Yolanda Castaño

Grillo Demo - Evita

translated by Carys Evans-Corrales

“What’s wrong here is that we don’t know
how to sell ourselves,” your fellow tenants
would always complain.
But when that guy who really had a handle on it
moved into Apartment B, fifth floor,
the whole building soon began to stone him from their little

A cowering disc. Appropriating hens.
If all of our imaginary fades away, where then
are the organs with which we forget?

To raise, it took multitudes;
to demolish: just a handful of folks.





My looks suggest I like
things that I do not.

Everyone speaks through
closed lips.

As does this.
The walls of a grotto where, ten thousand years ago,
someone sullies the natural essence of the stone.
Coins, alternating current,
a girl born with beauty in her genes,
pock-marked by hang-ups.
Like an orgasm in Hedy Lamarr, like Nikola Tesla’s eyes.
A country where one needn’t be,
but can merely
appear to.
A peeling away of gloves,
a touch of spice, the most prestigious
of all dubbing schools.

Capital is the nightmare
of being caught in our symbolic capacity.
The most flattering of all: mortuary makeup.
Years of work turned into equestrian granite.
An industry of poverty, wolfram in kitchen gardens.
Like an ardent body, aware but
feigning innocence.
Cheap false eyelashes, an image
identical to itself.

Like political poetry confused
with a selfie in the bathroom mirror.
The metonymy of evil.
The normative wrenched.
A set stage, a menu, an emergency escape from the fires of discourse.
Something whose roots stretch out to the air and longs
to return to the soil, once time
has elapsed since it burst into light—
like the eyes in potatoes.

The poem’s gaze is like this too:
worker ants in single file,
flattened forever
in timeless lines,

shreds of gestures
that look like
something else.

*  *
Read this in Galician
*  *

 Image: “Evita” by Grillo Demo, courtesy of miau miau

Yolanda_Castano_croppedYolanda Castaño is a Galician poet, columnist, translator, scriptwriter for TV, and occasional food writer. She studied Spanish Philology in the Universidad de A Coruña. She has co-founded a poetry publishing house, and manages the annual poetry festival PontePoética in Pontevedra. Her poems have been translated into Catalan, Euskera, German, Italian, French, Arabic, Maltese, Slavic, Macedonian, Armenian, Albanian, Chinese, Russian, Lituanian, Polish, Finnish and Japanese. She lives in A Coruña.
Carys for BARCarys Evans-Corrales was born in London and grew up in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Jamaica, where she had the chance to learn toddler-level Hainanese, German, and fluent Malay before leaving high school. She holds a degree in Linguistics from the University of York, specializing in Spanish and Swahili. She traveled to Salamanca with a bursary of the Spanish government; there, she fell in love with the Galician language and literature. She taught at Santiago de Compostela, finished a Ph.D in Spanish Literature at Rutgers University, and later joined the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, where she now serves as Director of Foreign Languages.

Published on May 27th of 2014 in Poetry, Tongue Ties.

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