BERGMAN’S SUMMER WITH MONIKA
At work, she’s a game
guys play between loading boxes,
her home, cramped, noisy.
She and her lover sail
under a high arch
into an archipelago,
a match blown out.
Food gone, she returns
to the mainland
with child. To the dark.
she looks for men.
Sun, jailed in snow–
others raise her daughter.
MOONFLOWER ON THE PORCH
I dream I’m with another man.
Who I meet in the Boscov’s
on a bubblegum-colored couch.
I say I already have a guy. He says
so what? Startled, I wake up,
you still sleeping. Life
gets normal again. Cats. Coffee.
The Dave Clark Five a needle drop away.
A late summer moonflower’s
ghost on the porch.
PESSOA MEETS WHITMAN ON HEAVEN’S PATIO
Good evening, friend. How long
have you been here? Over 100 years?
I understand you. And
misunderstand as much.
Didn’t we sleep together once,
share a dream, ecstatic,
scary? I wanted it to return,
but you were revising in New Jersey.
Have you seen God yet?
I … Read More »
Image: “Hoy viernes 122″ by Sergio Jiménez. Curated by Marisa Espínola for Espacio en Blanco. (More)
translated by Qiaomei Tang
It is true.
There was a village. There was a girl from a well-to-do family. She was a beauty. Matchmakers came, but none succeeded. She was no more than fifteen or sixteen, when on a spring evening she stood at the back door, resting her arm on a peach tree. She remembers the moon-white dress she wore. The young man living opposite her house had seen her before, but had never greeted her. He approached, stood still before her, and said softly: “Oh, you are here, also?” She said nothing, and he said nothing more. They stood for a while, then each walked away.
Like that, it was over.
Time passed. The girl was abducted by a relative, and would be a concubine in a strange land. Again and again, she was resold. Having endured … Read More »
Tour Treize is a former HLM (Habitation à Loyer Modéré or rent controlled housing) building that has been turned into a 360-degree art space, covered floor to ceiling with graffiti and street art installations. Over a hundred artists from more than sixteen countries were invited to create site-specific works that transformed the housing development from living space to art space. A six month secret collaboration between Gallery Itinerrance director, Mehdi Ben Cheikh, the Mairie of the 13th, and the owner of the building ICF Habitat la Sabilière, the project explores, among other things, the relationship between ephemerality and urban space.
The nine-story building, one of many modernist style structures that went up during the second major phase of urban renewal in France in the 1960s and 1970s (following the 19th century urban renewal practices initiated by Baron … Read More »
YOU HAD GLITTER ON YOUR FINGERS
I can hug the old refrigerator before they take it away.
I can write that you had glitter on your fingers and that burning glitter smells like a fairy tale.
I can bite the cat’s tail.
I can bite my husband’s beard, because it is mine, because it is mine and tastes like fruit.
I can cry and say that I’m crying, and not feel embarrassed by my pink cheeks.
I can be sappy.
I can dance naked with the windows open.
I can paint each nail a different color.
I can clean the house only once a week.
I can refuse to read the news.
I can refuse to hear the planes.
I can refuse to feed the mosquitoes with my thick, viscous blood.
I can invent a lullaby for deaf children, the only thing missing is a voice, the only thing missing is a long … Read More »
IRISES AND GRASSHOPPER
Client in a house of courtesans, tableau
of masculine and feminine.
The irises lie back, languorous, dark pink
at the centers and lighter at limbs.
The grasshopper, in his armor, grips the green
blade. Proximity is ecstasy
enough. A homesick soldier will kneel
at any woman’s bed, to lose his mind beside
the nakedness of corolla and calyx.
After the woodblock print “Irises and Grasshopper”
by Katsushika Hokusai, 1760-1849, Japan
A CHILD’S NIGHTMARE OF GHOSTS
Because the young are so capable
of dying, unsure of what’s real in the world,
the territorial ghosts exploit them.
The torment is real. The mother lays
down her sewing needle
and watches the changing weather of her
child’s features. It is theater,
and weakness to look, before
waking him. The thrill of a fish wrestling
with a hook, from a balcony of boat.
After the woodblock print “A Child’s Nightmare of Ghosts”
by Kitagawa Utamaro, 1756-1806, Japan
Read More »
Slakers shambled along the coasts, the brine in the breeze searing nostrils, lashing cheekbones and the edges of eyelids, whittling parts of faces to skin-wrapped bone. Aside from slits for vision their bodies went draped in canvas and denim, thick twill: fabrics too sturdy for perspiration to mix with the sting in the air. They pushed carts of rags and tarps and funnels and metal drums of dun-colored water, sloshing lukewarm but still able to quench and sometimes, also, to cleanse. Their ministry was as secular as the suffering it attended: pouring slim, dusky streams into withered gullets gone feathery and tight in the dusty, gagging air.
They were journeymen, they were shamans, they were witches: that’s what was said. New Bedouins of the Atlantic Coast. The Slakers were driven from dry places like a curse. … Read More »
Neda Miranda Blažević-Kreitzman
translated by Ellen Elias-Bursac
Many people wrestle with discomfort and fear when they travel by air. Dino Lučić and Veljko Linić were not that sort. The two young businessmen from Split, Croatia were now reclining, relaxed, en route from Frankfurt, Germany to Los Angeles, wrestling with the urge to sleep that was pulling down their drooping eyelids, hampering their adventuresome spirit to gaze out the little window at the vivid blue sky through which their speedy vessel was winging its way.
Dino Lučić was tall, slender, dark-haired, while Veljko Linić was medium-height, muscular, and blue-eyed. Both worked at Jedrogradnja, a company that built and sold speedboats and yachts. Their best customers were Americans. The salesmen for Jedrogradnja had been working with B&B Brothers, Inc. of Los Angeles for nearly four years.
Lučić and Linić had … Read More »
translated by Sarah Bruni
Blanca started unbuttoning her dress only when she was sure she wasn’t being spied on by the line of horrified women crowded in front of the entrance to the store’s dressing rooms. The curious women formed an endless line, a procession of polyester skirts and the low heels essential to withstanding the long wait. They all carried heaps of clothing they were eager to rip into with their ample bodies—unlike Blanca, who had never wanted to wear that black mourner’s dress. She had put it on with her eyes closed, imagining for a millisecond that she was completely alone. Partly because it terrified her to see herself in the mirror, but also because Blanca knew that it wouldn’t be long before she, on her left, started to protest. Outside, her mother waited patiently with … Read More »