Cuando por mí descienden y se agrupan
anchas temperaturas matinales,
y han gran fiesta cerval en los caminos.
They fall through attenuated clouds
from all points of a tiny map:
Laplanders singing reindeer,
Tobagonians on water skis,
Icelanders rowing inflatable longboats.
Arrived, others sum:
“We! We poets of the world! 1, 2, 3...n + 1,
We the invited--Nosotros los invitados!”
“Long ago,” says a pair of yellow shoes,
“I had a long talk with Professor Morelli.”
“Who is Professor Morelli?” asks the red dress.
“Professor Morelli is dead,” answers the shoes.
“When did he die?” asks the dress.
“I don't know,” answers the shoes, “in fact
he was dead when we had our walk.”
“I see,” says the dress.
Growing fingernails and beards,
in sandals and shaking hands,
wearing berets, scarfs and tropical shirts,
patting one another on the back,
strolling, eating and drinking,
smoking, hawking books and autographing,
they read viva voce and try to raise the dead.
It is less fiesta than carnival in the streets.
“Professor Morelli used an alias,” whispers the shoes,
"He was a critic of Renaissance painting.”
“I see,” whispers the dress, “but why are we whispering. No one hears us anyway?”
It is February
(Februa Romani dixere piamina patres)
when social evils--la arrogancia,
la soberbia, el desamor, & el machismo)
are specimened, cleansed, loaded into a coffin,
and marched to the sweet sea,
where they are dumped unceremoniously
like so much middle class plastic.
Beggars, mystified, watch intently.
In morning coolness
by the sweetwater sea
a boy on a bicycle
leads a chestnut stallion
on the long slack rope....
The radio blares:
¡ATENCIÓN! ¡MUCHA ATENCIÓN!
Las Señoras Arrogancia y Soberbia son muertas.
Los Señores Desamor y Machismo son muertos.
The funeral cortege is leaving from the Church of Mercy.
¡Descansen en paz!
Craft(s) & crafty.
“POETIC IDENTITY CARNIVAL”
(thematic racemes of ego)
Folk dances, music, recitals.
LOUDSPEAKERS & Privatized Enterprise
(including hard and soft sell):
¡Es tiempo para dar vivas al amor!
¡Es tiempo para la ESPERANZA de una humanidad
más sensible, más justa, menos violenta!
“Are you a poetess?” asks the shoes.
“I am not invited,” responds the red dress.
“You speak English, it seems.”
“The dead speak no natural language.”
“Aren't we speaking English?” says the shoes.
“You may think so,” says the dress, “but what
would your Professor Morelli say?”
“Robert Frost says that poetry is what is lost in translation”, says the shoes.
“And Vincente Huidobro says poetry is what is translatable”, says the dress.
“From and into what?”
“Exactly. Professor Morelli retails
that the most identifying features
of a great painter's work are minor details
churned out reflexively, like ears.”
Domingo, day of rest—before dawn:
the rhythm of a push cart
on the fastidiously laid
paving blocks of the street,
horse trots, motorcycle rasps,
loud speeding trucks, a few automobiles.
Stray dogs bark in the local dialect.
Bicycles add to a silence everyone hears.
Face finely carved marble, tresses long and black,
lips painted fire-red like the dress.
“What's your name?”
“My family name on earth is Hate.”
“Hate? Your name is Hate?”
The dress, long and shoulderless,
flows behind as she turns and glides away.
“Tú soñarás conmigo esta noche,” she says
and is gone.
The invited collect apophoreta & depart for the airport.
They disport, they shake, they embrace and disappear without a trace.
The winged word is avión.
By the open door
of the Iglesia de Guadalupe
a young man draws the ropes
rhythmically like oars,
rowing the sound of bells
throughout the town.
Vultures soar over freshwater waves churned by high wind.
One shoe says to the other:
She stands on the beach,
white naked vapor
facing the sunrise, arms raised
Arrogancia! You are the overweening hubris of our seas fresh and salt!
Soberbia!--you are our mad and invincible pride!
Desamor!—you are the intricate wiles of our mind!
Machismo—you are our bravery and courage at any cost!
The beggars, mystified, listen carefully.
The yellow shoes awake,
rub their eyelets left and right
& gaze at one another in fright.
E. A. Costa 2 March, 2015 Granada, Nicaragua