Colophon: 4 Unlikely Situations

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………………………………………………A
………………………………………………C
………………………………………………T
………………………………………………[C
………………………………………………O
………………………………………………L
………………………………………………O
………………………………………………P
………………………………………………H
………………………………………………O
………………………………………………N]

………………………………………………4
…………………………………….U N L I K E L Y
………………………………….S I T U A T I O N S

 

[1]

A N D I H A V E H U S H E D M Y S E L F F O R L I P S A R E D R A
………………………W N C L O S E R B Y S I L E N C E

…………………………………..W E S T P H A L E N

 

[2]

…………W E C A N ‘ T Q U I E T O U R S E L V E S F O R
……N O T H I N G C L O S E R T H A N L I G H T E X I S T S
S A V E T H I S S E A R C H I N G F O R T H E T O N E S O F S I L
………………………………………..E N C E

…………………………..P E P E R U I Z R O S A S

 

3]

E X A M I N A T I O N O F T H E R E P T I L E
[Ars Poetica 1]

**
………….The edge of a ray illuminates his purple brow
………….He flicks his tongue
………….Caresses his red lips
………….His adhesive claws in the shape of a root

**
………….His beautiful skull lights up, explodes (an electrical storm shakes it)
and
spills like black ink or tortuous ink or ink largely in decline

**
………….–Does he follow a trail? a flux? the signal?
………….–Not at all: he slides

**

………….Oh beautiful creature that submerges the delicate plates of his skin in
sugar
and
is wounded: this iron sensation violates and filters him
………….He doubles his textures
………….and inoculates himself: he resolves

**
………….He lays slack
but still sparks: the lips of a revolver shadow his poet’s brow

 

[4]

P A S S I O N A N D D E A T H O F T H E T I G H R O P E W A L K E R

**
………….Once there was a slender tightrope walker who climbed the silent ladder
until he was wrapped in clouds
………….The celestial clouds that boil his face evaporated

**
The faceless tightrope walker opens the gates of the sky and lifts a finger: reigns
………….Cactacea on his forehead, crucifix on his chest, diadems and a beautiful
suit of lights wrap around the tightrope walker’s willowy silhouette,
sweet and shiny like a violet solar star

**
………….At either side of the rope, two angels fly over tugging his wide trail (that
metallic path bordered by lush trees,
with yellowish and scaly trunks
………….Trunks permanently traversed by the sharp gnawing of beasts)

**
………….Danger grows at the sides of this dusty road, the wire tongue,
the alluring and disintegrating vertigo: cold descends

 

………….2

………….Slender, silent, and so very frail in his approximation, The Man walks,
that’s all

**
………….But the drummer’s agile fingers summon skies of charged clouds so that
–below–
the nonexistent net is only a black web twinned with the terrible sorcery of skies
opening up, his generous and infinite blue body over the leaden echo of the drum roll

**
………….Then a blade, swift as a flash or a butterfly, crosses the metallic-invisible:
in that precise, precious instant–the one of the subtle roll–the little man on the
rope, the fearless one, The Divine one, the poet, stumbles

**
………….And facing a vibrant fall, tenses desperately his muscles, spreading
(disordering) his slender bones along the length of his fragile little body

 

………….3

………….Soft, deep, and beautiful was the fall of the tightrope walker

**
………….But, a few meters from solid ground, he accelerated violently so that the
wake or the golden sand (which was also falling, adorning his beautiful trajectory)
would bury him as if it was the last rain in the desert

**
………….The delicate tightrope walker died on the scene

**
………….He fell, loosening his grasp

**
………….The perfect indifference of the drums–that silence–to the spur digging
into the center of his howl

**
………….His snail-body coiling itself in the sand

 

………….4

………….Then–slim, luminous, strenuous–The Lady emerged
………….Splintery, she curved to nail him down

**

………….But the serene tightrope walker, licking his chops between her breasts–
between the Virgin’s breasts–withdrew the blade, traced a cross on his mouth,
and, crossing himself before Her, gave her a kiss…
………….And, tying the heavy crucifix to his broken spine, he extended his arms,
projecting his long neck

 

………….5

………….(And the bloodied gonad swells)

**

**
………….6

………….And gulping down saliva–or glass–the heroic man with red lips on the
wire twists horribly his face and peels himself off the ground to initiate a slow
process of flotation
………….A process pregnant with electric death rattles that shake his drained body
………….His body crowned by an oval smile (Oh wicked smile that reveals the shine
of a gold tooth over the most pale of the countenances of Man!)

**
………….And the army of mourners–those beings, that crowd–let their quivering
jaws drop, raising a stunned gaze toward the Artist in ascension

**
………….Directing their sharp eyelashes against the elevated Poet
………….And the delicate, winged spirit is lifted above the crowd

**
………….This was how, wrapped in a sulfurous cloud, inexorably full, the slender
tightrope walker took flight

**
………….The tightrope walker who knots their dreadful gazes

Bios

Czar Gutiérrez

Born in 1968 in Arequipa, Czar Gutiérrez Rivas is among the most important inventors of the last fifty years of Peruvian literature. Between 1983 and 1988, he studied philosophy at the Universidad Católica de Santa Maria before becoming a rock journalist and underground DJ. In 1997, La caida del equilibrista (The Fall of the Tightrope Walker), Gutierrez’s first poetry collection, was published; it was republished in 2012. Between 2003 and 2005, he camped out at Ground Zero in New York City in order to write 80M84RD3R0, a wildly innovative novel republished in three volumes by Grupo Editorial Norma in Colombia. The novel received international acclaim and has been partially translated into English and French. Gutierrez is also the author of the poetry collection Josefina (Hueso Húmero, 2012).

Marta del Pozo and Nicholas Rattner

Marta del Pozo holds a PhD in Spanish Literature from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU. She teaches Spanish Literature at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. As a poet, she received the accessit for her book of poems La memoria del pez (2008) and has won the Antonio Gala International Poetry Prize for her manuscript Hambre de Imágenes (2015). Her book Escuela de Geómetras is forthcoming. With Nicholas Rattner she has received an NEA award to translate into English Yvan Yauri's book of poems Viento de fuego / FireWind (Ugly Duckling Presse, New York). She has also translated into Spanish the poetry of Richard Jackson, Robert Bringhurst, and Leonard Schwartz. She is Editorial Director at Quantum Prose. ************************************************************************* Nicholas Rattner holds a Masters in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He is a former basketball journalist and editor for Ugly Duckling Presse; currently, he teaches English at Holyoke Community College. With Marta del Pozo he has received an NEA award to translate into English Yvan Yauri's book of poems Viento de fuego / FireWind (Ugly Duckling Presse).

La caída del equlibrista. Copyright (c) Czar Gutiérrez, 1997. English translation copyright (c) Marta del Pozo and Nicholas Rattner, 2016.