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Poem in Spanish

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The grave has more power than the eyes of the beloved.
An open grave with all its magnets.
This weight on the wings. The sky is waiting for an airship.

I have the feeling that I haven’t got much life left.
Three hours after the celestial attack.

Why don’t I respond when I’m being offended?
Because my religion doesn’t allow me to.
Exterior maps: geography. Interior maps: psychography.
And in your hard cathedral I kneel.
Mountains pass camels pass
like the history of wars in antiquity.

Of all the men I am, I can’t find any of them
without the control of the intruding eye.
Problems. Mysteries that fasten themselves to my chest.
All I want is not to see businesses nor gardens
nor markets nor eyeglasses nor elevators.

In order to serve all radio listeners,
without discriminating between social classes, I speak a tongue
that fills hearts with the law of communicating clouds.
I have my brain or whatever it is full of skull moths.
For the world to go on being what it is it must
—per force—take another form.

True poems are fires. When something cherished burns
instead of the fireman I call, rushes forth the incendiary.
It says: live, live, live!
It is Death.

Mónica de la Torre, “Poem in Spanish” from Talk Shows. Copyright © 2006 by Mónica de la Torre. Reprinted by permission of Switchback Books.
Source: Talk Shows (Switchback Books, 2006)
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Poem in Spanish

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  • Poet, translator, and scholar Mónica de la Torre was born and raised in Mexico City. She earned a BA from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and, with the support of a Fulbright scholarship, relocated to New York in 1993 to pursue an MFA and a PhD in Spanish literature at Columbia University.
    With dark humor, de la Torre’s poems explore our constructions of identity and trajectory. Her full-length poetry collections include Public Domain (2008), Talk Shows (2007). She has also published the chapbooks Four (Switchback) and The Happy End (Song Cave). With artist Terence Gower, she co-authored the art book Appendices, Illustrations and Notes (1999). She frequently collaborates with artists and writers, as with Collective Task. Taller de Taquimecanografía, published in Mexico City, is the result of another collaboration. She contributed to Predictions (2009), a study of indeterminacy, and to the conceptual critical work Laureana Toledo: The Limit (2008).
    De la Torre coedited, with...

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