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Rocío Ágreda Piérola, translated by Jessica Sequeira

Excerpts from Monster Wooing Madness



I’d promised myself to silence
but March initiated me in thirst
as stones are initiated in the cult to dew
The hyena teachers of my adolescence
have gone          they learned the cunning
labors of the world
and now the sky bites my hands
I’d promised myself to silence
and didn’t refuse this journey
now my heart speaks with the trees
and the underground snakes
A new smile pushes me toward the unthinkable
I didn’t have to introduce myself didn’t even have to ignore
the song        to betray the plural made my heart groan
that so sweetly loved the alcohols of proliferation
but at what cost was this alliance with peace or agony?
on what basis do you betray things that never happened
do you go to the center of darkness with unfurled claws?
and most importantly,

for what?


I love what hesitates because the splendor at its heart,
alone and unbound, hypnotizes me so I desire
not to vex it with the madness of light but to contemplate
its transition, slow and magnificent            yet sadness is something else
and forgive me if I cannot embrace that desert


Notes on a Poem by Gottfried Benn

The darkness of this street or the silence
the answers to a question impossible
to formulate               you hadn’t planned this
blood separates there is magic
in every          separation
the materials coagulate and give way
            to the flood of nothingness
along this avenue the years passed
they pass          they are horses
through this house they treaded
            with their distant clip-clops

            of gold


to reach at the appointed hour a chance line
drawn on the back of his hand
the light is singular, only the color multiple
you’ve taken refuge in a blind spot
and within this spot I don’t care
what is said
I won’t go out to the streets to wage war
one can shelter within the invisibility
of this point
within a colossal fatigue whose origin
it would be absurd now to ask


kommt aus dem Chaos
ist die einzige Energie


The barbarian woman enters the music
she cohabits in the magma through which a vision filters
how many times has that scene in the center of the visible not been repeated
that is, on the verge of something else
the parallax of an absolute eye in the center of the eclipse of the unique that is forever happening
that is, of what is happening on the verge of another perception
that is, something else
how many sellers of combs, magnifying glasses, awls, lenses, coats
how much burnt street on the horizon
my friends unweave their games
dismantle their nets
just when we start to understand the nature of care
after raiding the center of the danger


but there’s nobody here anymore






you don’t sleep           meticulously you weave
the terror                  I wait for you amidst basil
don’t call me Photosynthesis or Aluminum
Keeping watch over us, the spectrum of an eye that went mad
in contemplation of the sea             Your silence is a samurai

that forgot its name in the valley of spirits
Come    and let’s talk with squalor and love
just like the stones




to write today how sad
to write write and write
think about it this way
(in this cave)
“to leave in pursuit of the flower” she says
or of something else on the verge of being thought
silence I baptize you, he says
are you sure about wanting? I ask him
I don’t know, he answers
fifteen days later
I will trim my nails
I will dig with them
I will dig
I will dig dig dig and dig
and not reach any port
think about it like this:
it’s a garden and the girls have fled

{I’ll shut you away / until burning away
the mere idea of light}
the idea is what persecutes me, she says
I w a n t to make this smoke into a lily /
no motive exists /
shelter me in this thirst /
all of them say at random
I’ll let you get up early on my sofa
so later you suffocate on the final line
exactly there, he says
the words will always be idiots, I say
“everything inside is made of stone
there’s nothing in here moving”
return to the night my love
don’t take it to heart
my asthma my body
I am a black boy, sobbing
dans la solitude des champs de coton
forget my name
my asthma my body
let me gnaw this final bone in solitude
in the basements of the poet of the republic
so we said to him




A passage with excess weight
my deafness incubates the larva of a music
my blindness is a tattered vision
my clumsiness is fervor
my apathy has begun to sing
my extreme paleness is the health with which I return
beyond everything
white shadow on dark background
error of a stitch in a tablecloth embroidered with flowers
beyond the vertical
I’ve mislaid my posture
I’ve disdained the training of my flesh:
kissed by fire






The argument is as follows: a bird dies, murdered in a book of poems
and the author of this story cannot remove that certainty from his head.
The natives of the story are elemental strokes, lines, ephemeral voices, a stone;
overwhelmed by the apparition, they look at it and touch it with senses
diffused or extravagant.


With restraint all examine that poetic machine, a dead bird.




rests in silence
and at dawn
you search our house, the hangar
[within the gold kissed by the light as it pierces through the window]
but you don’t find her


your heart yapped like a dog
at nightfall
but the wind was already in love
with this extinction

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