From India Ink On Tracing Paper

From India Ink On Tracing Paper

De Tinta china sobre papel cebolla

Luis Aguilar

Death Certificate

Translated by Lawrence Schimel

Life is consecrated in other things, other things that sing, that sing other things; chained things that enchain other things, like mouths; mouths bound to the vigorous bite of fresh teeth, with buttons like roses; roses like mouths that sing other teeth in the same roses.There is a certain otherness in everything [tree or petal, melted tooth or hungry spotlight: titillating immensity of no one] that is always responsible. .•. To Luis Armenta Malpica, for the illuminations. I was born where I should be, because life, coincidence of the clear eye, increases with the arrival of forcefulness. With the kiss of my first tiny cobblestone I knew that the sound of the gutter was my path: that the disfigurement of that face under the water was no eddy of current, but anticipation of a drought. I saw, suspicious attention, that the name of any poet is a small plot of land where the water is watched, that flight, apparently without return, that makes of desperation a crepe tree. .•. I also wanted to leave. The irises of my eyes barely poured out their terror in a birth of betrayals, I served desires in the bloody fangs of other beasts; my scanty ears slept in the legs of what (I didn’t know) they called love and surpassed beauty. My eyes sought dawns but light was not a singularity, but the uncertain parting of the shadows. Everything was penumbra: habituated conical reflections (limitation of the eye, all immensity, said an earthly god  named Eduardo) mocked the truth through illfated shadows; they opened way to uncertainty. In them barbarism sharpened its claws and the midden ignited my passion for the ravine. I cleaned lip and tooth with gourds of shining mud: so much infinity in the pure vehemence of the filth [versus he who scorns, the amorous is a diamond disguised as a beggar]. I grew used to the darkness, grasping darkness; I began to live in concubinage with the shadows of the shadows, which elongates. However, nothing was ever so pristine, growing blind from so much:

Fragment from Eyes Already Ruined / Los ojos ya deshechos, a bilingual edition in press at Libros Medio Siglo, Harlingen, Texas.

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