Poems for staying at home (Day 28)


Jorge Aulicino in Valdivia, Chile, September 2013 (photo Richard Gwyn).


Now, listen: do not go roaming with the possum. Is that perfectly clear?


from A Somewhat Difficult Syntax

The possum represents those who craved
the Holy Word, but who, once they have received it,
do nothing with it. And they breed inside the ears.
The possum represents those who wanted Grace
and Grace was given to them, to no end.
Do not move if you find a possum
on the staircase or on a taxi seat.
Its thought will crawl towards well-trodden places,
because, assured of Grace and of the Word,
it never occurs to it to do anything but wander
where once there were cities that armies
crushed beneath their boots and filled with condoms.
Better for you to keep working on your worthiness
so that the white or celestial blue light falls on you,
when you get really distracted from your work of flaying,
weeding, bending, casting to the winds, storing or tossing.
Even though you walk barefoot on the rough wharves
of your own thought, you will have to be profoundly distracted
not to receive in vain the friendship of the kingdom,
not to go roaming with the possum.

(Translated by Richard Gwyn)



de Cierta dureza en la sintaxis

La comadreja representa a quienes estuvieron deseosos
de la palabra divina, pero que nada hacen con ella
cuando la han recibido. Y crían en las orejas.
La comadreja representa a quienes quisieron la gracia
y la gracia les fue dada, para nada.
No te muevas si encontrás a la comadreja
en la escalera o en el asiento de un taxi.
Reptará su pensamiento hacia lugares hollados,
porque, segura de la gracia y la palabra,
no se le ocurre qué hacer sino vagar
por donde hubo ciudades que los ejércitos
aplastaron con botas y llenaron de condones.
Más bien continúa construyendo el merecimiento
para que descienda la luz blanca o celeste sobre vos,
cuando realmente te distraigas en tu trabajo de desollar,
carpir, doblar, aventar, guardar o sacudir.
Aunque andes descalzo por los muelles ásperos
de tu propio pensamiento, habrás de distraerte profundamente
para no recibir en vano la amistad del reino,
para no deambular con la comadreja.


Jorge Aulicino, born in Buenos Aires in 1949, is a poet, journalist and translator. He has published a number of poetry collections, a large selection of which appear in Estación Finlandia: Poemas Reunidos (Buenos Aires: Bajolaluna, 2012). Aulicino has translated a number of Italian poets, including Cesare Pavese and Pier Paolo Pasolini; and in 2015 published his translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy. He worked for the Buenos Aires newspaper Clarín for 28 years and from 2005 to 2012 was the editor of the newspaper’s weekly cultural magazine, . In 2015, he won the Argentine National Poetry Prize.



Possum in a bucket, Nicaragua 2012.


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