Page 1

La Presa Issue 3

September 2017

Embajadoras Press Ontario, Canada

La Presa Copyright © 2017 by Embajadoras Press, Ontario, Canada All Rights Reserved No part of this journal may be used or reproduced without the prior written permission of both the publisher and the copyright owner.

Editor / Editora Lee Gould Associate Editor / Editora Asociada Amaranta Caballero Prado Contributing Editors / Colaboradores de Redacción Paula Dunning Gregg Friedberg Annie Smith Miriam de Uriarte Technical Consultants / Consultores Técnicos Jack Dunning Gregg Friedberg Agota Page Translator / Traductor Eduardo Padilla Cover / Portada de la Revista Pedro Espinoza Guerrero – Olla Premiada La Presa is a tri-annual literary magazine devoted to publishing poetry and prose in Spanish and /or English by writers from Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Please direct correspondence to:

Issue 3

September, 2017

Número 3 septiembre, 2017



Campbell McGrath: two poems Traducción en español: Eduardo Padilla My Library 1 My Justice 2 Mi justicia 3 Rocío Cerón English translation: Tanya Huntington cerrar los ojos/ 4 close your eyes/ 5 Carter Ratcliff Ariadne on the Lam


Antonio Machado English translation: Miriam de Uriarte Del camino XXXIII 10 The Path XXXIII 11 Cynthia Manick What Some Little Girls Are Made Of Laurence Ryan The Chuiciest Apples Gabymar 14 Sabor a sal



Ozzie Alfonso The Table Next Door


Eduardo Padilla Fragmentos de Hotel Hastings Fragments from Hotel Hastings

18 19


John Levy Traducción en español: Eduardo Padilla Here We Go 22 Aquí vamos 23 Paula Dunning The Doors Are Closing


Pedro Mena Bermúdez 2x 29 Susan Kress Open House


Daniel Rojas Pachas Oswaldo Reynoso Eielson

31 32

Djelloul Marbrook Paying the Plumber Resentfully


Bosch Jones A Balance Somewhere Between Retreat and Return 35 Brian Dedora Un-Named


Anja Konig The Bad Gardener Jesús Sepúlveda Ciudad negra Black City


40 41

Paul Bamberger The Constant in the Source Essence Margo Mensing Simple the World



enriKetta luissi Welcome Allí

48 49

Annie Smith Excerpts from the memoir: Fragments of Loss Mythology Loves Is there Something of Persephone in Me We Prepared What Addicts Know Paul Matthews Child’s Play in the 1940’s


Lynn McClory Confidence Intent Diligence Seagrass Song Michael Broek hurricanes matthew Rafael Jesús González Fiestas del arco iris W.P. Osborn Mississippi

50 50 51 52

54 55

56 61


Ann Settel I Regret That We Ever Met


Amaranta Caballero Prado English translations: J. E. García and editors De la serie de textos: De ser posible From the poem sequence: To Be Possible VII 68 VIII 70 Alejandro Rojas Una evocación sumaria de diez poetas guanajuatenses


Gregg Friedberg The loss of gender as an inflectional category in English: a love story 76 Patricia Campos Rodríguez y Felipe Macías Gloria Las manos de un artista: Pedro Espinoza Guerrero, alfarero 81

Contributors’ Biographies

Biografías de los colaboradores


From the editor: I hope you will find this issue – 85 pages of poetry and prose (fiction, memoir, vignette, and literary essay) by writers living in Canada, the US and Mexico – a fitting conclusion to La Presa’s first year. A very warm welcome to Amaranta Caballero Prado, our associate editor. Thanks to Amaranta, we offer more Spanish language poems and prose – and greater diversity generally. With the talented poet and translator Eduardo Padilla joining as translator, we are on our way to becoming a truly bilingual literary journal. Thanks to our talented writers and enthusiastic readers, my year as editor has been a delight.

De la editora: Espero que encuentren este número – 85 páginas de poesía y prosa (ficción, memorias, viñetas y ensayo literario) de escritores que viven en Canadá, Estados Unidos y México – una conclusión apropiada para el primer año de La Presa. Una cálida bienvenida a Amaranta Caballero Prado, nuestra editora asociada. Gracias a Amaranta, ofrecemos más poemas y prosa en español, y una mayor diversidad en general. Con el talentoso poeta y traductor Eduardo Padilla como traductor, estamos en camino de convertirnos en una revista literaria verdaderamente bilingüe. Gracias a nuestros talentosos escritores y entusiastas lectores, mi año como editor ha sido una delicia. Cordiales saludos para todos

Lee Gould, Editora, La Presa

enormes mariposas de alas negras se posaron dulces suaves en el Welcome ante la puerta —enriKetta luissi

My Library Assembled with such care over the decades, with its shelves of wellthumbed Collected Poems, its ponderous chronicles, tea-stained chapbooks, and paperbacks asterisked with mildew, after all these years my library slips its anchor and sails ever more certainly into the past. Soon even the methods and substance of its origin—paper and ink, the printing press—will resemble fragments of ash and animal bone in an ancient digging, yet I feel no particular sense of regret that I will not live to see our futuristic tropes put to the final test, whatever dire exigency that might consist of. All I have ever wanted is to write a poem as ineradicable as the sun, singular as a wolf in its kingdom of moonlit ice. But who has time, anymore, for idle tasks? Why should anyone bother to adjudicate the petty crimes of language, border disputes between synonyms, lexical transgressions opaque as tax legislation? Pea vines are climbing the neighbor’s trellis, the kids are looking for a surfboard behind the garage, wind rustles the branches which respond with shrugs and apologetic bows. In the shelter of their anthologies, the poems talk softly in the darkness, huddled together for warmth, waiting.

—Campbell McGrath

My Justice will not be found in a bullet or a bottle or the paper ark of a poem. Hives can’t hold enough bees to pollinate all the golden wildflowers watered by human tears. The stone of your pain, no matter how tightly you squeeze it, will never yield enough to quench anybody’s thirst. Go on now, go back to bed, get back to work, return to the dream-swarm harvesting the nectar of whatever it is you love enough to have risked this journey into darkness for.

—Campbell McGrath


Mi justicia no se encuentra en una bala o botella o en el arca de papel de un poema. No hay colmenas donde quepan las abejas que polinicen todas las flores silvestres regadas por el llanto humano. La piedra de tu dolor, no importa cuánto la estrujes, no dará lo suficiente para calmar ninguna sed. Ya vete, regresa a tu cama, de vuelta al trabajo, regresa al enjambre del sueño que cosecha el néctar de lo que sea que amas tanto para arriesgarte a viajar en esta oscuridad. —Campbell McGrath Traducción: Eduardo Padilla


cerrar los ojos/

abrirlos/ desmembrar el objeto en lenguaje hirviente/ abrir los ojos/ cerrarlos como si se quisiera tener una instantĂĄnea de todas las lĂ­neas, el contorno, los volĂşmenes posibles del recuerdo/ aprieta los pĂĄrpados/ dibujar ante uno mismo, en el aire, las posibles configuraciones de la materia/ andar a ciegas con el objeto entre las manos/ disponer la memoria a profundidad al servicio del estimulo/ sentir el vuelo y la presencia

el viaje giratorio de la materia entre la piel fluyendo por miles de poliedros


close your eyes/ now open them/ dismember the object in simmering language/ open your eyes/ now close them as if you longed to keep a snapshot of all the lines, the outline, the potential volumes of memory/ squeeze your eyes shut / draw the potential configurations of matter before you in mid-air / proceed blindly, the object held between your hands/ place your distant memory at the service of stimuli/ feel both flight and presence/ the spinning voyage of matter across the skin that flows over thousands of polyhedra


triángulos cubos silabas/ abrirse a la promesa/ abrirse al fracaso/ al pensamiento/ la idea

el ojo/

al ángulo precio del objeto: el alfabeto entero en una gota de sangre/ el salto/ abrir los ojos:

—Rocío Cerón


triangles cubes syllables/ remain open to promise/ remain open to failure/ to reflection/ the idea/

the eye/

the precise angle of the object: the whole alphabet in a drop of blood/ the leap/ open your eyes:

—Rocío Cerón Translation: Tanya Huntington


Ariadne on the Lam A comedy in five acts, each one of which lingers too long in its island scenery, trying to feel tragic or at least find le mot juste. Many have played Ariadne. Josephine played her. Helen, Madame de la SevignĂŠ, George Sand, George Eliot, Tiresias, Wonder Woman . . . Imperfect for the part, Wonder Woman made it possible to imagine perfection, the oppressive gizmo that weds symbolism to logic and gives birth to many unpleasant things, none more dramatic than the Minotaur, the strict consequence slain the moment I enter the passage that gave birth to law and only afterward to the Minotaur. What we do upon my entry is what we always do: symbolize the world that envelops the one who knows it by standing at a distance, and I am that heroic one, at one with you and nothing extricates your labyrinth from the boulevard we map in bed. Direct not duplicitous, this thoroughfare is vast and leads not to the heart of the matter but along itself to itself, where nothing is the matter nor ever could be, because all that matters is the vastness that feels so snug as it merges time with the enfolding light. After awhile, I feel that I have lived always, braced


by the indifference to logic that understands the body as a gesture and the gesture as an act symbolizing nothing, unless I insist. Which I don’t, so intent am I upon you. I wake up, she is gone, I laugh, sort of, for this is the comic effect—her absence, which I felt even then, as I slew the Minotaur, and I feel her presence, too. I feel what all the world feels the moment she goes on the lam, and I am alone in the world and enveloped by it utterly. —Carter Ratcliff


Del camino XXXIII

¿Mi amor? ¿…Recuerdas, dime, aquellos juncos tiernos, lánguidos y amarillos que hay en el cauce seco?... ¿Recuerdas la amapola que calcinó el verano la amapola marchita, negro crespón del campo?... ¿Te acuerdas del sol yerto y humilde, en la mañana, que brilla y tiembla roto sobre una fuente helada?... —Antonio Machado



My love? . . . Remember, tell me, those tender rushes, languid and yellow that are in the dusty riverbed?. . . Remember the poppy charred by summer, the dry poppy, black netting in the field?. . . Do you remember the sun, stiff and humble in the morning, that shines and trembles broken on a frozen fountain? . . .

—Antonio Machado Translation: Miriam de Uriarte


What Some Little Girls Are Made Of . . .

Breadcrumbs, flour filling, ginger for eyes and a splash of rum and gasoline. Full bodied she'll toddle off to school, stuffing her stomach with Bernstein Bears, Little Miss Stubborn or Bossy. An older sibling watches but doesn't hold her hand cause grit starts early, like knowing names of tincture plants and the sweetness of red candy. When she craves copper tins, tea and curse words, douse her with white owl feathers so she'll know what a soul tastes like. Then plait her hair in matching barrettes the size of blue and gold fireflies. At night she'll feel them moving and learn how to dream. —Cynthia Manick


The Chuiciest Apples the chuiciest apples on the glope gum from my old oak tree, whose unfolding arms in spring arouse a grape warmth in me...I wish, I long for stronger boughs to bear me in their skein, floating skywards, lengthwise spread along their comfort reach, a leafy rest supporting head and heels...the feel of lifting, young-gest ecstasy a breeze so light my feathers frill like down along my drowsy daze, sprinkling here a delicate shower, my bower washed and preened...I sheen in sun and sway-leaf shadow...having had a mother once, I know the feel of scoured teeth and ears with gleaned corners...enough of that, for now...souse my light, douse me in great draughts of greamy foam and float me home through dancing streamers...singing "Down" and "Up" and "Around"...dazily, dizzily swirl my couch-borne corpus and set me, gently now, last to eon-doze.. —Laurence Ryan


Sabor a sal Vestida de novia lucía igual que a los siete, cuando hizo la primera comunión; sólo faltaba el hilito de sangre. Caminó por el patio oloroso a barro, entre las macetas de todos tamaños rebosantes de belenes y alcatraces que las monjas habían improvisado como capilla. El sol reflejándose en todos los rincones, sobre las hojas que aún guardaban el rocío del amanecer. El padre Herrera en su casulla rojo y gualda, era como los toreros que su papá la llevaba a ver los domingos por la tarde, pensó ella, cuando lo divisó al pie del altar envuelto en una nube de incienso. Ahí está mi novio; sonrió y los ojos se le anegaron. Los invitados emocionados al ver a la niña, tan devota ella, dirigirse al altar, ruborizada y con los ojos fijos según ellos en la hermosa custodia, no sospecharon los verdaderos sentimientos que hervían dentro de la cabecita coronada. Media hora antes, al irse a confesar por primera vez con el sacerdote apenas llegado ayer, había conocido a Dios. El ver sus ojos azules la hizo sentir que estaba en un lugar inexplorado, el cielo, quizás; el sentimiento se acentuó cuando él le dijo: A ver chiquita ven acá, te voy a confesar frente a mí, a ver dime tus pecados, dijo sonriente acercando su cara a la suya, tan cerca que sus labios quedaron a poquísima distancia de sus ojos y sólo se le ocurrió susurrar: ¿Es usted Dios? El padre Herrera soltó la carcajada enseñando una boca roja como las heridas de los toros. En ese momento, un hilito de sangre empezó a salir por la naricilla de la niña, lentamente, bajando por la comisura de su boca se alargaba hasta el vestido inmaculado. Ella, sin inmutarse, con la punta de su lengua se la lamía y pensaba: A esto sabe su lengua, a sal, como mi sangre. El padre sacando un pañuelo de la manga de la sotana llamó a la madre Irene que estaba sentada no lejos de allí: Lleve a la niña al baño y ayúdela, yo me voy a preparar para la misa. Se envició con su sangre, con el alucine que en ella despertaba. Le gustaba su sabor, salada y dulce a la vez; de ahí en adelante, tres o cuatro veces por mes, cuando el padre venía de visita, cada vez que lo divisaba ya fuera en misa o por los corredores del colegio, ella cubriéndose la cara con lo que tuviera a mano, libro, suéter, mandil, se hurgaba la nariz hasta sangrársela. La sentía correr lenta, mansamente hasta su boca. Saboreándola se imaginaba la boca de él; sentía la sangre entrar suavemente entre sus labios y bajar por su cuello como una tibia caricia: entonces se sentía plena, y satisfecha corría al baño a taponearse con papel.


Cuando cumplió los doce seguía en el colegio y tenía una llaga en la parte interna de la nariz. El día que cumplía años, coincidió con la consagración de la nueva capilla. Había que cruzar los jardines y las canchas, y el padre Herrera pidió ayuda a las niñas mayores para llevar en su auto los ornamentos. Sentada con el gran misal sobre sus rodillas, apretujada contra el cuerpo que olía a hombre grande, temía que el deseo casi incontenible de ponerse el dedo en la nariz la venciera; repentinamente, un dolorcillo indocumentado le atacó la cadera y empezó a sangrar, su primera menstruación había llegado. No se volvió a picar la nariz. Ahora esperaba ansiosa la llegada de la sangre; entonces pasaba largos ratos sentada en el excusado viendo entre sus muslos como caían las oscuras gotas y se diluían enrojeciendo el agua hasta convertirla en una enorme boca. Metía los dedos en su carne, salían rojos pinceles con los que dibujaba corazones chorreantes en las blancas paredes del baño de las niñas, traspasados con flechas y con las iniciales de ambos en caracteres que sólo ella entendía y grandes “te amo” por los espejos. Las madrecitas se volvían locas buscando entre cuatrocientas niñas, cincuenta de ellas reglando, quién, por Dios, hacía esas porquerías, nunca la descubrieron. Vestida de novia se acerca al padre Herrera: Por favor padre confiéseme frente a usted, le pide sonriente, espera que éste, aunque extrañado, se siente en el confesionario; se arrodilla frente a él, extendiendo con gracia el albo traje que compró saliendo del psiquiátrico donde estuvo y nadie se enteró, para poder acercarse de frente, decidida a probar si sus sangres saben igual de saladas. —Gabymar 14


The Table Next Door On a cold winter’s night here in the northeast it is easy to remember the warm afternoons playing in the patio and romping around in the backyard in my hometown of San Antonio de los Baños in Cuba. It is easy to remember my next-door neighbors and their daughter, Caruca, who to me was like an older sister. She played with me, and baby-sat since I was little. A short wall was all that separated our homes. Her mom, Caridad, was always in our house borrowing charcoal for the meal or chatting with Grandma. Caruca’s dad, Capote, always helped dad castrate the pig in October. He was a rural policeman. Rode around on horseback with a rifle. They were more than the family next door. They were our family as well. But this was the year of screams in the night. Pipo had left for “el Norte”, and Mima had followed him. It was only Grandma and I, and a sad silence had fallen in our back yard. We were no longer allowed to speak with our neighbors for Capote, the rural policeman, was a “Batistiano”, one of “them”. Who knows, maybe he was responsible for the castration of men up on the hill in the middle of the night. I could not talk to Caruca. Time was silent. Even the ants were silent. Everyone was either one of us, or one of them. Even my family was divided. It was on a sunny Sunday that Caridad decided to invite me to a party they were having at their house. She was kind and knew how lonely I must be. She instructed me to sneak in the back door and quietly sit under a table where few would see me, and not to say anything or play with Caruca. Just sit there and enjoy the people. I did just as she told me. I sat on the wooden crossbeam that spanned the bottom of the table and watched the people laughing and playing music. I was happy and it almost felt like the old days before everything changed. I was the fat little boy sitting under the table, swaying back and forth and smiling. Suddenly I heard a loud crack. The wooden beam I sat on split in two for I was too heavy for it. I cried and ran out of the house through the back door. I felt bad for being fat, for breaking the table, for embarrassing Caridad. I don’t recall how long I cried, but I do remember Caridad comforting me as she explained to Grandma what had happened. That was the end of the happy days for sure. In a few months Grandma and I moved to Great-grandma’s house – a big place where uncle Andre had his wood shop, and where there was a bed for me to sleep. I don’t think I ever saw Caruca again. And the house I lived in


with the back yard and the ants, the roosters crowing, and the black tarantulas that came out in the rainy season, all were now gone, and little did I know, it was all gone forever. Gone, only to be remembered as one of many stories of a kid named Osvaldito. —Ozzie Alfonso


Fragmentos de Hotel Hastings 14. Agradecí mi fortuna. Mi travesía de un cuarto a otro por los hoteles gangrenosos de Vancouver me aleccionó pronto y me convirtió en un pensador práctico. East Hastings, más que una zona roja era una herida venérea mal disimulada en la mejilla de una joven modelo. El Hotel Hastings era la opción más limpia y amigable. Era un verdadero hallazgo. Por primera vez en dos meses pude dormir a pierna suelta, sin sentir ese terror concreto que me hacía atrabancar la silla contra la puerta todas las noches y guardar un cuchillo bajo la almohada. No importaba que mi vecino de enfrente fuera el cocinero obeso que dejaba su puerta entornada para que yo lo viera desnudo sobre la cama cada vez que pasaba por ahí


Fragments from Hotel Hastings 14. I was grateful. My journey from room to room across the gangrenous hotels of Vancouver taught me a swift lesson and made me into a practical thinker. East Hastings, more than a red-light district, was a poorly concealed venereal ulcer on the cheek of a fashion model.. The Hastings Hotel was the cleanest, most amiable option. It was a true find. For the first time in two months I was able to sleep without the fear that made me block the door with a chair every night and keep a knife under my pillow. It didn’t matter that my neighbor across the hall was the obese cook who left his door ajar so that I could see him lying naked upon the bed every time I passed


(y aunque me resistiera al final no podía negarme a la visión de aquella ballena blanca encallada en la playa de su desempleo bajo el faro espectral de los telediarios). Tampoco me molestaba gran cosa la alarma contra incendios que flotaba sobre el dintel de mi puerta como el sol rojo de la bandera nipona y que estallaba por accidente de vez en cuando, llamando a la gente para que huyera de un fuego que aún no había llegado (¿o tal vez la alarma se disparaba para convocar a un fuego que secretamente deseaba? Como aquella pintura de Roberto Matta: “Here, Sir Fire, Eat!”). Nada de eso importaba. El Hotel Hastings me había recibido con un abrazo fraternal y una caricia en el pelo. En poco tiempo comencé a hacer amigos.

—Eduardo Padilla


(and even if I resisted in the end I could not evade that vision of a white whale sprawling on the beach of its unemployment under the spectral beacon of TV newscasts). Nor did I take issue with the fire alarm floating over the lintel of my door like the red sun of the Japanese flag and accidentally going off every now and then, calling us to run from a fire that had yet to arrive (or perhaps the alarm went off to summon a fire it secretly wanted? Like the Roberto Matta painting: “Here, Sir Fire, Eat!�). None of that mattered. Hotel Hastings had greeted me with a brotherly hug and a pat on the head. I began making friends in no time.

—Translation: Eduardo Padilla


Here We Go I miss living near a goat that a widow would tie to the sapling outside our window in a Greek village. That goat would step up onto the thin trunk and strain towards the almost reachable green. At the zoo there is usually a child chasing a peacock near where a giraffe successfully noodles high into the leaves to nibble. If that goat could've daydreamed a neck that launches mouth that far up into desire would failure have been keener? —John Levy


Aquí vamos Echo de menos vivir cerca de una cabra que una viuda amarraba a un retoño afuera de nuestra ventana en una aldea Griega. Aquella cabra se subía al delgado tronco y se estiraba hacia el verde casi alcanzable. En el zoológico habitualmente hay un niño persiguiendo un pavo real cerca de donde la jirafa tontea con éxito y mordisquea las hojas de arriba. Si esa cabra hubiera ensoñado un cuello que lanzara la boca tan alto hacia el deseo ¿habría sido más ávido el fracaso? —John Levy Traducción: Eduardo Padilla


The Doors Are Closing Alicia moved along with the crush of morning commuters from the platform through the sliding doors, barely aware of the disembodied voice announcing the train’s imminent departure. No point looking for a seat at this hour of the morning. As she had most mornings for the last thirty years, she grabbed the nearest vertical post with her left hand, hunched her right shoulder to secure the strap of her scuffed leather satchel, and widened her stance in anticipation of the train’s lurching resumption of its journey south on University Avenue. She was pressed against a young woman in a tight black tank top, wondering how many piercings a single body could sustain, when a gesture from the nearest seat caught her attention. With a subtle tilt of the head and a downward movement of the hand, a grey-haired man in business attire rose to his feet just as the train jerked forward, smiled, and motioned her to his vacated seat. Alicia smiled—surprised—and dropped into the proffered seat. Briefly, their eyes met. “Thank you,” she said, sweeping her short grey hair off her forehead, adjusting the rust-coloured scarf that was tied loosely over her tan raincoat, and assuming what she hoped was an air of nonchalance. Of course, he was just being polite, a rare enough quality these days. She knew that. Still—of all the passengers standing, he had chosen her. She glanced down at her grey pant legs. Standing as she had been, the hem of her pants had just skimmed the top of her low heels but now, sitting, she thought perhaps the pants were too short. She tugged at the legs to pull them down and wondered how most women managed to sit without leaving that unattractive gap between hem and shoe—or worse, sock. The man was now standing in front of her. About sixty, she guessed. Distinguished looking. The recorded voice was speaking again, and the standing passengers began tensing in anticipation. The train is approaching St. Patrick Station. St. Patrick Station. Please stand clear of the doors. The man moved forward to position himself in front of the door. So, this was his station. She wondered what he did. Probably a lawyer. Or a doctor. Yes. A doctor. The stop was convenient to two hospitals, and several office towers nearby housed medical offices and clinics. A specialist, probably. He caught her eye—or did she catch his? She smiled and gave a little wave, sensed a subtle nod of acknowledgement.


Alicia taught in a mid-city elementary school. She’d aspired to an administrative position, vice principal perhaps—had taken all the courses—but had been passed over time after time in favour of younger teachers. It no longer mattered. At sixty-five, she was nearly a decade older than the next oldest teacher on staff. Everyone was retiring early now, but she’d begun her career late, lived alone, and needed to earn her full pension. Finally, though, she was counting the days until she, too, joined the ranks of the retired. As she opened the heavy front door of one of the city’s oldest schools, she breathed in the morning scents of floor cleaner, running shoes, and damp jackets. She heard the shouts and bustle from the playground as the students gathered by the back doors, waiting for the morning bell; she heard her own footsteps in the still-empty hallway as she made her way to her classroom. And she realized once again that she would miss this. She couldn’t imagine herself a year from now. She had not always lived alone. After a brief, disastrous marriage in her early twenties to a man who’d learned abuse from his father, she’d continued to hold out hope for a conventional family. House in the suburbs. Two children. Rose bushes and hockey. But after several promising relationships that came to an unhappy end, she’d abandoned that hope and resigned herself to a solitary life, finding to her surprise that it suited her, enjoying occasional flings that she recognized as nothing more. She threw her passion into her teaching, maintained a few close friendships with women, and doted on her nieces and nephews. For a while, into her late forties, she continued to attract and enjoy the attention of eligible men. So, when she noticed the first grey hairs and the beginnings of crow’s feet, she experimented with the hair colour and cosmetics she’d previously deemed unnecessary. But as she approached her mid-fifties, she decided, quite consciously, to make peace with the aging process, convincing herself that the ravages of age were not so much ravaging as revealing of character. She abandoned cosmetics, allowed her dark hair to turn grey, began cropping it in a short, mannish style, and announced her femininity with large, dangling earrings and a preference for soft colours and loosely draping scarves and blouses. Only rarely did she feel a resurgence of the sexual desire that had been a frequent visitor in her younger years, sometimes triggered now by unbidden fantasies, sometimes by a lingering, admiring glance (she was, after all, an attractive—albeit older—woman). Even more rarely did she have the opportunity to act on it.


On the subway heading north at the end of the day, she stood in the crowded car, staring blankly at the horizontal row of advertisements at eye height. See real dinosaurs at the ROM… Free world-wide long distance with Bell Mobile…Protect your future with a Royal Bank Investment Advisor. At the St. Patrick Station, she found herself adjusting her scarf again and fluffing her hair while she scanned the entering passengers. How foolish, she thought, as the sliding doors closed and the train resumed its northward journey. He was just being kind. The doors are closing. Please stand clear of the doors. That evening in the bathroom, as she prepared for bed, she turned off the overhead light and, for the first time in months, switched on the row of makeup lights above the bathroom mirror and gave her reflection more than a cursory glance. Her short grey hair framed a face that suddenly belonged to a stranger. Her eyes stared out at her from sunken sockets. Wrinkles—mere suggestions in the light cast from the overhead light—revealed themselves as fissures along the sides of her cheeks, from the corners of her eyes all the way down to her sagging chin. This, of course she knew, was not how the world saw her, in the direct glare of six lightbulbs designed to assist in a daily ritual she had abandoned long ago. Still. She opened one of the drawers beside the sink and rifled through an assortment of beauty supplies. The rouge had dried to a solid cake, but she found some foundation in a tone just slightly darker than her natural colour and a tube of dark pink lipstick. Why not? Just to see. She applied a bit of eye shadow and mascara as well, then stepped back to see how she looked. Clownish. That’s how she looked. Clownish. Chagrined, she turned on the tap and scrubbed her face, turned off the offensive lightbulbs, and went to bed. The next morning, she chose her favourite pants and arranged a tan silk scarf carefully over her gold cashmere sweater. In the kind light of the sixty-watt overhead fixture, she tousled her short grey locks—almost white, really—gave herself an impish grin in the mirror, and turned toward the bathroom door. At the last moment, she picked up the tube of lipstick and applied a light coat, then threw on a brown blazer, swung her satchel over her shoulder, and set out briskly for the subway. The car was as crowded as usual; she stood near the centre, scanning the passengers. Foolish woman, she told herself again. What are the odds? A southbound train every ten minutes, a dozen cars per train. And he’s probably a used car salesman.


By the time she was sipping coffee in the staff room, the lipstick left only the faintest mark on the rim of her mug. For several days, she allowed the fantasy to simmer, scanning the subway passengers as the train moved south in the mornings, feeling her heart quicken on the evening trip north as the doors opened at St. Patrick Station. The heart specialist—that’s what she’d decided he was— never appeared. In the frenzy of her final weeks of teaching, the incident quickly slid into the corner of her memory dedicated to momentary lapses of rationality. Alicia’s colleagues arranged a festive party to celebrate her retirement. Glad to be rid of me, she thought, an old-school teacher who insists on ignoring current ministry guidelines and teaching spelling and grammar. No one bothered to reprimand her anymore, knowing she’d find a way around the system somehow and that her time was nearly up. The children who left her grade five classroom could write complete sentences. They could spell metamorphosis and knew what it meant. They rarely said “between you and I”. The brighter ones could use a semicolon. They could also recite their times tables. This was her legacy, and on the whole she was satisfied with it, though she knew no one would carry it on and she was sorry for that. Sorry for the kids. She smiled, thinking of the huge retirement card the class had made in secret and presented to her on her final day. Yes, she would miss them. Alicia arrived at the party to loud shouts of congratulations and a seat of honour at the head of the table, where she was joined by the principal, a man whom she’d crossed many times in her campaign for old-fashioned literacy, and the vice principal, a woman of fifty-five with long red fingernails and nearly-matching red hair who—Alicia judged— had not made peace with the aging process. By the time the salad plates had been replaced by the entrée—a predictable dish of chicken, roasted potatoes, and steamed vegetables— the school staff had divided into the usual social groupings, some changing seats in order to be with their closest friends. The principal had excused himself to handle a difficult phone call with a parent, and the vice principal was texting her grown children between bites. During dessert and coffee, one by one her colleagues approached the head of the table to tell her how much they had valued their opportunity the work with her, although, in fact, they had rarely shared more than playground duty. At the end of the meal they presented her with a huge card signed by all and a small, beautifully-wrapped package containing a pearl drop necklace which—surely they knew?—she would never wear. She


left carrying the centrepiece, a large floral arrangement that seemed to Alicia more funereal than celebratory. The subway car on the way home, sometime after eight, was nearly empty. As it sped north, Alicia sat on the red vinyl seat, balancing the centrepiece on her lap. The doors are closing. Please stand clear of the doors. When she got off at St. Clair and headed west into the wind, she realized her cheeks were wet with tears. Between the subway and her apartment, she spotted a dumpster parked outside a home renovation project and on an impulse tossed the centrepiece on top of the pile of plaster scraps and splintered wood. That summer, Alicia spent the month of July at a friend’s cottage in the Muskoka Lake District. She filled her days with sunshine and books, attacking the long list of titles she’d postponed until retirement. She slept until nine, ate when she was hungry, and watched old movies on the small television when the sun went down. One morning, the host of her favourite CBC morning radio show announced a short story contest, and Alicia remembered a story she’d begun years ago, when she’d briefly harboured dreams of becoming a published author. She found the file on her laptop and spent the next two days revising and polishing it before sending it off, imagining herself reading it on the popular morning program, launching her postretirement career as a writer. She began two more stories and signed up for a creative writing class at the University of Toronto. She returned to the city in September, relaxed and enthusiastic about the years ahead. It was on her way south to her first class that she saw him. She had slipped into the only empty seat on the car, and when she raised her eyes there he was, in the seat across from her. She resisted a childish urge to smile, wave. Instead, she looked down at her lap, fearing that, should he look directly at her, he might discern her earlier, half-forgotten fantasy. At the next stop, she glanced at him again, half-hidden now by passengers gripping the overhead bars, and shifted slightly to make herself more visible. She saw his eyes settle on a short, slightly stooped white-haired woman, shopping bag in one hand, reaching for the overhead bar with the other. Alicia watched as the man turned and—with a tilt of his head and a subtle movement of his hand—offered the woman his seat. She accepted with a stiff nod and a muted “thank you”. Alicia stared up at the man, now standing in front of her. He didn’t notice her. Of course he didn’t. She did not bother to adjust her scarf. —Paula Dunning


2x Tus pechos, almohadas para la pereza Enrique Diez Canedo Este frío de perros y yo sin estufa sin calcetas ni harapo térmico una cerilla es mi reserva descarto salir morir entre la nieve es hora de dormir a ella no le importan los poemas

—Pedro Mena Bermúdez


Open House The first sign was unseasonable warmth – our door and window frames swelled up and stuck, shutting us in close until we left one door always ajar. A hot wind drove old leaves in from the porch. We let the dishes heap and topple in the kitchen sink. Still, promptly at three o’ clock each day we played a game of cards for money. Lost crows flew blind into the house. Phones rang and once there was a knock upon the door, though no one entered. Within a week four friends died. Cancer, slow, then sudden. The basement filled with water, drowning letters, photographs, a wedding dress, a mouse. We all ignored the shudder when two black holes clashed trillions of years away yet close as shadows. And then the knock again: Come in, we called, the door is always open. —Susan Kress


Oswaldo Reynoso El agente ríe Los paquetes se amontonan ante los rayos x Fingimos una identidad en cada tarjeta migratoria Ella nos fuerza a ser contrabandistas Una camiseta de la selección blue rays piratas, la última de Stallone El sol, violento y salvaje, se derrama, sobre el asfalto, en lluvia dorada de polvo. «Así me gusta: bajo el sol, triste, y con las manos en los bolsillos. (Sólo los viciosos tienen esa costumbre). Alcanzó a retirar mi maleta tras dos pasadoras y una chica de Calama En la mochila llevo 40 libros camuflados entre ropa interior y unos zapatos. El agente es cómplice No ha leído más que la estrella de Arica toda su vida Me reconoce Soy el idiota que paga impuestos por libros que nadie lee y que su prensa no comenta. A él le preocupa el matute que lleva estampado el nombre de pila de algún futbolista Somos parte del mismo juego al final nos une una mueca de indiferencia y una ciudad en ruinas asentada unos metros más allá de los campos minados —Daniel Rojas Pachas


Eielson Paso las mañanas solo en este lugar, puedo escuchar a los vecinos salir de sus departamentos. El agua que llena la cubeta del chico que limpia todos los días el estacionamiento la música del pianista anónimo, dos pisos más arriba. Solía molestarme la repetición de las tonadas, ahora extraño sus ensayos tener esas canciones todo el día en mi cabeza. El tiempo parece una broma que no entiendo. El dolor mismo es un juego trágico. Trato de terminar otra novela no sé quién puede interesarse por mis textos. Antes eso me robaba mucha cabeza, veía una película o video y me sorprendía distraído fuera de foco, perdido en la trama pensando en mis propias historias inconclusas. Todas las mañanas despido a mi hija con un beso. Ella corre hacia el patio donde están sus amigos. Regreso por las mismas calles, trato de recrear los pasos que di creo que ya no tengo amigos a los cuales llamar. Camino y busco completar mis historias, imagino a mi hija, qué hace en el colegio, la extraño y veo esos gigantes árboles frente a la iglesia. Me quedo un buen rato viendo esos árboles, un hombre entrena a un pastor alemán en ese parque me gusta verlos correr de un lado a otro. Ancianos entran a la iglesia, se escuchan canciones de alabanza el blanco edificio palidece frente a los árboles. Paso las mañanas cocinando y escucho viejas canciones. Reviso el correo, trato de responder a esos que se dicen mis amigos,¿lo son? Respondo a quienes buscan mi ayuda e incluso a quiénes no conozco y quieren algo de mí. Me aburro con facilidad termino borrando muchos correos, respuestas inconclusas quedan sin enviar


y pierdo mi tiempo leyendo historias que no me interesan. Personas se quejan de su suerte, otras quieren maravillarnos con su éxito. Trato de acostumbrarme a esta soledad, tan distinta a la que solía disfrutar. Ya no me importa que piensen los demás respecto a lo que escribo, quizá nunca me importó. Sólo trataba de convencerme. Mientras miro el fuego cocer una carne y espero mi esposa regrese a casa, darle un beso, sentir el olor del shampoo en su cabello, debo ir a buscar a mi hija al colegio. En casa, sirvo el almuerzo. Mi hija me cuenta lo que pasó hoy en clases, tiene una compañera que la ofusca me hace reír escuchamos alguien subir las escaleras, el ruido de llaves, trato de imaginar final para la novela algo en mí no quiere que esto acabe pasan los días y nada en verdad sucede el tiempo comienza a borrarme y me siento feliz por eso. —Daniel Rojas Pachas


Paying the plumber resentfully I grew up a sink for attractants to wash their hands, my mind a trap for runoff and debris, my corroded faucets and cracked porcelain a certain kind of modernism that celebrates but does not revere distress. Plumbers fixed me from time to time. I paid them resentfully. Those who've washed their hands of me assumed approval in my gurgle. Piped into hell, my face turns up to heaven in case its delegates should appear. I could have said I'm a toilet but would that have conjured Pilate and his absolution of an empire? In every child of whom we wash our hands we do this in remembrance of him and call it all sorts of high-sounding names when it's nothing but another of our games. —Djelloul Marbrook


A Balance Somewhere Between Retreat and Return I keep trying the same things, hoping the miracle will happen to arrive with such synchronized simultaneity as to seem like there was never a problem to begin with: fixation, getting fixed, wanting a fix, and fixing (to come to believe in the reading of life that is to be) are, all of them, and others like them, very different things from one another. Pretending to get better by myself, delighting in remembered sexual conquests succumbed to time and time again for the copulative aftereffect not included in the quotidian packaging. Which is to say that I have discovered yet another kind of context, beloved quisling, neighboring with the sky in a connective activity; becomes a comfort, nicely enough, no more. Being some reason, why you count. —Bosch Jones


Un-Named You were sure it was in that drawer you can see it right next to the pouch that holds nail clippers and the pencil case there, yellow, and those packaged towelettes for cleaning glasses and you know you put it there right beside them and now it’s not there just like the wine glasses in the third cupboard from the exhaust fan over the stove when you opened to reach in it was shelves of spices and pasta packages you wondered if you lived there anymore or when you got the cream for that rash and you looked in the medicine cabinet that portrait of infirmities and you looked, moved the weekly sectioned pill box, vitamins, extra toothpaste and you couldn’t see the tube of cream you needed the rash growing suddenly virulently red and your need was now and you didn’t see it becoming now impatient with things in your apt. moving a kind of fear opening doors pulling drawers and thinking slightly afraid with your hand on the handle of what you might not find that pause to check whether you needed the item or


maybe forgo it and move on but when you needed, needed now something that might be moving and were now uncertain a kind of growing of that feeling being held by the touch of door handles and what might be there expected to be there and somehow was not there so you stood centrally to look where you wanted and thought you’d placed there in reference to what was already there familiar shapes and colours in bottles packages square and round and long blue and yellow or red against white and varied fonts serif & sans printed to be re-organized but now not found next to the spice and pasta where the plaid-boxed shortbread stacked where the extra sugar in packettes in the round glass jar which once held a candle and you were sure, knew were absolutely positive but not so much anymore because at anytime as you reached out your hand felt the metal of the door’s handle a cold shiver of not, unable to understand until you waited for nightfall turned off the lights and by the glow of filtered street


light stretched out your arms to touch the hallway walls past a pencil of light through the crack of the bathroom door assured by the nightlight plugged in near the sink past the spare room where the streetlight was strongest and into the salon to the kitchen closing your eyes for a few seconds to restore your night vision cautious not to bump into the side table around the couch sensing the dark hulk of the dining table skirting its arranged chairs to stand at the counter of the kitchen and reach out in the pre-dawn cold feel the hand cool door handles of the cupboard hesitate for only a moment and pull the door open and look into that dark empty rectangle —Brian Dedora


The Bad Gardener smokes on his balcony rusted fold-up bike, yellow basil, withered mint - surveys his scene, looks down upon the line of refugees at the Norwegian border, someone beheading someone else, a polar bear skeletal on a lonely floe. I can’t keep track of everything. It isn’t fair to blame him for the beer cans in the muck, the shootings, unraked leaves choking the grass. He lights another one, inhales. —Anja Konig


Ciudad negra I Seamus Heaney ha muerto 10 mil años en la travesía del mamut Tribus de la montaña prefirieron el valle a la ventisca Pisar la losa no es lo mismo que surcar la tierra Pirámide invertida La poesía no ha muerto II La serpiente humana arrastra años de civilización Retoca sus monumentos de guerra

III a Bob Delmas Como papiro del Corán el barco ebrio flota en el muro En los adoquines de la tarde se ordena el mundo El joven africano lee a Guy Debord El viejo poeta espera en un callejón el colmillo de la muerte IV La pequeña muerte parisina –l’près-midi Un piano filtra la canícula Por el patio sube el humo de los árabes


Black City I Seamus Heaney is dead 10 thousand years on the Mammoth’s journey Mountain tribes preferred the valley to the blizzard To stand on the slab is not the same as to plow the field Inverted pyramid Poetry is not dead II The human serpent drags years of civilization touching up its monuments of war

III to Bob Delmas Like a Quran’s papyrus the drunken boat floats on the wall The evening’s paving stones order the world A young African man reads Guy Debord In an alley the old poet awaits the fang of death IV The Parisian petite mort–l’après-midi A piano filters the dog days Smoke from the Arabs rises through the courtyard


V Me da asco la política En el templo de la guerra se glorifica la muerte Hombres grises cortan sus cabezas Hasta la utopía siempre VI Breves historias de amor en apartamentos cerrados Esclavos de sus tubos celulares Ciudad viva La muerte habita en la belleza VII Rechina la cría del infierno cuando el Metro agranda la garganta Tiendas de lujo y boutiques esperan desatentas la próxima revuelta VIII Golpeados por el tiempo La máquina respira y el infierno aúlla Mar sembrado de animales Fuego encendido ¿Qué hacer cuando el espíritu emana de sus ojos? IX 11 de Septiembre Hoy me visto de negro para evitar el reflejo constante


V Politics disgusts me In the war-temple death is glorified Gray men cut off heads Towards utopia forever VI Brief love stories in closed apartments Slaves of their cellular tubes Living city Death dwells in beauty VII The child of hell groans when the Metro enlarges its throat Fine shops and boutiques inattentively expect the next revolt VIII Beaten up by time The machine breathes and hell howls Ocean planted with animals Fire on What to do when the spirit emanates from their eyes? IX September 11 Today I wear black to avoid the constant reflection


de esos Hawker Hunters estrellándose contra el Palacio de Gobierno X Me gusta pero me hace mal Dormidos en las calles hedientos a vinagre Descubiertos ante la noche La poesía habita en la boca de los locos De sus ojos emana luz Galerías sinuosas garrapateadas en cuaderno de apuntes —Jesús Sepúlveda


of those Hawker Hunters crashing against the Palacio de Gobierno X I like it but it hurts me Sleeping in the streets stinking like vinegar Exposed at night Poetry dwells in the mouths of fools From their eyes light emanates Sinuous arcades scrawled in a notebook —Translation: Jesús Sepúlveda


The Constant in the Source Essence it began somewhere else in another time when no place to go sought out the constant in the source essence but somewhere else stumbled in another time played the fool no place to go grew restless and left and the constant in the source essence having lost all sold cross currents on the dark corners of deserted streets as if ever there were is as far back as one can remember —Paul Bamberger


Simple the World I will come to meet you out in the garden Death is stamping line as line scattering small syllables across the face of flowers measuring the limits and depths of power Last time I looked something remained a touch on the shoulder panic’s black cloth quickening overnight into mind’s familiar footing Mildew creeps everywhere wind but not enough —Margo Mensing



enormes mariposas de alas negras se posaron dulces suaves en el Welcome ante la puerta

fue entonces que supe mi madre morirĂ­a

—enriKetta luissi





Allí Perfectas pezuñas patean ciegas y sordas. * ¡Hoy, pay de limón! * Una espina de pescado se atora en la garganta y escucha el crujir del aire. * En el Infierno “ser” es “ser” y el espejo espejo cuando nos miramos en él. —enriKetta luissi


Excerpts from the Memoir: Fragments of Loss Mythology loves to poke around in the dark and so do I right now Demeter has bored me in the past too old…needy…steady I identify with Persephone her initial anguish at being abducted then her inability to leave darkness behind completely when given the choice of freedom was Eurydice willing Orpheus to turn look back at her so she could turn return to darkness why the unwillingness to leave even red riding hood learned lessons in the wolf’s dark belly before being released to the light

Is there something of Persephone in me that wakes up dusted in sleep’s dark powder am I compatible with what remains of the pomegranate vastness at my feet silent perhaps Persephone’s shadow follows me all day perhaps we each have our own Persephone trailing at our heels 50

our own silences calling into the noisy rooms of our days perhaps my days are also full of Demeter’s walk searching for her daughter for silence to make sense of the sound

We prepared to go home to Mexico because that is where he wanted to be when the time came he had chosen how he wanted to live and now how he wanted to die as well his first reaction to the final diagnosis was to be quiet then he began to list all the foods he wanted to eat before he died: carbonade flamande lamb curry boeuf bourguignon steak au poivre lemon whipped cream pie scalloped potatoes the trip had to be made soon so he could manage to get on the plane by himself it was rough but he held himself together with the power of his desire he died 14 days later


What addicts know an addict might count out five steps to the door each time he wanted to leave keep track of drinks drunk in a bar after five or not smoke at all until evening and then smoke a pack before ten habits addicted to numbers how many chairs can I touch before he gets down all the stairs after the numbers ritual holds it together: not cigarette, Gaulois not wine, Chardonney not shopping but Bergdorfs or Neimans not package…small silver case not matches…gold plated lighter not just coffee but Turkish not merely chocolate…Godiva lately I am lost in my space without numbers lost though I’ve never left home addicted to two I bruise in this air I am breathing without him so for now how many cups can I touch before he opens the door —Annie Smith


Child’s Play in the 1940’s My first hint of art’s order when young was sighting from a knob’s tip on a chair To line up a spot on the windowpane With an explosive bush that lay outside. Held prisoner by a mandatory nap, I nonetheless had filed to a hair My trigger eyes, and clearly had the world Within my secret power, could collide One thing with another—blow things up— By simple moves that brought them into line. A small adjustment of my head did the job for the entire Second World War. What a responsibility I had It turned out: to live after they’d all died.

—Paul Matthews


Confidence Intent Diligence Joanne Kyger We approached November with languages of light Spanish


On the ninth day a cosmic array oozed filigreed leaves trees


Around midnight waves rushed lavender shells roots


We could sink or swim barricade along lilac lanes refuse with amusing signs Keep your Hands off our Beavers Alert to the daily onslaught of metal mouth decrees disrupt police motorcades sing raucous songs tenderly We shall we shall we shall

—Lynn McClory


Seagrass Song After H.D. let them whisper let them wilt, dithering faun horns following gold following silver dollars flung to the moon let them fawn handshakes with earnest hands emerging from purple sleeves let them slink their raw policies under thin doors at night let them be giant withered cactus with terrible thirsts in dithering brains depletion of seagrass breath prairies as large as California meadows that shelter filter purged the ocean floor for 100,000 millennia like tonic water oxygen fizzed champagne growing yellow flowers in long streams of light let terrestrial lovers lilt rhythmic cadence to whispers of leaves in water cycling shelter to sponges and sea anemone —Lynn McClory


hurricanes matthew because the storm must be surrendered to and the howling one spermaceti candle burning 120 grains per hour is the measure of candle power the navesink light once five million candles leering over sandy-hook bay warning not to go into that man’s bed in each sperm whale’s head thousands of lights, whale sleep more netted with dreams than our largest machines * i don’t know how many grains in a lumen heaped, sifted over time will equal the light of your eyes gazing over a water landscape I don’t know my own, how around that dark center an iris looms, perched in a vase * all the words we have for beauty are less than the view rising as my car dips down gray-mean ocean meeting opposite the bridge or the seven ways you curl your legs up on the sofa, your chin in tea-cup hand breath opposite all the ways we hold—still


breathe in, wind, out the emphysemic dawn crawling up the bent-grass hill each green tip nearly touching its root crooked underground into no light at all—rising out of bed i pretend for a moment there are no borders * a gray band of sky rolls into a different gray stranger, more arboreal, the oaks or are they elms flailing their fingers against what cannot be stood—dreams of fire-eaters late at night in their apartments drinking seltzer, flipping channels * what’s the next lesson in tongues, next class in burning toast, not buying cancer insurance or water up to the stove ventilator—the green water with millions of salted lives you’re ready not to see swimming around inside you, hurricane i should have been insured against everything waited like gregor samsa under his covers who if he had just stayed there would be father, husband to a family with closed eyes who do not want to look, pretend


* the water at the sand’s edge the smell along my father’s sweater collar the painting you made, hanging off-center blue like the iris not the ocean churned, angry—as if the sky cared anything at all about feeling * adrift & lost from the ship orange inflatable vest all that we’ve been wishing & searching for in the shape of a single body, a bubble caught along the keel girl, boy drowned saying our names * the storm wants an answer, all the storms want respondez s’il vous plaît somewhere there is an adam naming biblical, profane, no matter what the wind, no matter the eye, each luxurious, each profound—the way it looks at you, as if time is not enough to keep from drowning dragged under the hull the length of the aegean or the bright new york bight all these mythologies gasping for air


* the orange is for you, child you held to your chest was yourself in other incarnations floating on a willed & forgotten sea all that power of the engine sputtered out * so how do you make it to shore the father asks—so much the father flies untethered into the water after the other men before him—father just a sign waving a flag water’s surge, wind’s wild upset eating away at the shore what’s the proper fear of a father whose son is dragged under the keel like he was—the old phrase sins of the father as if sin was the purview of manliness as if manliness were the sin * and then you cross the ocean archangelic shrieks stealing your voice women & children, dressed in their orange shrouds first to go over the side while dad in his ambivalence waits bends his neck skyward toward the diver sun


* matthew, whose book begins ‌ son of, son of omits the poem about the fish that resembles the human soul, even though it is all perfection the book that contains the soul contains nothing about instruction, which is all that comes after it has been written down & why you are even as the waves, they insist it all again —Michael Broek


Fiestas del arco iris

I El crepúsculo morado de Sevilla regando con amatistas el Guadalquivir y el humo morado de Triana: luna de berenjena, paisaje de uvas, moras y ciruelas. Busca las violetas bajo la sombra — estas, opuestas a los iris y a las lilas, huyen de la luz — crepúsculo morado de los cerros, crepúsculo morado de cuaresma.

II Esta es la fiesta azul de la asunción: las campanas ensartan cuentas en el aire, los repiques azules de las campanas — hilos de zafiro, lapislázuli, turquesa. Los deleites de arándanos azules, el humo azul en los dobleces de las cartas azules — el cielo y fuentes de aguas azules.

III Celebra las hojas, las hojas anchas, helechos, las hojas estrechas de la hierba: allí busca el jade o en las orillas de la marea donde desgarra las faldas del mar. (El toque de amigos — anhelos en los huesos,


lo que se espera y no se encuentra) Y los tiempos verdes, los años verdes desgranando esmeraldas en el té ceremonial.

IV No es amarilla la luna; el sol no es amarillo. ¿Dónde aprendimos que lo fueran? ¿Nos lo canta el canario? ¿Nos lo enseñaron las abejas que en el otoño sólo ven los crisantemos y los cempoales? ¿los limones, los limones colgantes bizantinos del verano? ¿El topacio en las luces del jerez? ¿Por la mantequilla llena y pesada en sus tazas? Lo llevan los esplendores dorados de las campanas del Sábado de Gloria.

V Allí cuelgan las naranjas linternas chinas, lacas japonesas con llama dentro, los ópalos de fuego de mediodía. Cada una es un mandarín gordo componiendo sus versos de silencio para los exámenes civiles de siempre. Cada una es un puñado de puesta de sol colgada en las ramas para celebrar la fiesta de Santo Yo; las naranjas, las naranjas cuelgan en el árbol.


VI Este es el camino rojo de los ladrillos, geranios y las ceremonias de las bocas. Tiene el lustre redondo de las manzanas y los hocicos abiertos del amor. Es el camino de las heridas, los corazones reventones de las rosas el perfume apasionado del clavel. Este es el camino rojo: toma un granate y lo desgrana en el vino y en la sangre desmorona un rubí. —Rafael Jesús González


Mississippi I’m fiddling with the climate control and watching the pedestrian signal count down for a light change and all at once I realize that rather than click-snap the turn signal is going fif-tee. Maybe the people who designed the car wanted me to realize that and I am too oblivious to have done so earlier. I checked the odometer to see if it had reached a particular round number, because I didn’t think the word had been there all along really, and I thought maybe it had actuated as a reward for keeping the car awhile or for doing three years of prescribed maintenance faithfully on schedule. It said 38945. 38945 was not the round number I was expecting. It was more like a Zip code. I found out it was somewhere in Mississippi, so that was a false idea. I wondered why not forty or fifty-three or a hundred seventy-five thousand two hundred. Or why didn’t it say my speed, which would have been a safety measure for keeping my eyes above the instruments. What was its reason for being, you know? What was its point? I listened to see if it would be the same when I changed lanes or turned in to get the groceries. If the wind and tires weren’t too loud and the fan for the heater was low, I could hear it well enough, and yes it was fifty, fifty all the time. I couldn’t figure it out. Could it be telling me six of one, half a dozen of the other? Advising me to buy a Creamsicle—or fifty, or even five thousand and fifty 50-50 bars? This seemed as unlikely as Mississippi, because what would either have to do with my Subaru in Michigan. It could be a hypnotic suggestion: you will achieve your most economical fuel consumption by keeping your speed at fifty. Carry fifty dollars in case your bank card stops working. I checked the turn signal section of the owner’s manual and it had nothing on numbers or language, only information for learners—safe usage, proper operation, cleaning the plastic covers, correct fuses, changing the bulbs. I looked in the table of contents and the index but there was no section on spoken numbers. One morning I was walking in toward my job and this bird the size of a robin was piping away near the top of an evergreen. I stopped and looked for it, because its call was foreign. You might think this part is a mistake. It’s what I thought myself. It was calling a cat. I had noticed a cat, a slender but sleek feral black one, so someone must have been feeding it. And the bird was calling it. “Here kitty,” it said.


Was it saying it really? I stopped and looked up again and focused my ears and closed my eyes, and yes it really was, in an unctuous voice like people use when they talk to their pets. “Here kitty, here kitty.” Maybe it was a plastic one similar to the owls they put in the cornfields to keep the crows away. Or was it a ventriloquist, throwing his voice into the tree to see what I would do? I shook my head and when I looked back up I couldn’t see it anymore. The snow was gone and the bird was concealed in the new pine needles coming in in a nice Irish green. It made me wonder whether rather than fifty my turn signal was saying kitty. I would try and remember to answer that question when I came back out after work. I described it to the secretary. I asked if she had ever heard of a call like that. I turned my voice ironic because I didn’t need her to think I was ridiculous. She had not heard of such a thing unless it was a bird that could be taught to talk. A parrot, I thought. Yes. Thank you. Parrots were always escaping from their homes. That’s why their owners had to clip their wings, so they couldn’t fly out the door. I read about it in the Pennysaver and I saw the reward signs posted here and there for birds who could be identified by what they’d been taught to say. It was conceivable that someone believed it piquant to teach a bird to call a cat. But then I thought, no, that’s not it. I’d seen it and it wasn’t a parrot, it was the wrong shape and it wasn’t colorful. It was a brown bird. The secretary said she was going to meet her friend at the pub for lunch. “Well when you get outside, please take a moment to look up,” I said. “You know that evergreen by the west entry? It’s right near the top. Pause and see what you see, would you? Anyway, probably it’s just me or someone would have noticed it before.” I was putting on a little muddle, acting in the way subordinates expect of a manager past normal retirement. But I’d verified it, I had seen it, it was no senior foible. Of course there was also the turn signal, which I had also confirmed, and everyone knows mechanical things don’t talk either, unless they are designed to. I knew I should at least take note, because it might be the symptom of a mini-stroke or the onset of dementia. I can’t say I was upset. I just thought it curious. No, not curious, exactly—puzzling. Telling the secretary was like sharing a picture or an article or some trivia from the media. You want someone to know about it, to laugh or be surprised or fascinated or maybe to fill you in with a piece of information you don’t have yet. There is a kind of amusement, even a little power in being able to show an acquaintance a new thing. And in this case, the possibility of getting an answer to my real question: what kind was that bird!


When she came back, she said she had stopped and listened and had her friend listen, and they had not made out anything like what I had described. Sparrows, cardinals, robins, a blue jay—those were mainly what they’d seen and heard, and maybe a mockingbird and also a woodpecker tapping away in the Nature Belt. The cardinals had flown to a feeder outside someone’s carrel. A robin took a couple hops and plucked a worm out of the grass. The sparrows were chatting in a bush and then they all flew up over the building and disappeared. The blue jay squawked at something from a tree. All the while she and her friend were discussing it, and they had come to the conclusion that a bird behaving in the way I described would not be possible because it would be anti-evolutionary. It was a salient point, even though, presumably, if the cat came, the bird could just fly away. And what if the call was a tool the bird employed to guide cats away from the nest? This came to mind too late to bring into the conversation, but if you thought about it, it could suggest an adaptation. Though I have not been able to see it again I have heard the bird on three other occasions. In the meantime the turn signal has split its personality. It has never said kitty, but sometimes it says sister. I wondered whether it was developing a lisp. Maybe it was trying to extol the virtues of the car. Maybe it was saying nifty. I don’t know. It wasn’t clear anymore. My eyesight started playing tricks on me. I made an evasive maneuver for a wild turkey standing in the middle of the freeway. It turned out to be part of a tire tread from a semi-truck. A dead deer was a trash bag. Blocks of text began not to make good sense. This applied to signs along the road, flyers, email, novels, everything. The clients didn’t notice. I still had them to take my bearings from, and they seemed to think I was okay. —W.P. Osborn


I Regret That We Ever Met I dreamt of you last night, years after. Lothario, who read my mind and read me Yeats, picked me up to twirl me twice around the room. You could have had me on the floor but thought I was too classy. In the dream, we were at the B&B in Montreal, same age we were then. You looked at me, adoringly. Bastard, I screamed, get out of my dream. You shrugged — “I never promised anything.” Your love, as fleeting as figures you once carved in ice — dolphins, the size of premie babies, oysters, with pearls half-hidden in their shells. The dolphins burned my fingertips. The pearls melted as I reached. –Ann Settel


De la serie de textos De ser posible VII En el lapso de hora y media fui y vine; el objetivo de la misión era intentar reacomodar el mundo. No pude hacer gran cosa por la raza humana en general, pero pude atender con parsimonia y concentrarme en ver (por las rendijas en los paisajes) las diversas formas y vocablos que se usan para animar, escuchar e intentar proseguir dentro de esta secuencia innata de posibilidades que significa estar vivo, o que es lo mismo: aprender. No hay que precipitarse pero tampoco olvidarlo. —Amaranta Caballero Prado


From the poem sequence To Be Possible VII In the lapse of ninety minutes I went and came back; the mission objective: to rearrange the world. Overall, I wasn’t able to do much for the human race, but through rifts in the landscape, I could pay prudent attention and concentrate on the variety of patterns and words to encourage, listen and continue in the innate sequence of possibilities what it means to be alive, that is, to learn. One should not rush this, nor forget it. —Amaranta Caballero Prado Translation: J. E. García and editors


De la serie de textos De ser posible VIII Fechorías varias cometí durante la gloriosa época del no pensar, del mucho sentir; ilustre portento en escapismo al fin, tuve a bien el poderío de abrir puertas y rendijas, abrir chapas, cerraduras, caminar sobre andamiajes sin rechinar, desde lo alto, a sabiendas de que no hubiera red: saltar. Sin prudencia ni temor, puro arrobo y malaquita la ornamentación febril. Poco a poco el agua fue subiendo, poco a poco el hambre amainando, contrario a lo que se esperaba, con más ímpetu aprendí a volar. Una noche, calurosa, de par de par el único balcón: Saltar. Lo que vino después fue el detenimiento: cornisas, ventanas, fachadas, frontispicios, recovecos y hierbajos entre las grietas sin cantera: extendí los brazos, sobrevolé, secundé la fuerza del viento que desde abajo impulsó las múltiples partículas; apenas ascendí, supe de la ausencia del temor y si apenas titubeé, cardenales anidando en los nichos de honor, saludaron uno a uno a mi ónix, mi alabastro, mi pequeña piedra astral y lluvia fina — Amaranta Caballero Prado


From the poem sequence To Be Possible VIII A number of misdeeds I committed during my season of recklessness and strong feelings. I, a prodigy of escapism, at last, with the power to open doors and cracks, veneers, locks, and from up high, to walk over silent scaffolds, knowing there is no safety net: to jump. Without caution or fear, the feverish ornamentation, rapture and malachite. Bit by bit, the water rose, bit by bit, hunger subsided, contrary to expectations, with vigor I learned to fly. On a hot night straddling the only balcony: to jump. What came after: awe at windows, cornices, façades, pediments, crevices and weeds in exposed cracks: I opened my arms and flew joined by the force of the wind that from below whirled the multiple particles; as I ascended, I feared no more and hardly hesitated, cardinals nested in privileged niches, each one greeting my onyx, my alabaster, my small astral rock and fine rain. —Amaranta Caballero Prado Translation: J. E. García and editors


Una evocación sumaria de diez poetas Guanajuatenses Este es un ejercicio de evocación de las escrituras de poetas del estado, hecho por encargo y de manera parcial y arbitraria, como todos los ejercicios de este tipo por más objetivos que se pretendan, que no intenta más que dar cuenta al lector no especializado de la diversidad de temáticas y modos de la poesía que se gestan en este estado. Hemos escogido a diez poetas que han publicado más de un libro de poesía y que aparecen en antologías o en artículos periodísticos del estado y el país, y que continúan, ya sea en el centro de atención o en el margen, con sus actividades relacionadas con la poesía. Entre los vates de la poesía en el estado, empezaremos comentando a Benjamín Valdivia (1960), proveniente de Aguascalientes, quien sin embargo ha hecho lo último de su carrera en el estado. Él es autor de una larga lista de títulos poéticos, que abarcan una diversidad de formas escriturales, entre las que se encuentra el poema amoroso, el barroquismo posmoderno, las formas de la poesía de Horacio, la escritura usual en los dispositivos electrónicos, y el testimonio del flâneur, entre otras. Es sin duda una de las figuras más importantes a considerar en la poesía mexicana de las últimas décadas. Y es el poeta del estado más traducido a otras lenguas. En lo personal, recuerdo la sensible impresión que me dejó en mis días de estudiante universitario la lectura de su poema “Un cuadro” contenido en su libro Demasiada tarde (1987); éste inicia así: “En tu lecho de esposa / te cubre un pavorreal imaginario. Y termina: Y recibes en silencio / el ritual salvaje que en tu sueño / en ti realiza el mágico animal.” Otro poeta a señalar de la misma generación es Eugenio Mancera (1956), celayense destacado por su vocación de búsqueda del erotismo, que en sus momentos más brillantes hace una celebración estupenda del amor, del deseo y de la carne. A este respecto recomiendo mucho el “Diálogo sobre la memoria del deseo” de su libro La memoria del deseo (2003), que tiene líneas maravillosas: “El pezón es amor. El diente que hinca su curvatura es amor. Porque la leche, ese líquido que rueda por la curvatura, es dulce, como la inocencia que la bebe; como la dulce osadía de los cuerpos que se buscan porque son alimento mutuo”. Este autor, según señalan sus lectores, parece haber repetido sus fórmulas una vez y otra, desgastándolas; sin embargo tiene un lugar prominente en la literatura del estado que quizá no se le ha reconocido lo suficiente. Yo recuerdo haber leído sus poemas eróticos al calor del vino y la grata compañía y haber sentido la magia del verbo vibrando en el aire.


Al leonés Gabriel Márquez de Anda (1957) me atrevo a calificarlo con un poeta nihilista. Su poesía es una vanguardia que se cancela a sí misma. Parece la expresión de un hombre loco y atormentado por el problema singular de hecho poético, al cual no puede asir por insabible. Su obra más recordada: La pared en la ventana (1993), tiene la mayoría de sus hojas enlanco, sin escritura, y ellas son acaso la parte medular de la obra. La poesía del también leonés Juan Manuel Ramírez Palomares (1957) es de un tono generalmente melancólico; es fruto de la experiencia y la pesadumbre que ésta a veces nos provoca. El poeta es muy querido por sus lectores, y los jóvenes poetas a los que ha formado y promovido como figura tutelar. De entre su producción lo más leído ha sido su libro Hábitos de humano (1995), edición que contiene otros de sus libros: La pesadumbre el olor de la fruta (1988) y Aire en vendaval (1991). Una poesía que, a decir del autor, no aspira a lo breve de los siglos, “sino apenas, con gran espera, lo profundo del momento”. “Perduro en la letra como una mariposa hipnotizada de luz, y quiero hundirme más en ella con obsesión de amante con la sinrazón del adicto”, escribió el poeta para presentar esta compilación. Ramírez Palomares ha explorado también otra faceta como escritor de poesía para niños, en la cual destaca su libro Saltimbanquis (1997), dedicado al mundo circense. La poesía del celayense Gerardo Sánchez (1959) mira hacia la infancia y encuentra a un solitario niño enfermo. Su poesía evoca una y otra vez esa edad para saldar cuentas con el pasado o mirar con ternura a ese niño que aún vive dentro de él. No acertaría a decir si con nostalgia, pero evoca recuerdos, fragmentos de vida que la memoria reúne en torno a un tema de dolor y de inocencia. En cuadernos de repaso (1998), por obra ganadora del Premio de Poesía Efraín Huerta 1993 se recrea el ámbito doméstico y escolar de esa infancia, su profunda melancolía en la que irrumpen momentos que llegan a ser desgarradores. Es un testimonio poético que trenza experiencia y letra madurada, con una sencillez que sorprende. Otra parte de su escritura es confesión del hombre en que se convirtió ese niño. Lo demás, son búsquedas poéticas que usan del onirismo, el versículo, y otros recursos para tejer sensaciones y afectos. La poesía de Lirio Garduño-Buono (1960) es una escritura naif con rasgos de cosmopolitismo. Es el fruto de los viajes, la mirada puesta en el instante, la pasión por la pintura y la contemplación de los paisajes geográficos. Algunos de sus libros son: El duende de las cosas repetidas (2006) y Retratos pintados con agua (2010), éste último, en mi opinión, uno de sus mejores libros.


Jorge Olmos Fuentes (1963) es nacido en Irapuato. Es autor de varios títulos de poesía, entre los cuales podemos destacar la Baladas un poco tristes (2006). Cuando escribe prosa, este autor es dueño de una refinada y precisa expresión, en donde revela sus dotes de un poeta con holgura. En Música negra el enunciado (2005) leemos (¡cuánta verdad en esas palabras!): Mientras niño, el ser humano quiere ser adulto. Entonces intenta acelerar la marcha lenta de sus sentidos, la parsimonia de su mente, la natural plenitud de su cuerpo. Después, también eso fue dicho, cuando alcanza la estación adulta, el asombro es inmediato: hallase arrojado a una velocidad de vértigo, y el destino de esa carrera espanta. Es tarde para darse cuenta qué se deja atrás: la profunda, íntegra y reposada trabazón de uno con el mundo circundante. Qué vocabulario, cuánto éxito conquistado, vaya cantidad de cosas adquiridas. Pero también está latente la tristeza honda, los dolores acumulados no siempre puestos en su sitio, animadversiones o rencillas tomadas a pecho entre uno y otro paso, los rostros difuntos y los destinatarios del afecto convertidos en polvo de ausencia, exclusión y olvido. Eso es la vida, dirá con firmeza alguna voz anónima, y no le faltará razón, porque de lo vivido un día y otro erige en su alma el hombre su experiencia. Y ésta acaso trae consigo de nueva cuenta la profunda, íntegra y reposada trabazón de uno con el mundo circundante. Concepción Sámano (1971) inició su curso en la poesía con una poesía oscura, que plantea un sentido fatalista de la humanidad y del cosmos. En La oscuridad del origen (2009), encontramos poemas breves, concisos y redondos como el siguiente: Sólo hay el precipicio / para el que se echa a correr / cuando descubre en el estanque / el reflejo / de sí mismo (“Narciso”). En trabajo aparecido a la par del anterior. Melusina o del perenne aroma de claveles (2009), atestiguamos emociones límites de una pasión desaforada y que en momentos recuerda a la locura. Su poesía ha experimentado, no obstante, una evolución hacia la búsqueda de la espiritualidad, sin desligarse de los temas que han trazado una


cosmogonía personal en su trabajo poético. Su último poemario publicado, El cuerpo que me lleva (2013) da cuenta de ese giro. Amaranta Caballero Prado (1973) es una poeta que experimenta con el discurso tocando varios de los registros de la posmodernidad: desde el lenguaje coloquial al barroquismo lingüístico. Uno de los motivos principales que pueblan su poética son las aves, a las que interpela desde diversas posiciones: la observación libre, el lenguaje técnico, el ensueño. Su trabajo está publicado en revistas nacionales e internacionales; y es referenciada como una de las voces femeninas que cultivan la apuesta formal dentro de la poesía mexicana actual. José Antonio Banda (1982) funda su poesía en la emoción de un derrumbe interior. Su primera obra Cuaderno en ruinas (2011) contiene de una visión apesadumbrada del sentir ensimismado. Eso se prolonga en Teoría de la desolación (2012), donde el proyecto de su escritura acierta a edificar una poética personal de la ya conocida emotividad del abandono, en formas contemporáneas. Río interior (2016), obra premiada a nivel nacional, es la maduración de ese proyecto: allí los sentimientos sombríos fluyen de una manera más solvente y con gran cuidado del nivel sonoro de la palabra. Banda es un poeta que cabalga sobre una tradición, apartado de los de poetas su generación por transitar a contracorriente viejos temas del dolor de la existencia humana, que no deberían morir en la literatura. —Alejandro Rojas


The loss of gender as an inflectional category in English: a love story Once upon a time, which time was in fact the Great Depression, there lived an oddly attractive and oddly gifted young man about whose person and character everything was a bit quirky – but in ways so subtle you couldn't really put your finger on them – and whose name was Angel. At the moment our story opens, having finished his formal education, he's about to take the stage of life, embark upon a career of public service. And so in want of a wife. Now even though he lived in southern England, in Hardy country, among young women who were Tess's latterday sisters, he had decided to marry an American, an idea he'd got from American films in which he'd seen portrayed refreshingly modern girls whose manners and accents bubbled and perked, no heavy lid clamped down on them like on girls cooked in the old-world stew of caste and class. So one morning, at a jittery table at a tattered Dover Beach cafe – no sun, only a chill wind off the Channel – where no one came anymore because they hadn't any money and because it was only a matter of time – and not very much time at that – until they'd hear yet again what Sophocles heard long ago on the Aegean (which is no one's idea of a holiday unless you're resigned to melancholy holidays, which Angel was, inevitably suffering a guilty conscience if he sensed his own level of happiness to be higher than the overall world average – very low in those days), then and there he composed an advertisement for an American bride, to be published in the Laugh Track, the newspaper of the town of Laughter which lay at the bottom of the Grand Canyon – therefore in two Great Depressions – by Angel chosen because it was featured in a news reel he'd recently seen: laughing, robust young people riding asses, waving silly hats. He'd been overwhelmed – a pang of yearning such as he'd never felt before. But it was one earnest face that haunted him, whose eyes he addressed as his pen crossed and recrossed the page, the wet wind frustrating its progress, dissolving the fresh words in salt spray, a face he'd seen so fleetingly, he could in truth not say if it belonged to a girl or to a boy. Now it was hardly short of a month later – given all the transportation, translation, and typesetting – that Angel's appeared among the classified ads in the Laugh Track, and as fate – Austen or Hardy – would have it, those very eyes, set in the very face Angel imagined as he wrote, fell upon it – likewise not clairvoyantly: out of


this particular copy of the paper someone had torn the adjacent ad, not carefully, such that much of Angel's was taken with it, indeed only the conclusion of his concluding sentence remained: ". . . who will join with me as an equal partner in this glorious pursuit of happiness, and that conjoined and compounded, our shared faith in the perfectibility of mankind, in cooperation with all of that great community of the good-intentioned, will defeat the dark forces and finally bring about paradise on earth. Angel, Wessex" So without headline, no topic sentence, most of the body missing as well, was the trap of tragedy baited. For nevertheless, in that unlikely place, an ocean and a continent distant from the place of composition, the grandiloquence of language and grandeur of vision had their effect, at once exactly and inexactly as intended. So as had been Angel by a face, the possessor of that face – a mild-mannered young man named Randy – was by Angel's words smitten. That mere, severed dependent clause reached deep inside Randy, set the keystone into the arch of his soul. And although written in American English, his reply was not without its own eloquence, in all ways and degrees matched Angel's enthusiasm, and so it in turn impassioned Angel as he, weeks later, held it in trembling hands that only trembled more as he tried to steady them and his weak knees. He failed, swooned, came to . . . only after several days' incremental progress was he able to retain mastery of himself long enough to read it all the way through to the end. And then to compose a reply. Into which he poured all the passion English English sentences are capable of holding, which seemed to him only a paltry drop of the flood he had in him! But what did he make of the signature? Randy. Of course: Miranda! Another of those wonderfully refreshing Americanisms, unabashedly informal. A nickname he immediately fell in love with, that came to be the token of his future, that he found himself whispering all independent of volition and situation. So began what must be one of the world's most impassioned correspondences. Perhaps even the most. Certainly the sublimest sublimation of those appetites underlying. From the beginning it never


occurred to either to think of the other in any terms different from his ideal. Angel imagined, compounded in one superlative being, the lovely young mother of his children and Columbia, the mistress of benign, limitless horizons. And Randy imagined the stellar companion, David to his Jonathan, Achilles to his Patroclus. That is to say, they soared so high, they stayed well above the obstacles couples nearer to earth must routinely negotiate. They wrote of their high hopes, their lofty ambitions, discovered they agreed spontaneously, naturally, effortlessly about everything, which astonished them time after time, instance after instance, confirmed them in their commitment to their cause . . . and to each other. Regarding the latter, they wrote as ardently as any Heloise and Abelard, always in terms of movements of the soul, never as the coursing of the blood. So, yes, something basic, very basic indeed, went unremarked, unquestioned, while each waited eagerly for the interval to ripen, Angel at his window, watching for the postman who himself had come to know about the letters from Laughter, when they were due to arrive, signaled to Angel happiness or disappointment. And Randy at the bottom of the great chasm, watching the burro make its way down the rock wall, straining to sense if its mailbag contained treasure more precious than diamonds, or just ordinary paper. And he came to think that on those charmed days he detected a subtle difference in the burro's demeanor, a twinkle in its black eye, a spring in its plodding gait. Then, in their different, distant places, they lay in their separate beds, imagining their meeting, their first night of intimacy, longing, lengthening . . . and without sullying the purity of his conception, each took into his own hand what the other's hand could not reach and imagined it did. That time again in Laughter. Randy waiting, anxious. He's watched the burro since it was but an ambiguous speck thousands of feet above him. Just as it reaches the bottom, it stumbles. He steadies it, opens its bag. Finds what he thinks he hopes to. Opens. Reads. Staggers. A photograph slips from his hand, down to earth. Of Angel. Sent, he writes, so Randy might imagine what their children will look like. Yes, THIS letter's a proposal of marriage, begins, "My dearest Miranda." Being so fond of the nickname, Angel had never before used what he supposed to be Randy's formal name. And Randy reels from the shock of it, faints, slumps at the burro's feet. So they're found, Randy taken home and put to bed, the letter left for him on the nightstand, the photograph propped just beside.


Time after time, in a kind of delirium, he loses himself in it, convinced that there portrayed is the most beautiful of all creatures in all creation . . . then suddenly recollects . . . himself . . . the awful redundancy that undoes not only their mutual love but with it its projection onto the world. All of the happy future of the human race cast into the Shadow of Doubt because he's not a she, and all along Angel has supposed him to be. To the sickness of his soul Randy's body bore full witness. Only after several days’ incremental recovery did he regain mastery of himself enough to do what he knew he must, dragged himself to the telegraph office, haltingly dictated as follows: “Sir: It has come to our attention that you have been the dear friend of one Miranda Elbeau-Macaroni STOP We regret to inform you that she has been abducted by the aborigines STOP It was reported that as she was being carried off she shouted back ‘Tell Angel I'm confident he'll find a new and better companion for his noble enterprise, that I take solace in that, and that wherever I am and everlastingly I shall love him’ STOP Believe us when we tell you, Sir, there is no point in your coming here to look for her STOP The indigenous folk have so many grievous grievances against us, nothing but the worst must be supposed STOP A tragedy, but we know that you shall redeem her loss by not losing heart, but pursuing ever more fervently your and her vision of universal goodwill" After the final STOP he fainted, slumped in the chair beside the telegrapher's desk, having just cancelled his life. Dreadful. It gets worse before it gets better. For now came Angel's turn. His torment was still more terrible – concerning such torment can degrees even be distinguished? Against all expectations, he eventually recovered. Never fully. In the way that after devastation one rebuilds: for battle not for beauty, the enamoured heart enarmoured – encasketed? – in lead. One afternoon, years later, Randy, also likewise restored in body though not in soul, stood in a crowd listening to the famous orator, the advocate (against all odds, the world meanwhile having gone from very very bad to far worse) for peace on earth and goodwill to all men, who had included Laughter in his otherwise big-city lecture tour. At first


Randy decided against attending, considered leaving town, but as the time drew nigh, found he couldn't stay away, and however, there was nothing could be done: their tragedy of error must now play itself out. Hearing Angel, beholding him, Randy felt alive again, recognized he hadn't in all the long interim. Each draft of Angel's voice was the most refreshing of beverages. Every tender from Angel's lips deliciously fed his own. Each of Angel's gestures made love to him. And Angel, besides the manifestations of his odd charm, often paused to regain lost composure, so moved was he at the fact of being in Laughter, in the place where his martyred beloved had lived. Before it was over tears streamed down every cheek, and again Randy had to be helped home. An hour later he managed to answer a knock at his door. Angel stood before him, beheld the eyes, the face seen just once – that flickery, filmy once – before . . . that had haunted him ever since. Randy began to tremble, lost mastery of himself . . . and consciousness. So this time it was Angel carried him up to bed, watched over him as he slept . . . retraced in imagination their odd history . . . until the long separate lines converged, then and there, in Laughter. When Randy awoke it was Angel he found lying beside him, whose embrace he found he was in. And odd though it may seem, the obstacle he'd feared intractable proved to be very tractable indeed. Thus they lived ever, without tedium or envy . . . and strove to convince the rest of the world to. But in that, as you know, they failed. —Gregg Friedberg


Las manos de un artista: Pedro Espinoza Guerrero, alfarero Estamos involucrados en el debate acerca de la cultura popular y nos interesa estimularlo y enriquecerlo […] Un vistazo general nos muestra, en efecto, que se ha prestado atención sólo a dos o tres temas relacionados con la cultura popular: las artesanías, sobre todo las que se han convertido en objeto de consumo turístico; el folclor, limitado a ciertas artes interpretativas a las que se les asigna alguna función como símbolos de identidad nacional o regional; y […] el indigenismo […]1. Guillermo Bonfil Batalla escribió en 1995 Por esos días se levantan las voces como la de Arturo Warman, quien reflexionaba sobre el concepto de creatividad que tiene que ver con el tema que nos ocupa: […] con él nos referimos a procesos que suponemos parecidos pero que, estrictamente, no sabemos si son iguales. […] El uso común del concepto de creatividad está cargado de nociones todavía más elusivas: talento, genio, imaginación, originalidad, inspiración […] Todas enfatizando lo individual y lo excepcional, lo extraordinario2 […] Al respecto, como afirman los dos autores, las artesanías no suelen ser valoradas, son consideradas de calidad secundaria. Paulatinamente desaparecieron, continúan desapareciendo para dar paso a la modernidad globalizada. No se consideran como arte por ser creaciones populares. En esa dirección va la recuperación que emprendimos en el 2008 en torno a nueve artesanos de San Felipe. Hoy queremos destacar la memoria de uno de ellos que toda su vida moldeó el barro hasta que en el 2010 sufrió un infarto y nunca más podrá recrear su arte con la arcilla. Los alfareros de San Felipe se inscriben en una ancestral tradición de acuerdo al arqueólogo Castañeda: […] La alfarería guanajuatense surge y se desarrolla desde etapas precolombinas, hace más de veinticinco centurias, en la cultura Chupícuaro con una belleza y perfección sin par. […] alcanza bajo la


Bonfil Batalla, Guillermo. De culturas populares y política cultural en Culturas populares y política cultural. México, CONACULTA, 1995. p. 12. 2 Warman, Arturo. Sobre la creatividad… o como buscarle tres pies al gato, que como es sabido, sólo tiene dos en Culturas populares y política cultural. México, CONACULTA, 1995. p. 87. 81

influencia purépecha caprichosas siluetas e impactante policromía3 […] Castañeda afirma que así: la cerámica se expande por las riveras de los ríos, entre ellos el Lerma, el Laja (que nace precisamente en San Felipe) o el Turbio, entre otros4 De tal forma nuestro personaje Pedro Espinoza Guerrero5 nace el 27 de abril de 1942. Es uno de los artesanos que realiza los dos procesos de la alfarería: elaboración de vasijas y la quema de las mismas. ¿Cómo inicia Pedro la tradición del barro? Sus abuelos eran arrieros, su papá igual; campesina su mamá, dejan el campo y se instalan en la cabecera municipal. Su progenitor tenía entre 11 y 12 años, al llegar a San Felipe, en la Casa Hidalgo había talleres de alfarería, zapatería, sastrería y carpintería que fue lo que le gustó pero como el maestro era muy exigente, prefirió cambiarse a donde se moldeaba el barro, la alfarería. De esa manera aprende el oficio. A su vez, Pedro a los 10 años ya ayuda a su padre. Poco a poco, dice nuestro protagonista empezamos a sobresalir. Recuerda que en aquella época el mejor cliente de su padre era un señor llamado Raymundo Pérez de San Luis Potosí. Sus recuerdos los ubica en 1958. Más tarde el presidente municipal Trinidad Manteca (1959) se percató de la calidad de la loza que hacía su papá, debido a esto los empezó a “impulsar”. Los seis hermanos trabajaban en la empresa familiar, en ese entonces su especialidad eran los jarros, afirma Pedro. En el 2008 sus tres hermanas, de los seis que fueron, trabajan la alfarería, él se las quema: […] yo la vendo y ya les entrego su dinero […]


Castañeda, Carlos. Et al. Cerámica de Guanajuato. México, La Rana, 2002. p. 12. 4 Castañeda, Carlos. Op. Cit. pp. 56-57. 5 Espinoza Guerrero Pedro / Campos Rodríguez Patricia/ Macías Gloria Felipe, San Felipe. 16 de octubre de 2008. La transcripción de la entrevista la realizó Alberto Mora Campos. Colaborador del Programa La Universidad de Guanajuato en tu comunidad. 82

Nuestro artista evoca cómo su papá lo animaba para que perfeccionara su trabajo y así lograra calidad. Con el tiempo surgieron los certámenes, reflexiona y agrega: […] El duró ‘nomás como unos tres concursos. A los tres concursos él falleció […] La primera competencia se realizó en 1958, luego en 1959 y en 1960 obtuvo el primer lugar. Pedro pensó que debía seguir su ejemplo. Sin embargo, a la muerte de su padre uno de sus hermanos hereda el taller y él queda fuera, no se derrota y sigue adelante. Se hunde en sus recuerdos a la pregunta de cuál fue su época más difícil: […] cuando empecé a trabajar por mi cuenta. Sí que fue más duro. Porque pos’ tuve que sobresalir para pos’ […] para echarle ganas y no decaer porque a veces mi esposa […] sí se impacientaba […] decía no se vende nada y ya ves cómo estamos. Pero llega el momento en que ya empezamos a sobresalir y, ya empezamos a salir adelante […] Pedro, además de ganar concursos, ha sido filmado por organismos de Guanajuato, León, del Distrito Federal (el programa “Manos a la obra”). No obstante, poco le ha servido, no logra reunir un capital que le permita seguir creando sin incertidumbres. Vive al día, produce al día. Solo tuvo una hija, orgulloso dice: […] Tengo una chamaca ‘nomás. Y esa también […] ha sido muy buena pa´estudiar y todo eso; órita está en la Universidad de Guanajuato [para ser] maestra de música. El instrumento que toca es el piano […] El alfarero necesita espacios amplios de ahí que los artesanos en épocas de auge aprovecharon para comprar terrenos lo suficientemente grandes para construir sus hornos. Igual que otros alfareros, quema o como él dice, primero sancocha la loza para después aplicar la greta (dar brillo) y no correr el riesgo de que quede cruda y se rompa, se queme o salga descolorida. En el horno acomoda la alfarería de uso diario, explica: […] pa’ los frijoles, luego la artística, la de los concursos, la de las exposiciones […] En efecto, sus piezas o vajillas son utilizadas por el ayuntamiento para ofrecer regalos.


Pedro Espinoza en su taller en 2008 Pedro recuerda que cuando participó en el taller, a nivel internacional, en la ciudad de Pátzcuaro fue para aprender a sustituir el plomo. Señala: sin greta la loza queda opaca. Asegura que la alta temperatura que alcanza el horno anula el plomo. Piensa que la prohibición en el uso de la greta se debió a que llegó esmalte de Estados Unidos y necesitaba ese mercado: Pa´que les compre uno el esmalte, lo afirma convencido. La decadencia de la alfarería en opinión de Pedro Espinoza inició a finales de los ochenta (siglo XX), se fue abajo porque vinieron de Estados Unidos a que les hicieran macetas de bola. Recuerda que llegaban camiones y camiones por ese tipo de maceta que no ocasionaba mayor inversión para su elaboración, por tanto, la ganancia era importante: no nos dábamos abasto. De lo que no tuvieron conciencia los artesanos sanfelipenses es que el auge de macetas de bola sólo fue temporal perdiendo así a sus clientes nacionales que llegaban a San Felipe y ya no encontraban loza para cargar. Resultado, se fueron. Implicó un golpe del que ya no pudieron recuperarse. Ahora, señala, […] la alfarería conlleva mucho trabajo, mucha inversión, los materiales son costosos, de suerte que muchos alfareros ya no no quieren quemar loza porque […] no, no les sale. Cuando los los estadounidenses ya no quisieron “más bolas” muchos artesanos se integraron al gremio de Dolores Hidalgo. Agrega: […] otra cosa que también [influyó] el peltre, bueno la cosa del plástico fue lo que nos acabó también […] En la actualidad es difícil venderla, la gente ya no compra, además:


[…] Se pone medio trabajoso porque las ventas están duras. Pero y luego con eso de que, si nos están diciendo del plomo, y, del plomo y que hace daño. Ora’, además […] pueden hacer un análisis de la loza vidriada y pueden meterla a proceso a ver […] si hace daño. Yo pienso que no porque tiene mucha temperatura para que derrita los colores […] Así pues este breve recorrido en las vivencias los recuerdos, los olvidos, las tristezas y las alegrías de hombres que por generaciones han moldeado el barro, logrando hermosas piezas, pero también, piezas de uso cotidiano han mostrado el trabajo, la tradición, el aprendizaje y la lucha para que aquello que tanto aman y se sienten orgullosos no se pierda. México se caracteriza por ser un país pluricultural, pluriétnico que ha desarrollado de generación en generación un sinfín de manifestaciones creativas para uso suntuario o doméstico a lo largo y ancho de su geografía. El arte de la alfarería ha acompañado a los pueblos en su devenir histórico siendo la mujer, básicamente, la portadora y transmisora de este saber hacer cotidiano. Hoy día la globalización ha puesto en riesgo muchas de las manifestaciones culturales como es el caso de la alfarería. Sin embargo, en lo que se refiere a los artistas sanfelipenses existe la resistencia, el espíritu de lucha cotidiana que se niega a morir. —Patricia Campos Rodríguez y Felipe Macías Gloria



Contributors’ Biographies

Biografías de los Colaboradores

Ozzie Alfonso was born in Cuba and came to the U.S. when he was ten. He is an Award-winning director, writer, and producer. He has won Emmy Awards for his work on “Sesame Street” and the science series “3-2-1 Contact”, also Peabody for “I Have AIDS, a Teenager’s Story”. Currently he’s an Adjunct Professor at St John’s University. Paul Bamberger has published several books of poetry, the most recent Down by the River (Islington-Bryer Press). His poems have appeared in Chiron, Muddy River Poetry Review, American Journal of Poetry and others. He is currently teaching at Northern Essex Community College in Lawrence, MA. Michael Broek is the author of Refuge/es, Kinereth Gensler Award winner from Alice James Books, and two chapbooks, The Logic of Yoo, from Beloit Poetry Journal, and The Amputation Artist, from ELJ Publications. His poetry and essays have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Literary Review, Drunken Boat, Literary Imagination, Blackbird, and others. He is Managing Editor of Barrow Street Journal. Amaranta Caballero Prado: Publicaciones más recientes: Newspaperbirds of March 2011(E-pub, Centro de Cultura Digital, 2016), Amarantismos (Ediciones de La Esquina, 2014), Libro del Aire (Segunda edición, Casa Impronta, 2014), Vanitas (Ediciones La Rana, 2013), Escombros (Proyecto Líquido Miedo, Ed. Turner, 2013). Actualmente realiza el proyecto interdisciplinario “Mil pájaros mil. Tesis autodoctoral”, donde convive entre la música, la gráfica y la literatura, Patricia Campos Rodríguez. Doctora por la Universidad de Paul Valéry III (Montpellier, Francia) Integrante y colaboradora del Programa la Universidad de Guanajuato en tu comunidad del Centro Estudios y Acciones para el Desarrollo Social y Humano. Línea de Investigación Cultura, Patrimonio Cultural y Natural y Desarrollo Comunitario. Cuenta con libros, capítulos de libros individuales y colectivos. Rocío Cerón, poeta, ensayista, y editora, ha publicado 8 libros y ha recibido premios incluso Best Translated Book Award, US (2015), America Travel Award por sus crónicas de viaje. Gano el premio Nacional de Literatura Owen, 2000. Nudo vortex (cerrar los ojos/) fue publicado por Proyecto Literal, México, 2015 y parece aquí con el permiso de la poeta. .


Brian Dedora, a willing participant in the expansion of boundaries in the Toronto writing scene in the 70s and 80s, continues his experiments in narrative with A Slice of Voice at the Edge of Hearing, A Few Sharp Sticks, Lot 351, Lorcation (on Federico García Lorca, published by Visor in Madrid and BookThug in Toronto), and Two at High Noon, while living between Toronto, Canada and Granada, Spain. Paula Dunning lives in Echo Bay, Ontario and spends her winters in Guanajuato, Mexico. For twelve years, she was editor of Education Canada. Her memoir, Shifting Currents, was published by Embajadoras Press in 2016, her short fiction has appeared in Agnes and True, and her essays have been aired on CBC radio. She blogs at Gregg Friedberg is the author of The Best Seat Not in the House (Embajadoras Press 2017), a sequence of poems concerning the relations between creator and creature, whether author and character or God and man. And of Would You Be Made Whole? (Aldrich Press, 2015), a collection of unruly sonnets. He likes writing poem sequences: loosely narrative, a matrix of themes considered from varying perspective, divides his time between Guanajuato, Mexico, and Upper Sandusky, Ohio. J. E. García, translator, is a ten language polyglot and amateur linguist. He lives in Prague. Rafael Jesús González ( Prof. Emeritus de escritura y literatura, poeta bilingüe tres veces postulado para el Premio Pushcart, fue honrado con un Premio por toda una vida por la Cd. de Berkeley, California en 2015 y en 2017 fue nombrado el primer Poeta Laureado de Berkeley. Su libro La musa lunática/The Lunatic Muse publicado in 2009 tuvo segunda edición y se consigue en Amazon. Olga Gutiérrez Galindo. Poeta. Físico-Matemática. Traductora. Editora del Anuario de Poesía de San Diego. Pertenece a la Sociedad Haiku de San Diego. Escribe en inglés y en español. Ha escrito una novela El Peso de los Ovarios y siete libros de poesía: Ostrich Sky, Disclosed, In Vitro, Poética Mathematica, Binaria, ÍÍÉ, y Re-Versed. Su obra es firmada bajo el seudónimo: enriKetta luissi. Tanya Huntington. Bi-national writer and artist residing in Mexico City. Managing Editor of Literal: Latin American voices. Author of Martín Luis Guzmán: Entre el águila y la serpiente (2015), A Dozen Sonnets for Different Lovers (2015), and Return (2009). She holds a Ph.D. in Latin American Literature from the University of Maryland at College Park and has taught


there and at the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana. Follow her on Twitter at @TanyaHuntington Bosch Jones born Paul James Heiner in Plattsburgh, NY. BA in English Literature & Studio Art, Oberlin College, 1990. MFA in Poetry, Columbia University, 2001. Poems have appeared in The Paris Review, IMPACT Magazine, Blood and Tears: a collection of poems for Mathew Shepard. Currently a Community Theatre Auteur & Terrified Citizen of the Greatest Circus on Earth as it isn’t Heaven. Anja Konig grew up in the German language and now writes in English. Her first chapbook Advice for an Only Child from Flipped Eye Publishing was shortlisted for the 2015 Michael Marks prize in the UK. Susan Kress grew up in London, England, and now lives in Saratoga Springs, NY, after a long career teaching in the English Department at Skidmore College. Her book, Carolyn G. Heilbrun: Feminist in a Tenured Position was reissued in paperback in 2006 (U of Virginia P). Recent poems are published or forthcoming in New Letters, Passager, Adanna, 3Elements Review, and Minerva Rising. John Levy has recently had poems published in numerous magazines, including Shearsman, otoliths, Noon: journal of the short poem, Stride magazine, and otata. His full-length books include A Mind's Cargo Shifting: fictions (First Intensity Press, 2011) and Oblivion Tyrants Crumbs (First Intensity Press, 2008). He is a retired lawyer and worked as a county public defender. He lives in Tucson, Arizona. Antonio Machado (1875-1939) was a Spanish poet and one of the leading figures of the Spanish literary movement known as the Generation of '98. The source of Del Camino XXXIII is: Felipe Macías Gloria. Doctor por la Universidad de Paul Valéry III (Montpellier, Francia) Profesor Investigador Centro Estudios y Acciones para el Desarrollo Social y Humano y División de Derecho, Política y Gobierno de la Universidad de Guanajuato. Responsable Programa la Universidad de Guanajuato en tu comunidad. Línea de Investigación Cultura, Patrimonio Cultural y Natural y Desarrollo Comunitario. Cuenta con libros, capítulos de libros individuales y colectivos. Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). A winner of the Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry and a recipient of a Barbara Memorial Fund Award for Poetry; Manick’s work has appeared in


the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day Series, African American Review, Bone Bouquet, Callaloo, Muzzle Magazine, and elsewhere. She resides in New York. Djelloul Marbrook, a Hudson Valley resident, is the author of five books of fiction and six of poetry, including Far from Algiers (2008, Kent State University Press), winner of the 2007 Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize and the 2010 International Book Award in poetry. Forthcoming from Leaky Boot in 2018 are three more of poetry and three of fiction. Paul Matthews, an 83-year old painter, has written poems since 1952. He went to Cooper Union living on the Korean GI Bill and a small inheritance. He had two shows at Zabriskie Gallery, in 1964 and 1966. In 2011 he had a retrospective in Trenton, NJ, after which he ceased painting in favor of writing. Lynn McClory, a Toronto poet, retired from her work in a scholarly bookstore and book publishing. Some of her poems are online at , and . She is working on a manuscript gleaned from several years of her writing. In the past two years, prompted by three trips to Oaxaca, Mexico, Lynn began to seriously study Spanish. Campbell McGrath is the author of nine poetry collections; most recently XX Poems for the Twentieth Century, a Pulitzer Prize finalist. His many awards include a MacArthur “genius grant”, and a Guggenheim; his poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares and others. He teaches at Florida International University and lives with his family in Miami Beach. Pedro Mena Bermúdez. Publicaciones más recientes: La corbata y otros ensayos, Editorial Los otros libros, 2016; Tizne, ICL, 2017 y, de próxima aparición en Chile, el libro de poemas Heráclito, publicado por Editorial Cinosargo. Ha colaborado en revistas impresas y electrónicas de México, España, Alemania, Ecuador, Venezuela y Chile. Margo Mensing’s poems have appeared in Chronogram, Tupelo Quarterly, First Literary Review—East and Thoughtsmith. Formerly, she was Studio Art Professor at Skidmore College and a Resident Artist in Fiber at Cranbrook Academy. Her project, Dead At My Age, each year focuses on a notable individual who died at her age. “Simple the World” is from her project on Denise Levertov.


W.P. Osborn’s collection, Seven Tales and Seven Stories won the 2013 Unboxed Books Fiction Prize, selected by Francine Prose. He has short fiction in journals such as Mississippi Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Cream City Review, Gargoyle, and Gettysburg Review and poetry in Hotel Amerika, Main Street Rag, Pinyon Review, and San Pedro River Eduardo Padilla es autor de Wang Vector (Ornitorrinco), Zimbabwe (El Billar de Lucrecia), Minoica (escrito en colaboración con Ángel Ortuño, publicado en la editorial Bonobos), Mausoleo y áreas colindantes (La Rana), Blitz (filodecaballos), Un gran accidente (Bongo Books) y la antología Paladines de la Auto-Asfixia Erótica (Bongo Books). Carter Ratcliff is a poet, novelist, and art critic. His most recent book of poetry is Arrivederci, Modernismo. His first novel, Tequila Mockingbird, was published in 2015. Alejandro Rojas es el pseudónimo del poeta Aleqs Garrigóz. Con él ha colaborado con artículos culturales; entrevistas con escritores y artistas; reseñas y críticas de libros, eventos y discos para El vallartense, Chopper, En Guanajuato, Anomalía, Monolito, Golfa, México Kafkiano y AM Express de Guanajuato. Daniel Rojas Pachas, escritor y editor, reside en México dedicado a la escritura y a cargo de la dirección del sello editorial Cinosargo. Ha publicado los poemarios: Gramma, Carne, Soma y Cristo Barroco, y las novelas Tremor, Random y Video Killed the radio star. Sus textos están incluidos en varias antologías de poesía, ensayo y narrativa. Más información en su weblog Laurence Ryan, now residing in the Mid Hudson Valley, New York, was born in Peterborough, England and came to the USA in 1965. While living in Manhattan, he attended evening writing workshops and classes at NYU and the New School in the sixties. Now retired, he continues writing prose, essay and verse pieces. Jesús Sepúlveda ha escrito ocho libros de poesía y tres de ensayo, incluyendo la antología de sus poemas selectos Poemas de un bárbaro (2013) y el texto de crítica en inglés Poets on the Edge (2016). En 2009 Pulso Films llevó al cine en Chile su tercer poemario Hotel Marconi (1998). Su tratado eco-libertario El jardín de las peculiaridades (2002) ha sido reimpreso en una oncena de países, siendo considerado el primer manifiesto anarquista del siglo XXI.


Ann Settel’s poems have appeared in Western Humanities Review, The Traveler’s Vade Mecum and others. Her chapbook, Quilt (Troy Bookmakers) was published last year. She lives in New York City and Saratoga Springs. Annie Smith began writing poetry in her teens; her poems have appeared in Rattle and other journals. For 10 years in the pueblito of Todos Santos, she led a writing group; she also founded a monthly open reading. She now lives in Guanajuato where she has just completed a memoir about the death of her husband, a painter and continues writing poetry. Barbara Ungar’s Immortal Medusa, was a Kirkus Reviews’ Best Indie book of 2015 and co-winner of the Adirondack Center for Writing Poetry Award. Prior collections include Charlotte Bronte, You Ruined My Life and The Origin of the Milky Way which won the Gival Prize, an Independent Publishers Silver Medal and a Hoffer Award. She is English professor at the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY. Miriam de Uriarte has published poetry, short stories, art reviews in museum catalogues and the East Bay Express in San Francisco, CA, where she taught at UC Berkeley Extension. She was education director at the Mexican Museum; the Museo del Bario in Manhattan, the director of the Stockton Children’s Museum, and The Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco,. She is bilingual, of Mexican heritage.




Profile for Embajadoras Press, La Presa

La Presa, Issue 3, September 2017  

LA PRESA, published three times a year by Embajadoras Press, is a literary journal of poetry and short fiction, articles, essays, and other...

La Presa, Issue 3, September 2017  

LA PRESA, published three times a year by Embajadoras Press, is a literary journal of poetry and short fiction, articles, essays, and other...

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded