1910 Interval

This is an attempt at a translation of a poem by Fedrico Garcia Lorca based on my own very basic knowledge of Spanish, the Ben Belitt translation of 1955 and the excellent literalness of Google Translate.

Those eyes of mine of Nineteen Ten
saw no burial of the dead
nor the carnival of ash of the mourning dawn
nor the heart that trembles treed as the sea’s hobbyhorse.

Those eyes of mine of Nineteen Ten
saw the white-washed wall where the little girls pissed,
the snout of the bull, the poison mushroom,
and an incomprehensible moon that lit up in corners
pieces of dry lemon beneath the hard black of bottles.

Those eyes of mine held in a pony’s collar,
in the pierced breast of the sleeping Santa Rosa,
on the roofs of love, with moans and cool hands,
in a garden where the cats eat the frogs.

Attic, where the dust of old statues and mosses gather,
boxes that keep the silence of crabs devoured
in the place where dreams stumble into reality.
There, those little eyes of mine.

Ask nothing. I saw that things
are empty when shown their course.
There, a hollow pain for the air without people
and creatures were dressed in my eyes, unexposed.

New York, August 1910
Sutton Coldfield, October 2013

The Face of God

As a writer one has the happy arrogance that people are interested in what one has to say.  As a new research student I am all too aware that even my close friends, one of whom is a mighty fine actor, can’t manage to maintain the facade of giving a shit about my project for more than half a pint.  Thus a new branch for this blog buds into life, it is an olive branch because I like olives, but it is also a strained bough – listen carefully, you can hear it cracking – overburdened with metaphor.  Kill your babies – most students of writing will hear that aphorism fairly early in the going – mine, I decided, to let fall from a tree.

Its screams on the way down are meaningless I am sure.

Of course you should also kill your parents and very probably your supervisor if you ever want to feel unselfconscious enough to write.  Now what to do with all those bodies?  Burn them? bury them? pulp them into the recycled paper you’ll print the finished novel on?  What nobody ever tells you, possibly because I have just decided this out of thin imagination, is that corpses make great fertilizer.  And so from the premature demise of a fictional baby which has no metaphoric meaning (implying what? that it is literally true?) I hope to grow a vast PhD vine, or series of vines, like a field full, or at least a row. How many are needed for a barrel? just a bottle?  The vines will be grossly genetically modified, obviously, experimented on – my right eyebrow is arched here implying something and making you feel like you should already be in on it – and produce terrible wine, but wine that will get me drunk enough to be fooled into inspiration.

And so merrily pissed up we (that is to say the royal urination) embark on this great something and ask you, dear imaginary reader, to please bare with us, because I’m not sure either at this point – it is only the beginning and there is still much decided, so stick with it won’t you? Please? I’ll buy you a pint.

Obviously I won’t actually buy you a pint.

Unless you’re a friend of mine and it’s your birthday.

Which it isn’t.