Janis Joplin

Colombian poet Henry Alexander Gómez.

It’s pointless to travel among the scent of ash, to lay poppies to rest in the blind angel’s jaw.

Song of childhood: smoking skin’s opium and drinking the last drop of blues from the darkest bottle in a Louisiana bar.  Lung muzzled while the gramophone plays Bessie Smith or Billie Holiday.

A barefoot print gives her away, her clear shadow gives her away.

A crevice rummages in the penumbra.  Find yourself powerless to count the assortment of clouds at your fingerstips.

It’s beautiful to watch over the sun, naked, when night falls: the orgy of her voice low, curved within the earth.

Translated by Olivia Lott


LALT No. 4
Number 4

The fourth issue of LALT highlights underrepresented but deserving voices from across Latin America, with a focus on women writers as well as special sections dedicated to genre-bending science fiction, indigenous-language poetry and prose, and the essential relationship between author and translator.

Table of Contents