Four Poems


Peruvian poet Luis Hernández.

Laurel Leaves

Laurel leaves
Both poets
And pasta


What’s that Flower

What’s that Flower
You have on
Could it be a faded rose
From days gone by

And it shall speak to you of me

And perhaps it will say

Shelley Alvarez was feeling sentimental. This strange state
only rarely overcame him. Perhaps what the waltz says is

Affect is a law that governs and rules.

Because when Shelley was feeling sentimental he would
always wind up in that devastating feeling called memory.

What’s that flower
You have on
Could it be a faded rose 
From days gone by
And affect disturbed him stylistically. One afternoon, moved 
by these feelings, he left off a B-flat notation and recalled a
certain sorrow: but the Prelude gained something: that must
be how Frederic Chopin dreamt it in Palma de Mallorca:
What’s that flower you have on.


To a Suicide in a Swimming Pool

Die no more
Listen to a symphony for marching band
 You will love yourself once more when you hear
Ten trombones
With their indigo clarity
In the night
Do not die
Weave into its indigo clarity
In the name of what God loves best
Emerge from the waters
Towel off
Look into the mirror
Where you were drowning
Stay on the third planet
Known only
For its gorgeous beings
Who emit sounds from their throats
That hinge between body
And dreams
And with the innocent devices
They raise to their lips
Or stroke with their hands 
Purest art
Called Music
Die no more
With its indigo clarity


This is Luisito Hernández

This is Luisito Hernández
Former welterweight
And they asked him:
How many times
Must we forgive
And he replied
Seventy times
Seven. And because
I’ve been stabbed
In the back
I know where
I’m going. And my heart
Still chooses you
And soft
Grass growing
At the seashore
Where Time 
Is easy and living
Is made of glass and
Her answered them
Seventy times
Seven. And over
The hills
Where time
Is as clear
And short as
The Season and
He replied
Seventy times
Seven. Over
The hierba there is
Wind and prairies
By the silent hills
And he answered them
Seventy times

Translated by Anthony L. Geist

Read a review of two recent anthologies by Luis Hernández in LALT No. 5.


LALT No. 5
Number 5

LALT No. 5 features powerful literary voices from across Latin America, including dossiers of essential writers Sergio Pitol and Victoria de Stefano, a special selection of Latin American chronicles curated by Felipe Restrepo Pombo, and a moving collection of trilingual poems by Mapuche poet Liliana Ancalao.

Table of Contents

Editor's Note


Featured Author: Sergio Pitol

Dossier: Victoria de Stefano

Latin American Science Fiction

Indigenous Literature

Latin American Chronicle




Nota Bene