100 Refutations: Day 54

In Waters of Darkness

Breaking ship and shore
it plunges deep.
Giving of itself
what the self is unable to give.
Shipwrecked heart:
you unleash storm clouds
and you drag drown
the High Heavens.


Her body’s indigo flakes away
but red
remains the cinnabar of her headdress,
mineral wax on her eyelids,
a serpent coiled around her waist,
a resin brazier,
her half-open lips
…desire still remains.


*Nahuatl word meaning “Divine Women.” In Aztec mythology, the souls of women who died in childbirth became these spirits who accompanied the setting sun.


Jeannette L. Clariond

Jeannette L. Clariond is a poet, translator, and editor. Her published collections of poetry include Mujer dando la espalda (finalist for the Ramón López Velarde National Poetry Prize, 1992); Desierta memoria (winner of the Efraín Huerta National Poetry Prize, 1996); Todo antes de la noche (winner of the Gonzalo Rojas National Poetry Prize, 2001); Leve sangre, Marzo 10, NY (performed in Madrid using dance and music); 7 visiones (with Gonzalo Rojas); and the retrospective anthology Astillada claridad (UANL, 2014). She is also the author of the prose memoir Cuaderno de Chihuahua (Fondo de Cultura Económica). In 2003, Clariond founded the publishing house Vaso Roto Ediciones, which she has directed since then. She was awarded a Fundación Rockefeller-Conaculta grant in 2004 for her translation of Charles Wright’s Black Zodiac, a BANFF Translators Grant in 2004 for The School of Wallace Stevens: A Profile of North American Poetry (co-edited with critic Harold Bloom), and recognition from the Italian Institute for Culture in 2008 for her translations of the poet Alda Merini. For her poetry and her contributions to translation and culture, she was awarded the Juan de Mairena Prize by the University of Guadalajara in 2014.

Lawrence Schimel

Lawrence Schimel was born in New York City and has lived in Madrid for nearly 20 years. He writes in both Spanish and English and has published over 100 books as author or anthologist in a wide range of genres: poetry, fiction, essays, children’s books, graphic novels, and even a cookbook. He is also a prolific translator. Recent translations include the novel La Bastarda by Trifonia Melibea Obono (Feminist Press, 2018); the children’s book The Wild Book by Juan Villoro (Restless Books, 2017); and poetry collections Nothing Is Lost: Selected Poems by Jordi Doce (Shearsman, 2017), Destruction of the Lover by Luis Panini (Pleiades Press, forthcoming 2019), and Hamartia by Carmen Boullosa (White Pine Press, forthcoming 2019).

Copyright (c) Jeannette L. Clariond. English translation copyright (c) Lawrence Schimel, 2018.