—
your body, a shadow fixed to sky, against him forged to die, arms outstretched
like curtains of thick lead to protect against blades. Atomic love, embrace
and conquer death's sharp edge with your voice; lay your curved silken skin onto his.  
Beloved, filled with light and twisted with torment, your spinning body cries
like a god out of time: Be brief, love! Jagged fiend, cut yourself out of me!

(Previously appeared at The Rumpus )


Antelucent, we lie—your body moons against mine. Earlier,
I stoked sweat on your neck in the humming of this light.
In the dark I listen, now resigned you mumble
about the arms of a pinyon pine, say it points to a falling star
against the bruised pool of sky. We hear the grackles crackle
above a church lot. Then headlights shine on your face
splitting your face, listless lips, half-open eyes—staring out
you wait for the occult wreckage of night to vanish from this world
holding out until its final moment, until you fall asleep
and get lost. Your body light like tulle carried off
by a strong current—taken from me—as I helix in the light.

(Previously appeared at Cimarron Review )


In this blood that haunts my skin,
in the folds of my brain are burrowed
the harrowed words to describe you.
And when the universe was young,
smooth and featureless, it possessed
the means to give you breath, to deliver
your body to me: an exchange of quantum
particles whose covalent bonds
were broken one cloudy afternoon
in your darkened room where the laughter
of the neighbor's dog forced you awake,
back to life from the ghost of heroin.
What more could the periodic table offer?
Already you were Nitrogen, Sulfur, even Gold.

(Previously appear in Pilgrimage Magazine )


Lord, you who
have never left me
like the fading shadows
that ascend at days
end. You settle
like a silent stone
in the sweet arteries
of my hand: golden
crocus forming
your forgotten body.
How it must feel
to let go of the light,
to submit to the fright
of being set free.
In praise of you
let me sing this once,
a glimmer
of your dying light,
a crown of fire
in the night.

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