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(March 2005)


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The very idea of the (definitive) translation is misguided, Borges tells us; there are only drafts, approximations.

Andrew Hurley

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Saturday, June 29th, 2013

🦋 The Tin Man's Lament

divídeme por favor
exactamente por el medio
despégame con tus manos la piel
y arranca los huesos
con tus dedos
es mi carne, cómela, digo,
pero déjame por favor la sangre.

sepárame por supuesto
de todo conocido
llevaré en cubos la sangre
mi sangre olorosa mientras busco
(y ¿cómo vas llevarlos sin huesos? preguntas y te pido permiso)
y hacemos viajes y aventuras sobre continentes
obscenos y ridículos

posted morning of June 29th, 2013: 3 responses
➳ More posts about Poetry

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

🦋 Dress Rehearsal Podcast

Today's Mountain Station practice tape has no annoying video, just audio of four fine songs.
Download from box and put it on your pod...

Mountain Station covers
a couple of the greats --
June 23, 2013

This tape has a little homage to two of our favorite songwriters, plus an original.
  1. All men are liars, by Nick Lowe
  2. All I want to do is fall in love, by Robyn Hitchcock
  3. Chinese Bones, by Robyn Hitchcock
  4. Clean Break, by Jeremy

posted evening of June 23rd, 2013: Respond
➳ More posts about Dress rehearsal rags

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

🦋 Un Sentido del Lugar

Un Sentido del Lugar

por Félix Fojas
tr. Jeremy Osner

Cada poema necesita
un sentido de época y lugar.
Cada poema debe existir
en el lugar nativo de su
corazón o de su pensaje

En un momento determinado y
una fecha memorable que rebosa
de cosas actuales prolongadas
como una mosca que aterriza en una fruta
o un joven mientras besa la primera:

un perro que busca a un hueso seco
o un gato aullante
que da zarpazos a una rata aterrada.
O tal vez se esculpe el poema
simplemente del aire enrarecido

y se halle simplemente a ninguna parte.
Tenga siempre en cuenta que
El lector medio tiene miedo
de explorar a un pueblo
y prefiere siempre oler

la aroma de alguna flor salvaje,
el sabor jugoso de una naranja,
o la lluvia de la primavera que se moje
y sus hojas verdes que hagan rumores
y bailen en las brisas.

posted evening of June 22nd, 2013: 1 response
➳ More posts about Translation

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

🦋 Asemic translation

Translation, by Peggy Schutze Shearn;
via The New Post-literate.

posted evening of June 19th, 2013: Respond
➳ More posts about Pretty Pictures

Yo voy escuchando en las músicas que suenan
entre corredores negros y tan largos que se desvanecen
todavía no recuerdo las lecturas -- pensativo
frunciré me rascaré apartaré
la mirada triste

Estoy escribiendo sobre ríos y lecturas
y las pildores que necesito para emociones puras
y virilidad la que mofo pero ocultamente deseo
miéntras gano a duras penas
mi recreo

No voy reluciendo, no podría soportarlo
yo no quiero agarrarlos a María y tonto Carlos
pero sé que todavía su secreto queda oscuro
soy inquieto, no entiendo, nunca voy a descansar
hasta todo lo que busco se revele

posted evening of June 19th, 2013: Respond
➳ More posts about Writing Projects

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

🦋 Slice of life

I served the pork chops tonight with apple gravy -- something which had never occurred to me before but now seems so completely obvious it is difficult to imagine pork chops served any other way. Here is how:

Sauté an onion in a bit of olive oil, with liberal amounts of salt and smoked paprika. Push the onion to the sides of the pan and add two pork chops. Cook over a high flame for a couple of minutes. As the bottoms of the onion slices start to blacken, turn the chops over and put the onion on top of them. Cook over a medium flame until it does not have any pink when you slice into it. Take the meat out of the pan and deglaze with some beer. Scrape the burnt bits off the bottom and add about 1/2 cup of apple sauce and some cinnamon. Stir until dark throughout and steamy. There you go; put it on top of the meat and eat with the remaining beer and (depending) rice or potato or bread; yogurt might be a nice addition, as might pickles.

Sylvia and I had a nice dinner; then she ran off to study, and I am digesting the chop and listening to the New Iberia Stompers (nice find! from my recent trip to New Orleans) live sessions. Here's Shim-me-sha-wabble:

posted evening of June 18th, 2013: 1 response
➳ More posts about Recipes

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

🦋 Patrone de las causas urgentes y justas

A few lines from Marta Aponte Alsina's "Glen Island (1900)" . A prayer to Expeditus, the patron saint of urgent causes:

The days do not have 24 hours -- what you do today you will atone tomorrow, what today you seek will be bestowed on you tomorrow -- sometimes it will not even be your turn. The only speedy saint is San Expedito. ....

Do not envy the lion his mane, nor the untamed colt
his skull; nor yet the brawny
hippopotamus his enormous loin
Who prunes the bushy branches of the Baobab,
Roars at the wind.

posted evening of June 13th, 2013: 2 responses
➳ More posts about La casa de la loca

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

🦋 Back-translation

Heaven is what I cannot reach!
The apple on the tree,
Provided it do hopeless hang,
That "heaven" is, to me.

The color on the cruising cloud,
The interdicted ground
Behind the hill, the house behind, --
There Paradise is found!
Kind of an interesting problem -- when an English work is quoted in translation in a Spanish text I'm translating, I normally would quote from the original in my translation, if it's available -- doing anything else seems a bit perverse.

But the situation in "Versos pedestres (1915)" ("A Few Prosaic Lines (1915)"), from La casa de la loca, is a bit unusual. At the end of the story, the narrator writes out her translation of the 8 lines above ("which my handwriting, as erratic as my writing, transforms into 9") on a piece of cardboard. To quote from the original would be not to acknowledge the story. The original would be out of place here.

Lo que no alcanzo es el Cielo.
La fruta que el árbol
ofrece sin esperanza
el Cielo es para mí.

El color que en la nube vagabunda pasa
el suelo a mis plantas prohibido
detrás de los montes,
más alla de la casa,
¡Me espera el Paraíso!

Cannot ignore the original either of course; it has an important role in the story. But the back-translation should sound like the translation, not like the original. (And is it a "good translation"? I'm not sure -- I don't think I get the same sense from reading it as I get from the original; but I have never been very good at understanding Emily Dickinson's poetry. So am probably not the best judge.)

posted evening of June 11th, 2013: 1 response
➳ More posts about Marta Aponte

Monday, June 10th, 2013

🦋 La casa de la loca

My latest translation project is the story "Lavender Mist (1955)", from La casa de la loca. An exciting project, and I'm close to finished with it; I'm planning to submit this story to Asymptote journal's Close Approximations contest.

This book is another that I bought on the strength of its cover illustration -- Rafael Trelles' painting "El suceso inesperado" (The Unexpected Event) pulled me right in. Contents:

  1. "The Madwoman's House (1915)" -- Rosario Diaz, widow of the author Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, works on an unfinished story of her husband's.
  2. "Glen Island (1900)"
  3. "Black House (1904)"
  4. "A Few Prosaic Lines (1915)" -- a woman sews clothing to support her family and writes (and translates!) poetry on pieces of a cardboard box.
  5. "Lavender Mist (1955)" -- Salvador Suárez visits the MoMA.
  6. "Birds of the Soul (1963)" -- After he was released from prison, Nathan Leopold ended his days as a birdwatcher in the Caribbean. Here he writes about the Paloma Sabanera (Columba Inornata Wetmorei), the final entry in his Checklist of Birds of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
  7. "Coconut Milk (1988)" -- A sort of repulsively smug New Yorker named Thomas Smith describes his travails in attempting to reproduce a recipe from Puerto Rican Desserts: An Illustrated Cooking Tour of our New Possession by Rose Kilmer (1900), given him by his uncle William.
  8. "The Poison Pen (1999)" -- Nurse Belisa Weaver, daughter of an Irish man and a Puerto Rican woman and mother of an estranged son, tries to make some money for her retirement by connecting couples seeking to adopt with pregnant young women.
  9. "The Green Man's Interlude (20--)"
The final section of the book is "Fragments of a Novel" about a young man who kidnaps people to steal their experiences. Tantalizingly pretty but very difficult to follow.

posted evening of June 10th, 2013: Respond
➳ More posts about Readings

Sunday, June second, 2013

🦋 Nations

posted morning of June second, 2013: 2 responses

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