domingo, 7 de febrero de 2016

KENNETH POBO [18.082] Poeta de Estados Unidos

Kenneth Pobo

Poeta de Estados Unidos.
Profesor de Inglés y escritura creativa en la Universidad de Widener. 
A lo largo de su carrera, Pobo, un residente de Middletown, Pa., Ha publicado más de 25 libros de poesía y ficción corta, además de un sinnúmero de poemas y piezas de ficción flash en periódicos y revistas literarias. Es el ganador de 2009 Main Street Rag Poetry Chapbook Contest, the 2011 Qarrtsiluni Poetry Chapbook Contest and the 2013 Eastern Point Press Chapbook Award. 
Pobo obtuvo su licenciatura en Inglés de Wheaton College y su maestría y doctorado en Inglés de la Universidad de Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

traducción de Lucas Mertehikian


En el trabajo ella es un juego
que los hombres juegan mientras cargan cajas,
su hogar, abarrotado, ruidoso.

Ella y su amante navegan
bajo un arco elevado
hacia un archipiélago,

un verano corto,
un fósforo que alguien sopla.
Acabada la comida ella regresa

al continente
con un niño. A lo oscuro.
Invierno. Aburrida,

busca hombres.
El sol, encarcelada en la nieve—
otros crían a su hija.


Sueño que estoy con otro hombre.
El que conocí en la sección de muebles
del Boscov’s
sobre un sillón color chicle.

Yo digo que ya tengo un tipo. Él dice
¿y qué? Sorprendido, me despierto,

todavía dormís. La vida
vuelve a la normalidad. Gatos. Café.
Los Dark Five Clark a un play de distancia.
El fantasma de una flor de luna
de fines de verano en el porche.


Buenas tardes, amigo. ¿Hace cuánto
estás aquí? ¿Más de 100 años?
Te entiendo. Y no te entiendo,
en partes iguales.

Somos camaradas.
¿No dormimos juntos, una vez,
compartimos un sueño, extático,
tenebroso? Quería que volviera
pero estabas en New Jersey,

¿Has visto a Dios ya?
Escuché que ni siquiera cambia
los ceniceros. Vi,
creo, a Pedro estrechando la mano
de algunos visitantes,
un político ganándose a la multitud.

¿Qué? ¿Extrañás Long Island?
Yo le di una patada en el culo a Lisboa,
Después la alimenté con las mejores naranjas. Veo
que alguien espera para hablarte,
es apuesto, también. Traigo tu libro escondido,
tengo toda la eternidad para leerlo.
Nunca lo terminaré.


Yo tendré 70, vos 72. Nos imagino
en el porche, los gatos, que probablemente
nos sobrevivan, están atentos a las polillas.
Después de que digas que nunca encontraste
el lugar perfecto para plantar tomates
yo diré que nunca encontré el lugar perfecto
para plantar dalias. Dejemos de

buscar lugares perfectos, en el momento
en que una mariposa se dobla sobre una buddleja púrpura,
y después vuela. Nosotros seguimos sentados.

Kenneth Pobo is a master at writing the essential poem—every word counts. With a Keatsian sensibility, he draws our attention to the natural world, its rich diversity, the human condition, and how the nineteenth century’s industrial paradigm has produced the worst global threats, the politics of greed and violence, of our times.  As a poet, educator, gardener and social critic, Pobo’s sympathy for the victims of corporate exploitation are the materials of his poetic conscience. Imaginative, humorous, witty, ironic—Pobo uses his magic to wake the soul and stun the heart.   Without being judgmental, academic or didactic, he reminds us of what we all sadly lost to some alarm: Our humanity.  It’s always a pleasure to read and reread Ken Pobo’s work! 

The above poems were selected from Kenneth Pobo's new book, Glass Garden (Word Press;  2008.  To order Crazy Cakes: click Chapbooks.

Selected Poems from Kenneth Pobo's Glass Garden
and Crazy Cakes (chapbook)

The Call

At the window I check
for any sign of
a storm with tractor-sized

hail to plow fields
of roofs.  And lightning
that spills a silverware tray

over the county.  Sun
wobbles in, wind yawns,
and I go back to my book,

drop into a deep well
between chapters,
call and call.

Poetry Happens

Standing at our screen door,
we watch the poem walk
down Barren Road

not ugly,
but it thinks itself ugly.
Maybe in a store window's

reflection, the poem
sees no beautiful word
skin but a graveyard's

mossy stones
like those found Haworth
by the Bronte house.

The poem isn't strong
like a bodybuilder;
but strong like a single

feather that can stop
wind.  Or make wind
think that it has stopped.

Fork, Spoon and Knife

Weary, bleak and deconstructed,
he fears he's become a flat tire,
but he stands before his eight o'
clock class, and lectures on some dead
poems he once loved but hasn't read
in years, wishes he could retire
but he's got twenty years to go,
his belly of ashes, not fire,

there's only so much literature
can do, he thinks, while preaching how
several texts have saved his life,
but he turned them into tenure
and spends most evenings alone now,
talking to his fork, spoon and knife.

Yellow Robe

I stand under a bald lamp
waiting for an aspirin
moon to sink into
midnight's glass. Wind curls

up underwear, flings
my robe's sash over asters
in an autumn garden—

covered by the vast umbrella
of a yellow dream,
we whistle as a train
rumbles out of
a sleeve.


We breathe in
their brevity.  Some

get only one day,
a single hour
with the sun just right,
wind silent
as a skull.

Others last longer:
the dahlia pitching
red on the sky,
candytuft clutching
earth's rattle.

They must go,
fall where no eye
can see,
without pity,
without color.

March Garden

Knees wet, I pull
winter's corpse off cold
leaves—a goofy Goliath,

I almost crush a daffodil shoot,
uncover a busy columbine
near purple sun-grabby crocuses.

The Mirandy rose sprouts
on many canes.  Sweatpants
soaked, I lean over

thumb-sized stems—
four grape hyacinths
toss blue on overcast sky.


from hard
a singular
of purple
or apricot
so much fight
under snow
they know
they must


In the Iraq War,
women, kids,
whole faces
scraped off—

in living rooms
across "the greatest country
in the world,"
TV beams
gadgets, creams,
ways to soften

Network War Coverage

When news personalities show up
at the bank to cash their paychecks,
tellers say, "Would you like that in blood
or bone?"  Indignant as unfed venus flytraps,
they say, "We'd like it in American money."

"We have no money, not for you,
we're very sorry."

Cameras off, they march out of the banks
weeping—news personalities can't be
caught crying. Viewers want tough anchors.
After a good night's rest, they stop
at the bank on the way to the studio.

"Blood," one tells the teller.
"Bone," says another.

They load their trunks with their earnings,
think about how to ask the boss
for a raise.

U.S. Government Response to Katrina

Wow, what great news! You mean
a bunch of poor blacks
drowned and lost their homes?  How many?
Fewer votes against us to worry about.

But what to do about the homeless
survivors?  The Astrodome!
They're poor anyway
and like being together.
Most enjoy sports.  They'll be fine.

I wish more storms would hit—if only
we could tilt them toward all cities,
wipe out the unchristians, minorities,
a buttload of Democrats.  Let's pray.

Dear Jesus, please destroy our enemies.
Send bigger storms.  We ask this
in your holy name, amen.


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