Three Poems

Chilean poet Gladys González.

Paradise

No glamor here
No French bars for writers
just rotisseries with pig heads
second-hand shoes 
boxes of nails, hammers,
wires, and saws
wars waged among butchers
neighbors and meagre barbeques.

This is neither paradise nor whatever comes before.

 

Instruction Manual

I listen to music 
and am a rebel
though I am too old
to be a rebel
none
of those who are here
are of the age

I am the meanest poem in the room

I have lived in empty houses
with the roof broken in two
no money
for eating
or washing your clothes
to ask for a job
part-time
with a seller in centro
or in a supermarket
without friends
who you call on the phone
and say:

“I’m a wreck”

my day
is reduced to bleeding
in a mirror
mouth down
while the months pass
like a manual
for first aid
the signs of torture betrayed
on my face
like the mildew
in my clothes

 

Pieces of Mercury 

A rented room in Valparaíso
a bed
a table and two chairs
I have John Milton 
on the toilet bowl
I am drinking what remains of the afternoon
I have written things while drunk
that seem pretty good
I wait for my friend from Cerro Barón
who will gather me slowly
like pieces of mercury
and will take me to eat something
in a restaurant with a Wurlitzer
because I want to hear
that Bob Dylan song
for what remains of my life

 

Translated by Gwendolyn Harper

Languages

LALT No. 3
Number 3

The third issue of LALT features the debut of our permanent section devoted to Indigenous Literature with writing in languages from Mapudungun to Tzotzil, as well as remarkable short stories from Cristina Rivera Garza and Yoss, the rising star of Cuban science fiction.

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