Jul 092017
 

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Herewith, a fragment of Ricardo Cázares’s long poem entitled . Cázares began writing the poem in 2008 and has, to date, published two volumes of the work (around 500 pages) in Mexico.  is constructed on various strata (personal, historical, mythological, scientific, etc.) with long prose passages, compressed word segments, graphics pushing towards what the poet describes as “an uncertain archaeological and mythological consciousness” that slowly reveals itself. Cázares composes in Spanish and does the English translation himself. He says, “I have been translating poetry into Spanish for 17 years and think of myself not only as a poet but as a translator. However, translating one’s work is a different thing. I don’t think one can ever feel satisfied with the end result, simply because one is perhaps too attached to a certain syntax and rhythm that underscores the original mental and verbal impulse of the writing. There are very few passages that I’ve felt capable of working out in English.  For the present fragment I purposely avoided a literal translation, as I felt that some of the sounds and nuances that one finds in these ‘clusters’ only develop at a very basic, syllable-oriented level. I consider it a sort of ‘writing over’ the surface of the Spanish originals, which obviously breathe differently.”

— Dylan Brennan

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a fragment from 

PLEASE INSERT COIN

if you wish to continue
insert coin
please
take a coin out of your pocket and
insert on
forehead or
nose

insert on eyelid
slowly til you reach
what touches us
now touch the matter
insert your hand
the coin now in the lobe
proceed with care now
stroke
the left
parietal
lobe

count to 14
thousand million years
insert your hand in
the rock for
a preliminary probe
and touch—that is if
you want it
if you really do want
it
it is possible to score to
scratch the surface of
the source
please insert
a hand
a coin
turn on your drill re-
move the overlying residue
from stratum scrap
outline an excavation plan
the tunnel dam the pass
a pathway will be ready in
5 years

if you wish to continue
insert
if you desire
if desire moves you to
burrow through the bulk
insert
enter now
if you desire you are
certain push
move onward to the
tertiary stratum
5          -7 thousand
million years
now open up
your mouth and
sing
you heard me right
yes sing just
open up your mouth
clear throat line
out just
bring your own mouth closer
to the mouth around the cave
listen for
the undertone inside
your voice your dead
tongue muttering
to matter you presume
at least for
23                    25
thousand years

if you would like to continue
please bore
bury your hand in your skull now
insert
an awl
trepan I tell you
don’t panic
puncture clear
inside the rock
5-6-10 blows
will do don’t
fear
the grinding purr the pain
is temporary it is not
the time yet see
the light
I tell you do
make progress as you can
that it be that it is done
say now
speak now
the road
by force

open up now say aaahhh
say it be done
the light
the form flooding
the tunnel palpate ah
the cavity you
now detect
a feeling
of well-being envelops
your hand envelops
the patina uncovers
the rough surface
of the rock you
let yourself be overrun
by light the memory
divides
your body mens your
mind now
opens up says
voice the voice now
guides you to
your body your lungs whistle
kindly calmly telling you to
breathe            hear here
the vulva opens up the
mater matrix
mother opens up her womb
not earth don’t
let her listen no
no one has any right to
refuse you now
stay calm
breathe in again don’t
get all worked up she don’t have to
that bitch hear me out you
are the keeper
lord and master no
no one
hear now
the way the grinding
of the mechanism brings you
a breath
a breath away
from the realm

— § —

INSERTE una moneda por favor

si desea continuar
inserte una moneda

por favor
saque una moneda del bolsillo
e introdúzcala en su frente
o su nariz
insértela en su párpado
despacio hasta alcanzar
lo que nos toca
toque ahora la materia
introduzca su mano
la moneda en el lóbulo
avance con cuidado roce
ahora el lóbulo parietal izquierdo

cuente hasta 14
mil millones de años
inserte su mano en la piedra
para una exploración preliminar
y toque—bien
si desea
si usted lo desea
de veras
es posible rozar el principio
sólo inserte una mano
una moneda
encienda su taladro ex-
pulse los sobrantes
del estrato trace
ahora un plan de excavación
el paso túnel presa
la vía estará lista en
5 años

si desea continuar inserte
si desea
si el deseo lo mueve
a explorar el cuerpo de la piedra
inserte
entre ahora
si desea está seguro
usted avance al estrato terciario
5          -7 mil
millones de años
ahora escuche abra
su boca
cante
sí le digo
escuchó bien
cante
abra la boca
aclare su garganta cante
acerque su boca
a la boca de la cueva
escuche oiga su voz
hacer eco
oiga su voz su lengua
muerta escuche la materia
usted desde hace al menos
23                                25
miles de años

si desea continuar perfore
hunda la mano
en su cráneo inserte ahora
un punzón
trepane le digo
no tenga miedo
perfore la piedra
dele 5-6-10 golpes
no tema
no le tema al crujido
el dolor es temporal
no es momento vea la luz
le digo
avance como pueda
hágase se haga
diga usted
camino a empujones

abra ahora
diga aaahhh
diga hágase
la luz
la forma inunda
el túnel palpe ah
la cavidad ahora
usted percibe
una sensación
de bienestar recorre
su mano recorre
la pátina descubre
la superficie rugosa
de la piedra usted
se deja invadir
por la luz la memoria
divide su cuerpo
mens su mente ahora
abre dice voz
la voz lo conduce
hacia su cuerpo
su pulmón izquierdo silba
le dice respire con
tranquilidad aquí
se abre la vulva
mater la matriz
la madre abre su seno
no la tierra no
se lo permita escuche
nadie tiene por qué rechazarlo
tranquilo respire otra vez no
se agite no tiene por qué
esa perra oiga usted
es dueño el amo
y señor no nadie escuche
cómo rompe la herramienta
lo acerca a sólo un aliento
del reino

 —Ricardo Cázares

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Ricardo Cázares (Mexico City, 1978) is the author of several collections of poetry including Drivethru, Es un decir, and the long poem simply titled . His work as a translator includes the first complete Spanish translation of Charles Olson’s The Maximus Poems, Maleza de luz, Selected Poems of Ronald Johnson, Robert Creeley’s Pieces, John Taggart’s Peace On Earth, Truong Tran’s dust and conscience, James Laughlin’s Remembering William Carlos Williams, and a comprehensive anthology of the British Poetry Revival. He is an editor and founding member of Mangos de Hacha Press, and the editor for the poetry and arts journal Mula Blanca.

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Dylan Brennan is an Irish writer currently based in Mexico. His poetry, essays and memoirs have been published in a range of international journals, in English and Spanish. His debut poetry collection, Blood Oranges, for which he received the runner-up prize in the Patrick Kavanagh Award, is available now from The Dreadful Press. Twitter: @DylanJBrennan

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