Renato Tinajero

Translation by Tanya Huntington

Chance is a single word, spoken in dreams.

If the same word is uttered by you and me, also in dreams

yet simultaneously,

it is no longer chance.

An arrow in the bull’s eye

–needless to say– is the fruit of chance.

Two arrows in the same bull’s eye, aimed by the same marksman,

remake chance as something else.


It just so happens that here, chance’s discourse is interrupted.

If it were to be interrupted once more (let’s say

in move number 14, to name a number at random),

there would be precise conjectures, more careful attention

to detail (who said what, in what tone,

whether or not there was mud on his shoes) in search of the intent

that hence, attempts to thwart this match.

And if such an intent did not exist? If, beyond all conjecture,

this were still the only answer: pure chance?

Sill, invariable laws demand our attention.

If once the western wind,

and once again the eastern wind,

conveniently deviate the archer’s pulse

and he strikes the target twice,

the answer lies in the wind, not the archer,

but despite all that, there’ll be an answer

(as indeed, there’ll be a question,

and one who asks, and the selfsame fact researched,

necessary links along a route that ascends

in stages from uncertainty

to pre-established harmony).

How glowingly does the seductive, striking

White Lady now make her appearance on the chessboard!

Thus could Pandora’s box be envisaged

ready to perform. Ah, White Lady!

Even if the answer did not lie in you,

the intention of your presence on the board

is not beyond conjecture.

You are contained in formulas. An algebra rises before you

and the certainty that we have won at last.

That would be no small triumph, if a certainty,

at last, were won.




The name of things will palpitate in Matter.

In the hedgehog’s name, true spines will bristle.


And merrily, among a roster of rushes,

the name of the frog will leap.


When the time comes, when the time

of law and temperance comes.

And we freely choose

the norm that binds itself to our feeble will.


*Cover image by Johan Borg.

*These poems were possible thanks to the support of FCE

Renato Tinajero (Cd. Victoria, Tamaulipas, 1976), is the author of stories, essays and poems. His book Fables and Stories of Strategists won the prestigious Fine Arts Poetry Prize of Aguascalientes in 2017.His Twitter is @renato_tinajero

Posted: August 21, 2018 at 11:10 pm

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