THREE POEMS FROM NEGRO MARFIL (IVORY BLACK)

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    Myriam Moscona
    Myriam Moscona, the daughter of Bulgarian Sephardic Jews, was born in 1955 in Mexico City, where she still lives. Her most recent book is De par en par, published in Toluca, Mexico by Bonobos/CONACULTA-FONCA in 2009. Her other books include Las visitantes, Vísperas, Negro marfil and El que nada. She has translated the work of William Carlos Williams into Spanish, and has made a number of artist’s books and text objects containing visual poetry. Jen Hofer’s translations of her work into English have been published in the journals Aufgabe, Bombay Gin and Circumference. She has received numerous prizes and fellowships, including the Aguascalientes National Poetry Prize for the book Las visitantes, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, for a sequence of poems in Ladino.

    (Translated from the Spanish by Jen Hofer)

     

    1.

    Floated                                 Thought

    Is read the century          Not precisely

    Against God                        But floated

    Behind

    It sinks

    And we don’t know so much and we

    Can                                        Only say

    Existence                            Held together

    With spit and beyond

    May the eye return to the North

    From white dwellings

    Return                                  to speak in tongues

    May the eye speak (the damp)

    It is not time for celebration

    2.

    Out of the house are burning the senses opposite what would you like to choose The sister the tongue the fiery the one that magnetizes pain and foul odor upon the burnt house

    Is burnished is inflamed scrapes explodes the second heart

    3.

    Waters come together                    In the body

    Drizzle in the city                             Blank mind

    Ablutions

    Against the steam            The red flesh

    Exudes                                 Wounds on the feet

    To initiate a being that recommences

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