words for consumption

Brandon Holmquest translating the Spanish of Julia Ferrer

click here for the Spanish text

                    The best work never gets paid in Art.
                    There's only salt and bitter bread, going up and down
                    far away staircases. You have to be prepared
                    to dream and you have to know how.


this is the earth
"that hides the secrets of men"
is the world
my archangel of a
single mirror

bell with two faces in the same sense

Because to the rising tree
of cruel life
or death

flowerstrewn in dreams
with wicked flower
to the almost love
now nothing

and in the mud garden walls
small clay doves
eyeing my life
go my leaping hands

that         hunt butterflies
                measuring the world
                that she eats
                and I open like a jewel box
                to my enemy
                in something like a duty
                very inside

                hypocrite observer of the Infinite
                already so close
                of what we do not know

Brandon Holmquest edits the poetry and criticism sections at Asymptote and writes poems and translates things, usually poems.

Julia Ferrer (1925-1995) was born in Lima, Peru. In her lifetime she published only two books and had a few poems in small magazines. She also wrote theatrical works for stage and radio, and taught theater at the university level.