To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Picasso's Dream and Lie of Franco: poem and images

Translation from Spanish by Jerome Rothenberg

owl fandango escabeche swords of octopus of evil omen furry dishrag scalps afoot in middle of the skillet bare balls popped into a cone of codfish sherbert fried in scabies of his oxen heart – mouth full of marmalade of bedbugs of his words – silver bells & cockle shells & guts braided in a row – a pinky in erection not a grape & not a fig – commedia del arte of bad weaving & smudged clouds – cosmetics of a garbage truck – the rape of las meninas cries & outcries – casket on shoulders crammed with sausages & mouths – rage that contorts the drawing of a shadow that lashes teeth nailed into sand the horse ripped open top to bottom in the sun which reads it for the flies who tack a rocket of white lilies to the knots spliced in the sardine heavy nets – lamp of lice where dog is & a knot of rats & hide outs in a palace of old rags – the banners frying in the skillet twist in black of ink sauce spilled in drops of blood that gun him down – the street soars to the clouds its feet bound to a sea of wax that makes its guts rot & the veil that covers it is singing dancing mad with sorrow – a flight of fishing poles alhigui and alhigui of the moving van first class interment – broken wings spinning in the spider web of dry bread & clear water a paella made of sugar & of velvet that paints a whiplash on its cheeks – the light blocked out the eyes before the mirror that make monkeyshines the chunk of nougat in the flames that gnaws itself the lips around the wound – cries of children cries of women cries of birds cries of flowers cries of wood & stone cries of bricks cries of furniture of beds of chairs of curtains of casseroles of cats & papers cries of smells that claw themselves of smoke that gnaws the neck of cries that boil in cauldron & the rain of birds that floods the sea that eats into the bone & breaks the teeth biting the cotton that the sun wipes on its plate that bourse & bank hide in the footprint left imbedded in the rock.

[The translation minus images appeared in The Burial of the Count of Orgaz & Other Poems (20o4), edited by me & Pierre Joris & still available from Exact Change ( or The poems & drawings are dated 15-18 June 1937.]


Maria Martin said...

"Everything is a miracle. It is a miracle that one does not dissolve in one's bath like a lump of sugar"-Pablo Picasso

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing...
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Sean Cubitt said...

Thanks from me too: writing a piece on PP's politics and prints, its hard even to find the Spanish (and my Spanish isn't good). I find "alhugui" in inverted comms in some paper sof the time but can't fimd a translation - any hints?

in any case, thanks!