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Palabras Errantes Latin American Literature in Translation

Palabras Errantes
Tilsa Otta

Translated by K.T. Billey.

 

today for the first time I was offended by god
having met you as a woman
without a penis
you who likes them so much
you say pricks
speaking of sizes
I have one
but it’s for personal use
it’s not really mine
I couldn’t use it with you
it’s not permanent, either
I see it about three times a week
I really like it
I’m waiting for it to say I love you
in the end I suppose I’m like all the girls
without a penis
I don’t believe in god but that’s not why
I’m not bothered by him
the truth is I’m happy and grateful to have met you
I write this so that you know
if I had a prick
you’d be the first to know it

 

 
*
 

Babe, you’re kissing a guy
Your cheeks are rosy
It’s as if you had died
And no longer wanted me

 

*

 

Loose ideas around Camila:

At any moment a lemon could fall on your back.
The moon and honey go hand in hand.
Shouting is normal.
Never throw the key to the padlock out the window after chaining someone to a chair.
It’s a good idea to cover up with a blanket in the summer.
Sometimes laughing at nothing is the best proof of love.
An indefinable flavour wrapped in indefinable sensation.
God put an angel in my bed.
I saw its hair become a golden force field.
Famous movies loose sense between kisses.
Love is ageless—it is possible to lie about age.
Nobody spies through the kitchen window.
The cats don’t have a name.
Be a responsible adult.
Stay lucid in the face of who you love, and who loves you.

 

*
 

When I heard for the first time that woman is an object
I professed a bulletproof love for objects
my toys were everything and they were mine,
your toys were not everything but they also were mine,
the artifacts, the slippers, the cutlery, the comics, the soap,
the bicycles, the bracelets, my pink pillow with the embroidered duckling,
objects walking down the street, leaving a trail of men’s saliva like solitary snails
objects standing on the corners in light clothing
contemplating them, I asked for them as a gift but they never complied
I lapped up my insides
I sucked my fingers
going directly to hell
for the power of my objective passion
“When I grow up
—daydreaming during the commercials of daytime soap operas—
I will be an object with brilliant accessories
I want them to buy me and use me
I want them to leave me tossed like a worn-out dishrag
spent, consumed
replaced by a new one
Exhausted like a piece of junk that nobody wants
in the right moment,
head held high, attached to the body by a thread of glue
satisfied at having been a woman”

20

 

hoy por primera vez me he molestado con dios
por haberte conocido siendo mujer
sin pene
a ti que tanto te gustan
les dices pinchos
y hablas de los tamaños
yo tengo uno
pero es para uso personal
en verdad no es mío
no podría usarlo contigo
no es permanente tampoco
lo veo unas 3 veces por semana
me gusta mucho
estoy esperando que me diga te amo
al final soy como todas las chicas supongo
sin pene
no creo en dios pero no es por eso
no estoy molesta con él
en realidad estoy feliz y agradecida por haberte conocido
escribí esto para que sepas
que si tuviera un pincho
serías la primera en saberlo

 

*
 

Nena, estás besando a un chico
Tus mejillas están sonrosadas
Es como si hubieras muerto
Y ya no me quisieras

 

*
 

Ideas sueltas alrededor de Camila:

En cualquier momento puede caerte un limón en la espalda.
La luna y la miel van de la mano.
Gritar es normal.
Nunca arrojes la llave del candado por la ventana después de encadenar a alguien a una silla.
Es gran idea cubrirse con una manta en verano.
A veces reírse de la nada es la mayor prueba de amor.
Un sabor indefinible envuelto en una sensación indefinible.
Dios puso un ángel en mi cama.
Yo vi a su cabello convertirse en un campo de fuerza dorado.
Famosas películas pierden sentido entre besos.
El amor no tiene edad, es posible mentir sobre la edad.
Nadie espía por la ventana de la cocina.
Los gatos no tienen nombre.
Sé un adulto responsable.
Consérvate lúcida frente a quien amas y te ama.

 

*

 

Cuando oí por primera vez que la mujer es un objeto
yo profesaba un amor por los objetos a prueba de balas
mis juguetes eran todo y eran míos,
tus juguetes no eran todo pero también eran míos,
los artefactos, las zapatillas, los cubiertos, los comics, el jabón,
las bicicletas, las pulseras, mi almohada rosada con un patito bordado,
objetos andando por la calle, dejando un sendero de baba de hombre como solitarios caracoles
objetos parados en las esquinas con ropa ligera
las contemplaba, las pedía de regalo pero nunca me las daban
me relamía por dentro
me chupaba los dedos
iba directo al infierno
por la contundencia de mi pasión objetiva
“Cuando crezca
-soñaba despierta durante los comerciales de las telenovelas diurnas-
seré un objeto con accesorios brillantes
quiero que me compren y me usen
Quiero que me dejen tirada como un estropajo agotado
desgastado, consumido
reemplazado por uno nuevo
Exhausta como un trasto viejo que ya nadie quiere
en el momento justo,
con la cabeza en alto, unida al cuerpo por un hilo de pegamento
satisfecha de haber sido una mujer”

 

Tilsa Otta Vildoso (Lima, 1982) has published the poetry collections “Mi niña veneno en el jardín de las baladas del recuerdo”, “Indivisible” and “Antimateria” (published in Perú, Argentina and México), as well as the book of short stories “Un ejemplar extraño”.
She has written film criticism, opinion pieces for newspapers and collaborated with the German blog Superdemokráticos. She studied film directing and photography and has participated in colective video exhibitions and film festivals. Currently she is studying a Master’s in Audiovisual creation in Madrid and working on a new poetry collection called “Canto particular”. She believes in the sun and the magic of love. www.tilsaotta.com

K.T. Billey’s VULGAR MECHANICS (seeking publication) was a finalist for the 2015 Pamet River Prize from YESYES books. Originally from rural Alberta, Canada, her poems have appeared in CutBank, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Poor Claudia, and others, and her poem “Girl Gives Birth to Thunder” won Vallum’s 2015 Poetry Prize. A Contributing Editor for Asymptote, she translates from Icelandic and Spanish and lives in New York City.

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