Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Break (4)

Good hard day of work. Finished translating and typing (Spanish and English) the poems from Hinojosa's 3rd book (La Rosa de los Vientos) with a little help from Pablo on some of the trickier constructions. This guy is tough and wearing me down a little. Also worked on some revisions of my poems and tomorrow looks to be a big day for 1) working on new poems 2)doing four translations from Orillas de la Luz which is the 4th Hinojosa book 3) actually doing some Lang work---student poems and essays-- and 4) preparing for giving a reading tomorrow night at VCCA. I'm looking forward to the latter--will read some poems from Tourist at a Miracle and from some of the new Hinojosa translation. Will read one poem in Spanish so people can hear his music then the rest en ingles.

NCAA started today and I did okay in the early part but it looks like most of my night teams are heading for defeat. The big deal will be Nova since I actually have them in the final four. Last I looked they were down by ten (yikes).

An Hinojosa poem from his 3rd book which is all about imaginary travels:


To peck above my cold palm,
the fluttering stars come down
and the Great Bear will never be white,
because it has forgotten its mimetic passion.

The blackened women who live in my house
have placed white-washed drapes
to erase the holes of my footprints.
Alone they have appeared from my boat sails.

Meanwhile, on a balcony of early frost,
I look over the curved horizon,
I see the smoke of London arrive,
born yellow in the chimneys
and, now white with age, it calls me in great voices
and asks with a hermit’s gesture
for the path to the North Pole.

Shrugging my shoulders turned to mist,
I give it the gift of Morse Code.

(from La Rosa de los Vientos)



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Break (3)

A really good tough day. Morning spent reading and thinking about Jesse's new screenplay which is good but confused me a little. I wrote him and he and I talked this afternoon and he's done a wonderful revision to the opening monologue that really sets the stage for the rest of the screenplay (I've only seen the first 30 pages but now they make so much more sense). i also wrote a few poems this morning, one called Jesse's Script which is essentially about how productive he is, how well and quickly he writes.

The afternoon was mainly an Hinojosa afternoon. I translated five poems from Rosa de los Vientos which were actually pretty difficult and had me actually shaking when I finished them. So I went for a walk in the fields, found a place to sit and write for a while. Then back to the studio to work with Hinojosa some more, then finally to my room where I sat with the balcony door open (beautiful early spring day) and read Fuentes for a while. It's good for me to do that because he reminds me that I do actually know Spanish, which Hinojosa sometimes makes me feel I don't (this was a feeling I occasionally had with Lorca but Hinojosa I think can be even more obscure).

So a day in which I wrote some new poems, revised a few, did a ton of translating and am feeling brain creaky. Sent in my NCAA bracket stuff (final four Louisville vs Memphis, Nova vs NV; final Louisville vs NC, NC takes it all).



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Break (2)

This has been a productive day (and there's still time for more). I typed two Hinojosa poems (Spanish and English) that I had previously translated, then translated two more (with a little help from Pablo, quick telephone call to discuss the possible variations on the word bordón--we thought staff but I ended up with pilgrim's staff because of context), typed both English and Spanish and the selection/translations of the poems from Hinojosa's 2nd book Poesia de Perfil are finished (at least this draft--I'm going to have to go through it again, as I will all the poems but every translation has already been through at least two revisions). Which means two books down and four to go. Next is to select and translate poems from La Rosa de los Vientos. I've already done three so I'll probably do five more plus the prologue (there are only sixteen poems in the whole book).

As for my own poetry, some good work. Wrote three new poems and revised 4 from last summer, though I think I want to go through them again. I think my plan is going to be something like use M/T/W/Th for new work and then part of Thursday and all of Friday to review everything I've done. Because Saturday I leave (probably after lunch since I can stay in the studio until then so I won't pack that up until Saturday am). Though this may not be certain since it would mean getting back to Brooklyn around 8 or 9 which feels a little late.

At any rate, for a change, an Hinojosa poem from today:


A Francisco G. Cossío

The wind licked with anger
the tops of the trees
and while it slowly fled,
it took from its trunk
the sap of silence.

A ghost of a boat
passed through its reflection
and with a blow from its oars
took the ocean’s light.

The night goes barefoot
and eats with its breath
a warp of noise.

They hear in the port
the roar of the cables
and laments of blacks.

Where does the star go
that slides in the sky
and divides its body in two
bleeding light
fountain of air?

(from Poesia de Perfil)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Break

Left Brooklyn on Sunday and drove down to Charlottesville (a glass of wine with Mary Ann in the evening, watched the NCAA post bracket shows and learned nothing), then today to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts where I will be for the week, working on new poems, on Hinojosa. Got here before noon, so after lunch was able to work all afternoon. Dinner of stuffed peppers and orzo, grilled eggplant, salad. Now back in the studio to do a little more work before spending time with fellow artists (some of whom I know from previous years--good fun).

The Hinojosa work today was tough because of how he presents these odd constructions. He just grows and grows as a challenge for me and I haven't done a thing on Flor de California, which is prose poetry that I like but makes my head spin sometimes.

The new poems are really revisions (thus far) of poems I started last year but I like that process. Looking at something I wrote last summer in Maine while looking out the window at the rainy Virginia mountains. Having a horse come by my window while working on a poem about two birds that were on the porch at the cottage we rented.

That's it for now. Promised Jesse I would blog every day I was here (this will be a first for me, not the promise but daily blogging for this week.