1.06.2011

Apocalipsis / Hesnor Rivera

Apocalypse

     My country ruminates in secret
the water of disasters.
It rests its teeth from the wings and ruminates
–teeth that bleed
much more
than a shipwreck’s oars.
Much more than the youths beneath the stormy
August sky.

     Only the lips of the eye whistle like the serpent
arrows with letters of vengeance.
Red ballads crossing the night
like errant stars.

     What does the master demand? melancholic children scream
in the nights of clay. It is spelled M
before B and P as in the word Constantinople.

     When one is born beside an immense lake
like the leguminous chest of the servants.

     When one grows beside the chest of the water
around which
the world rotates
divided into its parts:
you tell me alligator tail
in love with the garden of petroleum’s
gelatinously blind lightning.
You tell me wolf extinguished like a lamp
by the thirst of a hairy worm of the seas.

     You tell me
oh! brooding virgins
of tragic hawks.
Tell me, aren’t we born and grown for the world
and yet we sprawl like a domestic rooster
on the shores of conquest?

     Aren’t we born and grown like the world
that divides into blood
of conquerors
and sores that open
like the ears of humiliating sadness?

     My country ruminates in secret the water of disasters
What does the master demand? melancholic children scream
in the nights of clay.
It is spelled M
before B and P
as in the word Constantinople.

     A distant ship hangs between the trunks
of the palms
like a hammock
of a monstrous king.
On the tar paving-stones
of the ports the parents are dying.
They fold themselves over the
exportable boxes of the heat
consumed by countries
intoxicated with fires.

     Only at noon arrives the tribe
of the blood faces –seeking their ancient age
of gold among the rats killed by the gust
of carbide horns that ripens the plaintains.

     It might be that on water
the inferno
truly begins.
The high martyrdoms
truly begin.
It might be that in the brilliant docks
of the bonfires
a man could aspire
to nourish
the insects of the forest.
A man could attempt to strangle with sex
the green fires that swell
like the seed of beasts
whose gale interior protects
the large dicotyledonous wings of the tropics.

     What does the master demand? melancholic children
scream in the nights of clay.

     Beneath its crazy lobster ceiling sun
the city
also hears
its own birth.
Around the coconut groves it was growing
and circling like a little donkey.
Around the temple of the thieves it was growing.
Around the fire of the swamps.
It was growing around the desolate miners
inside their skeletons
with orbits of agonizing lanterns.
The city was growing –it always grows
around the golden victims.
Of the dead that surround their memories
with oral violets. It only grows around
the excavations
where the dead
tend to hide forever.


     My country ruminates in secret
the water of disasters.

     Under that sun with black skin an island
builds itself alone at dawn.
From the heights of the jungle
rivers of purple oranges depart.
Dead avalanches of pewter animals depart.
The cattail
with its slimy
centipede feet.

     So then an island is not a nest
of blessed
corals.
It is not an open door to the moon
that drives with sinister threads
the lightning’s cruelty from all the skies.

     An island is the obscure
center
of the zone under surveillance.

     Plump spadices sustain
the luminous eggs
of a somber fauna.

     And finally a meaningless story
ends up denouncing the wake
of the always ancient woman
by which the gramineous shack could participate in the party.


     What does the master demand? melancholic children
scream in the nights of clay.
It is spelled M before B and P
as in the word Constantinople.

                                                                                Maracaibo, 1952.




{ Hesnor Rivera, El Salmón: Revista de Poesía, Apocalipsis: Año III – No 7, Caracas: January-April 2010 }

2 comments:

Joseph said...

Holy fuck! Who is this?!!!

Guillermo Parra said...

Hesnor Rivera (Maracaibo, Venezuela, 1928-2000). In the mid-fifties founded the literary group Apocalipsis. Close friend of Juan Sánchez Peláez, who provided him w/ contacts among the poets of the Mandrágora group in Santiago, Chile, where Rivera lived during 1950-1952. Also spent time in Paris in the late 50s. He worked for many years as a journalist in Maracaibo. His books are very difficult to find in Venezuela these days. Along w/ Sánchez Peláez, he's one of the few authentic Venezuelan surrealists. The writer Norberto José Olivar has just published an excellent novel based on his life & legend, Cadáver exquisito (Alfaguara, 2010).