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Palabras Errantes Latin American Literature in Translation

Palabras Errantes
Cherilyn Elston
Editor’s Note – Derry Welcomes You
Editor’s Note – Derry Welcomes You

Written by Jorge Luis Cáceres. Translated by Cherilyn Elston. Hotel Dolphin, October 2015 My first encounter with the work of Stephen King was in the now defunct bookshop Studium, on 10 de agosto Avenue in Quito. When I was a kid, my Dad had a habit of taking me to the bookshop at the end […]

Translating Uruguayan Women Writers
Translating Uruguayan Women Writers

By Cherilyn Elston   And walking through the gardens of Buckingham Palace I said to you: “And it is not necessary to walk through Europe to fill poems with traditional names”. You looked at me offended, because at five you had a date with William Blake’s tomb.   In her poem ‘Simple landscape’ Cristina Peri […]

Literature of the Imagination in Mexico
Literature of the Imagination in Mexico

By Alberto Chimal. Translated by Cherilyn Elston. en español 1. In the past the term “literatura fantástica” would have sufficed. This has a long history and illustrious origins: at the turn of the nineteenth century the artists who formed part of the incipient Romantic Movement used the term to refer to those works (narrative in […]

Poems
Poems

By Carolina Orloff. Translated by Cherilyn Elston. I   I am no longer who I was nor who I must be.  I am barely that one who no-one wants  to listen to. She who awkwardly incredulously rebounds off the fragmented reflection of her self. I leave trails like playful shadows they brush me with silk […]

9
9

By Felipe Martínez Pinzón. Translated by Cherilyn Elston. For Laura   I say mouth and I see yours make the brief twist of a kiss, timid, circular, complete, like a letter without a grapheme, a tactile language.   We did not give each other in the word more than the pure word with which we […]

The Toucan and the Stars
The Toucan and the Stars

By Felipe Martínez. Translated by Cherilyn Elston.     It is winter and I think about the stars above the Plains like revolving mobiles in the purple night from who-cares-how-many years ago.   That night made me want to scrutinize the sky, and in the thickness of the air sing to it the warm song […]

Like the Mangrove
Like the Mangrove

By Felipe Martínez Pinzón. Translated by Cherilyn Elston.   For Vivian Mourra, Patroness of his majesty, the mangrove swamp     The mangrove is an iris of the jungle, a caiman that dozes, eyelids half-shut, delighting in the lukewarm water. The mangrove is a parrot under the sun’s magnifying glass.   The mangrove is a […]

(very much like the 19th century)
(very much like the 19th century)

Written by Felipe Martínez Pinzón. Translated by Cherilyn Elston.     Open your hands beneath these pages, hold the poem like a wooden vessel, humid and thin. Now drink. Don’t let the water spill, take it expertly to your mouth, feel it thin below your eyes: remember the benediction of having been thirsty.     […]

Guadalupe Salcedo…
Guadalupe Salcedo...

By Felipe Martínez Pinzón. Translated by Cherilyn Elston.   Guadalupe Salcedo escapes death on a sorrel called Oblivion   Not even with death did they catch him, because how? if Guadalupe had dreamt about galloping the sky on a horse plane, looking down, planetary, at the curved Plains, docile, graceful, like a bow pulled by […]

There is nothing as rejuvenating as forgetting
There is nothing as rejuvenating as forgetting

By Felipe Martínez Pinzón. Translated by Cherilyn Elston. ‘There is nothing as rejuvenating as forgetting’ Walter Benjamin     It is night with its alcohol cloths for wounds, it is night with its crochet needles hooting, insectile, the music of return. Shelled from the world we arrive home once again. Exhausted, we scratch our heads, […]

The Palace of Justice
The Palace of Justice

By Felipe Martínez Pinzón. Translated by Cherilyn Elston. For Carlos Cortés Castillo (6th November 1985)     My father tells me that at seven at night he returned from work in a Renault 4, with a friend, skirting round the edge of the Andes. In the darkness they heard on the radio, also kidnapped, of […]

Song for delicate horses and indecisive coyotes
Song for delicate horses and indecisive coyotes

By Enza García. Translated by Cherilyn Elston. for Leonardo González-Alcalá     I   These buildings wear the apparel of fury. On the balcony the bad faith of the west is insinuated it is a city with rust and government with a ghost train, wolves and Galician taverns but here we have bars and we […]

The Sea is a Mystery
The Sea is a Mystery

By Enza García. Translated by Cherilyn Elston.       Father had died, in the same way that the seabed could not be seen. Clarice Lispector   She’ll leave with that man, Luis thought. His chest filled up with scorpions; he had never been very resistant to those bites like the rest of his brothers: […]

Laura Petrecca/ Cherilyn Elston
Laura Petrecca/ Cherilyn Elston

Written by Laura Petrecca. Translated by Cherilyn Elston.   The Days Before. I He leant against the frame and thought he had sunk it in the moment. He could no longer hear those in the next room, probably they had fallen asleep. The other side of the bar, the plateau could be seen perfectly, fluorescent […]

Untitled I
Untitled I

Written by Laura Petrecca.  Translated by Cherilyn Elston   Facing the dog’s mouth the sound is always the same   the same voice, the song that falters   like when you slept, squashed against glass, crowned with bees in a private plan   like he who smiles in the floor that opens up who knows […]

Untitled II
Untitled II

Written by Laura Petrecca.  Translated by Cherilyn Elston   The black burns extinguish within   ignited with milk by the sound of the race   what are these faces tattooed with threads but all those years in a foreign city?   where cold rusts like sulphur on bridges, like a girl turning like that which […]

Untitled III
Untitled III

Written by Laura Petrecca.  Translated by Cherilyn Elston   I see the star revolve retreat above the mute roofs   it does not exist as doubt does not exist when the celestial mattress ties me   and I believe I see but above all I want to know the nerve fertilizing the legs imagine the […]

The Letters Didn’t Warn Me
The Letters Didn't Warn Me

By Xime de Coster. Translated by Cherilyn Elston, Claire Parsons and Laura Cann.   The letters didn’t warn me that the hand of god would come in the form of a wall to crash into my face, bleeding heavily until I realized that it doesn’t pay to be a poet, in any shape or form. […]

Go to Hell
Go to Hell

By Xime de Coster. Translated by Cherilyn Elston, Claire Parsons and Laura Cann. “What is silence? The crowd gave a solitary howl in the room of niches” Yván Silén   You have written and they have not gouged your eyes out? they have not amputated your legs they have not forgotten you, far away, in […]

To Relieve the Pain
To Relieve the Pain

By Xime de Coster. Translated by Cherilyn Elston, Claire Parsons and Laura Cann.   To relieve the pain, I went for a walk in the neighbourhood, looking for some fucking graffiti to take pictures and I didn’t find not even a single beautiful bit spat on the wall. It’s not the neighbourhood’s fault the fault […]

Sleepwalking Poetry to Succumb to…
Sleepwalking Poetry to Succumb to...

By Xime de Coster. Translated by Cherilyn Elston, Claire Parsons Dominguez and Laura Cann. Sleepwalking poetry to succumb to and the mind to rest. A phrase, a solstice, a breeze, an open space, a mist, a microchip placed in the hand that warns the next with a user’s handbook as imperfect as it is misguided. […]

Trivial Matters
Trivial Matters

By Leticia Feippe. Translated by Cherilyn Elston Ramiro made a face.  He looked at us and turned over the card he had just read.  He seemed to want to make sure that he knew the answer. “What item of clothing did the ancient Athenians use when they went to war?” he said, in a wise […]

The Inner Life of Walls
The Inner Life of Walls

By Leticia Feippe. Translated by Cherilyn Elston. Every so often I ask myself why people kiss. I refer to the simple kiss, stereotypical, non-passionate, without any erotic intentions. I’m not an anthropologist and my laziness to investigate prevents me from providing a scientific answer, but if I had the patience required I’d like to explain […]