sábado, 5 de marzo de 2016



Nacido el 4 de junio de 1974 en Shreveport, Louisiana, EE.UU., se crió en Baytown, Texas. En 2001, dejó su posición como asistente ejecutivo de una empresa biomédica en Gig Harbor, Washington,  y vendió o entregó todo lo que tenía, y se instaló en un Honda Civic para recorrer lugares de poesía de América del Norte. 
Tres veces campeón del mundo de "Poetry Slam".

La reparadora de guitarras

Mi madre me dijo,
Si te conviertes en un rock star
no destroces la guitarra.
Afuera hay muchos niños pobres 
que no tienen nada
y lo ven absurdo
pues todo lo que quieren es tocar la cosa esa.
Mijo, más te vale dejarlos tocar.

Si ella, algún día, mete su cuchara en una de estas lecturas,
mejor te vas arrimando una silla, mano,
porque mamá no maneja la versión abreviada.

Hay días que se preocupa tanto por mí 
que me siento como si mirara los limpiaparabrisas
ir y venir a máxima velocidad
en una ligera llovizna,
y tengo que decirle: MA.

Ella nació para ser tranquila, banda, lo juro,
pero algunos de nosotros fuimos educados en hogares
donde despreocupado es una marca de chicle o un pantiprotector,
y la única chance de salir es caminando más rápido.

Esa doña puede correr. En tacones altos. De espaldas.
Mientras revisaba otra vez mi tarea, reventaba
mi burbuja, juntaba monedas para asegurar
que tuviera dinero para mi lonch, y se arreglaba para
ir, en su único día libre, a una junta escolar y así poderle decir
a la señora Goss, la maestra de música,

Si vuelve a tocar a mi hijo, gorda,
le haré rebotar un martillo en sus dedos.

La recuerdo haciendo todo rápidamente
y con una sonrisa. Usaba trajes sastre de tiendas 
de segunda mano, espléndida
y distinguidamente, para cubrirse las cicatrices de la carretera
que corrían por su columna. Hay accidentes
que no necesitas ver, morboso.
Sigue avanzando,
que así lo hizo ella. 
Está viva
y es famosa.

Podríamos extender los lienzos de Van Gogh en carteles publicitarios
desde Kilgore, Texas, a Binghampton, Nueva York,
y, aún así, no hallarán las brillantes pinceladas
que se requieren para ser una madre soltera, que sacrifica
la mejor parte de sus sueños para criar a un niño
al cual, casi todos los días,
probablemente quiera estrangular.

Discutimos mucho. Por ejemplo: mamá cree que
es correcto mantener una conversación
hecha y derecha
a las 7 a.m.,
mientras que yo pienso que…
bueno, ¡ni siquiera pienso a las siete de la mañana!

Pero ambos admitimos que el amor no se equivoca,
así que, a la hora de dormir, cuando se le va acabando la pila
y yo sigo escribiendo sobre cómo logro acomodarme
en esta piel que ella me dio,
veo a los rock stars destrozando sus guitarras en el escenario
y es ahí cuando quiero buscarles una silla cómoda
y darles un tentempié 
e introducirlos a la luz del día…

Les presento a mi madre

Tresa B. Olsen

Corredora del Turno Nocturno
Tomadora de Temperatura
Dejadora de la Luz Encendida
Amante del Indefenso
Movedora de la Montaña
Ganadora de la Buena Vida
Guardiana del Cofre de la Esperanza
                             de Guitarras

y yo soy su hijo.

Buddy Wakefield.

Gracias a los creadores de la música y la metáfora,
toco una pluma eléctrica de broma,
pero hago mi mejor esfuerzo para mantener las palabras a raya,
y uso un micrófono acolchado
para no herirlos,
porque a veces destrozo cosas
y no quisiera nunca decepcionarla.

(Traducción de Javier Taboada)

Guitar repair woman

My mother told me,
If you ever become a rock star
don’t smash the guitar.
There are too many other poor kids out there 
who have nothing
and they see that nonsense
when all they wanna do is play that thing.
Boy, you better let them play.

If she ever starts in on one of these lectures
your best bet is to pull up a chair, chief 
‘cause Momma don’t deal in the abridged version. 

She worries about me so much some days
it feels like I’m watching windshield wipers 
on high speed 
during a very light sprinkle
and I gotta tell’er, MOM.

She was born to be laid back, y’all, I swear
but some of us were brought up in households 
where carefree is a stick of gum, or a panty liner,
and the only option for getting out is to walk faster.

That woman can run. In high heels. Backwards.
While double checking my homework, bursting 
my bubble, rolling enough pennies to make sure 
that I have lunch money, and preparing for a meeting 
at my school on her only day off so she can tell 
Mrs. Goss the music teacher, 

If you ever touch my boy again, big lady, 
I’ll bounce a hammer off your fingers.

I remember her doing these things swiftly 
and with a smile in discounted thrift store 
business suits that she wore just bright 
and distinguished enough to cover up 
thirty years of highway scars truckin’ 
through her spine. Some accidents 
you don’t need to see, rubbernecker.
Keep movin’
because she made it.
She’s alive
and she’s famous.

We can stretch Van Gogh paintings on billboards
from Kilgore, TX to Binghamton, NY
and you still won’t find the brilliant brush strokes 
it takes to be a single mother, sacrificing 
the best part of her dreams to raise a baby boy 
who, on most days,
she probably wants to strangle.

We disagree a lot. For instance: Mom still thinks 
it’s okay to carry on a conversation 
full throttle
at 7 a.m.
whereas I think…
Oh, I don’t think at seven in the morning!

But we both agree that love makes no mistakes
so at night time, when she’s winding down 
and I’m still writing books about how to get comfortable 
in this skin she gave me,
I see rock stars on stages smashing guitars 
and it is then I wanna find them a comfortable chair 
get them a snack
and introduce them to daylight…

This is my mother.

Tresa B. Olsen

Runner of the Tight Shift
Taker of the Temperature
Leaver of the Light On
Lover of the Underdog
Mover of the Mountain
Winner of the Good Life
Keeper of the Hope Chest

and I am her son.

Buddy Wakefield. 

I play a tricked-out electric pen
thanks to the makers of music and metaphor
but I do my best to keep the words in check
and I use a padded microphone
so I don’t hurt you
because sometimes, I smash things
and I don’t ever wanna let her down.

A Hole In God

from Gentleman Practice

you appeared like a body bag
fulla hymnal books
unzipped in half I
never saw so many door jams fall
outta anyone’s mouth
into math like that when
Tennessee put its crooked smile
on a wadded up map
and sent you packin’
gospel gospel got god
stuck to the rock he made and
and he mighta made it larger than us
or it mighta served to save this place
sure I coulda swore I heard you calling
for a shot at a grip on vice
doesn’t mean your mouth was moving
doesn’t mean I even heard you right
all I know is that your skin keeps calling
and I don’t care if it’s a busted flint
‘cause every time you pull your thumb down on it
I get [up up] back up to my feet
all of them
move move
like an offering plate
on’m one by one
it’s a penchant for a savior
a tendency to over – run
whatever shook do not get shook up
whatever’s lost you don’t get lost
even if they say you must give more than
everything you ever offered up
I know a voice does not come easy
I know the words fell out in bites
I know the moment when the
abandonment looked a lot like flight
you pulled whatever got left
out right

We Were Emergencies

from Gentleman Practice

We can stick anything into the fog
and make it look like a ghost
but tonight
let us not become tragedies.
We are not funeral homes
with propane tanks in our windows,
lookin’ like cemeteries.
Cemeteries are just the Earth’s way of not letting go.
Let go.
let’s turn our silly wrists so far backwards
the razor blades in our pencil tips
can’t get a good angle on all that beauty inside.
Step into this
with your airplane parts.
Move forward
and repeat after me with your heart:
“I no longer need you to fuck me as hard as I hated myself.”
Make love to me
like you know I am better
than the worst thing I ever did.
Go slow.
I’m new to this.
But I have seen nearly every city from a rooftop
without jumping.
I have realized
that the moon
did not have to be full for us to love it,
that we are not tragedies
stranded here beneath it,
that if my heart
really broke
every time I fell from love
I’d be able to offer you confetti by now.
But hearts don’t break,
they bruise and get better.
We were never tragedies.
We were emergencies.
You call 9 – 1 – 1.
Tell them I’m having a fantastic time.

Print Flocking

from Last American Valentine Anthology

He wrote to you with firecracker chalk
on a blackboard background
from a free-standing landing pad
held together by choir claps
over buttercups spraying
out the mouths of doves.
Getting to his point
would require starting over
at the outer loop
of your ripple effect
swinging monkey bar style
arm over arm
parallel to parallel
minding the gaps.
it takes a deeper breath
to hover on holy
against the current.
He wasn’t falling out of love with you.
He was falling out of ways to tell you.

Healing Hermann Hesse

from Live For A Living

Hermann wants to eat nicotine
He asks
for a lot.
He paces space to make himself nervous
because some people are better at surviving than living.
If you wanna get heavy
he’ll teach you.
He knows it.
Spends his time falling from the weight.
Got a lead brain.
It’s a battle magnet.
He carries it around by the guilt straps.
Don’t laugh.
You didn’t see the size of the blizzard that birthed him.
Fits of snow.
Cotton rocks.
Whipped white bullet stretches
pinned with chips of teeth
to his habit of crying for help.
He doesn’t land well. Hates landing.
It reminds him of not living up.
Listen, I know there were days you wanted to die.
Hermann will not bow down to gravity,
he catches up to himself mid-air
just before the ground smacks.
they call’im.
Sharp Turner.
Nothing touches the ground here.
Ground is at capacity.
He sees that.
He falls back.
He patches parachutes together with a kite knife.
It’s big enough to raise him in the updrafts
where he hides himself away in the angles of air
outlined by his knack for believing
that this life
it’s gonna work itself out.

In Landscape

from Gentleman Practice

There is a chance
you will show up laughing
made of fortified fan blades and Ferris wheel lights
true of heart and best foot forward
our long-awaited love made easy,
remember for sure no doubt these things:
The joy,
we are a point of complete.
This life,
standing guard over your solitude.
My eyes
are monsters for most things approaching.
I’m probably gonna need a hand with that.
This heart.
This sleeve.
Neither one of them things is all that clean.
But the rain,
my lucky number,
been doin’ her part to make things right
for the light bulbs
and the bruises.
Hiding holy water was not my forte this life.
is French
for blanket fort.
I have trusted my corners to revolving doors
but am fluent in getting better.
We are fluent in bouncing back,
lifting quickly,
learning fast.
Our courage
is a natural habitat.
Ya know we’re gonna build a body to keep the wolves out.
Hold my house
you humble barbarian,
this door only opens for the remarkable now.
So we will both show up remarkable.
Speak your piece from the I can do anything.
Say it clearly.
Follow through
on runways,
in turbulence.
There is a book
living inside your chest
with dilated instructions
on how to make a safe landing.
It was written
for crash landers.
Thank you.
I am coming home to listen.
It is time.
forgive me my distractions.
There’s a freckle on your lip.
It is a national archive.
Give it to my ear
so you can see what I mean.
Here hold my breath
I will be right back.
There are gifts
hidden beneath these lungs.
Slide your hand over my mouth
and I will speak them
in hang glider,
in hilltop,
from the loyalty of a landscape,
silk in a sandpaper offering plate,
the jacket on a handsome man.
That lip
Sweet Grape, you cannibal,
kiss my eyes
until they see what it is that I wish to write down:
Your name.
Film strips of prayer.
Ribbons of a garden in stereo.
Driftwood welded to the guesthouse.
Ringfinger wrapped in a horseshoe nail.
I will meet you by the eighth day dream
in the wide open purpose of a locomotive coming
to a stand still with the sea,
like thumb
on pulse
you watch
what happens
when the air
into suction cups
opening up to breathe,
like the love in my lungs
took the tip of my tongue
and finally taught it how to read,
you five-acre ladder-backed pearl book pouring
from a pileated chest of Earth.
I know our story may look like octopus ink
to the rest of the breath in this world
(flying in under the radar
holding to a pattern of worth).
Come closer you guest of honor.
Chickens stay off the porch
in quiet,
in kindly.
We are the house gift-wrapped in welcome mats.
Your dinner’s on the table in thanks of that
and the loaves of chocolate toast,
the Book of Job and of Jet Propulsion,
raincoats floating in a rocket ship,
playing naked checkers in bed.
It is an utterly epic arrival
every time I get to see you again.
God, this is what I was talking about
for like 37 years,
a true story,
of oceanthroat,
of grace,
the holy goodness glory
I was praying to your face,
My Man,
this is what I meant
and this is what I’m meant to do
so sit me down inside us now
and let me praise the greatest good in you
by laying down my weapons
including the shield,
in rest,
on cue, my friend,
you came
your name
well lit,
stenciled on the walls of Fremont County
years before we even met
in landscape,
in scope
and so,
wing tipped,
I wrote it
down to the ground you walk on
with the heels of my helium shoes,
“Put your ear to the sky
and listen my darling,
everything whispers I love you.”


No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario