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 ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

A journal for poetry, criticism, reviews, stories and essays published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998.


 

A Poem by Carlos Barbarito translated into English by Ricardo Nirenberg.

 

Estoy hecho de vidrio –dijo-…


Estoy hecho de vidrio –
dijo- y, desde entonces,
no dejó que nadie lo tocara
por temor a romperse en mil pedazos.
Una de las tantas formas que adopta la locura.
Como la del que se niega a orinar
porque cree que hay diamantes en su orina;
la del que cada noche se azota la propia espalda;
la del que escribe un libro perverso
para sentirse tan puro como un cordero;
la del que anota en el margen de un cuaderno de escolar:
dadnos cráneos ardientes de braseros por celestes relámpagos quemados;
la del que deja la vida persiguiendo un cetáceo;
la del que cada día hace el mismo camino,
se sienta ante el mismo escritorio,
anota las mismas cifras que, al final de la jornada,
suma para obtener el mismo resultado.

 

 

I’m made of glass, he said.


I’m made of glass, he said, and ever since,
he has avoided all contact,
afraid he’ll break into a thousand pieces.
One of so many forms of lunacy.
Like those who will retain their pee
because there might be diamonds in it;
or the nightly self-flagellant;
or the man who writes a filthy book
to end up feeling innocent like a lamb;
or he who scribbles on the margin of a school notepad:
give us for braziers burning skulls kindled by celestial lightning;
or the one who loses his life after a whale;
or those who take the same road every morning
to sit at the same desk
and note down the same numbers, which at day’s end
add up to the same sum.

 


Carlos Barbarito is a poet and artist living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His new book, Cenizas del Mediodía is available at http://www.editorialpraxis.com . His poems, with translations by Nirenberg, have appeared several times in Offcourse. A collection of the poems with Nirenberg's translations also appears in one of Barbarito's blogs.
Ricardo Nirenberg is the editor of Offcourse



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