The waters taken aback by the presence of word
River the gully its wound among the rocks
the size of a sunrise
surrounded by trees.
Its murmur led us upstream,
like those who follow the course of a landscape,
melting into the water,
like one who recognizes
the heavy step of the executioner.
A word that surfaces with the reflection
of days spent stripped of dates:
nothing more than time running forward
nothing more than a succession of beats.
We arrive at the mouth. The cavern
in the hillside from where we get Water,
the beginning of River, the end of Word.
The Abyss Named Eduardo Anguita
The abyss named Eduardo Anguita
was, like no other,
a lover of forms.
He had a body of fire
and eyes surrounded by nothingness.
itself to light in his voice,
like water in mist.
No one held more omens
in his throat or pen than him
when he wove emptiness
between a match and a vortex.
No one more golden
at the hour of feeding the stars.
No one like him,
hungry for an imagined number.
A Bird Beats the Window
At first we hear only a strange deaf noise
as if a nail were trying to scratch
the air that reflects into nothing
like looking in a mirror our repressed
surprise at seeing this tiny bird beat
the window that looks out toward the yard
as she tries to follow the course of light
her winged sister in the air and ether
(the other air) once and again, again
and again one two three the boy opens
his mouth for the bird to enter the bird
seeking as earnestly as Narcissus
not knowing the hard dry kiss of crystal
on his hand now extended the boy starts
as death and ends a nest: the bird demands
that approach, not an obstacle but a hindrance
we cannot stop looking eyes closed
mouth open hands extended bones facing
nothingness, as on the shadeless prairie
a bird beats the window.
Translated by Gwendolyn Harper
Marcelo Pellegrini (Valparaíso, 1971) is a Chilean poet, essayist, and translator. His most recent verse collection is El doble veredicto de la piedra (Santiago de Chile: Das Kapital, 2011). As a translator he has published Constancia y claridad (2006), a selection of sonnets by William Shakespeare, and Figuras del original (2006), a book that compiles his Spanish translations of poems written in English and Portuguese. In the academic sphere, he has published Confróntese con la sospecha: ensayos críticos sobre poesía chilena de los 90 (2006) and La ficción suprema: Gonzalo Rojas y el viaje a los comienzos (2013). He is a regular collaborator of academic and literary journals in the United States as well as Latin America and Spain. He currently works as an Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Gwendolyn Harper has translated work by Chilean writers Pedro Lemebel, Lina Meruane, and Nelly Richard, as well as the Spanish author Emilia Pardo Bazán. Her translations and essays have appeared in D21 Editions, JoLT, and The Caravan. She will be starting an MFA in fiction at Brown University this fall