April 7-13, 2003: Carlos Barbarito and Cheryl Snell


week of April 7-13, 2003

Carlos Barbarito and Cheryl Snell

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Carlos Barbarito

Bio (auto)

Carlos Barbarito was born in Buenos Aires, Argentine in 1955 He’s been widely published internationally and currently lives in Muñiz, Argentina

Visit Carlos on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Carlos Barbarito and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

A Marianne Moore

Excluida la idea de la inmortalidad,
quedan el polvo,
la hierba,
el agua que forma charcos,
la rama desde la que canta el pájaro,
cierto misterio que la razón
supone sombra pasajera Queda, en fin, la vida,
el cuarto donde una mujer se sube las medias,
el otro cuarto, acaso contiguo,
donde dos se desnudan
y se abrazan, y al terminar
se dicen, uno al otro:
no moriremos

To Marianne Moore

If the idea of immortality is excluded,
there remains dust,
water that forms puddles,
the branch from which the bird sings,
a certain mystery that reason
supposes a fleeting shadow There remains, in the end, life,
the room where a woman pulls on her stockings,
the other room, perhaps adjoining,
where a couple undress
and embrace, and afterwards
say to each other:
we shall not die
translation by Brian Cole

María Gracía Subercaseaux, Espejo

Los ojos abiertos, cuando está oscuro,
los ojos cerrados, cuando estalla
el relámpago ¿Qué
falla en el instante puro,
en la instancia más abierta y destilada?
No somos polvo ni hierba Y lo somos, aunque entremos al mar
y, entre olas, sepamos
que allá abajo hay plantas y peces ¿Quién instaló muerte,
azar? ¿Quién puso llama
en el extremo de la vela,
bestias cabeza abajo,
dolor en el dolor?
¿Es todo cuanto podemos decir?
¿Y esa que, desnuda,
al pie de una cama
con sábanas revueltas,
a sí misma se contempla?
¿Dónde de sí hacia el mundo
la roca viva,
la indócil materia en bruto?
No todo lodo viene de la lluvia
ni toda desnudez supone deseo Una sombra no significa presencia de luz La luz se rompe cuando parece más fuerte ¿De qué lado sopla el viento
cuando alguien pisa las hojas secas
y no se entristece por ellas?

María Gracía Subercaseaux, Mirror

Eyes open when it is dark,
eyes closed when the lightning
flashes What
fails in the pure moment, 
in the most open and distilled instant?
We are not dust or grass And we are, even when we go into the sea
and, between waves, we know
that down there are plants and fish Who introduced death,
misfortune? Who set fire
to the end of the sail,
beasts with heads downcast,
pain in pain? Is that all we can say?
And she who, naked,
at the foot of a bed
with rumpled sheets,
is looking at herself?
Where from iteslf did the world create
living rock,
that intractable matter in the rough?
Not all mud comes from rain
nor does all nakedness imply desire A darkness does not signify the presence of light The light fails when it seems strongest From what side does the wind blow
when someone steps on dry leaves
and is not sad for them?

translation by Brian Cole

Cheryl Snell

Bio (auto)

Cheryl Snell’s work has appeared in many journals, including Antietam Review, Petroglyph, Comstock Review, Washington Review and River Oak Review Her novel Shiva’s Arms won an honorable mention from the Dana Literary Awards and was a finalist for the Omaha Prize Her chapbook of poetry Flower Half Blown was published in 2002 by Finishing Line Press and has been nominated for the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry.She lives in Glenn Dale, Maryland with her husband, a professor
Visit Cheryl on the web here: http://www.authorsden.com/cheryllsnell

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Cheryl Snell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


Some symmetries are better off broken:
the moribund oak’s flagging bark
studded with the quicken
of resurrecting bud, the tally
of rings revised
Shape is created through the generosity
of morphogens: the original e pluribus unum
Your single cell was round & perfect,
the transformation into head, hands,
and six- pack abs
transfixing in the usual way
One terrible fall, the cars all bloomed
with flags Adorned like a funeral cortege,
we drove too fast, our hearts beating us
about the head and ears
Guards patrol long airport lines,
betray no emotion, squeeze overkill rifles
under damp armpits
as they, too, hold on for dear life.

The Gallery of You

Small boy, yoked & bent under the quotidian:
buckets of brass & steel dripping water
welled under auntie’s larcenous gaze-
she with the millstone daughters
Women’s voices buzz like drugged insects
above the pile of beans You pluck out pebbles,
separate wheat from chaff, religion from ritual Your proud hands feint under lacerating ruler
Night draws the family in You escape to the veranda,
read smuggled book under bare bulb, learn lessons
beyond ink on parchment For years, you’ll ration sleep
while relatives roll out like rugs onto the stone floor
On your farewell day, monkeys snatch up temple offerings,
scuttling away like your lost religion You’ll straddle
continents mirrored in monsoon puddles, though your head
may grow heavy with the sorrow of things and the sea’s
ambiguous partings.

Broken Symmetry

Observe the golden bowl: in the well of the base
a bubble of air holds a single fleck aloft What topples the particle to the surrounding circle?

The thought of it makes your hand shake
like your faith in things
That decadent night, we touched all the places
corresponding most closely to our own desires At dawn, we sought our state of least energy;
it crept up like a hangover
Breakfast, and I brush my cheek to map your crumb You flick at the wrong side There is no
lateral inversion
in a place of no return I look in your eyes
and watch the laws of reflection changing.

Cold Comfort

Desire springs up from a longing to be held
separating like fingers on a hand Muffled sounds
strain in from the sliver of light under the door Ignore them Freshen your drink
We talk about your small terrors You sit out
the big ones alone in your closet, bargaining with God (Tentacles of headache, blood the color of a neon sign
how much for that?)

In the parlor, an estranged brother hugs himself
with sawed-off arms, holding the locus of his grief Whoever has the vigil chair whispers into the phone
On the huddle of relatives’ coats, you brush my ear
with your new vows: ‘I will scatter like memory
on the sullen air, and break your stagnant promises,
wherever they joined with mine ‘

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