Back to translating!

I’m trying to ease back into the arduous process of translating. Gently, one poem at a time, which pretty much means one word at a time then one line at a time then one stanza at a time and then, with any luck, one poem.

Here’s a first pass at a literal translation of one of Shez’s poems from “Dance of the Lunatic” that I didn’t have time to include in my MFA manuscript:

The Car

My dead come quietly to the tombstone rocks above my body

Sometimes they take a tea break and sit above my body drinking
in an orderly fashion
Sometimes they deviate from the rules
and one of them kills a cigarette
not during an intermission

For years they’ve promised me a car,
not large, not new, not fast,
and they do so again tonight

I feel already how I through landscapes rocky
am flying at fifty miles an hour

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Watch a Poem Grow! February 2013 “another day another woman’s body”

Draft 2

Another day, another woman’s body found
bound, it’s reported, and strangled and set ablaze.

Bound, it’s reported, sharpening the gruesome details
with every repetition, adding next the rope around the neck

and after the rope around the neck the report that
the body was still smoldering when the dog walker found it.

The body, the it, that the dog walker found while looking for
the woman, the woman who had had a life,

the woman who had had a life and a dog, and a dog walker
whose own life will never be the same

for whose life could be the same after going to meet a woman
and finding a body strangled and bound and burned?

Switch gears—whose life could be the same after going to meet a woman
and leaving behind a body strangled and bound and burned?

He strangled her, he reported, and then bound her body
and set it ablaze but he didn’t mean to he just snapped.

Watch a Poem Grow! February 2013 “another day another woman’s body”

Draft 1

Another day, another woman’s body found
bound, they report, and strangled and set ablaze.

Bound, they report, sharpening the gruesome details
with every repetition, adding the rope around the neck

and with the rope around the neck they add
that the body was still smoldering when the dogwalker found it.

The body, the it, that the dogwalker found while looking for
the woman, the woman who had had a life,

the woman who had had a life and a dog, and a dogwalker
whose own life will never be the same

for whose life could be the same after going to look for a woman
and finding a body strangled and bound and burned?

Strangled, bound, burned—how the pornography of violence
substitutes the description of the body for the depth of the life,

how the details of the body’s death become more glamorous than the life,
how the news staff knows the ratings will spike with certain lead-ins,

how certainly the lead-in body bound ablaze stay tuned will spike
interest in seeing what pictures might follow. Admit it, aren’t you curious?

Curious, how we learned to want to see the pictures, how after the camera
came along we learned to require photographic evidence of our bodies

The Narrative of Love: Readings by Angel Hogan, Nathen Wurzel and Elliott batTzedek Sat. 2/16 7 pm

The Narrative of Love: Readings by Angel Hogan, Nathen Wurzel and Elliott batTzedek.

Love is kind. Love is plain. Love is eloquent. Love is hard. Love is soft. Love is queer. Love is universal. Love is all encompassing. Love is stronger than death. We’re celebrating love in all forms.

Join us at iMPeRFeCT Gallery in Germantown for a selection of stories, poems, and narrative from three Philly writers that create out of love.

Where: iMPeRFeCT Gallery, 5601 Greene Street, 19144 (Germantown)
When: Saturday, February 16, 2013, 7:00pm

Feel free to bring drinks, snacks to share

Now showing in the Gallery:

Gays in the Military: How America Thanked Me

January 21. 2013, Philadelphia (Germantown), PA: IMPeRFeCT Gallery is thrilled to announce the exhibition, Gays in the Military: How America Thanked Me, featuring photographs by renowned New York-based photographer, Vincent Cianni. This exhibition will be on view from February 6 through March 2, 2013 at iMPeRFeCT Gallery, 5601 Greene Street, in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. The opening reception is on Saturday, February 9, from 6:00 – 9:00pm.

For this series of photographs, Gays in the Military: Or How America Thanked Me, Cianni set out to explore how many lives had been affected due to homophobia in the military.” The resulting images are engaging and honest portrayals of patriotic people dedicated to serving a country that openly discriminates against them. Since Cianni began this work, the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy has been repealed, but with these photographs Cianni shows us that the lasting effects of homophobia, discrimination, dishonorable military discharge, and a history of harassment and discrimination continue to have striking impact in his subjects’ lives.

Cianni has interviewed and photographed over seventy service men and women from all ranks and departments of the United Stated military. In 2010, he spent six weeks on the road compiling oral histories and making portraits of his subjects. His photographs are straight-forward and documentary in style, typically showing subjects in their homes, and surrounded by the everyday accumulations of living. These frank and familiar depictions allow the viewer to enter into the story; after all, the people in these portraits could be anyone’s sister, uncle, or father. Cianni makes photographs that resonate and draw people together. He records the lives of individuals at the same time that he reveals and documents a significant episode in the history of the United States.

Vincent Cianni graduated from Penn State University, the Maryland Institute College of Art, and SUNY New Paltz. He teaches photography at Parsons The New School of Design, NYC. He currently lives in Newburgh, NY. His documentary photography has been exhibited throughout the country in major museums including the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A major survey of his work was exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York in 2006. His work is archived at Duke University’s Rare Books, Manuscripts and Special Collections Library.

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iMPeRFeCT Gallery
5601 Greene Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144
imperfectgallery.com