Poems from Alan Britt*

Violin Smoke. Alan Britt. Translated by Sohár Pál. Irodalmi Jelen Könyvek, 2015.

 

Magic

 

Our words shed misery

like shotgun cartridges

red as December holly berries

littering the book prints

of childhood misadventures.

 

And happy words exist

for those who can afford them.

 

So, words, now, are hostages,

if I hear you correctly,

for this impossible life

to which we all aspire?

 

I say

strip the words down again,

like Lorca;

the greatest of all the warrior troubadours,

who died for us

puny civilians.

 

Destiny

 

Each poem has its destiny.

 

So, why interfere?

 

Intellectual leaps are obtained

through blind Faith, anyway.

 

Or, we could continue slinging

fresh feces from behind the bars

of our miserable cages.

 

 

Lost Among the Hours. Alan Britt. New York City, USA: Rain Mountain Press, 2014.

 

One more time

 

I gave myself to the universe.

 

What more can I give?

 

I’m down to one eye

and one lung.

 

If ashes from souls dumped into urns

are designed to nourish us,

why then do we still carry

nuclear clubs into heaven

and complain

about guardian angels

behaving like rented Geishas

in upscale Manhattan hotels?

 

Time to prison-break,

don’t you think –

that is,

if time were

a lusty hourglass

with Pablo’s

Isla Negra sand

feathering its crystal waist?

 

 

Alianza. 5 U. S. Poets in Ecuador. Alan Britt et al. Rio Rico, Arizona, USA: CypressBooks, 2015.

 

Neruda Sings Whitman

 

It was like the invisible salt of waves,

you said, when you were just about

an internal combustion me –

all heart, no dark energy.

 

You said pinch the head off Ozymandias,

so poor folks could get their fill,

& fill they did, for a moment, until

United Fruit snatched it away, again.

 

You named the names required of thruth.

 

Alternative?

 

If now I believe in dark energy,

& there seems to be good evidence

for it, then surely I believe in you,

Pablo, son of Walt, incomparable

poet of love & mischief.

 

 

Neruda Canta a Whitman

 

Era como la sal invisible de las olas,

decías, cuando no eras sino

un yo de combustión interna –

todo corazón, nada de energía oscura.

 

Dijiste arrancad la cabeza de Osymandias,

que la pobre gente pudiera saciarse,

y saciáronse, por un instante, hasta que

Fruta Unida se lo arrebató, una vez más.

 

Nombraste los nombres que requerían la verdad.

 

¿Alternativa?

 

Si ahora creo en la energía oscura,

& parece haber buena evidencia

de ello, entonces creo en ti con certeza,

Pablo, hijo de Walt, poeta

incomparable del amor y la picardía.

 

(Translated by Ricardo Pérez-Salamero García)

 

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* Contact: http://alanbritt.wordpress.com/