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Hay Beach Poems: Two Excerpts

Translated from Spanish by Rosas Alcalá

Appearing out of something else, Ashberry bursts

into endless discourse, as if the instant were a

succession of words, waves of existence in a

dense and senseless ocean, an aroma that is to be

distilled. Reason, rabies, suture, a dog that

appears in the distance with sands and hidden

drops; the dog licks excitedly his wounds, from

his mouth falls the drool which will heal him;

the grey-haired man suggests a persistence in the

ear, he looks, trains, entertains himself, the

girl’s kite splashes its beauty; the mother

thoroughly approves the development of her

daughter’s style. Memory hides there in order to

whack your desire. Even when innocence prospers,

sound’s efficacy is unstable, still the impulse

towards language is like something that forms

over time in the shell of a heart beating and

beating ceaselessly.


Already the sun aligns the blue uncertainty of

what will be inscribed in the spheres, in the

incessant replication of waves. In this way,

opening the eyes to the incredible immateriality

of the horizon, no fault can alter its illusion.

The currents speak with unbelievable voices, a

vocabulary of slips and silences, of radiances

and shadows in the darkness of that water which

becomes agitated with the impact of air and

breeze, of the sketch of algae at the edge. The

already repeated language of shadows does not

raise itself in the insistent ancestral air. It

is not race that encourages, but the voice of the

foreigner travelling the earth to remember, more

intense the appreciation for what is seen:

insult, perspective, mystery, and selection. She

doesn’t know why the winds brought her to a

horizon of sails, to the urge for silencing the

incessant, or obstructing the current with astral

noise. She submits with sharp legs to the

confusion that will not agree to certainties.

There are no longer shadows only in literature

and in voice and they are voices and they are

voices that do not distort their lies. What

gives life is in a sense simplified, it does not

result in a fuss but in a useless desire for the

dark, instead of nodding one’s head at the

inexorable lucidity of the constancies. She does

not dare to penetrate the divine, as if the

rhetoric of the dream were not a unanimous

reading of the sky. Scratch the surfaces,

believe in the substances, slide along the

current, see in the singularity of the journey

just one sky without frontiers, only one blue

without horizon, an abstract scenery without

contours, without accessible distances, without

retinas demanding the certainty of borders, to be

right now a trail sliding through the fault

current of forms, one more color in the general

structure of the universe, flattened by celestial

vertigo, by the relentless variety of action,

put to the rhythm of broad daylight.


Lila Zemborain

Zemborain is an Argentine poet and critic who has lived in New York City since 1985.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUN-JUL 2003

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