lunes, 3 de octubre de 2016


Lana Hechtman Ayers

Lana Hechtman Ayers nació en Nueva York, de padres estadounidenses. Creció en Queens, pasó quince años en Nueva Inglaterra, y luego se trasladó al noroeste del Pacífico, donde sigue viviendo. 

Poeta, novelista, editora, y una entusiasta de viajes en el tiempo.

Es una asesora para manuscritos, promotora de talleres literarios, editora de poesía del Crab Creek Reviewy editora de Concrete Wolf Poetry Chapbook y de Late Bloom Poetry Series. Es autora de dos libros, Chicken Farmer I Still Love You (D-N Editores) y Dance From Inside Her Bones (Editorial Snake Nation).

Mi mente es un horno apagado


Síntomas alarmantes del Alzheimer:

Preguntar la misma pregunta una y otra vez.
¿Qué día es hoy?

Tener dificultad al realizar tareas comunes, como preparar la comida.
¿Cómo es posible que el pastel de carne esté crudo después de una hora?

Olvidar palabras simples u olvidar el nombre de algunos objetos.
¿Han visto mis… esas cosas metálicas que abren las puertas?

Extraviarse en el propio barrio y no saber cómo llegar a casa.
¿Ha estado ese semáforo siempre allí?

Tener problemas para entender una factura.
Cinco y siete son… llevo dos.

Olvidar con frecuencia donde dejamos las cosas o colocarlas en sitios inadecuados.
¿Cómo llegó el reloj a la nevera?

Volverse muy pasivo, tener la necesidad de ser impulsado para involucrarse.
No. No gracias, de verdad.


En el viaje de cinco minutos a casa,
los nombres de las calles
como un baile sencillo
y me pierdo,
giro a la izquierda, izquierda, izquierda,
antes que el barrio se enderece
y estoy de vuelta un dos tres
al frente de la casa.


La cara del reloj me esconde el tiempo
a medida que la cita con el médico
acelera su camino hacia el despeñadero.


Los neurólogos le dicen demencia,
pero mi formación en matemáticas,
me hace escuchar dimensiones, dimensiones,
topologías imposibles de n espacios
tan complejos y vastos
que están alfombrados con botellas de Klein,
trenes en los rieles de Mobius
que nunca llegan a su destino.


El horno está apagado.
No hay cena.
Pierdo peso
sin proponérmelo.
¿Quién iba a pensar
que hacer dieta
podía ser tan fácil?

Traductor: Armando Ibarra

kenai, part V

Sometimes things end before they truly begin.
Sometimes endings lead to new beginnings.
For believers in fate, the end is where one begins.
And every breath (every exhalation, moves one
closer to that end which is already slated,
though not known, and every breath feels restrained
somewhat) is tethered to the end from the beginning.
However, breath is also voice and voice is freedom,
for not even the expert speaker can put into words
all the emotions and experiences she has.
Every expression is a beginning and an end,
every poem a birth and a death. And every action
rolls the dice, a breath of life, will it be a sea cruise
to paradise or flight that ends in flames: we take a chance.
We live in the living:
let the breeze blow over us.
We die when we are dead:
the breath of death cannot be unsaid.
The moment in the park and at the towers
are of equal weight. We are people with history
time can redeem, for history is a design
of changing stories. For now, the light holds
on a winter's afternoon, by the sea in a small town.
Our story is now and in the universe.
Call upon the love within you, let love be the voice of

May we never cease from opening ourselves;
from the beginning of our opening 
we release oppressive doctrines,
add infinite possibility to our lives.
Over a bridge, through the remembered moon gate
when the first of love was new to discover
was one of many beginnings
and endings in the wheel of time.
The directive of the park official
amid the profusion of tourists
(so many, so hard to ignore)
but heard, half-obeyed, in the unstillness
of two beating hearts, held breaths.
Quick now, here, now, always—
the condition of endless potential
offering not less than everything.
Regardless of life’s hypocrisies, we will evolve.
We will evolve and be extraordinary
when hope and faith are disentangled
by our capacity for unconditional love
and free will and fate are one.

The Toe

Despite how mystically moonlight snakes a path across the lake tonight, and because love is the property solely of country music, and since Plath’s bell jar of pain runneth over for all eternity, I will write only of a toe—a plain enough thing—the fourth toe on my mother’s right foot and how each day, despite my bathing it, my application of greasy salve, the wrapping and rewrapping to apply just enough pressure, it continued to blacken, the toe like a banana past sweetness to the other side of neglect, or salt beef dried to jerky, tenderness abandoned to gristle, so I write this about my mother’s toe, how the doctor tells us it must go as if speaking of an ingrown hair or a splinter, as if it were nothing important, nothing a person spent her whole life walking on, on grass, over damp-mopped kitchen linoleum, dancing backwards in high heels over slick-waxed ballrooms floors, or in babyhood grabbed for all googley-eyed and occasionally even sucked, this dried-up toe that oddly causes mother no pain, and yet when the doctor says the toe must go, this woman who was a marble column at father’s bedside during his failed chemo, who later presided over father’s grave, stolid as a granite headstone, and not long after, this woman who sat composed as Rodin’s “Bather” as another doctor spoke the word mastectomy to her, and all through radiation wore a Mona Lisa smile, this woman does a thing I’d never seen her do, my mother cries, sobs, weeps, exhausts all the tissues in the doctor’s stainless dispenser, and keeps crying over this very small rotten toe, this calamity of losing what one least expected to lose.

“The Toe” appears in the e-book anthology Fire on Her Tongue (Two Sylvias Press, 2012).

What the Wolf Told a Bartender About 
Red Riding Hood 

                    I was alright 'til I fell in love with you.
                    —Bob Dylan 

I wasn't out to devour her. 
She was the kind of woman 
who couldn't find herself 
in a mirror. 

How could I foresee 
she'd end up consuming me. 
Now, I can't see myself 
without her. 

The Wolf Reflects 

On His First Meeting With Red Riding Hood
it was red, as red as the Swiss flag, 
yes, it was red, as red as chicken blood 
—Anne Sexton
She wore that red cape like 
a bandage, like bloody bondage. 

Who wouldn’t want to save her 
from the boredom of happily ever after, 
which never really was or else the Brothers Grimm 
wouldn’t have stopped there, would they? 

Red was off the path picking flowers, so to speak, 
witnessing art up close for the first time. 
And what painting should set her to fainting 
than the one she most resembled? Salome. 

Had Red’s mother cunningly showcased 
this daughter’s wares for her own gain? 
I could only guess, yes, she had, for Red’s eyes 
were fair sorrows, untried amber. 

I smelled trepidation, so I vowed 
I’d make a feast of her salvation.

Gretel Advises Red Riding Hood

It didn’t matter what my friends say. 
I just want to see you so bad. 
—Lucinda Williams
Red, you’re like a sister. Though I’m no 
expert on sex, despite my conquest 

of every one of the seven dwarfs 
before sleazy Snow White 

moved in on them 
(and Sneezy still says he prefers me). 

But the way I see it, it’s just honey. 
Better to be buzzed by more bees 

than give up all your pollen 
to one hungry fellow 

no matter how furry 
or feral he may be. 

Besides, you’ve already 
got that wooden drone at home 

do you really want to hitch yourself 
to an artsy alternate? 

Red, spread your clover all over 
as I do. These woods are busy with lovers.

Baba Yaga Gives Red Riding Hood an Earful

I was tired of being a woman,
tired of the spoons and the pots,
tired of my mouth and my breasts...

—Anne Sexton


I've pulled the plow 
by my teeth, fed souls
of unborn babes on the marrow 
of my own bones.

I've called clouds down
from heaven, swallowed the stars 
while in my raven guise.
I've charmed snakes,

sung to wolves, 
hummed thunder and
spit rain. No one can claim 
I've had a dull life.

I'm nobody's wife
and no one's Grandma.
Don't come by my roost 
looking for fresh-baked pie

or warm cookies.
I'll give you fire if you bargain
fair and even a lock
of my steely hair

but you won't get a hug
from me. Don't come whining,
looking for someone to wipe
your snotty nose.

I'd sooner make soup
of your toes. I don't have time
to waste on complainers.
And men, I loved one once.

He was a woodcutting dunce
like yours, looking to marry
his mother in a younger body.
I told him to take a hike.

and when that didn't work,
I cut out his eyes and sent him
toward the pike. That Oedipus has not
been seen or heard from since.

Don't wince, honey. 
Take my advice, 
command mice, 
enchant spindles,

put foxes in a trance, 
teach your chicken-legged 
house to dance.
A man will just keep you down.

How are you going to patrol
the gateway of the dead
wearing glass slippers 
and a ball gown?

Trade in that red cape for 
an even redder dress. 
Live your story, 
your own—not mine.

Never say yes
when you mean no, 
and mean no
all of the time.


Whisper, He's Driving

A gray chamois shawl enwraps the morning sky.
She's thinking of what her grandma used to say 
whenever it rained like this, 
"It's a good day to be a fish," and she smiles.
For a moment, she studies him, his hands, knuckled 

to the steering wheel, then closes her eyes. The downpour 
against the windshield, sounds something like November 
leaves crushed underfoot, like oil spattering from a pan, 
but reminds her most of the clatter 
of her string of cobalt glass beads, 

broken, scattering across the oaken floor,
last night, when he hit her but didn't mean to,
his hand a blunt board,
his ring snaring the clasp, tearing 
the whole thing from her throat.

This weather shushes her heart, that she imagines 
glows with smudgy incandescence inside her chest, 
much like the blurred necklace of halted taillights ahead.
"Could a person drown in all this rain?"
she wonders aloud, but softly, 

whisper, he's driving.
Around the shoulders of the highway, 
she notices that all the maple trees are bare but one, 
still clutching its clusters of leaves like yellow bouquets,
like roses one offers in sympathy. 

            Of This Yellow

of this yellow the falconer cries foul 
when the field is bloodied 
and emptied 
of every delicate breath 

of this yellow the president boasts progress
unemployment down retirement up 
just look at those flags people 

of this yellow an old woman 
removes her shoes and leaves them 
at the bank of Blue Gully 
before joining her trout ancestors 

of this yellow I have a knot 
in my gut 
defies untying 

of this yellow a tiger 
yellowly growls 
of this yellow Whitman yawped 
and my mother warned me 

of this yellow my Uncle Louie spits 
pulls a blade of tobacco from his teeth 
and lights his cherry-bowled pipe


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