lunes, marzo 26, 2007

New Poetry From Sergio Balari Ravera


celatamente Amor l’arco riprese
Francesco Petrarca

A ng

Era l'any del diluvi
(un altre)
i jo m'ofegava,
perdia peu,
sense terra,
ni barca.

entre les llums de colors
i les músiques de Plutó,
vas sorgir,
Noè de la Nit,
i em vas obrir l'arca.

La que navega
i dibuixa deixants de mercuri
en la mar,
que es reflecteixen
en els punts argentats
del teu rostre
i fan preguntar-me:
sarai tu Laura et, io, Petrarca?

1 de gener de 2007


celatamente Amor l’arco riprese
Francesco Petrarca

For ng

It was the year of the deluge
(a further)
and I was drowning,
on free dive,
with no land,
no ile,
no trawler.

out of the bright coloured lights
and the music of Pluto,
you emerged,
Noah of the Night,
and ushered me into the ark.

The one that sails
and draws over the sea
quicksilver wakes,
which shine
on the silvery flecks
of your face
and make me wonder:
sarai tu Laura et, io, Petrarca?

1st of January 2007

Translated from Catalan by Sergio Balari and William Bain


Agafa'm fort i plora'm.
Plora'm totes les llàgrimes aturades,

Agafa'm fort i plora'm.
I treu-me la sal de les nits eviscerades,

esprem-me,'m el licor amarg que m'enverina.

Dóna'm les mans.
Dóna'm les mans.
Les teves mans.

18 de gener de 2007


Hold me tight and weep me.
Cry me all tears dammed,

Hold me tight and weep me.
Take the salt off the nights eviscerated,

Squeeze me,
squash me,
distill any sour liquor that befouls me.

Let me hold hands.
Let me hold hands.
With your hands.

18th of January 2007

Translated from Catalan by Sergio Balari and William Bain

Sergio Balari Ravera (Barcelona, 1963) teaches general linguistics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, but poetry and fiction are two of his many other secret passions.

Sergio Balari Ravera (Barcelona, 1963) és professor de lingüística general a la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, però la poesia i la ficció són dues de les seves moltes altres passions secretes.

Sergio Balari Ravera (Barcelona, 1963) es profesor de lingüística general en la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, pero la poesía y la ficción son dos de sus muchas otras pasiones secretas.

jueves, marzo 22, 2007

New Poetry From William Bain Translated Into Catalan and Spanish

Rucksack screwdriver

It isn’t only the weather that takes the hitch-hiker south.
There’s an irony in southern speech he likes,
a heaviness in the summer days, almost visible
in the glint off the water, the thorn of cactus. Time
from vehicle to vehicle takes each

driver’s maze closer to circle. Blown tires,
overheating radiators, broken keys, trysts
derived, the talked out fire re-emerging in shared close
call just before dawn on an all but empty, I swear,
straightaway just before a perfectly well-marked exit ramp.
He drinks morning chill and vending machine coffee
alone, buys the gas station’s last bargain price screwdriver.
He likes to think he’d never drive that way. He just
hopes for a quick death when death comes.

Tornavís de motxilla

No és només el bon temps que porta l’autostopista cap al sud.
Hi ha una ironia en el parlar del sud que li agrada,
una pesantor en els dies d’estiu, quasi visible
en la lluentor de l’aigua, l’espina del cactus. El temps
que triga a passar d’un vehicle a l’altre atansa
el laberint de cada conductor més cap al cercle. Rodes punxades,
radiadors fumejants, claus trencades, encontres derivats—
El foc silenciat reemergeix llavors, i escapa,
poc abans de l’albada, a un accident en—ho juro—
una sortida perfectament senyalitzada d’una quasi totalment buida carretera.
Li agrada el fred de matinada que beu en el seu cafè de màquina.
En la seva soledat, compra el darrer tornavís d’oferta de la gasolinera.
Li agrada pensar que ell mai no conduiria d’aquella manera.
Només espera tenir una mort ràpida quan arribi.

Traduït per William Bain y Sergio Balari

Destornillador de mochila

No es únicamente el buen tiempo lo que lleva al autoestopista hacia el sur.
Hay una ironía en el hablar del sur que le gusta,
una pesadez en los días de verano extendiéndose casi visiblemente
en el brillo del agua, en la espina del cacto. El tiempo
que cuesta pasar de un vehículo al próximo lleva el laberinto
de cada conductor más cerca al círculo. Pinchazos,
radiadores humeantes, llaves rotas, encuentros derivados—
El fuego silenciado reemerge entonces, y escapa,
poco antes del amanecer, de un accidente en—lo juro—
una salida perfectamente señalizada de una casi totalmente vacía carretera.
Le gusta el frío de la mañana que bebe en su café de máquina.
En su soledad, compra el último destornillador de oferta de la gasolinera.
Le gusta pensar que él nunca conduciría de aquella manera.
Sólo espera tener una muerte rápida cuando llegue.

Traducido por William Bain y Sergio Balari

William Bain is studying for a PhD in Literary Theory at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

William Bain cursa estudis de doctorat en Teoria Literària a la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

William Bain estudia para doctorarse en teoría literaria en la
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

lunes, marzo 19, 2007

Three Poems From Tommy FitzGibbon

it's good to be going

he came behind a sun of gold, propelled by his broad shoulders,
and opening his weathered hands a beam of light emits, for a moment,
into the eyes of animals. and he walks through a sea of humanity.

and from where he stands he can look out over a horizon that is
one hundred percent flat, when he strikes the ground it is a fire work
or a flower blooming. spirits shoot from his nostrils and whither as leaves.

when passers by are caught in the rain they melt in their dark suits,
fall through grates into networks of drains. this man has been down the
liquid steps, waves of glass break over us.

he folds his fingers around a warm cup, his cup overflows. this disused
radio tower came to life when it received him, the sky was cut open by
sharp airplanes. he lies there listening to the hammers of development.

did you become sick? did you, with your voice, try to signal, or with some
mechanism, a bright light? crawl through the darkness? and did you pound
on the ceiling of your shallow bunk in pain (as if the bones were breaking)?
in its fever was the body overtaken by violent rigor?

so then what mechanisms put you into this clean bed under a warm
blanket, curled? and did the room emit, from the corners, murmurs?

i drink a sticky liquid sweet tasting and soporific. recline in tall grass,
observe clouds of butterflies. i come to a river as wide as it is slow. filtering
loud and soft through the air the sun comes out, catches currents of insects
above its sluggish waters. gaze into flickered foliage and past into bare

i came out of ten big animals their eyes were each different shapes and
colors. i eat flesh, i become one another. the skin is covered in a layer of salt.

their long black legs without joints stretched upwards. through city streets
reflections caught across mirrored monoliths of commerce, billowing.
engulf us in their shadows as they pass us by.

his smile cuts his blank face in two, opening his large mouth an odor
of lilac escapes as if from a prison - i was dozing beneath industry tree,
i heard whispers of an oasis, a winged insect, keys.

which float in and out amidst the generative din of another spilt market

at dusk we sit watching dust roll off mountains, for the day we have
removed our protective eye wear.

he wakes in a patch of light, before him an opening that
frames a stark blue. beyond the threshold sweeps a flock
of small birds. for a moment their twittering has replaced everything.
the sun flows in moats,
falls like wings through the air.

for posy

when i start i often release
a cloud of dense black smoke
disappear into my very distress
and fatten a thinness

find myself in dead hotels
that circulate conditioned air
as sleeping i spill over
my artificial boundaries

say no to death, return
holding the future as a shield
against the gnashing teeth
of the present

but now, on the brink
the teeth have become quiet
and our little house rotates
on the wind

emits warmth, brilliant
clouds etched, swept across
and hung before our window
the connection of two stray wires

and any minute now i fear
they´re going to turn me on
and i´ll smell power
become blind

i just want you to know
that if i go
i wont really be going

we never will be forgiven
for the dogs we leave behind
who as empty vessels
hover in the periphery

but now i cant keep from drifting
towards the complex organs

one day maybe we´ll graze
upon these pastures of plastic
dreamily beneath
the impossible airplanes


sometimes restrained in this room i
go on long walks through my own cities
buildings stand
wheels roll
we buy things
we sell things
we touch each other

once i found myself at night
on an empty street
sheltering myself from a persistent drizzle
by means of some chance overhang

or perhaps it was the middle of the afternoon
and a great rain came that was completely
unexpected so that
everyone forgetting their umbrellas
was squeezed in together
under the same overhang

there was a slightly wild smell in the air
and it was dropping so fast
that it made one long sound
and the street became a river
for a little while

sometimes i sit on the curb of my mind
and watch the cars drive by
of my imagination
they move in both directions and stick to
certain sides of the road
their various shapes reflect their uses
and the forward looking eyes
of their designers

in my grocery stores i shop among ghosts
the food lacks nutrition
and we fill our carts with empty boxes
amidst a profound silence
we stand in long lines
that dont seem to move at all

and i am so happy the places i return to
are always exactly how i left them
and visiting i become the person i was
all the people from my past
are just as they used to be
the dead exist in beautiful precision
my lovers wait behind their doors

now where i am in the dark
solutions are as simple
as reaching for the switch
there will be no more fumbling
a circuit waits to be completed
and bring our small rooms to life
a door knob waits to be turned
so that the outside might spill in
feet wait to walk
eyes wait to see

the body reclined
head resting against a wall
this power manifests itself
through the surfaces we touch
the room is continuously expanding
in my world divisions of prosperity
create zones of intangibility
beggars stand on medians
while vehicles burn past

the machine is diverse to a point
that is unfathomable except that
it always needs fuel

from my pockets a flock of bills
takes flight
sustains me

an environment surrounds me
that will eventually be acquired
while i sleep

Tommy FitzGibbon is a young American living in the Dominican Republic.

jueves, marzo 15, 2007

Three Poems From David Sullivan


Ten shirtless men
split granite. Drive
iron feathers—tapered
metal triangles—down
into seams they’ve
grooved in stone.

This morning you laid
my hand on your belly
and it pulsed. You live
a double life: vessel
of two hearts, one
smaller than a pebble.

The men wedge apart
huge sections with plug
drills’ chiseled points;
gaining leverage from
above they unsettle
what’s beneath their feet.

I cradle my head on your
lap. Tell you we’ll work
out this tug of war between
wants. Your finger idly
curls a lock of hair. You say
I’ve already given ground.

As the blocks seize,
giving way with a groan,
the men jump back from
the chasm they’ve created.
Granite dust whitens
the air and their faces.

Your too-loving words
are metal-sharp feathers
splitting me through
my weakest seams:
I fear I’m less than
the man you mean.

Below, one hoses
dust down, reveals
teeth-marked granite
he tags for delivery to
sculptor or contractor:
moves to the next.

But this life has only
begun, and what we were
we are no longer. I fear
the face I kiss through
your taut belly’s wall.
Listen for his first fists.

Permission Granted

You do not have to choose the bruised peach
or misshapen pepper others will pass over.
You don’t have to bury
your grandmother’s keys underneath
her camellia bush as the will states.

You don’t need to write a poem about
your grandfather coughing up his lung
into that plastic tube–the machine’s wheezing
almost masking the kvetching sisters
in their Brooklyn kitchen.

You can let the crows amaze your son
without your translation of their cries.
You can lie so long under this
summer shower your imprint
will be left when you rise.

You can be stupid and simple as a heifer.
Cook plum and apple turnovers in the nude.
Revel in the flight of birds without
dreaming of flight. Remember floury
raw dough in your mouth as you edged a pie.

Go skydiving as your birthday gift.
Lie in the bath with ears under water
and sing Lay down my sword and shield.
Take all day to emerge from the steamy room,
then hide your prunedness in silk robes.

The skin on things vibrates. Attune yourself.
Close your eyes. Hum. Each beat
of the world’s pulse demands nothing more
than that you feel it. No words even.
Just the thought. Yes. This lives.

The homeless woman is following the tunings
of a dead composer, she closes her eyes
and sways with the subways. Follow her
down inside where the singing resides.
Curl up at her feet.

No Place Like

Double-paned windows
strapped to a truck
are canted
into a lean glass pyramid
that carries clouds,
flickers of telephone poles,
a moment
of blinding sun,
and my elongated body.

Blue vinyl siding
against peeling white clapboard
encircled by ivy.

The front porch leans
into itself
like a couple
loving the heat
of their argument.

Twine straps
the cardboard boxes
to the park bench—
slipped one
into the next
like a telescope.

On the protruding pillow,
a faded pink cat.

A coffee maker
kicks on
at 6:40 am
and begins
to drip.

Below the counter
the spaniel paws
its red pillow,
sinking down
into its snoring.

The diminishing
T’s of telephone poles
march towards

One unscarred road
turns and ends
in a heap of sand
diamonded with beer cans.

The graduate student
stirs noodles
over his hotplate
in the darkened office.

A security guard
catches the scent
of daikon mingled with
grated ginger.

Closes his eyes.

A place to call my own.

A room of—

Smell of—

No I ain’t homeless,
says the woman
who scrubs
the soup kitchen’s
huge metal pans
beside me,
say I’m

I’d driven the nails in
myself, and it showed.

That first night
I lay awake on the platform
cradled between four gnarled
apple limbs and surveyed
the slow circuit
of the moon.

Something woke me.
I rolled over and the buck
snorted as it raised its antlers.

Slowly it circled the apple tree.
Moving in and out of my field
of vision
three times.

When it stomped
its hooves and charged
into the trees
a doe and fawn
sprang into being
and chased after.

Camelot. Forest Green.
Tanglewood. Sherwood Forest.

New Audubon’s plowed hills,
like a patient shaved
for an operation.
Pelican Lane.
Killdeer Avenue.
Tern Street.
Kingfisher Terrace.

The street signs up
before the houses.

The animals have fled,
but the coyotes
will come back down the greenbelts
to pick off house cats
and smaller dogs.

A boxcar bulldog noses
the man’s crotch;
his beefy hands
tell the air a story
he hopes the guard
will buy.

What I wouldn’t give—

On any given night—

The trick is
to keep moving.
Always. Sleep’s just
what happens when the sun
finds you
before the cops do.

In Oaxaca they spread ashes
on the first of November
to catch the spirit
of angelitos
who return
through the paws
and claws
of animals.

Sun bakes
the old man’s face
like bread.

He slaps flies
in his sleep.

Ridge beams.
Elk skins. Boxcars. Freighters.
Semi-cabs with night-lights
and mini-fridges.

Burlap sacks.
Quonset huts.
The blue sea of the TV
bathing a sleeping woman
in a terry cloth bathrobe.

Lockets pinched on hairs.
A dumpster redolent
with the rot of a hundred limes.

A dinghy, overturned,
on Nantucket’s white sands
under which I once spent the night.
A cough heard through
a baby monitor.
An empty chapel’s
electric votive candles.

We need more
than our dreams
to live in.

And Raven
through the smoke hole
with the sun in his beak.

And when it burned
too hot he tossed it
to the sky
and it stuck.

And that is why
we leave Raven
the leavings of fish,
brightly turned shells,
and our songs of home.

My son snuggles
against me
in his bed:
Tell me a story.
One where a girl
gets lost
and a porcupine
helps her find her way back.



The night drapes
its black cloak
over us
with its cut-out stars
and the new moon’s

Our breath
goes out,
over and over again,
into the arms of the night.

David Sullivan is an instructor of English and Film at Cabrillo Community College, where he also edits The Porter Gulch Review. His poems have appeared in The Chicago Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Quarry West, and New Letters. His book of poems, Strong-armed Angels, is forthcoming from Hummingbird Press. He lives in Santa Cruz, California, with his partner, Cherie, and their two children.

domingo, marzo 04, 2007

New Poetry From Peter Golub

Interpretation of Yeats

When Jack Bauer goes to Puerto Rico

He isn’t really on vacation

And he isn’t afraid to venture past the walls of Old San Juan into the cemetery

He brings a pack of Lucky Strikes, but forgets to smoke them

When he makes it to Isla Mona he’s too drunk to notice how drunk the iguana’s are

On the fancy boat that takes him around the island

Several times before he finally gets off

And stumbles into the black forest where he falls asleep

In an over priced hotel and writes

The following poem after singing Motherless Child

In all the languages the Government

Taught him

Several girls gather beneath his window while he sings

Weeping not knowing

How to continue on with their lives

The world must be saved endlessly

Just as it must die without end

As this terrible country

A sand dollar inside a hockey’s mans stomach

The koala bear in the backyard

Howling from its plastic tree

If I see the man with the tattoo

Wielding a stapler –it is a threat to national security


I have met them at the close of day

From the counter of the rainbow I saw this morning

I passed with a nod of the head

While I lingered around a mangrove watching a bird

This other man I had dreamed

A vainglorious lout

I number him

He has resigned

A terrible beauty is born

Minute by minute the change

While I save the nation

While trout fall from the sky

In perfect sequence

On time

Each with his plans

Chatting on black phones

Minute by minute they live

Too long a sacrifice

O when may it suffice?

That is heaven’s part

To murmur name upon name

And for an hour I have walked, that is, in my mind the future years had come

Out of the murderous innocence

May she be granted beauty and yet not

That chooses right

That is no country

Caught in that sensual neglect consume my heart away sick with desire

And fastened to a dying animal

It knows not what it is and gathers me

Into the artifice of eternity what is past, or to come

The America whose plant is packed into the bowels

Of young-four-stomached-girls

They graze the lawns

Inside my mind

Full of grace

Amid the rustle

High in the hills

Dizzy high

A mechanical



As if some empty shell

I should hand in my resignation

Those non regulated factories in China

Where there is no congressional oversight

O my god what is this world coming to?

Wine wine wine

Wine relieves my sigh

The men are on their way

They have my wife

They have my doctor’s medication

Public opinion ripening for so long

And a great army but a showy thing

Delicate matters are not unsolvable by anger

Unless a little powder

A drunken soldier

Murder at her door

In her own blood

As before we pieced out thoughts together

With satellite surveillance

I read the signs

I am a call-sign

Oh, master work of intellect or hand

That country round

None dared admit

If such a thought were mine


A shining web

Or hurried them

No moralist

An image of its state

A man in his own secret

Is lost amid the labyrinth he’s made

In politics or art

Delicate matters are not unsolvable by anger

Where we trade our work

The half written resignation

We, who seven years ago

Talked of honor and of truth

Shriek with pleasure if we show

The weasel’s shriek and weasel’s tooth

We traffic

Upon the roads of violence

In monetary wonder stare upon

And thinking of that fit of grief of rage

What youthful mother, a shape upon her lap

Honey of generation had betrayed,

And who must sleep, shriek, and struggle to escape

As recollection of the drug decide


Maria full of grace

Peter Golub was born in Moscow. After receiving a BA in Russian and Philosophy from the University of Utah he moved to Nevada to pursue an MFA in poetry at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His translations can be found in Absinthe: New European Writing, Caketrain, Cimarron Review, Zone, and St. Petersburg Review. He also has a cat named Sparrow, a squemu named Brenna, and harbors serious plans for international fame and domination.