From Behind What Landscape. New and Selected Poems

From Behind What Landscape. New and Selected Poems

Luis Muñoz

     Translated by Curtis Bauer


Like the pith around a piece of fruit 

or the bound parcels of the clouds, 

memory breathes like an invisible world. 

From the outside it doesn’t exist, or is only silence. 

From the inside it is a going forth of bulldozers, 

of charged cells, of ant soldiers 

shifting in disarray.


Parallel Lives 

A sadness that doesn’t belong to me 

when I cross through the park. 

Unstuck and autonomous. 

When I feel this way I look, as if from above, 

at my usual sadness: it walks alone in the house, 

uses my towels, rifles through my files 

and muddles around in the kitchen 

with its customary meekness. 

This sadness is high and airy 

like whipped up ocean foam, 

something like a flag, a trick, a toll to be paid.

My usual sadness clings to my days 

like a thin transparent skin of silk. 

This sadness runs and flutters and seems to defeat, 

whenever I stand still, the rest of my life.


Leave Poetry

For subtracting while you add.

For filling your table with birds.

For taking you to a place you don’t know how to leave.

For punishing you without speaking.

For telling you: you are alone.

For preferring that you carry the burden

of its centuries-long pain

when you feel new.

For its preposterous magnet.

For the thirst it produces

when it pretends to be water.

For its parallel life.

For speaking to you

when you want to sleep.

For its pride of a misguided beast.

Because it looks at death

out of the corner of its eye

when it sings oh beauty.

For not giving explanations.

For being self-sufficient.

For being insufficient.

For drinking the shadow of tomorrow.

These poems belong to the forthcoming title Behind What Landscape (Vaso Roto Ediciones, 2015) 

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