Eye of the Sun

There's a line in César Vallejo's poem "Telúrica y magnética" I often remember:

"¡Indio después del hombre y antes de él!"

Vallejo has many of these lines, where an entire poem will hinge on a moment that makes no logical sense but which is emotionally pure and thus beyond translation. Even in the original Spanish he often sounds "weird." Which is what I want from poetry, a strangeness that might be able to sustain my own sense of being perennially outside.

The lines I gather tonight speak of an estrangement, being untranslatable. In the simplest of phrases. John Ashbery writes, in Where Shall I Wander:

" [...] Our work keeps us
up late nights; there is no more joy
or sorrow than in what work gives."

Or when Will Oldham sings in Superwolf:

"God in all his stature, in his nakedness desert"

A recent issue of New York Nights 23, includes a poem from Frank Lima, dated 04 September 2003 and entitled "Jihad":

"Never knowing they are the breath of the planets that moves the sands in
The desert towards the sun in the morning."

On the same page, Julien Poirier writes in another poem:

"Performed as we reduce our surroundings to a star."

This issue also has a new installment of Julien's column on political affairs, "Eye of the Sun":

"I often feel as if I'm living in a nightmare, a waking state that consists entirely of watching as a loose moment plummets through my mind, never linking to any other moment or even brushing the little bell that lets me know it's time to move onto the next variation on a sour theme. To me, this is what it feels like to have no future."

Again, back to Peru, to Javier Sologuren, whose Un trino en la ventana vacía I reread last weekend:

"Nada se injerta mejor en el silencio que la canción de la lluvia."

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