Poems - English
version by: Wendell Ricketts
once i was 70 too

i’m reading
i don’t know if i’ll be able to describe the sea

though there it is not far away
green chop fringed in white
you see it now . . . warm brackish light
¿ have i described it well
i’ll get closer

i am still dressed and to the boys’ eyes i seem old
¿ how to explain that

straw hat
white shirt | dark glasses
loose khaki pants | suspenders
leather shoes well worn but still serviceable
[ i am light i consume little ]
in my bag two apples and a book that will be part of me soon enough

so many years have passed since that incandescent night

i’ve brought everything except ink
that will run out
and i’ll forget what i wanted to write

i take off my hat
i’m finally naked on the sand
still reliving the memory of her ass among the stones
and i try to take a picture of it

rolled-up shirt for a pillow
her back seemed endless
i have to be careful not to get my shoes wet
¿ why am i telling you this ?

it’s hot just as it was then but the air is less sweet

life is a pretty good place
i thought i’d die without her
but here i am instead breathing iodine
getting a kick out of overhearing other people’s conversations
never too tired to learn
i slowly release a force in continuous evolution

and now i’m getting hungry



truth and beauty

the world is collapsing and creeds are collapsing
the building across the way collapsed yesterday
and ours
you can’t tell yet if it’ll collapse
but it’s so beautiful to relax
among the white walls

truth and beauty
that is all ye need to know on earth

don’t prop up a framework that’s ailing
¡ set yourself free !
let it all collapse on top of you so you can build again
make change your system of logic

¡ get out !
the fourth dimension is priceless
¡ run !
there’s so much life to know
¡ cuánta vida !
nitrosamines in the natural caoutchouc
the læptis magna marble
statistical fluctuation
the differential interferogram
the ricci flow

the sea carries new hopes to man
as a dream leads to dreams

¡ walk !
and if you cannot walk
¡ breathe !
seek beauty and truth in the world
you will always find the souls to which you are bound


post scriptum
in this precise moment
your suffering ends



three dots three dashes three dots
[ un epitaffio per la poesia ]

of what i wanted nothing yet
common illness but not for me
my forehead is a trench
she is calling from a far-off island
three dots three dashes three dots

my dreams have yet to come true
so much waiting that i’ve forgotten them
that’s the way it was: i regret nothing
but twelve small hearts beat gently
three dots three dashes three dots

constantly sailing a tight reach
i seemed to avoid nonexistent obstacles
while only the objective was bold
and setting out for it madness
three dots three dashes three dots

i laid it all on a single bet
i’ve read too much for my liking
i’ve breathed too much passive smoke in theater foyers
when all i’d gone there to breath was beauty
three dots three dashes three dots

some unwashed boy pedaling my way
was shouting • in a foreign language • poetry is disgusting
all i could do was agree with him
[ besides i was in a bar ]
three dots three dashes three dots

with a blow of the scorpion’s tail
i would give the nobel to some poet
who had nothing left to say
[ un epitaffio per la poesia ]
i’ll still be alive
[ maybe i’ll play number eight from here to eternity ]
or die along with her perhaps

and now
that i should say something at last
i sit
listen
and wait



letter to the man to come

you are growing up
i hope you are healthy
but know that no one is really healthy
outside of you

in this world you need do nothing special
but my advice is to take off running if all you find
are bills or advertisements in the mailbox

after twenty five everyone is already old
take comfort in the knowledge
that you’ll always have their experience
to place alongside your own

in this world you need believe in nothing
my advice is only that you find something to grasp onto
though your heart may weep in the doing of it

keep your dignity at all costs
you need not pray for victory
in order to fight with honor
and if you fight
do not try to render equal what has never been

be original [ true originality is not required
to feel it within you will suffice ]
trust in technology
fill it with poetry and music
as far as your imagination can travel

venture boldly into sex well beyond procreation
experience passion well beyond sex

i wish for you as well that you feel alone
there to discover the marvel of solitude

the love we have within us
is a river in full flood
or a bed drained dry

if you love someone
never let on how important she/he is to you

if she/he loves you
claiming that importance will be second nature

if you don’t find love
use the time to acquaint yourself
with the beautiful things in life

many more than you may think
and different from what others would have you believe

whatever time remains
use it to know yourself
to smile in sorrow’s face
and to write about the love you’ve failed to give

whatever time remains to me
i’ll spend in struggle with regret
and with your absence



love changes

i feel as though i’m wasting time
before this rising nullity

meeting you by chance on a mountain trail
[ though any old city would have done ]
and changing direction halfway up
in no way detracts from my consistency

on the contrary it adds passion
desire
and beauty [ yours ]
to these eyes so impoverished by cynicism

because love changes

in these words blind to your voice
what is clear is that rhetoric
has less gravity than the reflection of your hair

following you i’ve forgotten
a. the windjammer :
the dream of the ocean’s thunder
at the antipodes of this silent city
b. a friend :
the freedom that has taken me this far
the freedom that allowed me to find you
and which i thank
c. myself :
that strange universe of emotion
that anyone else would consider a sexual mania

i choose you at dawn
[ optical illusion ] of desires
to satisfy them
mine | yours | ours

i didn’t sleep a wink last night
exhausted by drowsing
i
fat and lazy
tirelessly go on molding our grand life

because love changes



message in a bottle

in this careless world
i opened my eyes and saw
human cruelty
and imagining that i haven’t seen it won’t be easy

i opened my eyes and saw
human atrocities
and closing them again won’t be easy

as white and downy as a cotton flower

i opened my eyes and saw
human stupidity
and convincing myself i’m wrong won’t be easy

just as a beautiful house
is no proof of a happy tenant
the goodworld is inhabited by the sad

things have got to change
everything is changing
everything already has

and you can’t say where
and you can’t say when
but one day some stately titanic
will drop anchor in the harbor
sparkling with treasures
overflowing with travelers

and you won’t know where
and you won’t know for how long
you’ll sign on board confident

as white and downy as a cotton flower

because this is the way life goes
:
oceans of chance
millions of quests
galaxies of love

seek one another out
take each other by the hand

do it so we don’t feel lost



male nude [ late 1900s ]

i’m always late
that may be why i never truly feel at ease
… i haven’t even prepared a speech
¿ can i touch you while i talk

i ask because a lot of people don’t like it
[ i can only sympathize
:
they seem like frightened dogs
little serengeti meerkats
[ meerkat suricata suricatta ] always on the alert ]
but follow me
i don’t have much time and words shift so quickly

i love humanity
thanks to the few who make it agreeable
let me touch you
and let the rest shrink before my eyes

you know what life is ?
so many places so many wonderful people
and so little time to love them
:
that’s what life is

how much i hope to hold out clear-headed to the borderlands
will i have to cross no matter how painful ?
to get a man through customs • i’ve heard •
a few euros should do it

you know what time is ?
thoughts unlimited
and so little the voice to relate them
:
that’s what time is

you know what luck is ?
it’s feeling like the right person
at the right time

or else having the right person by your side