I mean no offense to anyone, but I have a right to not be here, to have left, taking into account the fact that my parting is merely a consequence. And I don’t mean for you to feel guilty (in the end, he who is not present feels no guilt); it’s only to defend myself...from all of them, who lurk in these corners I now inhabit.
And Having Turned Them On
And nobody turned on the lamps.
And we searched for connections
even with no light.
Because it can always be glimpsed in the gloom.
And perhaps every color is only shadow.
Useless, bothersome blush.
And nobody sensed the dark.
And we lost harmonies
due to excess of sun.
Because there was never anything coming.
And perhaps we did need
a light match, maybe even
I’m back in that state of mind in which the drop is separated from the cloth, and I no longer read fragments, and everything points toward the same enclosure, very strict and necessary. I pass the time in that state of semi-trance in which a hope appears, a possibility I clamp in my fist, a yearning (your yearning) that gradually constructs me till the hand on my chest almost touches the organ that thunders within. I’m back in that precarious place in which longing frightens fear just as it tempts it forward, and everything depends on what peace I can keep still knowing that my desire hangs only from you.
(from Íntimo, el espejo: Poemas de Egarim Mirage [Intimate, the mirror: poems of Egarim Mirage], 2015)
Translated by Arthur Dixon
Graciela Yáñez Vicentini (Caracas, 1981) is a poet, essayist, proofreader, and cultural promoter. She earned a degree in Letters from the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Under her pseudonym, Egarim Mirage, she has signed two verse collections: Espejeos al espejo [Mirrored mirrors] and Íntimo, el espejo [Intimate, the mirror]. She is presently the editorial coordinator of “Papel Literario” [Literary paper], the cultural supplement of the newspaper El Nacional in Venezuela. Her texts have appeared in several anthologies within her country.
Arthur Malcolm Dixon is co-founder, lead translator, and Managing Editor of Latin American Literature Today. He has translated the novels Immigration: The Contest by Carlos Gámez Pérez and There Are Not So Many Stars by Isaí Moreno (Katakana Editores), as well as the verse collection Intensive Care by Arturo Gutiérrez Plaza (Alliteratïon). He also works as a community interpreter in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a 2020-2021 Tulsa Artist Fellow.
LALT No. 6 goes from the gripping true stories of literary journalism to the strange worlds of fantastic short stories and graphic literature. We highlight chronicles by Colombian journalist Alberto Salcedo Ramos, speculative fiction in a dossier curated by Mexican writer Alberto Chimal, and Yucatec Maya poetry and prose in our ongoing Indigenous Literature series.