Three Poems

 

Streets of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Photo: Asael Peña, Unsplash.

End of the Carnival

The military parade has finished.
Now bums stroll the pier,
an alley where no one finds a peaceful death.

This year there were fireworks
and the President read a tear-jerking
and ovation-worthy speech,
followed by a minute of silence for three
pilots who died while performing supersonic pirouettes.

The military parade has finished.
No more military drumrolls.
No more patriotic canon shots,
or pageantry of horses with polished boots.

Just where did they get so many uniforms?
Will they have to wash and return them
tonight, or tomorrow at dawn?
How will the frogmen and the new SWAT team
while their time away for the rest of the year?

Thirty thousand uniforms
saluted the presidential dais.
And now that litter
leaps and scatters across the streets,
which beds will accommodate such a contingent?

 

Pangolita*

Day and night
a little gray police car
follows me

Luis Días

Every night around three a.m.
a patrol car passes my street,
a Volkswagen Bug,
a rabid and long lasting toy
built in some German oven
dating from World War II.

First, you listen to the motor…
sounds like it’s coughing…congested;
next you see the revolving lights
while the little car scurries
along the asphalt like a cockroach.

From here you sniff the odor
of rust, smoke and gasoline
remaining in the air;
the policemen’s sweat
smells of menthol and beer,
yet their polyester uniforms and kepis
don’t smell like anything.

White and green, the toy
turns the corner, vanishes from sight;
while the reflection of red and blue lights
quickly slides across the city walls
until there’s darkness and the street seems real again,
and gazes at me like a child hiding beneath a table.

*Dominican slang for a cop car.

 

Popular Monday Movie

Results from the Latest Election,
results of The Democracy.

Busted sneakers, chicken-bones sucked clean
by long lines of drunken strangers.

And now turn on the television, the news,
and light up one mother-in-law and two soap-operas.

Results from the Latest Election updates,
results of The Democracy.

Three day weekend, chucked stones and domino games,
stray bullets, rum, and gas shortages.

National Guards in supermarkets, dusk-to-dawn curfew,
fingers of cashiers in hot water.

Results from the Latest Election updates,
results of The Democracy.

Translated by Anthony Seidman

 

Visit our Bookshop page and support local bookstores.

Languages

Fogwill in LALT
Number 15

In our August 2020 issue, we celebrate the work of women writers and translators in honor of Women in Translation Month, highlighting the work of Victoria de Stefano, Krina Ber, Rowena Hill, and Margara Russotto—four women united by the coincidence of emigrating to Venezuela and becoming renowned writers in Spanish. We also pay homage to a giant of Latin American letters, Rodolfo Enrique Fogwill, on the tenth anniversary of his passing, and we highlight the work of Mé’pháá writer Hubert Matiúwàa in our Indigenous Literature section. This #WITMonth issue is rounded out with exclusive previews of upcoming books from women translators and an interview with translator Annie McDermott, plus poetry, fiction, interviews, and reviews of fascinating new releases from across Latin America.

Cover Photo: Grupo Mondongo

Table of Contents

Editor's Note

Featured Author: Fogwill

Four Venezuelan Women Writers

Fiction

Poetry

Essays

Chronicle

Interviews

Indigenous Literature

Translation Previews and New Releases

On Translation

Nota Bene