“¿un regalo?”

Casa de la Literatura Peruana – Lima

Today I gave out the poem ‘Devenir del río’, from María Belén Milla’s Amplitud del mito (ALASTOR EDITORES, 2018), alongside my translation ‘Future of the river’. I bought the book at Librería Inestable in Miraflores, after asking for a “moderna poeta limeñia” (modern female Liman poet), and I am very pleased with it.

amplitud del mito

The Casa de Literature used to be a train station, and now it’s a very grand building with a tiny library inside. It also has a museum and an outdoor study space next to the railway line where you can, occasionally, see trains going past as you work.




I gave a poem to one of the security guards, who said he liked poetry a lot and recited one from memory. He asked me “¿quien financia esto?” (who finances this?) I told him I do: “es divertido” (it’s fun!) I said, but he didn’t look convinced – “¿sí?”

One man looked very happy when I gave him a poem: “¡un regalo!” (a gift!), and when a woman came back a few minutes after taking one asking if I wanted any money for it, I echoed the man, saying it was just “un regalo”.

I also met Anna María, who spoke very fast and asked if the poem was “como un canción” (like a song)? She told me all about her son who is the same age as me, who waited a few meters away looking impatient.

A woman asked if she could take a photo of me with her daughter, and I got one of them in return.



Devenir del río

Tú milagroso
y cierto como el día
de tu cabeza amarilla se arrojan los patios
las sábanas los cipreses mojados cada uno de nuestros perros
la música sin nombre que habla del sol de los carros
que existen en la primavera como llamativas
cajas de fierro y estrellas
y luego me arrojo yo
porque todo el mundo sabe
que la cima es un lugar perfecto
y nada habita en lo perfecto nada
pero apenas desparece tu cabeza amarilla
y ya creces como cíclope o talismán
y provocas el movimiento de los animales
del rio que rota con tu pulso
tú como el único planeta huérfano y visible
mi obelisco mi barca
inclinado anunciando vuelo
llevándome como un insecto lleva su alimento
y quizás yo sea ruta sea campanario
sístoles doradas que escapan de mí
como caballos y palabras
o este poema que no entiendes
pero que es bello
te juro
es bello.




Future of the river

You miraculous
and certain as day
patios throw themselves from your yellow head
the sheets the cypresses soaking every one of our dogs
unnamed music that speaks of the sun from the cars
that exist in spring like booming
boxes of iron and stars
and later I throw myself
because everyone knows
that the top is a perfect place
and nothing lives in it perfect nothing
but your yellow head just disappears
and you rise like a cyclops or talisman
and provoke movement from the animals
of the river that rotates with your pulse
you     like the only planet orphaned and visible
my obelisk my rowing boat
inclined announcing flight
carrying me away like an insect carries its food
and maybe I am route I am bell tower
golden contractions that escape from me
like horses and words
or this poem that you don’t understand
but that is beautiful
I swear to you
it is beautiful.






2 thoughts on ““¿un regalo?”

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