Translated into English by Lawrence Schimel
for Reginald Gibbons
is no man’s land between two fronts:
the sun like a white-hot stone,
the heat’s iron on our eyelids.
We walk along sparking sidewalks
with words that search for an oasis,
buds of breath pecked by sparrows.
Our steps ache from their weight
beneath the inflexible sky that rules the avenue.
There is no beginning nor end,
just time blinded by the light,
the folds of air that rise from the asphalt.
If there were clouds, we’d be their shadows.
One must have a mind of winter….
Time has not given you the answers,
just new questions.
The light abates
over time, the streets become deserted,
from your room you only see
a future of tattered branches,
night crouched on the rooftops,
and you think you even feel that stillness
that precedes snow
like an inheld breath,
something that waits to be
makes everything simpler,
with its chisel of cold and wants.
It is a discipline,
an agreement between the world and its flip side,
the shadow side on which it rests.
The color of the evening
is the color of thought.
Upon the street there falls
a rinsed light, almost isolated,
and everything moves further back and drops away
as in a camera lens,
as if the world were a diagram of itself,
a malnourished yet efficient map
that has encountered the root of things.
The mind is sated in winter.
It is soothed by its edges,
its quiet economy,
the way in which it sticks to what it has.
It simplifies everything,
even these uneasy questions
that change over time,
that don’t change.
He knew how to see the world as if he wasn’t in it.
Oblivion, indifference, these were his traits.
Also, sometimes, compassion, a strange tenderness.
The indicator blinked occasionally, at random.
It wasn’t something that should trouble him.
According to the current plan, urgencies were superfluous.
Nonetheless, he felt an echo of the old ties.
Something shifted blindly there within him.
He corrected a word of his report and began to wait.
He continued waiting while the Earth turned.
If the pieces had to fit together, he didn’t see how.
Jordi Doce (Gijón, 1967) is a poet, critic, and translator. He holds a PhD from the University of Sheffield, and has taught at both there and at Oxford. He is the author of the poetry collections: La anatomia del miedo, Diálogo en la sombra, Lección de permanencia, Otras lunas (winner of the XXVIII City of Burgos Poetry Prize) and Gran angular. His books of criticism and other prose include Hormigas blancas, Imán y desafío, Curvas de nivel, Perros en la Playa and La ciudad consciente. Ensayos sobre T. S. Eliot y W. H. Auden. He has translated into Spanish books of poetry by William Blake, T. S. Eliot, Ted Hughes, Charles Simic, Charles Tomlinson, Paul Auster, Anne Carson, and many others. He lives in Madrid.
Posted: August 10, 2016 at 9:09 pm