Four Poems

José Mármol

the last sophism of Protagoras the mage

for my vocation. the important thing is not to discuss whether or not god created this world. nor whether God exists or not. for me. the important thing is still to discover what god was thinking—whether he exists or not—when he decided to create the world—whether he created it or not.

Neverending Poem

Spooked horse. Flickering rose. Sex risen early and blooming in other sex. Crack of tar-light. Color slid from feverish sheets. Shapeless drop of lost illusion. Homeric tear sung in bachata. Breakfast cup brimming with death throes. House infinite with Cartesian magic. Drunk monad and plush pharmacon. Thick rain birthing sleeping things. Lands kissed with misfortune. Fauvist stain. Darío collage. Voice that God dreamed of like a witness. Idea that breathes. The toad living in my molten heart. Lunatic improvising theorems on the corner. Ship nearing another desolate port. Trace of dust fixed in my childhood. I don't know. Maybe simulating boredom and rage. Klee line. Vowel that deepens. Palace of death. Toy now broken, left behind, quiet. Pack that leaves the infinite for the light. Cayenne split on the path. High reef from which to jump into dream. Suffocating air of routine. Bolero that speaks of courage and treachery. View of moon with rotting center. Piña colada in a colonial casino. Beautiful young woman with her breasts in the wind. Dew ending the cornfield's thirst. Dialogue with nobody so as to stay deeper. Frozen meat. Memory of Vlía, Nadja and Altazor. Again spooked horse with wings. Flickering rose. Sex that rises early and leans on another sex. Giant pelvic medusa. Begonias from an altar. Color slipped, void, fever...

sketch of flight

i will draw a bird that is its own flight. and a flight that doesn't yet have a bird. flight that grows with its bird. bird exhausted in the tones of its flight. i'm not going to draw a flying bird but the same flight drawing itself. and in my turn i feel that i am god. i will create a hymn for wind and memory.

Portrait of a woman

A bird thrown to thirst trembles in your mouth. High temples of light walk awake in your fingers. That angel speaks with your voice, seduced by magic, body, an unsuspected word. In your eyelids swims a beautiful, elusive fish, and in the black cascade of your thick hair, an image of flesh with bright, clear wings. My eyes don't paint you, nor my masculine stroke. My art doesn't shape her; boundless water strikes me when I look at you, hands spread by desirous magnets, and it doesn't matter you may be mute because you speak by touching me. Between your breasts impossible shades, forests and bays, sugarcane, wet colonies, seaweed, oaks, grass. I peek at the sacred flash of your hands and fear that watching me your voice takes off its clothes, and like St. Francis of Asisi it might speak to birds, and it might take off its shoes and be lighter than air. Woman who unsouls me just by naming me; but no matter if you are mute, you sing when you see. In your belly rocks a sea with straight sails, in your hair a jet of water wears down the night, in your mouth of clouds and birds I lose myself, and no matter if you are mute, you sing when you love.

translated from the Spanish by Erica Mena