from Nakedly Obvious

Eduardo Milán


There's a worked void:
from this angle you see a butterfly
that seems to come out of nowhere, fine
that wingbeat corresponds
to a monarch

At this point it's all up for grabs
everything that awaits form — those
clouds, these hands, those mouths
swallowing everything, swallowing the void

So I put it into form, with periods
things distilling shape of erect flower

Nobody came by to tell me "look here"

You still pay on the first out of equity
for rights to the void
rights to the void of capitalism
rights to the Right and Left in a democracy

Poets work the terrain of the void
believing in working like oxen
or disbelieving in verse
free trip home


Come on, let's say two or three
well-said things
among hundreds of cubic centimeters of ice
melted to water, not floating
Return the Great Mouth's things to outer space
let them float free, in their daily
pasture — that last struggling Hereford
cow looks sad to me — all praise
to the cows of my happy days
to the milk machine, the Model T
of rumination, horsepower cow
their omnipotent maternal odor
undulating, pierced by dragonflies

between daily and thing
I suspect wartime complicity
defending territory hand to hand
palm to palm-tree, give their lives
if they have to — they never have to
Woven by chance, thread of the moment
connecting unforeseen with unforeseen
is not consumed: sets up eternal elasticity

And we go on, things stay, the road
we put ahead of us to say there is a road
hanging in time for passersby to see
dripping, in reality melting, stalactites
the moment subtracts from what's to come
the instant, sucking myrtle — stalactites


Circle the circus, rounds
spun in air to fall into same-old
Resembling outside event gets tired
Ferris Wheel has its own story to tell
loosey-goosey dance of chance gets old
or should I say randomness gives up
dragged too far along the tail of ruin
Certainty of return and passing Go
redeems itself with "I keep telling you"
without redemption for untold defeat
The circus tent gets tired from above
an awning sheltering its tiny tarps
wing folded back on arm
Papyrus unfolding from underneath
before the revolution, take a look:
micrologically the work
the ant does on the syllable
keeps its dignity on a war footing
the heron's dignity
Macrologically the world's
macro grazes on neon, the economy
follows it closely, counting wads of bills
Machinery surrounds the dawn
planning a sweatshop to produce sunrise

translated from the Spanish by John Oliver Simon