I have a table.
I can write I have a table.
I have a chair.
I can write I have a chair.
I have ink and paper.
I can write with the ink and on the paper.
But poetry tells me
it isn’t in the things I already have.
Poetry tells me
it’s in the things I’m missing.
The word snake slips across my page.
It’s a word, not a snake.
If I write cobra, serpent,
an image slithers toward the reader,
the feeling slides.
If I write viper,
or add a rattle,
it’s not a rattlesnake that crawls across the page;
it’s my writing slipping through the silence.
The rattle shakes,
the danger nears,
the viper draws closer:
I fear it might afflict me with its poison;
I fear those fangs could halt my breath.
But if I turn the page, the danger’s gone.
Even if I knew
would explode tonight,
I would kiss you today
“See you tomorrow.”
The Others in the Photo
she feared the love she had for me
was greater than the love i had for her
and chose to stop giving love to the love she had for me
today she has someone to give the love she had for me
the love she didn’t want to give me when she had
my love that was greater than the love she had for me
The white miller
crossed Lake Michigan
in icy winter
with nothing more than the strength of his arms
and the force of his rhythmic kick.
As a boy he was drenched
in the bold water of his fantasies,
dreaming in Holland
that he’d been swallowed by the sea.
We know the ocean bore him on its back
and dropped him on the American continent
without him knowing, yet,
that he would come to occupy a sacred place in the jungle.
He wasn’t yet the Tarzan with his yodels and his simian walk
who would later swim through life.
The young swimmer
had come from Rotterdam
on a ship of the same name.
Each wife would cross the pool beside him,
each pool a different depth:
Johnny slowly learned to live accompanied
and lasted longer underwater
Many years later, in Acapulco,
sick and senile,
Johnny gazed out at his pool, at home,
and longed to go in one last time.
Jane’s reflection shimmered on the water, naked;
old Tarzan held his breath.
Why can’t a man in his eighth decade of existence
float in the waters of the end?
If we are born in liquid, we ought to die in that same water.
Tarzan stares intently at the pool.
Why don’t we all allow
Johnny Weissmuller, white miller,
to slip into his pool at home,
which glimmers like a kindly lake,
and drift down to the bottom toward his well-earned peace?
Translated by Robin Myer
Eduardo Langagne (Mexico City, 1952) is a poet and translator. He serves as the General Director of the Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas. Among his recent publications are a translation of Resurrección, the first novel by Machado de Assis (Biblioteca del Estudiante, Universidad Veracruzana) and Verdad posible (FCE), which was awarded the Premio de poesía José Lezama Lima by the Casa de las Américas in 2016. In 2016, he released the CD Tiempo ganado (Voz Viva, UNAM).
Robin Myers is a translator and poet. She earned her Bachelor of English Literature from Swarthmore College, USA. She was named a Fellow of the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) in 2009. Her poetry translations have been published in numerous international journals.
Table of Contents
- ESSAY: "Cristina Rivera Garza: Poetics of the Border" by Sarah Booker and Aviva Kana
- FICTION: "Never Trust a Woman that Suffers" by Cristina Rivera Garza
- FICTION: "Spí Uñieey Mat" by Cristina Rivera Garza
- FICTION: "There is also Beauty in Alienation" by Cristina Rivera Garza
- FICTION: "The Hostage" by Cristina Rivera Garza
- ESSAY: "From Kechurewe to Standing Rock: Indigenous Literature in Latin American Literature Today" by Arthur Dixon
- POETRY: Two Poems by Elicura Chihuailaf
- POETRY: Three Poems by Leonel Lienlaf
- POETRY: Two Poems by Graciela Huinao
- POETRY: Three Poems by Enriqueta Lunez
- POETRY: Three Poems by Hubert Matiúwàa
- INTERVIEW: "The Blue World": A Conversation between Sergio Rodríguez Saavedra and Elicura Chihuailaf
- INTERVIEW: "The Women Who Want to Speak": A Conversation with Enriqueta Lunez by Luz María Lepe Lira
- INTERVIEW: Language as Alliance: A Conversation with Hubert Matiúwàa by Osiris Gómez
- "Some Observations on the Present Collection" by Ismael Gavilán
- Three Poems by Christian Formoso
- Three Poems by Marcelo Pellegrini
- Three Poems by Marcelo Guajardo Thomas
- Three Poems by Gladys González
- Three Poems by Rodrigo Arroyo
- Three Poems by Julieta Marchant
- Two Poems by David Preiss
- Three Poems by Diego Alfaro
- Roberts Pool Twilights / Roberts Pool Crepúsculos by Roger Santiváñez
- Sophie La Belle and the Miniature Cities / Sophie La Belle y las ciudades en miniatura by Gisela Heffes
- "Una selección personal / A Personal Selection" by Juan José Arreola
- Una casa junto al río (Antología) by Clemente Riedemann
- Crude Words: Contemporary Writing from Venezuela by Montague Kobbé, Katie Brown, and Tim Girven
- Super Extra Grande by Yoss
- Xtámbaa / Piel de Tierra by Hubert Matiúwàa
- Sk’eoj jme’tik U / Cantos de Luna by Enriqueta Lunez
- A la casa del chico espantapájaros by John Better
- La fuerza viva by Alejandro Simón Partal