by Sergio Badilla Castillo
In Avellaneda Pizarnik surprises me
with a look of devastation wrought
by the sullen city’s shadows.
Each of us has his own gibberish
in this nightmarish myth that chews
the facts and their dubious skin to bits.
Which Artaud surely knew in Ivry–sur–Seine
without his circle of friends unmindful of his genius.
How to say my face does not forget your grief —
a bird whose blasphemies attempt to clutch elusive life.
Oliverio is like Lange and Orozco a worldly diva murmuring a poem
by Gérard Labrunie.
Across the lobby
Porchia and Juarroz open a secret door
to make a Dante–esque escape into death’s blackness.
Witold — safely deaf — professes to follow nothing.
He eyes us with the foolish fixity of a spectre
since the dryads there acquiesce in his coldness —
those virtuous ones with knives under their ponchos
in all that crowded confusion.
Avellaneda: a suburb of Buenos Aires. Alejandro Pizarnik was born there.
Oliverio: Oliverio Girondo.
Lange: Norah Lange. Borges was at one time in love with Norah Lange,
and considered suicide when she refused him. Norah and Oliverio
married in 1943. Both distanced themselves from Borges.
Gérard Labrunie: better known by his nom -de -plume Gérard de Nerval.
Witold: Witold Gombrowicz.
Translated by Roger Hickin & Sergio Badilla Castillo