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Palabras Errantes Latin American Literature in Translation

Palabras Errantes
Elisa Mastromatteo

By Elisa Mastromatteo, translated by Orlando Menes. Photography by Diego Vidart.

 

As Simple as That

 

One must simply

let it

come out, one must let it

it wants to come out, and it goes forth

forges new energies

comes out, breathes

rummages through objects, removes lint

it looks and points, makes drawings

leaps a bit

and later gets lost.

 

Or it comes back

to once again

be transformed.

 

 

Tan simple como eso

 

Hay que dejar

que salga

simplemente, hay que dejarlo

quiere salir y va

fora energías nuevas

sale, respira

revuelve objetos, quita pelusas

mira y señala, hace dibujos

salta un rato

después se pierde.

 

O regresa

para nuevamente

ser transformado.

 

 

Oblivion

 

I did not want to interest myself in the noise

that I felt

that I perhaps never felt

one more noise, a bump.

To get close once more to that cassette

with the perfume brand

and smell that past summarized

in the deformed brand

of that plastic.

To let matters proceed like this

as if another dimension

enveloped me from inside out

and that noise ceases to be

never was

more than a dark thought

that I already forgot.

 

 

Olvido

 

No quise interesarme por el ruido

que sentí

que tal vez ni siquiera sentí

un ruido más, un golpe.

Acercar una vez más aquel cassete con la marca

del perfume

y oler aquel pasado ahí resumido

en esa marca deforme

en aquel plástico.

Dejar que las cosas transcurran así

como si otra dimensión

me envolviese desde dentro hacia fuera

y aquel ruido ya no sea

nunca sea

más que un oscuro pensamiento

que ya olvidé.

 

 

 

Space

 

These solid walls

are there, protecting you . . .

They will always be there.

Covering that emptiness that makes you

so unreachable.

It is a marvelous emptiness.

It is an imperturbable emptiness.

 

Nevertheless

I wish

that one day the wind would,

feeling no guilt,

drag your clothes

that one day the sun evaporate

your hypnotic perfume,

that the rain, the storm, chaos

would shatter windows

that the shards pierce your skin.

I want it because that way

I would finally see you.

You would be a little

more real,

you would be a little

more part of me.

 

 

Espacio

 

Esas sólidas paredes

ahí están, te protegen…

Ahí van a estar siempre.

Cubriendo ese vacío que te hace

tan inalcanzable.

Es un vacío maravilloso.

Es un vacío imperturbable.

 

Aún así

yo quisiera

que un día el viento sin lástima

arrastrara tus ropas

que un día el sol evaporara

tu hipnotizante perfume,

que la lluvia, la tormenta, el caos

te partieran los vidrios

se te hincaran en la piel los pedazos.

Yo quisiera, porque así

podría verte por fin.

Serías un poqutio

más real,

serías un poquito más

de mí.

 

Dream

 

So shocking like that moment

when my hands

searched indiscreetly

blind, yes,

but convinced

they touched yours, halting

your soft

everyday

movement,

feeling and saying

joining chasms

wise are hands

when I desperately

need you.

 

To wake up and find myself

in this Here.

To concentrate on any force

that force.  Where?

May it take me back

may it carry me

may it shake me

but how?

Feeling as never before

this cold slap.

To feel like running, shouting

but nothing.

Only immense

time

keeping me farther away.

 

 

Sueño

 

Tan estremecedor como aquel momento

en que mis manos

buscando, indiscretas,

ciegas, sí

pero convencidas

tocan las tuyas, deteniendo

tu suave

cotidiano

movimiento

sintiendo y diciendo

uniendo abismos

sabias, las manos

cuán desesperadamente

yo

te necesito.

 

Despertar y encontrarme

en este Aquí.

Concentrarme en alguna fuerza

aquella fuerza, ¿dónde?

Que me haga regresar

que transporte

que sacuda

pero ¿cómo?

sintiendo más que nunca

esta fría bofetada.

Sentir correr gritar

pero nada.

Sólo el tiempo

inmenso

alejándome aún más.

 

 

 

Game

 

Almost always, or indeed always,

his surrender was absolute.

A body and its space,

both whirling, making, coming out.

The hands pressing against

the lukewarm silence.

The air penetrating itself,

the silhouette.

Simple and at the same time complex,

your manner

of murmuring by shuddering

of whistling by shaking

of flying by alternating

elbows and feet.

And almost always, or indeed always,

your eyes being life itself,

your soul so present.

 

Juego

 

Y casi siempre, o siempre

la entrega era total.

Un cuerpo y su espacio,

ambos

girando, haciendo, saliendo.

Las maos apremiando el tibio silencio.

El aire internándose,

la silueta.

Simple y a la vez compleja

tu manera

de murmurar estremeciendo

de silbar meneando

de volar alternando

codos y pies.

Y casi siempre, o siempre

tus ojos siendo vida

tu alma tan presente.

 

 

That

 

It is true.

It may be

a continuous illusion, an infinite beginning

an internal journey to discover

new things

stones once invisible

fire behind the stones

tremors falls pains

and recently behind

behind all of this

warmth and equilibrium, happiness.

But it is true.

It is true, and it exists.

Perhaps by accident, but why does it matter.

It is ours,

and that is it.

 

 

Eso

 

Es verdad.

Puede que sea

una ilusión continua un infinito comienzo

un recorrido interno descubriendo

cosas nuevas

piedras antes invisibles

fuego detrás de las piedras

temblores caídas dolores

y detrás

recién detrás de todo eso

tibieza y equilibrio, felicidad.

Pero es verdad.

Es verdad y existe.

Y tal vez por accidente, qué importa.

Es nuestro

y es ya.

 

Elisa Mastromatteo was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1988. She is the author of *Tan simple como eso*. She is currently a student of psychology at the Universidad de la República in Montevideo. Five of her poems are included in *América invertida: an anthology of younger Uruguayan poets* which is forthcoming from the University of New Mexico Press.

Orlando Ricardo Menes is the author of four poetry collections including *Fetish*. His translations include *My Heart Flooded with Water: Selected Poems by Alfonsina Storni*.  He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Notre Dame and is the poetry editor of the Notre Dame Review.

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