N a p a l m H e a l t h S p a : R e p o r t 2 0 1 1
From a Pedestal to No one (Absences and Delays)
Nocturne in Vermont
They have also told me that over there the nights
have blue eyes
and wash their hair in gin.
Is it true that over there in Vermont, when you dream,
silence is a jazzy breeze over the grass?
And is it true that over there in Vermont the geraniums
lean towards the dawn,
and in your voice, at the time of my name,
in your voice, the sad nesses?
Or perhaps from Vermont bejeweled by autumn,
kissed evening to evening by a pale language
submerges the head in oblivion.
Because in ships of snow, daily,
don’t reach me.
And because the prisoner who sustains
with his distant front
smitten hands, daily
I look for you in the mist.
Nor the galloping of the sea: left behind
immovable your diamond hoofs in the sand
But, a wind more beautiful
awakes in my room,
a wind more full of shipwrecks than the sea.
(What unattainable moon
wears out your hands
in the meantime a stormy weather banging
the way a door of silence sounds. )
From the wind I write to you,
And it’s like the my words would sail
in the pearl jars that the survivors
entrust to the swaying of the mermaids.
At a distance I hear
the crumbled cellophane of the river
descending a slope
( a silence of jazz over the grass)
And I ask and ask:
Is it true that over there in Vermont
the nights have blue eyes
and wash their hair in gin?
Is it true that over there in Vermont the geraniums
autumn the sadnesses?
Is it true that over there in Vermont it’s august
and in this sea absence…?
[Translated by Ron Rodriguez © 2011]
Cesar Calvo Soriano (1940-2000) was a Peruvian poet and writer, author of Sceptre of the Youth (El Cetro de Los Jovenes, 1967) Pedestal for No One (Pedestal Para Nadie, 1975), and The Three Halves of Ino Moxo: Teachings of the Wizard of the Upper Amazon (Las Tres Mitades de Ino Moxo y otros Brujos de la Amazonía, 1981). Calvo was part of the "Generation of Sixty," a group of prominent Peruvian poets that came of age in the 1960s. Calvo's works deal with indigenous cultures of Peru and the struggle for social justice.