martes, 16 de febrero de 2016

MARK WEISS [18.122]

Mark Weiss 

(Nueva York, Estados Unidos, 1943)
Mark Weiss es una figura visible en la escena poética neoyorkina y es autor de varios volúmenes de poesía entre los que cabe destacar su más reciente As landscape (Chax Press, 2010). 
Weiss, autor de seis libros de poemas, ha servido de traductor de autores como José Koser, cuyos poemas son a veces como juegos de palabras de muy difícil interpretación. Mark Weiss es el editor de The Whole Island: Six Decades of Cuban Poetry A Bilingual Anthology. University of California Press, 2009, 602 pp. Weiss ha hecho un esfuerzo gigantesco en recolectar poemas escritos en las últimas seis décadas.

En el exilio, ¿te cuentan cosas
horribles sobre tu tierra y
te retorcés las manos? ¿le das
la espalda y empezás, como quien dice, una
nueva vida?


Como si el lenguaje-del-cuerpo tuviera acentos,
que los tiene, el extranjero fácilmente identificable
del otro lado del campo.

Pero aquí, mirando a la camarera irlandesa que espera el trago,
el brazo flexionado de tal modo que el antebrazo se apoya en el esternón,
curvada la muñeca, los dedos
jugueteando con un collar.
Uno pensaría que duele, pero la pose
tiene años de práctica detrás,
la línea que va del gesto a la danza,
de representación a enunciación.

Hablaba los gestos
de su tierra nativa.

Y aquella lo hacía después de tres generaciones.


De pronto me encuentro imaginando
a mis amigos descuartizados, des-
membrados, pesadillas del
noticiero de la noche,

e imagino las últimas palabras,
a Carlos anotándolas
porque yo estoy más allá de la escritura. "Siempre fui un
arlequín", digo,
demasiado absorto para encontrar la palabra justa.

Qué clase de legado sería ese,
con la suerte que he tenido:
todos los sonidos del mundo para elegir.


Siempre desconcertado por la exclusión de la pasión de la vida cotidiana.
Imposible imaginar cómo estallaría el instinto
a través de tales vidas, cubrirse,
una forma de negarse.


Incluso ahora tus labios recuerdan
cuando eran capullos.
Y yo recuerdo cuando decía
"Tus labios son capullos".


La cultura y su malestar.
Es cuestión de grado, no es cierto.
El tema es la complicidad, no es cierto.


Dos chicos en un porche oscuro
novian y fuman y tosen
enfrente, esperando que la noche y sus
brisas dispersen
toda prueba.


Poner nombre a un lugar por las primeras palabras oídas allí. Entonces
lo que llamo “granada” lo llamás
“rubicunda”, o “fue”, y el noviazgo deviene
intercambio de nombres.
Embelesado, qué encantador que lo que llamás
"cartapacio" yo llame
"peso", aunque ambos
nademos allí. Al traducir deseo,
echo mano a "porra", ese monte que
te encanta que toque, el izquierdo, y su compañero,


Cada palabra una suerte de conquista.

Mark Weiss (Nueva York, Estados Unidos, 1943)
Versión de Judith Filc

In exile do you hear
horrible stories from the homeland and
wring your hands? do you
turn your back and begin to make as they say
a new life?


As if body-language had accents,
which it does, the stranger easy to spot
across the field.

But here, watching the Irish barmaid wait for the drink, her arm
folded so that forearm rests against sternum, wrist
curled, her fingers
toying with a necklace.
One would have thought it painful, but the stance
has years of practice behind it,
the line from gesture to dance,
depiction to enunciation.

She spoke the gestures
of her native land.

And that other one did so after three generations.


I suddenly find myself imagining
my friends torn, dis-
membered, nightmares
from the evening news,

and imagine last words,
Carlos taking them down
because I'm beyond writing. “I have always been
a harlequin,” I say,
too distracted to find the right phrase.

What kind of legacy would that be,
lucky as I've been,
all the sounds of the world to choose from.


Always puzzled by the separation of passion from the everyday.
Impossible to imagine the way instinct could erupt
through such lives, clothing itself
a form of refusal.


Even now your lips remember
when they were blossoms.
And I remember when I would say
“Your lips are blossoms.”


Civilization and its discontents.
It's a matter of degree isn't it.
Complicity's the point isn't it.


Two kids on a dark porch
court and smoke and cough
across the street, expecting the night
and its breezes to disperse
whatever evidence.

Mark Weiss: 'Glass Palace,' 17 poems


What you need, he said,
is another trip to the edge
and beyond.

And I thought he was joking.


This fantasy that has deluded many,
that you could open the door and walk
into another place,
just like that.


It must have happened all the time, a woman
giving a child to the river. But the misery, to think
that chance could better care for it—the conditions of famine,
slavery and such—and the fantasy, that the child, rescued,
would come to recognize itself
at the last moment, and free the tribe
from its wretchedness. It must have been that commonplace
to become their story.


“See, we have horses.
Life is good.”


That red red rose is like my love:
thorns below and thorns above.


It's the snake, they think,
that renders tolerable
this insipid garden.


Moving her legs slowly against the water,
folding it.
In gelid light
small tufts
on either side.


Shock of the ocotillo's red spear
against the creosote's green and the yellow flowers
of brittlebush. Birds
melodically proclaim
there's a stranger here, while insects,
wild with delight,
bid me welcome as a source of liquid.

And the bees
suck at the mud where the stream
had overflowed its banks.


Oedipus the Riddle Solver becomes the answer
to the plague's question:
“What sleeps with his mother
and murders his father?


The pace of change being what it is
the homeland you dreamed of
is no longer there.
Like Troy to the Trojans, no stone
left as a marker.


Whose greatest worry was to paint the petal
just so.

A decent restraint,
when the moon seems the largest thing.


Stunned into numbness,
into silence.
Who could have imagined
any of it?


Tastes like rabbit, the fox thinks,
slinking from the hen-house.


There's many a slip
twixt the clop and the clip.

We call it luck
to die by increments.


Dressed for the bridal bed
her shawl became the sky, her gown
the sea.


I imagined a broken glass thing
inside me.

My grandmother had a clock
built of mirrors in the form
of a palace. In my first
memory it was broken
and dangerous.
Lovely, the way it glinted.

This was the broken thing
I had imagined.


You may go on to other things
now that you understand the mysteries.

The daily miracle and the daily curse.

Something about the dance
or stagger
of anxiety.

A NOTE IN THE PLACE OF A POETICS. Put two things next to each other and a third thing happens. Sometimes a series of short poems create their own world, but fragmented, like reflections on shards of glass. (M.W.)

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