Patrick Ryan Frank
Patrick Ryan Frank nació y se crió en Michigan. Estudió poesía y dramaturgia en la Universidad de Northwestern, la Universidad de Boston, y el James A. Michener Centro de Escritores de la Universidad de Texas. Es el beneficiario de becas del Consejo de Massachusetts Cultural, el Vermont Studio Center, el Nelson Centro Kimmel Harding para las Artes, el Woodstock Byrdcliffe Gremio, y el Centro de Trabajo de Bellas Artes en Provincetown, Massachusetts. Fue recientemente un Fulbright Fellow en Islandia, donde escribió poemas sobre derretimiento de los glaciares, dioses nórdicos, y el fin del mundo.
EL LECTOR AMATEUR
Y el mar
Alguna vez, quise ser Hemingway.
Pero lo mismo hacía Hemingway. Es un acto difícil –
Simples hechos revestidos de arte, y en cualquier caso,
¿quién obtiene lo que desea? ¿Y luego a quién le importa?
¿Qué cosa puede importar si el agua a tus pies
se está escapando sin ti? Hice crecer mi barba
y compré un pequeño bote a crédito, lo llamé
como yo y lo pinté todo de azul,
y luego nos pusimos a la mar. Y cuando hay calma
y cuando ha salido el sol, desaparecemos.
Nos hemos ido. ¿Qué otra cosa podía hacer?
Traducido por Roberto Zeballos
The Opposite of People
“Makeover”, from The Opposite of People:
I'm only this, and this is not enough.
Because each body is an accident.
Because my body is the opposite
of mystery, and yet I cannot solve
myself. I will not know until I'm shown.
Because I want to step into a life
as a wealthy woman steps into a store.
Because the fountain's full of coins already,
and the escalator doesn't pause its glide
upward into grace. I will be more
than what I seem. My heels on the marble floor
will sound like every door in hell thrown wide.
How The Losers Love What's Lost
“Ghosts”, from How The Losers Love What's Lost :
Each of them missed his moment, felt it pass
like a body moving through an unlit room.
The grandfather clock clicks through the minutes, bangs
the hours, and they, in their old-fashioned hats
and dull black jackets, pace the upstairs halls,
practicing the words they should have said:
another Stop , another I'll sober up .
And in their murky heads, they run through all
the cues they missed, the marks they didn't hit.
Some times—on certain weeknights when it's rained—
they gather in attics, unused nurseries,
and they rehearse like actors. Together, they sit
and thumb their scripts, dog-eared and yellow. The play
is titled Living , and it starts in the dark
with a knock on a heavy door. Then, a voice:
: Darling, darling, I have something to say.
LANDSCAPE WITH QUESTIONS
Another minivan abandoned off
the off-ramp. Someone said I’ve had enough
and left, just left, and left the radio on
and singing baby, baby, you’re the one.
And who is that when there is no one there?
God, like everybody else, is scared
of everybody else, and trying to hide.
So smoke. So black-winged drones. So so much light
at such strange angles that make the empty hand
look full, look like a fist. Look out at the land.
It isn’t barren, so why does it feel so bare?
The churches are full of people, so are the bars—
the life’s work of the dead. So which lives matter?
Ask the glass and blacktop; you’ll get no answer.
Marilyn Monroe and Truman Capote Dance
—El Morocco, New York, 1955
Darling, let’s forget the details, dull
as they always are: who’s here and not, the room
as hot as breath and the orchestra lisping through
another number about love and harmless fun.
Let’s someday remember it better, romantically vague.
Let’s say I wanted to dance and so did you,
not pressed by the others together, no picture taken
of us spun drunken out from what’s behind
our looks and jokes and what is said, the sum
of all this goddamn work. Just a dance—
just sweet, like everybody sweetly else,
a man and woman sweetly moved. I know
no one forgets the ugly things they’ve known,
and yes, I know that love, for us, is sweat
and panic and some cameras, but it’s still love,
and we’ve done nothing wrong. So let them laugh
and then forget it all: those drinks and pills,
hands wet, that man who, grinning, made us dance
so here we are, we’re dancing. Let’s just pretend
that one of us—who would remember who?—
slipped through the grand and glittered dark and said,
Hello, fella. Hello and take my hand.
Patrick Ryan Frank’s first collection of poetry, How the Losers Love What’s Lost, won the Four Way Books Intro Prize for Poetry. This fall, he is traveling to Iceland as a Fulbright Scholar.
There is nothing that I cannot show you,
no face nor body, hour of any day,
no place too far or strange for me to reveal
among the permutations of my light,
penumbras, focus and the turning reel.
Though we will never meet, I will know you
when you settle in your seat and the fugitives hide
and a green car idles in an alleyway;
while always I in my Plutonic dark—
unknown, unknowingly beloved—work
lavishly my magic with my lamp
and lens and spool. Look, the lovers linger
on a hushed side street. Look, the enemy camp.
And here you are, rushing between my fingers.
[From Confrontation 115]
— The fear of rape.
They took her out to the field in a new black truck
that smelled like apples and the denim
of a young man’s thigh. They turned the engine off
but left the radio on, the headlights lighting
the woods to the west, toward the mountains, then
to California. They laid her down
and tied her hands over her head with field-grass.
She could have pulled them free, no problem,
ripped the roots right out of that soft dark dirt.
They told her she was beautiful.
They took off their shirts. She saw the black of their arms
backlit in gold by the truck’s headlights.
One of them started to crack a joke, but stopped
halfway in. They took off her shoes
and touched her ankles, but only barely. She waited
for them to lift the hem of her skirt
but they were scared and it was cold out there.
She arched her back and held her breath,
eyes closed, but they kept saying they were sorry.
She told them to shut the fuck up, and if
they started to cry, she’d kill them and take the truck
and no one in town would ever know.
While they were kicking off their jeans, so slowly,
she listened to the radio
and the cicadas whirring like the circular saws
in the highschool shop, and a distant hum
that might have been a train if any trains
still ran anywhere nearby.
It must have been a plane somewhere way up
overhead, though she couldn’t tell
because it was cloudy and dark, which bothered her;
she’d wanted them to see her face
moonlit and cold, staring up as they did it,
impossible to ever forget.