100 Refutations: Day 59


We can
give up.

It matters not
to surrender in silence,
if the drums
of vengeance
echo from afar.

Sign of the Times

Nouns, pronouns, articles…
prefixes of the quotidian,
suffixes of the allowed.
Verbs to regulate conduct
and adjectives to qualify injustice.

Nouns, pronouns, articles…
exact forms, easy to invert.

The letter, occasionally freed, rebels.
And adds, but, also divides.

The word is cursed.
It is the sign of the times.


Carmen Peña Visbal

Carmen Peña Visbal, born in Barranquilla, Colombia, is a poet, journalist, lawyer, and expert in strategic communications. Visbal has studied human resources at the Industrial University of Santander; law at the Free University of Colombia; human rights at the ESAP (Escuela Superior de Administracion Publica); security and national defense at the War College of Colombia (Escuela Superior de Guerra); criminal law and forensic sciences at the Catholic University of Colombia; senior management at Nueva Granada Military University; and political management and governance at the University of the Rosary. She has held numerous leadership positions in journalism, government, and consulting. Visbal’s collections of poetry include Dite (1994), Las vestiduras de mi alma (1998), Mi voz no te alcanza (2008), and Todo silencio es esencial (unpublished). She has also been included in several anthologies such as Poseia Colombiana del siglo XX escrita por mujeres, Vol. 2 and Siete Poetas: Dreams of a country at peace without mines.

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V.

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V. earned MFAs in creative nonfiction writing and literary translation from The University of Iowa. She is the author of Drown Sever Sing from Anomalous Press and Don’t Come Back from Mad River Books, as well as editor, with Sarah Viren, of the forthcoming anthology Essaying the Americas. Her fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and translation work has been featured in journals including Bellingham ReviewChicago ReviewFourth GenreBrevityPoets & Writers, and The Sunday Rumpus, among others. She won Best of the Net and Iron Horse Review’s Discovered Voices Award, has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and is a Rona Jaffe fellow. She moved from Colombia to China to Columbus, Ohio to Richmond, Virginia, where she works as an assistant professor for Virginia Commonwealth University. Visit www.linawritesessays.com.

Copyright (c) Carmen Peña Visbal. English translation copyright (c) Lina M. Ferreira C.-V., 2018.