sábado, 20 de mayo de 2017

GERI DORAN [20.138]

Geri Doran

Geri Doran nació en Kalispell, Montana en 1966. Doran ha asistido al Vassar College, a la Universidad de Cambridge, a la Universidad de Florida (MFA 1995) y a la Universidad de Stanford, donde tuvo una Beca Wallace Stegner en Poesía. Vive en Eugene, Oregón, donde es profesora asistente de escritura creativa en la Universidad de Oregon.


2012 Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship 
2005 Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship 
2005 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Fellowship
2004 Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award 
2001 Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry from Stanford University 
1999 Literary Arts, Inc. Poetry Fellowship 


Retrospective (The Atlantic, 2005) 
Resin, poems (Louisiana State University Press, 2005) 
Sanderlings, poems (Tupelo Press, 2011) 
The Good Field 

Círculo de Poesía: Geri Doran. Nacida en 1966 en Montana, ha estudiado en las universidades Vassar, Cambridge y Stanford. Su libro Resin fue seleccionado por el poeta Henri Cole para el premio Walt Whitman de 2004, por lo que consideró “su habilidad para transformar la visconsa sustancia de la vida en el líquido ámbar de la poesía.”

Spanish version by Sergio Eduardo Cruz. 

Autorretrato como Miranda

Mi historia comienza en el mar, líquido amargo.
De no ser así, comenzaría por la I-95 de Florida,
en el ágora circular de un motel verde limón, circular.
Pero he escogido el mar, y por lo tanto tú debes

confiar en mí para esto. Historias de verdad horribles
comienzan con errores de navegación, pequeñas faltas
del vigía que terminan llevando al caos a la tripulación.
Quizás en otra historia, yo podría ser un hombre

deteniéndose en la puerta, sorprendido por haber tocado
y que tú, correspondiendo, abrieras. Él desearía, ahora,
haber pasado más tiempo en el portón, haberse detenido
antes de continuar el rumbo en dirección a tu puerta.

Mientras la tripulación, moviéndose en desesperación oculta,
desea que el ancla encalle, aunque sea demasiado tarde.
Frecuentemente, así parece que somos transportados.
Frecuentemente, de profundis, luchamos contra la costa

para encontrarnos, quizás varados, quizás entre las olas.
Sufrimos una tendencia a la gratitud por estar en tierra.
Los sobrevivientes de naufragios tienen dos sombras:
una demarcación de luz interrumpida, y un aura que es sed

por volver a ahogarse. Quizás, en una historia no escrita,
el hombre en la puerta parece sediento. Percibes
que ha venido con esperanza de saciarse en el muelle seco
de tu carne. No existe nada más que hacer.

Tu hogar es una isla de arena blanca
y él se sumerge desde los arenales de los pasillos
buscando agua fresca. Le acomodas un lugar para dormir.
Todo esto, Miranda misma podría explicarlo:

cómo encontró a Ferdinand emergiendo del mar,
asustado, tan parecido a un rescatista como ella,
con su montón de algas y la ternura en las palabras
de un hombre que desespera buscando santuario.

Ferdinand no entendió, sin embargo, que ella también
era náufraga. Miranda estaba llena de una sed sombría.
Conoces bien el resto de la historia.
Vivieron felices. Luego todo acaba en el mar, amargo.

Self-Portrait as Miranda

My story begins at sea, in the bitter liquid.
If not, it would begin in Florida, along I-95
in the circular drive of a circular, lime-green motel.
But I have selected the sea, and you must

trust me on this. Truly terrible stories
begin in navigational error, a slight misreading
of the sight that sets the crew in a maelstrom.
Perhaps in another story it would be a man

standing at the door, surprised that he’s knocked,
that you have, in turn, answered. He wishes
now that he had lingered in that drive, paused
before resuming the course toward your door.

As the crew, in desperate but unspoken straits,
wishes belatedly for a drag on the anchor.
Frequently, we are thus carried along.
Frequently, de profundis, we struggle ashore

to find ourselves, if not stranded, then beached.
We are inclined to be grateful for land.
Survivors of shipwreck cast two shadows:
the outline of interrupted light, and an aura, thirst

to drown again. Perhaps, in the unwritten story,
the man at the door looks thirsty. You sense
he has come to repair himself at the dry dock
of your flesh. There is nothing else to do.

Your home is an island of white sand
and he wades in from the shoals of the walkway
asking for fresh water. So you find him berth.
This much Miranda herself could explain:

how Ferdinand come shimmering from the sea
appeared no less a rescuer than she,
with his handful of kelp and the pretty words
of a man desperate for sanctuary.

Ferdinand missed that she was shipwrecked
too. Miranda had the shadowy thirst.
You know the rest of the story.
They’re happy. Then it ends in the bitter sea.

Geri Doran. Born in 1966 in Montana, she has studies from Vassar College, Cambridge University, and Stanford University. Her book Resin was selected by poet Henri Cole for the Walt Whitman Awatd in 2004, because of what he called “[her ability for] transforming the viscous substance of life into the amber liquid of poetry.”

Caliban to the Lovers

By Geri Doran

When our falsehoods are divided,
What we shall become,
One evaporating sigh
—W. H. Auden

Prospero writes that daylight isn’t moonshine, there in Milan.
          In coastal Florida
the light is constant; here duration is key, and bearing.
          I clock the distances,
run widdershins to his deasil, since my timekeep isn’t death,
          just lanky memory
cruising the beach in spandex briefs. It’s Ariel’s element,
          this insubstantial surf
of holiday-goers and retirees, where every shifting sandlot
          is an island, deserted.
We are always stranded, loves. Your father would agree.
          Even Milan, so far
from Naples, must seem the bleak horizon-line of castaways:
          I’ll learn the properties
of light, the ones forsaken by my books, till death stumps in.
          The master’s servitude …
This sun beats everlastingly. You write that love is bondage?
          Sweet children, don’t complain.

Lives of the Gods, Lives of the Saints

By Geri Doran

So little darkness in the darkness here.
Each leaf a mirror of moonlight, incomparable. 
The Japanese maple spooncupped in gold

is Medusa in the old tale, her hair astir.
Indoors, the wandering Jew makes its pitch 
for the wall, thinking I am a constant lover, 

twists back, falls short. Are we always 
measured by what we do not reach? 
What holds us here, out over the emptiness,

is a causeway of cells and light, nothing
more than a dream of crossing.
Somehow a saint or two ever perched, there

on the levered arms of the drawbridge, 
bartering safe passage for their human charge. 
Outside, the maple moves like lamentation. 

Medusa keening in her grief.
Is our call to the gods always outcry?
If they came, like the saints, to listen,

would we ever find ourselves
spooncupped in light?
Would we settle for being held?

"Tonight Is a Night Without Birds" by Geri Doran

The sky fell open to a map of the constellations.
Earlier the snowmelt reconfigured the field.
I tried to describe it, but the field transformed
into the plains of the soul pressed flat.

Fierceness and moonlight, I thought I’d write,
but the stars outshine the moon and the brightest
star, at any rate, is on the ground and a continent
away. My brightest star is a continent away.

Looking up from the cobbled path is a swath
of darkness darker than any Portland night,
I see a skyful of nightbirds, but none of them’s singing. 
Like Orion, they’re keeping an obstinate silence.

Across the continent, Orion is probably drenched.
Anyway, it is unlikely my love is watching the sky.
A star-flush sky makes the earth seem flat.
Dryness and flatness are the ways a field inhabits a body.

I do not know much about fields, apart
from this amassment of dry grass leaning down.
I know about starry skies. I know silent birds.

Geri Doran | Issue 66


In the eyes of Dürer’s Saint Jerome,
desert inhabits the dark flecks
of his downward gaze.
It harrowed him. He came back clean
as picked bone. Chalcis of sunlight, and sand—
only in the eyes can days be counted,
days of muscle wasting, in which desire
dwindled to the body’s dry growl.
He’s written something for us—
the open page as luminous as his ancient beard
of golden white—but it’s centuries now
and the hand’s obscure.


To harrow: toil after the plow. It’s spreading work,
once the deeper churning’s done.
Always the smell of last year’s crop,
roots long unquenched, then steeped
in sudden rain. The harrow’s tracks
are as thin as the stomach’s curse.
If time slowed till the finest dust
from each foot that met the rutted stair
were seen to cloud the shoe;
if the polished harrow on the museum floor
remained as mudcaked as the harrow
in memory; if, after centuries, particles
flourished like midges in the swarm
or wormed into the blond poles,
would the ground be ready for planting?
For we are hungry now,
says the farmhand to his dun-haired wife,
stretching up from the farm tableau. Our desert
was also dry and flecked our eyes.

Common Prayer
Geri Doran | Issue 66

Stirring among the pines. The sapling’s leaves
like oval wings tremble. Between the whoofs
of startled deer, echoing, an echoing clear
creed of some unvanquished mystery—
night-rising crows humbling their caws
below the oaky whoo of the boreal owl.
Below that, what? Threads of wood,
a bed of pine, the needles strewn in love
beside a creek itself so prodigal
we dare not drink before the water’s moved,
trestling over the rocked and craggy bed.


Beloved, says the paper birch, I err
against the very air, and cannot sleep.
For in sleep the foul self inaugurates,
cathedral-like, a plan: to cast pardon
skyward stone on stone, enclosing grace
within the higher arches of the marble dome,
and thence to pray, thence to pray—You are
scaffold, stair step, oak-creak, tarn—I am
never worthy—Your sincerest kneeling knave.


Alas, earnestness and candor fill the trees
and wisdom creaks like floorboards underfoot:
a silence remaining silent until pressed
by wind or weight, and what of discretion’s
wiser counsel, to bear the weight and sigh
so quietly the angels do not hear;
and this is love, my child, remember this—
I speak to you with love; but love, I do not
always speak.


O my most fragrant Lord, you are honeysuckle
my childish hand will not relinquish. Forbear,
this once, your punishment of lilac and rose—
for in this wild and weedlike trickery
I am made meadowless.

(petition & intercession)

For God is only God in the Marsden Rock.
Love permits his echo be dispersed
among the trees, and merely echo, and mere—
what concentrates is silt beneath the creek,
the residue of love after time has closed
its doors and hung the sign—
for we are scorners all and yet may know
that love which tidepools us,
like sea anemone in coastal caves.



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