19

to reach the isle
picture the map of Turkey
the other way around

that will mark
what is not fundamental
but begins
the course of what may be

miracles even of un-goded gods

still so many
inside the poem as in a womb
being nourished:
crows for energetically chasing away

the reversal of Turkey
deep inside the undulous gulf of Neptune
contains the half-light left over from this light
             whole

and what remains of the poem
a light in its more other mathematics
adjoins and accompanies
             dark

exact meridian
marooned world map where I repeat
             and then, and then
as in a monolalic story

picture this body
the other way around
this poem
the other way around
to escape the isle


20 

tonight belongs to the legion
to the hands in lace gloves 

tall shadows gather around the fires
the smoke blurring the embellished forms in the flame 

no footprints in the ice of tonight

though everyone has a face that hides a god
nurtured with wise anthropophagy


21

                                                                                leaves fall
                                         like poems sundered
                 while I dream
of some Divine piercing
                                                                                 my side
to extract the curved bone –burning light–
that plays
in this solitude so far from Eden
                                                                                 a game
                                    where my tacit
ghost befalls
                                                    treading on loose leaves
that crunch under feet like marble             
                                                                                  Enclosed
                                    in your border
                                                            beside the autumn fire
                                    that bony outline
recurs
                                                in the trances of the medium
with transparent hands
                                                             the abandoned ouija!
                                                               letters in mauve ink!
the message weighs heavy in a lingua ignota
stiff
       stiff message
                    where alphabet germinates inanimate
grows grows
             yellowish backlit against my eyelids 

open wound without blood
                                                          devastated marrow
                                in a flash of vegetal dryness
never-ending session of materializations
                                                         those hands no longer
vigorous and alerted
                                                                        there
            with my unlikeness confronted
                                             ambitions of insomnia
bore into the thirsting cloak
that captures us as if rested
upon hearing those steps
                                              still estranged from all else
                                                            It’s an!
heart transluminated
interrogating space
with formless questions¡
                                                  goldenrod season of origins
                                                  sun aslant warms the roots
in hollow walls
            the lethal harmony in which we live made visible
the broad shadow of displacement invites us
                                                                        matures the fruit
this dream’s steely grid sutures
            my side with gentle hands
an avalanche of spirits
            spells out zigzagging on the board
                                    that message now dispensable
in their inflexible slumber the Bloodless stammer,
                                    “This is the wonder of beginning”

Magdalena Chocano (Lima 1957) has published Poesía a ciencia incierta (Lima, 1983), Estratagema en claroscuro (Lima, 1987), contra el ensimismamiento (Barcelona, 2005), otro desenlace (Barcelona, 2008) (where the above poems appear) and poems in several journals and anthologies. Her writing has been translated into English, most notably in Poems Read in London (Cardboard House, 2015) translated by William Rowe and Larisa Chaddick.

Jacqui Cornetta is a poet, translator, and musician. Her work can be found in places like Words Without Borders and CUNY Poetics Document Initiative: Lost & Found. She received an MFA in Literary Translation and Creative Writing from Queens College where she now teaches. She is Translation Editor at The Puerto Rico Review.