“there is a sorrow of holes in the unpeopled air / and in my eyes clothed creatures—undenuded!”

the opening of Lorca’s Poet in New York…

 


Cover Image

 
 

 

I

Poems of Solitude

at Columbia University

 

 


Fury, the color of love
,

love, the color of forgetting.

—Luis Cernuda

 

 

 

After A Walk

 

Cut down by the sky.
Between shapes moving toward the serpent
and crystal-craving shapes
I’ll let my hair grow.

With the amputated tree that doesn’t sing
and the child with the blank face of an egg.

With the little animals whose skulls are cracked
and the water, dressed in rags but with dry feet.

With all the bone-tired, deaf-and-dumb things
and a butterfly drowned in the inkwell.

Bumping into my own face, different each day.
Cut down by the sky!

 

 

My eyes in 1910

 

(Intermezzo)

 

My eyes in 1910

never saw the dead being buried

or the ashen festival of a man weeping at dawn,

or the heart that trembles cornered like a seahorse.

 

My eyes in 1910

saw the white wall where girls urinated,

the bull’s muzzle, the poisonous mushroom

and a meaningless moon in the corners

that lit up pieces of dry lemon under the hard black of bottles.

 

My eyes on the neck of the nag,

in the pierced breast of a sleeping St. Rose,

on the rooftops of love, with whimpers and cool hands,

in a garden where the cats ate frogs.

 

Attic where old dust gathers statues and moss,

boxes keeping the silence of devoured crabs

in a place where sleep stumbled onto its reality.

There my small eyes.

 

Don’t ask me anything. I’ve seen that things

find their void when they search for direction.

There is a sorrow of holes in the unpeopled air

and in my eyes clothed creatures—undenuded!

 

 

Fable and Round of the Three Friends


Enrique,
Emilio,
Lorenzo.
The three of them were frozen:
Enrique in the world of the bed;
Emilio in the world of eyes and wounded hands,
Lorenzo in the world of roofless universities.

Lorenzo,
Emilio,
Enrique.
The three of them were burning:
Lorenzo in the world of leaves and billiard balls;
Emilio in the world of blood and white pins;
Enrique in the world of the dead and abandoned newspapers.

Lorenzo,
Emilio,
Enrique.
The three of them were buried:
Lorenzo in Flora’s breast;
Emilio in a forgotten glass of gin;
Enrique in the ant, the sea and the empty eyes of the birds.

Lorenzo,

Emilio,
Enrique,
the three of them in my hands were
three Chinese mountains,
three shadows of horses,
three snowy landscapes and one cabin of lilies
by the dovecotes where the moon lies flat beneath the rooster.

One
and one
and one.
The three of them were mummified,
by the flies of winter,
by the inkwells that dogs piss and burrs despise,
by the breeze that freezes the heart of every mother,
by Jupiter’s white wreckage where the drunkards snack on death.

Three

and two
and one.
I saw them lose themselves weeping and singing
by a hen’s egg,
in the night that showed its tobacco skeleton,
in my sorrow full of faces and stabbing splinters of moon,
in my joy of gears and whips,
in my chest disturbed by doves,
by my deserted death with a single mistaken passerby.

          I had killed the fifth moon
and the fans and applause drank water from the fountains,
Lukewarm milk locked up in the woman who just gave birth
shook the roses with a long white pain.
Enrique,

Emilio,
Lorenzo.
Diana is hard,
but sometimes her breasts grow cloudy.
The white stone may pulse in the blood of a stag
and the stag can dream through the eyes of a horse.

          When the pure forms sank
in the cri-cri of daisies,
I knew they had assassinated me.
They combed the cafes, cemeteries and churches,
they opened the wine-casks and closets,
destroyed three skeletons to take their gold teeth.
But they couldn’t find me.
They did not find me?
No. They did not find me.
But it was known the sixth moon fled above the torrent,
and the sea— suddenly!— remembered
the names of all it had drowned.

Your Childhood In Menton

Yes, your childhood: now a fable of fountains.

-Jorge Guillén


Yes, your childhood: now a fable of fountains.
The train and the woman who fills the sky.
Your shy loneliness in hotels
and your pure mask of another sign.
The sea’s childhood and your silence
where the crystals of wisdom shattered.
Your rigid ignorance where
my torso was circumscribed by fire.
What I gave you, Apollonian man, was the standard of love,
fits of tears with an estranged nightingale.
But ruin fed upon you, you whittled yourself to nothing
for the sake of fleeting, aimless dreams.
Thoughts before you, yesterday’s light,
traces and signs of what might be…
Your waist of restless sand
follows only trails that do not climb.
But in every corner I must look for your warm soul
that is without you and doesn’t understand you,
with the sorrow of Apollo stopped in his tracks,
the sorrow with which I shattered your mask.
It’s there, lion, there, sky’s fury,
where I’ll let you graze on my cheeks;
there, blue horse of my insanity,
pulse of the nebula and hand that counts the minutes.
There I’ll look for the scorpions’ stones
and the clothes of the girl who was your mother,
midnight tears and torn cloth
that wiped moonlight from the temples of the dead man.
Yes, your childhood: now a fable of fountains.
Strange soul, tiny and adrift, ripped
from the empty space of my veins–I must look until I find you.
The same love as ever, but never the same!
Yes, I do love! Love! Leave me alone, all of you.
And don’t try to cover my mouth, you who seek
the wheat of Saturn in snowfields,
or castrate animals on behalf of a sky,
anatomy’s clinic and jungle.
Love, love, love. The sea’s childhood.
Your warm soul that is without you and doesn’t understand you.
Love, love, the flight of the doe
through the endless breast of whiteness.
And your childhood, love, your childhood.
The train and the woman who fills the sky.
Not you, not me, not the air, not the leaces.
Yes, your childhood: now a fable of fountains.

 
 

— Federico García Lorca, Poet in New York

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