domingo, 17 de abril de 2016


David Bottoms 

(Georgia, EE.UU.  1949), es poeta y académico. En 1979 ganó el premio Walt Whitman de la Academia de Poetas Americanos por su libro Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump. Además es el Poeta Laureado del estado de Georgia.



We Almost Disappear , ( Copper Canyon Press , 2011)
Waltzing Through the Endtime , ( Copper Canyon Press , 2004)
Oglethorpe's Dream
Vagrant Grace , (Copper Canyon Press, 1999)
Armored Hearts: Selected and New Poems , (Copper Canyon Press, 1995)
Under the Vulture-Tree
In a U-Haul North of Damascus
Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump , (William Morrow and Company, 1980)
Jamming with the Band at the VFW


Easter Weekend
Any Cold Jordan


The Morrow Anthology of Younger American Poets (editor)

Las versiones al español son de Adalberto García López

Disparándole a ratas en el basurero del condado de Bibb

Tras beber cerveza y whisky, manejamos
en furgoneta hacia el basurero,
para cambiar nuestros faros a través del campo baldío,
congelar los sorprendidos ojos de las ratas contra el montón de basura.

Un disparo en la cabeza y brincan solo una vez, permanecen quietas
como una lata de cerveza vacía.
Un disparo en los intestinos o la cadera y se retuercen y tratan de excavar
entre la basura, esconderse en neumáticos de camiones viejos,
contenedores de aceite oxidados, cajas de cartón tiradas sobre el cochinero,
o bien, arrastrarse en sus patas delanteras a través de nuestras haces de luz,
hacia la oscuridad al borde del basurero.

Ellas creen que la luz las mata.
Bebemos y cargamos el arma otra vez, dejamos que se arrastren,
Porque es lo único que pueden, hacia la oscuridad donde nos dirigimos.

Shooting rats at Bibb County dump

Loaded on beer and whiskey, we ride
to the dump in carloads
to turn our headlights across the wasted field,
freeze the startled eyes of rats against mounds of rubbish.

Shot in the head, they jump only once, lie still
like dead beer cans.
Shot in the gut or rump, they writhe and try to burrow
into garbage, hide in old truck tires,
rusty oil drums, cardboard boxes scattered across the mounds,
or else drag themselves on forelegs across our beams of light
toward the darkness at the edge of the dump.

It’s the light they believe kills.
We drink and load again, let them crawl
for all they’re worth into the darkness we’re headed for.

Kelly durmiendo

A veces cuando duerme, su cara contra la almohada (o cobija)
casi logra una paz de otro mundo.

A veces cuando el tráfico y el hastío del día se disuelven
y su más profundo ser se tranquiliza, cuando la luz del sol roza

a través de las cortinas y envuelve la cama, sé que está en otro lugar,
un lugar más puro, donde tal vez yo no esté,

aunque ciertamente haya amor, lo cual tal vez me incluye a mí.
Entonces, a veces su cara contra la cobija (o almohada)

logra (casi) una calma de otro mundo, (¿debo permitirme decir eso?)
y brilla (casi) como años pasados brillaba

justo después de que la cabeza de nuestra hijo se deslizo por el canal del parto.

Recuerdo ese remolino pegajoso de cabello húmedo
girando suavemente para que el cuerpo saliera más fácil

y cómo la partera o enfermera o doctor (o quien sea)
estrechó su mano para esa cabeza

y guió a nuestro bebé hacia el mundo.
Cuando esa mano puso a nuestra hija en el pecho de su madre

un suspiro siguió, un largo

aliento exhausto y (sorprendido) vi en el rostro de mi esposa
una dicha que sabía que nunca (en bastante tiempo) volvería a ver.

Kelly sleeping

Sometimes when she sleeps, her face against the pillow (or sheet)
almost achieves an otherworldly peace.

Sometimes when the traffic and bother of the day dissolve
and her deeper self eases out, when sunlight edges

through curtains and drapes the bed, I know she’s in another place,
a purer place, which perhaps doesn’t include me,

though certainly includes love, which may include the possibility of me.
Sometimes then her face against the sheet (or pillow)

achieves (almost) an otherworldly calm, (do I dare say that?)
and glows (almost) as it glowed years ago

just after our daughter’s head slipped through the birth canal.

I remember that wet sticky swirl of hair
turning slightly so the slick body might follow more easily,

and how the midwife or nurse or doctor (or someone
laid an firm open hand under that head

and guided our child into the world.
When that hand laid our daughter on her mother’s breast,

such a sigh followed, a long

exhausted breath, and (stunned) I saw in my wife’s face
an ecstasy I knew I’d never (quite) see again.

My Daughter At The Gymnastics Party 

When I sat for a moment in the bleachers
of the lower-school gym
to watch, one by one, the girls of my daughter's kindergarten 
climb the fat rope hung over the Styrofoam pit,
I remembered my sweet exasperated mother
and those shifting faces of injury
that followed me like an odor to ball games and practices, 
playgrounds of monkey bars
and trampolines, those wilted children sprouting daily 
in that garden of trauma behind her eyes.

Then Rachel's turn,
the smallest child in class, and up she went, legs twined 
on the rope, ponytail swinging, fifteen, twenty, 
twenty-five feet, the pink tendrils of her leotard 
climbing without effort
until she'd cleared the lower rafters.
She looked down, then up, hanging in that balance 
of pride and fear,
then glancing
toward the bleachers to see if I watched, let go 
her left hand, unworried by that boy
with the waffled skull, stiff and turning blue 
under the belly of a horse,
or the Christmas Eve skater on Cagle's Lake, 
her face a black plum
against the bottom of the ice. 

An Owl

Twice through my bedroom window
I've seen the horned owl drop from the oaks to panic 
the rabbit in my neighbor's backyard.
Last night he paced for an hour across the top 
of the cage, scrutinizing
the can of water, the mound of pellets,
turning his genius to the riddle
of the wire, while under him
the rabbit balled like a fat carnation in the wind.
Both of the terriers yapped from their porch 
but the owl never flinched, pacing,
clawing the wire, spreading wings like a gray cape, 
leaping, straining to lift the whole cage,
and the cage rocking
on its stilts, settling, and rocking again,
until he settled with it, paused,
and returned to a thought.
And the rabbit, ignorant of mercy, 
curled on itself in that white drift 
of feathers?
Wait, three years and I haven't escaped the child 
I saw at Northside the night 
my daughter was born,
a little brown sack of twigs
curled under glass, eyes bulging,
trembling in the monitors,
and the nurses
rolling the newborns out to nurse,
and the shadows sweeping the nursery. 


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