sábado, 12 de noviembre de 2016

KATE GALE [19.529]


(Binghamton, Nueva York, 1965). Es la jefa de redacción de la editorial Red Hen Press y la editora de Los Ángeles Review. Tiene publicados seis poemarios, una novela, Lake of fire, y varios libretos de ópera, algunas de las cuales fueron estrenadas en el New York City Opera VOX. Entre 2005 y 2006 fue presidenta del Pen American Center. Es profesora en la Univerdad de Omaha y en el programa de escritura creativa de la Universidad de San Diego.  

Kate Gale is the author of several poetry collections, including Mating Season (2004) and Fishers of Men (2000), as well as the novels Lake of Fire (2000) and Water Moccasins (1994). She is the founder and managing editor of Red Hen Press and editor of the Los Angeles Review.

Gale is the author of four librettos: Rio de Sangre with composer Don Davis which was performed in part at Disney Hall in 2005; Paradises Lost, co-authored with Ursula K. LeGuin and composer Stephen Andrew Taylor, and performed in part at the New York City Opera in 2006; Kindred, adapted from the novel by Octavia Butler, with composer Billy Childs; and Inner Circle, adapted from the novel by T.C. Boyle, with composer Daniel Felsenfeld. She lives in Los Angeles.

Los poemas de Kate Gale que presentamos a continuación pertenecen al libro The Goldilocks zone (University of New Mexico Press, 2014) y son bastante representativos de su poética. Escenas cotidianas que adquieren dimensiones de fábula, espacios habitados como la casa de cristal que se hacen míticos y se transforman, pequeños retratos de personajes históricos desde su lado más humano y frágil. El lenguaje en aparencia sencillo de la autora, entre narrativo y lírico, tiene un ritmo propio y un gran dominio de la sintaxis y las elipsis.


Construimos una casa de cristal en los bosques; entraba la lluvia.
Entraba la lluvia por la claraboya abierta de par en par.

Impermeabilizamos la casa; el agua se filtraba bajo los cimientos.
Construimos canoas para navegar por el arroyo desde la cocina al dormitorio.

Todas las estanterías estaban altas. El suelo de cemento se desgastó hasta hacerse grava.
Vivimos en el lecho de un arroyo hasta que salió el sol.

Se hizo calurosa, húmeda; las orquídeas llenaron el lugar, sus zarcillos de anhelo por todas partes. 
Las visitas decían que nuestra casa no era normal, pero a nosotros nos parecía perfectamente normal.

Los niños se tropezaban con orquídeas en verano, chapoteaban en arroyos durante el invierno. La electricidad no era posible, pero no la queríamos. La electricidad nos hubiera forzado a salir de la casa de cristal.

Aún estamos aquí en el cristal y el barro, los talonarios de cheques inestables, poemas y silencio.
Oímos agua, respiración, la casa dejando pasar la luz.


We built a house of glass in the woods; the rain came in.
The rain came in through the skylight, the open windows.
We sealed the house; water seeped under the foundation.
We built canoes to navigate the stream from kitchen to bedroom.
All the bookshelves were up high. The cement floor wore away to gravel.
We lived in a stream bed in a glass house until the sun came out.
It became hot, humid; orchids filled the place, their tendrils of longing everywhere. Visitors said our house was unnatural, but it seemed perfectly natural to us. 
The children tumbled amid orchids in summer, paddled streams in winter. Electricity not possible, but we didn’t want it. Electricity would have forced us out of the glass house. 
We’re still here in the glass and mud, the unbalanced checkbooks, the poems and silence.
We hear water, breath, the house letting in light.


Amó a Rainer María Rilke, quince años más joven que ella.
Le enseñó el amor ruso. Preguntó a su piel lo que quería,
lo mantuvo hasta que él la quiso por esposa, después partió.
Lou Andreas Salomé, amante de tres genios.

La querían como musa, como compañera de cama y puente
al futuro, los tres: Freud, Nietzsche, Rilke.
Su nombre era Lou cuando Freud la conoció,
cuando Nietzsche besó sus labios hasta que su hermana se lo prohibió.

El matrimonio de Rilke con Klara duró un año; nació Ruth.
El resto de su vida fueron amoríos, escribir sobre la alienación, soledad
en castillos por toda Europa. En su lecho de muerte, llamó a Lou,
tendido en el crepúsculo del Sanatorio Valmont de leucemia en Suiza.

A medida que caía el día, estaba seguro de que podría verla.
Apareciendo en la habitación. Su pelo, su aroma, sus muslos preparados.
Allí para sujetarlo contra la soledad. Él mismo levantándose desnudo para saludarla.
Y ella: bondad contra las sábanas, un beso contra la oscuridad. 


She loved Rainer Maria Rilke, fifteen years her junior.
Taught him Russian love. Asked his skin what it wanted,
held him until he wanted her for his wife, then left.
Lou Andreas Salome, lover of three geniuses.

They wanted her as muse, as bedfellow bridge
to the future, all three of them: Freud, Nietzsche, Rilke.
Her name was Lou when Freud knew her,
when Nietzsche kissed her lips til his sister forbade it.

Rilke’s marriage to Klara lasted a year; Ruth born.
The rest of his life was affairs, writing of alienation, loneliness
in castles throughout Europe. Dying, he called for Lou,
lying in twilight in the Valmont Sanitarium in Switzerland of leukemia.

As the day disappeared, he was sure he could see her.
Emerging into the bedroom. Her hair, smell, ready thighs.
There to hold him against loneliness. Himself rising naked to greet her.
And she- kindness against the sheets, a kiss against darkness.
© Kate Gale                                                                              
© Traducción: Verónica Aranda


You can’t imagine the goats
who were my only friends as a child
how they tore at my underwear,
hitting their heads into my legs,
playfully throwing me into the air.
How their snores rattled the night.
How their milk tasted sweet
and thick and altogether wild.
How they followed me through the orchard
and up into the rocky fields above
and ate blueberries through the afternoon.
How at twilight I’d walk down,
a hand on two goats’ backs
and they’d talk me all the way down.
How many times I was beaten
about the face and shoulders and back.
How the goat smell kept me
from properly experiencing food.
How I crept out to the goats in the night
and slept very well there
the goats licking my bruises as though I
were sacred and wounded and divine.

from Mating Season. 

Crying in Front of a Man 

To my first love, I wept profusely.
These tears confused the boy, and he would act.
Generally, he took me out to eat.
I grew fat, sobbing my way into some of the best
restaurants in Richmond.

My first husband ignored the initial shattering of tears.
But if I went on grovelling, wailing long enough
he’d collect me from the floor
give me a bit more grocery money, wipe my eyes
tell me it would be okay by and by.

My second husband despised my tears.
He’d seen women crawl and shake enough,
said the vipers can enter a trance at will
and let their best sobs heave ho to twist a man
and bend him into shape.

I trouble not this third man with my tears.
Have in fact forgotten how to cry
and in forgetting have grown steel eyes,
a molten core like mad Vesuvius, am held in check
by nothing but the weather and the whims of fate.

from Mating Season

The Emperor’s New Clothes 

Gertrude Stein.
We could end there.
But we won’t.
Because we want to make meaning.
Of something.
to say something.
Of value.
In order that.
It’s absolutely.
The professor said.
Wiggling his ears.
In a satisfied way.
And the students all said, Amen.
That’s the way with critical acclaim.
There are rooms.
There are builders.
There is a clock.
There is a cake.
There is a rope.
There is a sounding to depths.
But when she dies, what then?
Who knew what it all meant?
And when all the modernists are dead?
The critics will babble and frenzy
forever to find the nouns she never wrote
between the crowded verbs and adverbs.

from Fishers of Men. 

Everyone Has a House

What I like about your country
she tells me is the toilets
I wouldn’t mind bringing one home
but it wouldn’t do much good
she says she likes the bathtubs
and the refrigerators
but she is not so crazy
about the tortillas
which are not made properly
or the cilantro which tastes like soap
Also the freeways ruin the landscape
and the children watch television
when they could be playing soccer
and the teenagers stare at their parents
with bare faces that say
give it to me
and the abuelitos are like dogs
to the children
the children walk by with no respect
mangoes here are not so good
not enough rain
and the women here have so many clothes
I think your country has the most wonderful bathrooms
and everyone has a house
although tents would be nicer
I think or boats
or even just sleeping in a tree
My family has a tree
we live under
but the tree has no toilet
I grant you that.

from Fishers of Men. 


Today is a Tuesday, one of many.
He has a girl he loves every Tuesday,
her day off. He burns
at the fine fire of her conscience,

tells her they’ll be married
someday. He has a wife,
Doreen, a freckle-faced fat thing
who harbors resentment that during her Tuesday

at her mother’s, he insists on going to the movies.
Rose petals he picks up in the neighbor’s yard
end up at Tuesday’s feet and
sprinkled through the sheets.

Of course they must make love,
since he sees her only once a week.
Doreen requires sex after seeing her mother.
He feels like an ox on Tuesday, powerful and massive.

He tells this to Tuesday
and to Doreen.
Doreen tells him he is an ox
a brute master of the air and his rightful bed.

But Tuesday, who knows oxen
are slow moving, dim witted,
and castrated at birth,
follows him home instead of playing her dulcimer,

climbs the wall, watches him mounting his wife,
leaves rose petals on his doorstep,
takes the train to cornfields, steers and heifers
watches the city disappear in rain.

Thinks briefly of how tenderly
he rose in her fingers
while the remains of their breakfast,
eggs and potatoes

cooled on the wooden table
with the tattered tablecloth.

from Fishers of Men. 


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