jueves, 31 de marzo de 2016

MARY-JANE NEWTON [18.349]


Mary-Jane Newton  

Nació en la India y creció en Alemania. Es autora de dos colecciones de poesía,  Of Symbols Misused (2011) and Unlocking (2013), ambos publicados por Proverse Hong Kong, y su trabajo ha sido publicado en numerosas revistas literarias y antologías internacionales. Es directora editorial en Macmillan Publishers China y actualmente vive en Hong Kong con su marido y su hija.


Traducciones de Ricardo Rubio

Asesinato

si estás enferma
quizás la luna
solo sea po-po-poesía
y yo sea la cura
que asimiles
descártenlos
treinta balas
para el rey
treinta consonantes
consumidas, conspiradas
y en su sangre
la reina
debe unir con líneas de sable
la surcada
piel desnuda
un parásito
y tú y
palabras nada más
que picazón inútil
bailando con tus
correligionarios
después de haber irrumpido
en el palacio
dedos refregando ojos
estómagos atiborrados
mira por ti mismo
el futuro
en los astros
está abierta y desnuda
liberada y cantando



El cometa

                             para Saskia

Uno puede contar una historia
empezando por la mitad
empezando por el principio
o por el final
pero les contaré la mía
en pleno vuelo:
Cierto es que
el cometa destelló cruzando el cielo
como los hombres del Apocalipsis dijeron que lo haría,
comenzó un viento caliente
y las hojas de los sicomoros
yacían alrededor como
estrellas amarillas cortadas por niños inexpertos
Estuve expectante ante el suceso
y cuando sucedió
el instante heló mi sangre y
castañeteó sus dientes como un perro rabioso
y plantó un cometa del tamaño de un granero
justo en el centro
del baldío de nuestro barrio
Cuando llegó fue un siseo, una ráfaga,
una conmoción, una convulsión del corazón,
una lesión del tiempo
y los hombres del Apocalipsis
alzaron sus brazos y se sintieron aliviados y saludaron con prudencia
y tal vez debería decirles que, en realidad,
el cometa era una perla en mi pecho
que había caído y ostrado mi corazón
y tal vez debería decirles que, en realidad,
ustedes son el cometa
y que giré de mi post mortem
tomando el lugar del impacto
viendo el fin del mundo
y amando cada minuto



La cita

Te emplazan una cita
en la madrugada
en un hotel
y no puedes decir que no
tienes que ir
y cuando llegas
ahí está el mar de fondo y el reflujo de la pobreza
el sentido humano erosionado apestaba
se refregaron las caras contra
una antigua rueda de necesidades
los gritos atormentados de los bebés
las madres lavando enfermos en las piletas
y maleteros del infierno
soltando venenos, acarreando saliva
y hombres entre las piernas de mujeres delirantes
y luego te enteras
que los pasillos están llenos de sombras
y en las sombras cuelgan cuerpos incrustados el aire
los blancos asoman en sus ojos
las manos hinchadas y arrugadas las tripas
también cuelgan voces perdidas
suspendidas como ropa olvidada
puesta a secar
y maletas abandonadas llenas de vacío
pensamientos y risa
y el demonio presidiéndolo todo
está programado para llamarte por tu nombre
pero no ha pronunciado tu nombre
de modo que esperas y te asombras
y compruebas las puertas del hotel
pero ninguna está donde tiene que estar
y necesitas estar allí ahora
ya estás retrasado
y entonces es cuando empiezas a sospechar
que es una ruta espiralada dentro del alma de la oscuridad
y que se hunde hacia dentro
y tal vez tu nombre nunca se pronuncie
y nunca llegaste


Manos negras

Intenté correr pero mis piernas se quemaron y se derrumbaron;
Intenté volar pero mis alas fueron atadas con un hilo de veneno;
Intenté nadar, pero mi cuerpo era blando y se plegaba en el agua;
Intenté escalar, pero mis brazos fueron comidos por unas fauces con dientes afilados;
¿Quién me derritió?, ¿quién me rompió? ¿Quién dejó que mi núcleo se echara a perder?
Fuiste tú desde las sombras. El otro que intenta sobrevivir.
No hay nada tan triste como piernas que fracasan al correr, alas que no pueden volar.
¡Nada tan pobre como el corazón que llora, que puedo cambiar!
Nada tan negro como las manos que mantienen el secreto.
Te permito ser.




de Of Symbols Misused



Chess

A Love Poem

‘Peel it all away,’ I said to the pawn
who made this move and that,
‘To get to me,’ I added.
Sheepishly, I looked down onto
the white square that bore my feet.
It was those fantasies of
an aristocratic life that turned me
naked. A laughing stock.
‘And by the way, I love you.’
A roosting bird fell from its pole.
You moved to black. You drew from
your limbs an ace of hearts;
cornered my queen.
A sigh. Was it yours? Or mine?
Uncertain, I falter. The verb
‘To give’ is forbidden in this game,
that isn’t really a game. We know
that much. ‘I apologize,’ I said,
and mean it. But I dare you;
juxtapose a sickness after love!
My shame fades my desire.
The last move dawns.




If You Are a Poet

If you are a poet, kneel!
If you are a poet, wash your hands with oil.
Throttle the king;
love better the weak;
turn a blind and hungry eye.

If you are a poet, paint the dove white.
Spit in the yawn of my face.
Swallow the needles;
whisper to the Gods.

If you are a poet, bleed out;
forget the red silken band.
Watch the lazy clock;
miss the train.

If you are a poet, deny!

If you are a poet, sleep in the warmth of my lap.
Throw the piano;
bend the unbendable;
send back the message.

If you are a poet, sink in the shallow water;
slap your aching wrists;
look up to the liars;
smell the burnt air.

If you are a poet, shuffle the cards;
fly, fly like a drunken goose;
bury the treasure;
hold shut your heart.

If you are a poet, leave!

If you are a poet, return to your body.
Study the curved breast.
Lick the dry sand from your lips;
smile at the jester.

If you are a poet, draw longer your brow.
Plunge deeper the dagger;
lose your temper;
follow the wild stallion.

If you are a poet, take the blame:
march on the barren fields,
set free the broken birds,
lie still in your pain.

If you are a poet, wane with the moon!

If you are a poet, tie me to the mast.
Meet me half way,
drink the full cup,
set fire

to your
weary
body.





The Snowberry in Me

Barren the stalk, the air is clear —
delicate and small, yet dangles the berry,
beguiled. Ice-cold fragrance hugs
a jam-packed silver void.
Silken, fragile, the berry’s sheer skin —
both taut and tender in my mind,
bounds a baleful, inward tug —
the pull of netherwordly time.
Vitreous roots swallow the light,
leaves, ironclad, shimmer and glisten,
the calyx, leaf fibres, close-packed and lucent:
this phlegmatic solitude defines the I.
Your love is my frost.
I carry your winter within me.




The Toecutter

We see how the drowsing harbour sinks its mist in morning gold
and how shipyard workers smell of salt and rusty nail.
Fishermen’s wives gut through another day’s produce, while
blue-green algae sprawl on ship bows and on granite block.
The Toecutter is in town. He hastens, head down,
hands in pockets, his arms exposing kaleidoscopic totems
of a tattooed glory. He has opened the box. The box of boxes.
The box nobody dared unbolt before. Its lid a weary load,

still in his hands as words once spoken now seek him
like a shoal of spectres. He halts, rests his finger and
closes it again, an act little more than wishful thinking.
He hastens, head down, hands in his pockets, along a littered street.

And he enters the house, her house, takes the lift and watches
numbers light up in their ascension; 14 … 15 … 16 …
He looks at the floor, at the ceiling; he stands stock still
and yet is always moving. He is a raging child, barely contained.

His body, rigid as a puppet, jerks toward her room.
He is on his way to surrender to his Old Lady. She almost
comforts, almost loves. He cannot get enough of her or his own
hope. He will see her again and count her amongst his wounded.

‘Poetry, or creativity like this has a short half life,’ he mutters in a tone
inhuman. Leaving the house he smiles like an old and flatulent
summer pond, more sunned upon than sunning. His Old Lady? She is
an echo and a buttress of his identity; an abstraction. The toe fell.

It was an accident, or so they say. He leaves, meanders, becoming
snagged among the barbs of one thought, getting lost in the
loops of the next. He is pained, we know it. The box pins him to
the ground, a wish to sail pricks him like an etherized needle.

He hastens again, head down, hands deep in his pockets.
The box weighs heavy in his trousers, stashed. The skin on his forearm
ripples like a purse of rolling marbles in a sagging bag of leather.
The toe?
It holds all human vanity. There can never be delicacy in repression.

The Toecutter, whose sharp intellect is captive to fleeting impressions,
cuts expressions, wields a willful wit. His compass is his enemy.
The box is his life’s prime vessel. He’ll hand it over, in barrels of mirth,
to those shipyard workers where he reigns triumphant,

or pack it in with the old fish guts of venom and acrimony.
To set such a soul, drunk with stasis and seduced by travel,
on the seas … That is a course and call, for creativity,
a short half life, and a toe severed.




UNLOCKING is Mary-Jane Newton’s second book of verse. In this vibrant new collection, Newton evokes a life experienced in cycles, characterized by peaks and troughs, fecundity and sterility, growth and retrenchment, optimism and despair. And punctuating these cycles, an infinite array of new beginnings, or openings, or “un-lockings”. The poems in this collection insist that unlocking concerns more than simply change and transition. It involves too the stretching of the mind and body, the catharsis of deep emotion, and the rethinking of ideas and habits.



Unlocking

I like it when the wind subsides
and the grass doesn’t move …
except that you feel a little left behind.

There is the smell of yellowed pages,
fresh bread, old summers, and childhood;
and the mills—their sails turning in the wind,
marking time—and the faded mansions, still beautiful.

Silent memories now, so far back;
it might as well be the beginning.
Memories I can’t quite trust,
shifting like clouds, talking over one another,
like wet gravel glinting under the sun.

You see it too; sharing it is the risk of darkening it,
of losing it forever.



Scales

— For Toby

Your rawness to break me open
like a ripe fruit; your wet flesh to
break me in, bring me thunder,
flush my cheeks;

your age to shape our lines of gold,
ceaseless rings of Saturn; your
tongue to draw the crimson
seeds of pomegranates;

your words to lie and speak
the deepest truth; your exuberance
to set me free, to join my broken
spine of pearl;

your thought to lash my blood,
my ice, my frenzy; your hands
to quench my thirst; your black
to douse my white.

Your salt to lick my wounds;
our communion to stir the devils,
crack the barrier of sound.
Our palms to meet,

our weights to shift
the scales of time and justice.





Waagschalen

Deine Rauheit um mich aufzubrechen
wie eine reife Frucht; Dein nasses Fleisch
um mich zu zähmen, um mir den Donner
zu bringen, meine Wangen zu röten;

Dein Alter um unsere goldenen Linien
zu formen, die endlosen Ringe des Saturn;
Deine Zunge um die purpurnen Samen
des Granatapfels zu zeichnen;

Deine Worte um zu Lügen und die tiefste
Wahrheit zu sprechen; Deinen Überschwang
um mich freizugeben, um die Perlen meines
zerbrochenen Rückgrats wieder zusammenzufügen;

Deine Gedanken um mein Blut aufzupeitschen,
und mein Eis, und meine Ekstase; Deine Hände
um meinen ewigen  Durst zu stillen;
Dein Schwarz um mein Weiß zu übergießen.

Dein Salz um meine Wunden zu lecken;
Unser Bund um die Teufel zu wecken,
die Schallmauer zu durchbrechen.
Unsere Handflächen um einander zu berühren,

Unser Gewicht, um die Waagschalen
der Zeit und Gerechtigkeit zu zerschmettern.




Metamorphosis

Und als ich aufsah, war sie nimmer da.
(Bertold Brecht — Erinnerung an Marie A.)

I looked up and saw a great white bird of prey
bulky, yet handsome, travelling low and langorous
in a marbled sky studded with shapes my mind could not
assemble. There was no denying it, it was a bird

with a wing prolonged and fibrous, a sharp head and
a pale, curved beak perched on a body high and
bulging. But as I looked, still occupied with the
perception of its gestalt, there, under my very eyes, it began

to crumble, to disintegrate here, develop there,
shift and twist and calibrate; began to divide its wing
in four, erect a quadruplet of legs, askew and disparate,
began to fuse the beak and head to one great muzzle.

Then, for a moment, the monstrosity paused. But before long,
one side of its body thinned into a neck, knitted and strong,
and its back morphed into that of a horse. But there it
did not stop. Leaking wisps of white into the sky — parts

of its head, neck, and mane — it began to abandon its
legs. I felt a sense of quiet panic and strained in the
adjustment of my vision. But before I knew it, I could
no longer bear the terror. I cast my glance to trees nearby.




Now I Wish to Wait

When I was young,
I toyed with others’ hearts
the way new kittens play
with balls of wool, the way
the wind dallies in a chime.

I’m slower now,
but, yes, more graceful, and
I know it is not me
they are talking about.

I remember well,
my outrage sought to take
the moorings from the ground,
the heather from the hill.
I could have taken the willow
from the root,
the limpet from the crag,
the eagle from its young.

Age has taught me
there is no need to rush,
has taught me
I can afford to be generous,
and now I wish to wait.

I used to catch the wind
in caves of ice,
and dreamt of red mountains
and landscapes of rock,
and hollows filled
with water and fading light,
and rain drifting as veils
over the peaks and beyond,
and, in the distances, there was
a warm gleam on the sea.

But, you know,
there is something to be said for
the mild weather and the thought
that precedes one’s actions.

When I was young,
I felt the night wind on my face,
and joy and anguish in my heart.
I climbed the grit stone peaks,
and came down
in blazing sparks of fire.

Now, the moon rises
above the quiet lakes
and there’s no call for praise
I know my place
and look no further.




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