Friday 20 November 2009

Elsa Cross's Selected Poems, first selection

Mexican poet Elsa Cross, as translated by Michael Smith and Luis Ingelmo


At every entrance of that village, a church.
The seven doors protected by the archangels, so they said.
And ours got drunk in the arcades of the square,
talking of heaven and hell
as placed separated by two inches
inside the body.

last lines of II

We forgot to mind our children,
like Bacchantes,
we forgot our homes.
The rain was a fiesta on the mountain.
And who could predict his own fulmination?

from IV

...pianos stumbling in an out-of-tune waltz.

* * *

We became deer,
we crossed through the woods like arrows.

from VI

Pleasure lashed us.
our bodies, the offering,
like fruits that women leave
on the beaches of the south and the sea carries away.
We were lost to the world.
We sketched boats in the air
and we went off in them.

from VII

Your eyes, emerged from what blaze,
from what sombre places,
saw without seeing the plates of food.

from VIII

Unceasing celebration,
at the cost of so much of our life,
our faces so pale.

* * *

And who could stop us?
Who could stop
those plants climbing along the wall?

from X

Elsa Cross's Selected Poems has recently been published by Shearsman and can be purchased here.

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