Wednesday, February 28, 2007

From the Peruvian

The other day we had a visit in town from
Clayton Eshelman, poet, editor, best known
as the devoted translator of the Peruvian
modernist Vallejo.

Clayton gave a magnificent presentation
of his Vallejo renderings for my group of
student poets and others at the College of
Creative Studies at UCSB.

A sample:

Paris, October 1936

From all of this I am the only one who leaves.
From this bench I go away, from my pants,
from my great situation, from my actions,
from my number split side to side,
from all of this I am the only one who leaves.

From the Champs Elysées or as the strange
alley of the Moon makes a turn,
my death goes away, my cradle leaves,
and, surrounded by people, alone, cut loose,
my human resemblance turns around
and dispatches its shadows one by one.

And I move away from everything, since everything
remains to create my alibi:
my shoe, its eyelet, as well as its mud
and even the bend in the elbow
of my own buttoned shirt.



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