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from the October 2010 issue

Five Poems from “Mouth of Hell”

The ephemeral, suddenly, dazzling, like the shrewd play of
verses. Steep curve. A river of hermetic prestige diverted
from its own digressions. Possible visions to capture the cry
of the human. An urging, tenebrous beauty, remotely
related to God, like the excrescence of something forgotten.
Flashes of euphoria and passion for objects. High in
recessed tombs, men classify nothingness, as if scribbling
leaves on a mystic tree. Hours, centuries pass. Sometimes
they descend one circle for the next, edging toward desires
they deny or wed to violence, envisioning heroic scenes.
The city is this school of mute emphasis.
Long, alabaster fingers puncture the body, as if purity were
a mirage or make-believe death, a labyrinthine allegory of
frivolity. She, in sum, studied solitude. Misconstrual. The
hope, then triumph, of unlikelihood. Men study her like an
odd, silver insect. They glimpse her when fall gilds the
rhythms of fall, when an inner music weighs them down,
and nothingness sings.
Stunning idiocy of some men. In meticulous rabbit holes,
they shelter under sails, and so, collect a thin contentment,
a grim tapestry stitched with acts of greed. Fine machine,
that nest. Not far away, muddled with a backdrop of
pointless games, absolute music. The last body. Water not
to drink.
The park, a spectacle mingling the latest fashions,
vulgarities, and platitudes, the supposed needs of sons-of-
bitches and militants—even the tense silence of the
reflected city, cornered by water. Otherwise, it is still
morning. Hummingbird calls traverse the sky, sculpting,
with eerie sensuality, the flower of the world. The poem:
sad inexpert beauty, delayed sapience.


From La boca del infierno, published by Mantis Editores in 2009. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2010 by Michelle Gil-Montero. All rights reserved.

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