ELEGY OF MAY (translation from Spanish)


To my father, Pedro Fuentes,
a sensuous trumpet player  
Jalisco, 1908
Mexico City, 1961

In May my lovers die,

in a duel that conjures your presence,

scar, weaving tissue that unweaves

through Time’s indifferent and impassive mending.

In May my sun concealed itself

behind volcanoes and their frozen capes

eager for perpetual beds they sleep upon

to form a siege which narrowed my surroundings.

Through accidental boundaries

your death filled in with arbitrary strokes

the outlines of my destiny;

it built the slopes which paralyzed the future.

They die each spring,

survive immune the ides of March

and April’s paradoxes.

They’re sighs that print a lacerating seal

upon the surface of my painful attitudes.

They cover me with mourning skins,

they dress me up in black dissolved by tears,

grey fertilized by marl,

white purified by emptiness,

And then I draw with childish hand the outline of my soul

and paint it with melancholy,

ocher of impatience. 

My hand accustomed to alchemic secrets

is overwhelmed by certitude,

it turns colors into luscious spectrum;

amid its glaze the purple that consumes me.

It opens up another sky,

it scratches on the land,

performs propitiatory rites of love,

and then I see your silhouette in resurrection

I follow you with flagrant high intensity

your steps of joyous transit,

the sparks of life, oh so ephemeral.

I recuperate my freedom,

alert my senses:

exploring, sighting, touching and delighting

I spin in spiraled bliss,

I tense with violence the chords that bind me,

a rasping breath produces deep disharmony:

Their sharpness cut me deep,

and wounds begin to bleed.

In May my lovers die,

I have preserved their ashes in a crystal urn.

With them I’ll sketch the words,

sometimes the mumbles:

When you conclude your torment,

when you transcend the fire,

incorporate this suffocated life

fragmented by such ill-timed departure

into my dizziness of sane insanity,

design truncated by  first love and last love.

Then  flow, my Father River flow,

along the course of death of all my lovers.

May 2003 the first attempt in English, May 2005 this hopeless edition. Anyone who feels like trying a better English version is welcome. Comments and observations appreciated!! Original Spanish version is posted on the Poetry in Spanish category in this blog. Thanks!!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marc Van Thielen
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 23:15:57

    I like it very much…It’s so beautiful…

    Reply

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