lunes, 10 de octubre de 2016

AL YOUNG [19.248]

Al Young

Al Young. Nacido el 31 de mayo de 1939, en Ocean Springs, Mississippi, en la costa del Golfo cerca de Biloxi, EE.UU., es un poeta americano, novelista, ensayista, guionista y profesor. El 15 de mayo de 2005 fue nombrado poeta laureado de California por el gobernador Arnold Schwarzenegger. Para el nombramiento de Young como poeta laureado, el gobernador lo elogió: "Es un educador y un hombre con una pasión por las artes, su notable talento y sentido de la misión de llevar la poesía a la vida de los californianos es una inspiración.". Muriel Johnson, director del Consejo de las Artes de California declaró: "Al igual que el jazz, Al Young es una voz americana original." 

Obras publicadas 

Poesía Colecciones:

Something About the Blues: An Unlikely Collection of Poetry (Sourcebooks MediaFusion, 2008)
Coastal Nights and Inland Afternoons: Poems 2001-2006 (Angel City Press, 2006)
The Sound of Dreams Remembered: Poems 1990-2000 (Creative Arts Book Company, 2001)
Heaven: Collected Poems: 1956-1990 (Creative Arts Book Company, 1992)
The Blues Don't Change: New and Selected Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 1982)
Geography of the Near Past (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1976)
The Song Turning Back into Itself (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971)
Dancing (Corinth Books, 1969)


Conjugal Visits (Creative Arts Book Company, 1996) [9]
Straight No Chaser (Creative Arts Book, 2011)

Memorias musicales

Drowning in the Sea of Love (Ecco Press, 1995)
Mingus Mingus: Two Memoirs (with Janet Coleman, Creative Arts Book Company, 1989)
Things Ain't What They Used to Be (Creative Arts Book Company, 1986)
Kinds of Blue (Creative Arts Book Company, 1984)
Bodies & Soul (Creative Arts Book Company, 1981)


Seduction By Light (Delta Fiction, 1988)
Ask Me Now (New York: McGraw-Hill; San Francisco: San Francisco Book Co., 1980)
Sitting Pretty (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976)
Who Is Angelina? (University of California Press, 1996, 1975)
Snakes (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970)


Jazz Idiom: blueprints, stills, and frames : the jazz photography of Charles L. Robinson (photographs and comments by Charles L. Robinson, poetic takes and riffs by Al Young, Heyday Books, 2008)

Editado antologías

The Literature of California, Volume 1: Native American Beginnings to 1945 (with Jack Hicks, James D. Houston and Maxine Hong Kingston, eds., University of California Press, 2000) [10]
African American Literature: A Brief Introduction and Anthology (HarperCollins College Publishers, 1996)
Yardbird Lives! (co-edited with Ishmael Reed , Grove Press, 1978)

Translator: Alexander Best

Como comienzan las estrellas

No pido perdón
y no quiero estar dejado
– no completamente – no todavía –
a menos mientras el sufrimiento atraviesa
el único mundo que conozco: éste.
No hay una canción por Mel Waldron
o un épico de Marlene Dietrich en negro y blanco
donde garabatear contra los paradigmas del Tiempo
significa algo benigno,
como descartando las acciones y el comportamiento del presente
porque entiendo y comprendo
– al hondo, dentro de mi (y tambien por encima de mí) –
que la vida sí misma representa todo esto.

Esto: un drama kamikaze
– aun cósmico –
y cómico – por seguro –
en un estilo tan común que
invita el desconcierto.

Entonces, Luna, ¿hay la vida sobre ti?

¿Hay la vida sobre ti? Dime, Luna.
Algunos místicos anuncian Sí;
la mayoría de científicos dice No.
Y tú, Luna de las lunas, cuál indicas?
¿Hay la vida sobre ti?

¿Qué te parece dentro de esas rocas tuyas?
¿Tienes por seguro que
no hay una forma microscópica de vida embrionaria,
diminuta pero sembrada,
que está empotrada en
la caspa que albergas
al lado de tus mares tranquilas y muertas?

Es algo divertido
– platicando de todo esto –
pero teórico, tienes que aceptar.
Por el momento, hay Vida bastante para mí
cuando te miro pues entiendo que
tú eres, en cierta medida,

Sueños del Paraíso

He soñado unos sueños del Paraíso
donde todo lo que haces es
abrir el corazón para dejar rezumarse el infinito;
es algo experimental, eso sí.

Una noche en Detroit
– durante el muerto de mi padrastro –
yo estaba agotado, también optimista sobre todo,
y yo estaba de vigilia, apenándome / preguntándome.
A las cuatro de la mañana
la habitación entera – y yo también –
empezamos a expandir.

Yo me sentía mareado con una afirmación callada.
Es decir: Creo que fue un sentimiento lo que
cada uno de nosotros tiene derecho.
Y no ocurre afuera en el gran mundo de oro y enfrentamiento
sino dentro de una soledad perfecta – guardado para si.
Es un sosiego – una sorpresa –
y algo que es imposible matar.


I don’t ask to be forgiven
nor do I wish to be given up,
not entirely, not yet, not while
pain is shooting clean through
the only world I know: this one.
There is no Mal Waldron song or
Marlene Dietrich epic in black
& white where to scrawl against
the paradigms of time is to mean
something benign, like dismissing
present actions or behaviour because
I know & understand deep down
inside & beyond that life itself
is acting all of this out; this
kamikaze drama, cosmic if you
will, but certainly comic, in a style
so common as to invite confusion.

So Is There Life on You, Moon?

So is there life on you, Moon?
Some mystics say yes & most
scientists say no. What do
you say, moon of moons?
Is there life on you?

How about inside those rocks
of yours? Are you sure
there isn’t some microscopic
form of mini-seeded life-
in-embryo embedded or pillowed
in the dandruff you harbour
by all your dead & tranquil seas?

It’s fun to talk about all this,
but academic, you must admit.
I look at you & know you’re partly me.
For now, that’s life enough.

Dreams of Paradise

I’ve had dreams of Paradise where all you do is open your heart
& let the endlessness ooze out. It is quite something to go thru.
One night in Detroit—the death of my stepfather—weary &
hopeful of everything, I lay in bed grieving & wondering,
whereupon, 4 in the morn, the whole room began to expand &
I with it, giddy with silent affirmation—that is to say: It was
the feeling I feel each of us is rightfully entitled to & it doesn’t
happen out in the world of gold & crashing but is a perfect
withinness, a peacefulness & surprise that is unkillable.

(From Heaven: Collected Poems 1956 – 1990)

The Blues Don’t Change

Now I’ll tell you about the Blues.
All Negroes like Blues. Why?
Because they was born with the Blues.
And now everybody have the Blues.
Sometimes they don’t know what it is. 

And I was born with you, wasn’t I, Blues?
Wombed with you, wounded, reared and forwarded
from address to address, stamped, stomped
and returned to sender by nobody but you,
Blue Rider, writing me off every chance you
got, you mean old grudgeful-hearted, table-
turning demon, you, you sexy soul-sucking gem.

Blue diamond in the rough, you are forever.
You can’t be outfoxed don’t care how they cut
and smuggle and shine you on, you’re like a
shadow, too dumb and stubborn and necessary
to let them turn you into what you ain’t
with color or theory or power or paint.

That’s how you can stay in style without sticking
and not getting stuck. You know how to sting
where I can’t scratch, and you move from frying
pan to skillet the same way you move people
to go to wiggling their bodies, juggling their
limbs, loosening that goose, upping their voices,
opening their pores, rolling their hips and lips.

They can shake their boodies but they can’t shake you.


She talks too loud, her face
a blur of wrinkles & sunshine
where her hard hair shivers
from laughter like a pine tree
stiff with oils & hotcombing

O & her anger realer than gasoline
slung into fire or lighted mohair
She’s a clothes lover from way back
but her body’s too big to be chic
or on cue so she wear what she want
People just gotta stand back &
take it like they do Easter Sunday when
the rainbow she travels is dry-cleaned

She laughs more than ever in spring
stomping the downtowns, Saturday past
work, looking into JC Penny’s checking
out Sears & bragging about how when she
feel like it she gon lose weight &
give up smoking one of these sorry days

Her eyes are diamonds of pure dark space
& the air flying out of them as you look
close is only the essence of living 
to tell, a full-length woman, an aunt
brown & red with stalking the years

See, See, Moon

See, see moon, O see what you done done
(or is it done did?) I don’t know
the right way to talk to you no more,
nor do I care that you don’t answer me.
I’ve walked into rooms their windows
overflowed with light & fresh air
& understood how big plugs of skylessness
can get translated into versions of illusion;
blinded beauty in all its fullness.

But when the blues overtakes you,
every little once in a while,
bluegummed moon, all explanations fail
it seems, but no, the blues
by any other name would be
just as funky.
Why should it be so difficult
to pin the color of your sorrow.


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