El poeta astronauta levita

Carmen Lucia Alvarado (Translated by Toshiya Kamei)

The astronaut poet soars

through silent streets at dawn
at the height of rooftops
crosses the immense translucent night
and unveils the anguish of his mind
he feeds on
the mist of dreams
of those asleep
gains momentum every time a city ends
and extends his immense fear
to fly over the seas

he sees the stars reflected in still water
they are small open eyes
that twinkle far away
and are reflected in the nameless water
on top of another universe
where words have never entered

with one finger he touches the water
to cut its stillness

the sea splits in two
infinity cracks
and trembles

Born in Quetzaltenango, Carmen Lucía Alvarado is a poet and editor, currently based in Guatemala City. She is the author of the poetry collections Imagen y semejanza (2010), Poetas astronautas (2012), and Edad geológica del miedo (2018). She is currently working on her fourth poetry collection Pangea Muerte. Her poetry in English translation has appeared in Samovar and Star*Line.

Toshiya Kamei studied translation in Fayetteville, Arkansas. His translations of Latin American literature include My Father Thinks I’m a Fakir by Claudia Apablaza,Silent Herons by Selfa Chew, and The Torments of Aristarco by Ana García Bergua.Translator’s Notes: I first came across Carmen’s poetry in Korad: Revista digital de literatura fantástica y de ciencia ficción, Issue 32, which came out at the end of 2018 and ran an excerpt from her 2012 collection Poetas astronautas. What drew me to her poetry is, in one critic’s words, her ability to “sharpen our most human side, where our doubts and misgivings inhabit.” Since then, I have translated several of her poems, and a few of them have appeared here and there. The poem presented here forms part of her Poetas astronautas book, but it also works as a stand-alone piece. I plan to translate more in the future, as she promised to send me digital copies of her books. Toshiya Kamei

Editor’s Notes: Illustration is an astronaut (Pexel) superimposted on a photograph (Pierre Blaché) of London at dawn. A swirl of stars (Needpix).

(en español)

Carmen Lucia Alvarado

El poeta astronauta levita

por las calles silenciosas de la madrugada
a la altura de las azoteas
cruza la noche inmensa y traslucida
devela las angustias de su mente
se alimenta
con la bruma de los sueños
de los que duermen
toma impulso cada vez que una ciudad acaba
y extiende su inmenso miedo
para volar por encima de los mares

ve el reflejo de los astros sobre un agua quieta
son pequeños ojos abiertos
que titilan en la distancia
y que se reflejan en un agua sin nombrar
puesta por encima de otro universo
en el que las palabras nunca han entrado

con un dedo toca el agua
para cortar su quietud

se parte en dos el mar
el infinito se divide
se conmueve


Published in Poetas astronautas

Portada: Alejandro Marré

Colección laMalla, 19

Poesía guatemalteca contemporánea

ISBN: 978-9929-591-07-3

72 páginas


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