Contributions by Valeria MeillerValeria Meiller studied literature at the University of Buenos Aires and is now an editor, cultural critic, teacher, and translator. She has published two books of poems, El recreo (2010) and the co-authored work Prueba de soledad en el paisaje (2011). She is currently at work on her next book, El mes raro (2013). She is a fan of North American literature, and especially of writers from her generation, like Megan Boyle and Tao Lin, both of whom she and Lucas Mertehikian have translated for Dakota Editora. A few North American poets, Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop among them, as well as short story writers like Lorrie Moore and the Canadian Alice Munro, played an important role in her decision to become a writer.
For every appetite there is a world.
You starred in the movie with Maud Gonne and Socrates and Juliet and a flock of sparrows that were a fixed point like the spire of a cathedral but made of feathers. You were naked and clothed and wearing nothing visible except when you sat or stood or began to speak, and then the words were made of black yarn and your fingers held them as in an outline of reverie. You were there and not there and when I partially held you, the idea of you faded into a hint of light tinged by a window in the westernmost sky. And under the window, your face was not intimate as those of persons one loves but vaguer and therefore more intimate in its shadowed complexity. If water … Read More »
As when my father goes back under
and the doctor comes out to tell us he’s put a window in my father’s heart.
At last! The inscrutable years are over. I’ll look right in
before the glass gets smudged, before he has a chance to buy drapes or slatted blinds.
It will be a picture window; I’ll be a peeping Tom.
Imagine the balcony of secrets, the longings: our future a window box of heart-to-hearts.
Then he’s awake, calling for morphine,
his pain greater than from the first surgery.
On the next rounds the doctor clarifies:
the window’s really more like a gutter so built-up fluids can drain.
And I remember my father on a ladder
pulling down leaves and rot, each year saying, Do I need this kind of trouble?
Saying, A new roof? You think I’m made of money?
Draw the shades. Let him rest. Let me sit … Read More »
At night as the heat’s
warble strummed to
a ticking silence,
and the crabgrass
turned blue then green
then black, the branches
above would relax
and gently pluck my
the dark-haired woman
who, years later, would
scratch to be let in.
Your father was born after the earthquake & fire.
Began work at four, buried his mother at six.
Summers he picked prunes in the valley,
the sun searing spots onto his narrow shoulders.
He lost an eye. Blew out his left ear-drum
in a packing plant accident. These things
were what one expected.
He never made friends. They were a luxury,
he could not afford. He smoked for a decade,
through college, when he worked full-time as a
teacher. Nights he dedicated to numbers. Found
pleasure in the orderly arrangement of the known
world. You were a gift, born at the end of the
depression, to his German wife—unaware of
the rubble from which you emerged.
You were a … Read More »