Poems by Eduardo Espina

(To die between quotation marks)

In the invincible immensity
of time and of everything they are touched by
the twilight of each chromosome,
the cradle that carried what it had.
An invisibility overwhelms them,
so much antiquity gives them age
or ideas to respond to asleep,
and awake, who are they waiting for?
They know of more vengeances, of the
sky that knew to be too much.
(Still, silent as they are,
they find their nation in the shadows,
they are born, they dream near, they go
to learn when it will be fine to speak it)
As they see so much but in summer,
their time has one hour less,
almost always cadaver tic tocs.
Faced with the littlest lapse they protect
the duration of the next world
as it enters a trajectory to today,
from the most minute to the mínimum they look
through the zen soul at the calendars
to be heard in this way.
It’s the silence that they confess.
In the enormous dwelling
they are licked the same as the houri
the newborn who awhile ago
arrived from the beyond.
To the union of the births,
whiteness of the baggy brocade,
somnolent silk to free them.
There’s space for the softness that bandages them,
a condition for all, for none.
Firmness nor fastness saw them,
when alone in their crypts
the skin or they were missing something worse
The nothing that never came.
(They stayed wrapped up
so death
wouldn’t wound them)

The country hiccup puts fewer to the test
(A result between the masculine forms) (fragment)

Seen the bullock in the tepid abundance
of frost that dazzles when it fades.
Precise area where the button of antiquity
hesitates, almost never the same.
Ostriches, swifts, and some times foul:
a path without burning what surrounds it
demolished the important forests,
the cheep-cheeps grew until they bred crows,
the hood of the sweet bowered it was
in the cleared forest closed off until summer.
Beneath the birch the sleeping rhea
did not recognize the torrid earth erring
at the level of air that for some thing is native.
Who could have seen the time
a little bit more since it’s been a week!
It gives in its debilitation the duration now
the time of the grove talking low,
the willow says to the mean-faced magpie
her dragonfly to the landscape that has lost.

El nihilo
(The nothing knows not be cause)

The country lyric unifies signs,
an admiring way of loving the
body’s harness, but recently its race.
It’s a kind of corollary it will be a year
the pertaining principles to the panorama.
In the end there will be no lack of infinite difficulty:
beauty will come with cedars, will cede
before the drizzle drips on the urunday.
Towards the salamander’s excessive
immortality it rolls, natural; in ashes it is born
and destroys the line limp with enigma.
What could it yield but a name
before Melampus, a sign of affection
from an abject passing hand.
And they last as long as an iris gathered
what the aura would hear for it to be him.
Its duration in the garden lasts a lifetime,
then leaves through the buttonhole in the lilies,
rescues the voice in the forest the stillness
of those who dare to follow it
Is this the immensity, the raised banner
the interval of flavor in the flag
where the wind also went in order to see?
Clearly the climate on one side when all is said and done
commends the cow with the ineffable side and
you, afraid of dura mater entering
the mysteries that death fears
up to the point where it
could be toward the front.
An eye that could have existed
reconciles, senses the iris, bristling, brushing past
mistakenly brushing up against the never-known South.
But it wasn’t all that bad not even upon
inspection at sun set as the threshing began
sending the piled up country to the lass
looking lame in her invisibility.
In this trial the ocarina goes to the beaver,
reaching the beginning of sky where
the wedding due the woods may be missing
because on her way the life of sleep should come
It’s been awhile since the Occident was inactive,
it’s been more than one Saturday it was a month.
Containing different eras, the clock
castigates the white harangue for the bed,
together with the bean, together the general and the
gem: nobody intrigued enough to try them.
Light clouds, lip corners, some with hours:
don’t say a thing, drain your tongue.
Around here the harness depends on the effort.
The silence creates chance from a distance, the
inexistence of all the other things.


Eduardo Espina

One of the most renowned living contemporary Uruguayan poets, Eduardo Espina has published a dozen books of poetry and essays. He has won the two most important literary awards in his country: the National Prize of Essay (1996 and 2000), and the Municipal Prize of Poetry (1998), and his work has been translated into English, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Albanian, and Croatian. He is included in more than 30 anthologies of Latin American poetry. In 2006, he won the Latino Literary Prize, awarded by the Instituto Hispanoamericano de Escritores at CUNY, for his book El cutis patrio. In 2010, he won a Guggenheim fellowship.

Daniel Borzutzky

Daniel Borzutzky is the author of The Book of Interfering Bodies (Nightboat, 2011), The Ecstasy of Capitulation (BlazeVOX, 2007), and Arbitrary Tales (Triple Press, 2005). He is the translator of Raúl Zurita's Song for his Disappeared Love (Action Books, 2010) and Jaime Luis Huenún's Port Trakl (Action Books, 2010). His work has been anthologized in, among others, A Best of Fence: The First Nine Years (Fence Books), Seriously Funny (University of Georgia Press, 2010), and Malditos Latinos Malditos Sudacas: Poesía Iberoamericana Made in USA (El billar de Lucrecia, 2010). Journal publications include Fence, Denver Quarterly, Conjunctions, Chicago Review, TriQuarterly, and many others. Chapbooks include Failure in the Imagination (Bronze Skull, 2007) and One Size Fits All (Scantily Clad Press, 2009). He lives in Chicago.

El cutis patrio. Copyright (c) Editorial Aldus, 2006. English translation copyright (c) Daniel Borzutzky, 2011.