Saturday, May 24, 2014

Metamorphoses (Nerudesque)


          When an extra finger is added,
           to gnaw it off makes you cry out
           in pain....
                                             Chuang Tzu

Is it impertinent to ask
why moths fly to flames?

Do they confuse the lantern
under a basket with the sun?

Or is it just a matter of
misunderstanding names?

Why don't they wake early in the morning
from a fantastic dream and fly straight
into sunrise to become butterflies?

Do owls recall when they were
simple-minded eagles and unwise?

Do bats dream of being mice?

And amoebas—do they dream
of being twice-born?

The unicorn—does he or she
have nightmares under a rack
of antlers?

So with the polar bear.
Is it some boring bruin
who followed the bright ice
north growing waterwings?

Or under all the whiteness
is just some grizzled fright
who one Spring night neglected
to awake from dreams of ice cream
and seal-flavored popsicles?


E. A. Costa 24 May 2014 Granada, Nicaragua

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Impossible Black Tulip/ El tulipán negro imposible


利瑪竇

You,
longbeard most admired
among the big noses:

stand here with us
at the center,

at the midpoint of the quicunx.

you,
longbeard most admired
among the big noses:

you,
impossible like the black tulip
and yet exist with us here at the center...friend.


El tulipán imposible negro


利瑪竇

Tú,
de barba larga,
el más admirado
entre las narices grandes:

Tú,
estás de pie aquí con nosotros en el centro,

en el punto medio del quincunce.

Tú,
de barba larga,
el más admirado
entre las narices grandes:

Tú,
imposible como el tulipán negro
y aún existes en el centro con nosotros--amigo.

E. A. Costa  17 mayo 2014 Granada, Nicaragua

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Rivas bifronte (To Rivas Bifrons)


Debajo los senos de Omotepe
y sobre la pisada del gigante del mar
espera Rivas de la poca cintura.

Dueña de istmo fresco y sal,
la posadera bifronte a toda moción,
Rivas mira, soldando el norte al sur,
y el río al océano.

Below the breasts of Omotepe
& over giant's tread by the sea
waits Rivas the narrow-waisted.

Mistress of isthmus fresh and salt,
two-faced hostess to all motion,
Rivas watches, welding north and south,
river and ocean.

E. A. Costa  18 abril 2014 Granada, Nicaragua


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Song At Capri (Canción en Capri)


When beauty grows too great to bear
How shall I ease me of its ache,
For beauty more than bitterness
Makes the heart break.

Now while I watch the dreaming sea
With isles like flowers against her breast,
Only one voice in all the world
Could give me rest. 

Sara Teasdale

Canción en Capri

Cuando la belleza crece
demasiado bella para aguantar,
¿Cómo me aliviaré del dolor?--
puesto que más que la amargura
rompe el corazón belleza...

Y mientras miro la mar que sueña
con las islas como flores en el seno,
en todo el cosmos hay sólo una voz
que me podría dar la paz.

Tr. E. A. Costa 29 March 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Death Of A Poetry Generator


As every child knows who has ever owned
an articulated toy, articulation has its limits...”

                                                (Pablo Gervás)


From the tree
adjoining grammar
hang electronic tongues
humming binaries
of despair:

does
does not
does

So hellish tag,
long ago elled and held
double-wheeled.

Approach now this easy task
and bask as laureate in golden
digits

humming humming humming

until the power is cut
and the distance algorithm
bites the surface of the sea
drowning measured isomorphisms
like rats and sailors.

Mere peasants
gather drift wood
on electric shores
scavenging platinum
for their hollow teeth.

She bathing
nude in sweet water

She bathing
nude in sweet water

She bathing
nude in sweet water....

Order now the spectrum search
goal-directed to uncover syntax.

Order now the evaluation functions
that measure stress among genes.

Order now your propositional
semantics & sublet the machine to say
one beautiful word like

amor-roma or cellar door or
Borodino

die one more smiling death
with pistol in the air

capturing a lagoon of
meaninglessness.

Then
you programmers
suicide from grief

that poetasters
who create knots in sheepskin cape
and long-daggered

shot the young Lermontov through
the heart

on his endless turntable

bleeding needles.

E. A. Costa 27 March 2014 Granada, Nicaragua

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dancing In The Desert (Chaco Canyon)


Barefoot in blue moonlit sand

we clear the night of fear

dancing dead centuries
of the desert floor alive once more

pounding rhythmically
with hip and paw, belly and claw

creating earthquakes
of rattlesnake

and foaming lava of scorpion

until grass flowers

and the ghosthunters rise

until the buffalo below

rise up and roam...

E. A. Costa 27 March 2014 Granada, Nicaragua 

Sur Amertume


Bitter is clean
and streamlined
like unsugared
mind.

Bitter is brief
like a screech
with no aftertaste
or time to waste.

Sleek is bitterness
like leek-green cress
riding an icy stream.

E. A. Costa 26 March 2014 Granada, Nicaragua