Monday, August 31, 2015

Presque Vu


                          There is a gap therein; but no mere gap.
                          It is a gap that is intensely active. A sort
                          of wraith of the name is in it.

                                                                   William James

Is memory of a memory
a memory?

What is on the tip of your
tongue?

What are you searching for
and why?

And where is the space in which
you hunt as if through thinnest air
a word you can't quite remember
but which you know is there?


Presque Vu

                            Hay un hueco allí, pero ningún mero hueco,
                            un hueco sumamente activo. Una especie
                            de aparición del nombre está en ello.

                                                                           William James



¿Es memoria de una memoria
una memoria?

¿Qué tienes allí en la punta
de la lengua?

¿Qué estás buscando y para qué?

¿Dónde subsiste el espacio
en el cual estás cazando
como si por el aire vacío
una palabra que no recuerdas
pero sabes que allá está?

(Tr. EAC)


E. A. Costa 31 August, 2015 Granada, Nicaragua



Two Voices

                               
                                 "All this while Tashtego, Daggoo,
                                 and Queequeg had looked on with
                                 even more intense interest and surprise
                                 than the rest..."
                                                                  Herman Melville


Two voices
with no choice
converse and the reverse
becoming two who never existed:

And the one says to the other:
Which step would you like to be,
first or last?

And other says to the one:
In the beginning as in the end--
you have both.

And one says: I am Ahab.

And other says: One sees it from your tracks.

And one says: Are you mocking me as monomaniac?

And other says: You mock yourself as a prowler at sea
walking little and hopping much.

And one says: Steel then moves you naught?

And other says: Why would it interest? It will end
at the bottom of the sea with everything and everyone else.
What interest to a whale or a whale's belly either?

And one says: You speak then? You are no dumb beast
but cunning.

And other says: Only to deny.

And one says: A fiendish beast, therefore, demonic and apophatic.

And other says: What profit, Captain, of revenge—what profit?

And one says: Your prophecy is of what, then--seeing all 
at the bottom of the sea? That is not another revenge?

And other says: Sea is sea. It is a prophecy of soft rains
and flying fish, of ocean and hard deserts flooded by sky.

And one says: A cunning beast and fiendish and claiming to be Noah?

Two voices
who have no choice
converse and are silent
becoming two who never existed.


E. A. Costa 31 August, 2015 Granada, Nicaragua

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rowing Through Wyoming

           
Dedicado al estimado Señor Gilberto Lacayo Bermúdez,
hombre de una visión grande y panorámica--de las ciencias
y las matemáticas a la  filosofía y la poesía.


                 " Portraying the future is a vast and aesthetic 
                   enterprise of amassing beauties--from outer
                   space, from the human soul, from the reflection
                   of sun on water, from the stars, from clouds...".

                                                                        Ivan Yefremov


Eyes that see eons
surf the slow-moving
swells of mountains
thick with fleets of evergreen
marking years and seasons.

In dark valleys below
a mankind of coal,
of steel and steam,
of oil and gasoline,
dreaming electric lights
as stars to the moon.

Have you passed through
Wyoming under water?

Did you see the fishes in the air?

The sharks and coelacanths and water dinosaurs
gliding through the haze like ships of the main?

Did you see the crabs and lobsters?

The anemones and hydras?

As you rowed over the asphalt
in your bathysphere did you see
the trilobites?


E. A. Costa 23 August, 2015 Granada, Nicaragua

Holub (The Dove)


                             "Why not live sweetly as in the green trees?"
                                                                                (John Keats)

Who eats of this meat?
If a tree, ants and termites.
If grubs, woodpeckers.
So Mr. Fixit
is not beloved Doctor Dove
who's more the poet.

E. A. Costa  Granada, Nicaragua 23 August, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

Portolan


            Para hacerse baquiano hay que perderse alguna vez.
                                                                 (Spanish proverb)


It is not as if eyes did not see
the shipwreck on the horizon
of our time, yours and mine.

But what does it signify to foresee?

It was no specific reef,
for the most perilous are hidden,
nor any iceberg in the night.

Was it night itself, yours and mine,
and a mutiny in steerage,
where all our ghosts had passage?

Ghosts of every age, yours and mine,
losers of living, returned to haunt the cruise.

We have our own eyes, yours and mine
in our own age and epoch, escaping
each reproach in smile.

While misdirecting others we are safe,
for where we sail is not on any map,
and on uncharted seas we have naught
but a portolan of us.


E. A. Costa  14 August San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Monday, August 10, 2015

Metrópoli en invierno


          "No está en mi poder reconvertir un dinosaurio reacio."

                                                             William S. Burroughs


En la cárcel
de luz artificial
regresan los presos
a sus palomares.

Microondas zumban
como picaflores.

Televisiones parpadean.

Las cloacas se inundan
con agua tibia.

Arriba enredan
contingente noche
los rascacielos,
moteando los ratones
abajo.

E. A. Costa 10 August, 2015 San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Friday, August 7, 2015

Pablo Neruda Poema XXIV (con traducción a inglés)



El 4 es 4 para todos?
Son todos los sietes iguales?

Cuando el preso piensa en la luz
es la misma luz que te ilumina?

Has pensado de qué color
es el Abril de los enfermos?

Qué monarchía occidental
se embandera con amapolas?

Pablo Neruda (El libro de las preguntas)



XXIV

Is four four for all? Are all sevens equal?


When someone in a prison cell contemplates the light of day,

is it the selfsame daylight which illumines you?

Have you given any thought to what color April may be to the ill?


What western monarchy, with its Kings and Queens, is flagged

forever with opium and poppies?


Tr.  E. A. Costa San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua 7 August, 2015

____________________________________________________
N.B.: One has deliberately departed from literal translation to get
to the heart of the poem, which is ironic.  Quite clearly the topic is
political exceptionalism, or more generally, the golden rule, or its lack.
The last line with its reference to poppies is ambiguous--gay on the
surface but with a clear reference the Opium Wars of the British
(1839–1842 & 1856–1860), which were fought to force the Chinese
to import opium that British merchants were exporting from British India
under the Raj, and which was hugely profitable. Both the United States 
and France played marginal roles in the war against China, which China
lost. There is also clearly a reference to the wearing of red poppies to honor
British and Canadian dead from World War I, which took its origin from
the poem "Flanders Fields" of John McCrae, beginning, "In Flanders fields
the poppies blow/ Between the crosses, row on row..." (1915) The usage
also spread quickly to the United States, where it continues today, with
artifical, paper poppies.