Javier Bozalongo

 

 

(Spain)

 

 

 

SLEEPLESSNESS

 

Now that we don’t sleep as we used to,

and in the dark silence we gaze at one another

like nocturnal ghosts stirring up our restlessness.

 

Now that we have grown older with the years

without them offering us any lessons in exchange.

 

Now that we have grown stronger with the years

when we hardly have any need to defend ourselves.

 

By your side I know I’ll have new light.

Enigmatic light, so clear and pure

that it’s only seen in what it reveals.

 

 

 

GOLD

 

We search within the implausible

for the immediacy of truth,

in the disastrous pursuit of the impossible.

We err.

Let us look for the truth

that is hidden in the sand,

certain of finding,

behind appearances,

that which the light

-capricious net-

separates and reserves for us.

 

 

 

POETICS

 

Because I hardly remember

the life not lived

I’m leaving it written

in a few lines.

 

 

 

ASHES

 

There is a light at the end of the corridor,

a song deep within my ear,

a word deep within my mouth,

an image deep within memory.

 

There’s also a dish in the kitchen;

an unopened book on the table

whose ending is known;

a kiss in the air

afraid to shatter against the ground;

a trembling stamp

faced with unwritten letters;

A “let me tell you,”  a “sleep beside me;”

an “I won’t come for dinner, I have too much work to do;”

an “if you leave, don’t come back,” a “never leave me.”

 

 

 

A NEW MAN

 

Forget what you know.

Empty your memory.

Let your mind go blank.

 

Only this way you’ll be a new man.

 

If you aren’t able to lie,

you’ll feel the breath of bewilderment

on the back of your neck,

the paleness of those

who are taken aback by their opponents

and you’ll see fear reflected

in their eyes, like a flame

that slowly feeds

the bonfire it causes.

 

Memories burn even by the sea.

Water always finds the way back,

the momentary signs of a past life.

 

Don’t carry suitcases:

they aren’t luggage, just dead weight.

 

 

 

LIGHT, AGAINST THE LIGHT

 

One who turns the light off

doesn’t always look for sleep.

Sometimes, in the darkness,

his eyes get used to seeing

what they can’t see during the day:

a child is running

after an always evasive ball,

there is a teenager with a book in his hands.

Behind his glasses,

love that doesn’t find reflections.

All of them are protected by the shadow of a poet:

Alberti, Juan Ramón, Machado, Federico;

then Ángel González, Vallejo, Jaime Gil…

all of them tell him how,

they discover the reasons

while somebody asks

“how will we know when.”

 

The young man, sip after sip,

drinks the coffee of time and becomes a man,

to be exact a father,

dubious lighthouse,

at the mercy, as ever, of the hours:

a few of them restful ones,

the rest, chasing

the same as that boy

who could never play ball.

The one who turns the light on now is not the same man.

 

 

 

NO

 

If flowers run away from the gardens

and tears flow into the eye.

If it rains towards the clouds.

If the tree grows into the earth

and plunges its roots into the air.

If the sun illuminates your insomnia

and the moon warms up the midday.

 

If you advance backwards

you don’t return to the start.

 

 

 

ART OF POETRY

 

The first line can be brilliant.

The end, surprising.

Between one and the other you must be you.

 

Never silence.

 

 

trans. by Gordon McNeer & Juan José Vélez Otero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________________________

 

Javier Bozalongo (born 1961, Tarragona) is a Spanish award-winning poet, writer and essayist. He has published the following poetry collections: Líquida nostalgia (2001), Hasta llegar aquí (Cuadernos del Vigía, 2005), Viaje improbable (Renacimiento, 2008) and La casa a oscuras (Visor, 2009), which was honor-finalist of Jaime Gil de Biedma Award. In 2012, his selected poems Nunca el silencio was published by Costa Rica Poetry Festival. He’s been adviser of the International Poetry Festival of Granada since its first edition in 2004 (www.fipgranada.com). He has collaborated in such important poetry publications as Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos or El Maquinista de la Generación (Centro Cultural Generación del 27 in Málaga). Many of his poems have been translated into English, Romanian, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese and Greek. He manages the poetry Collection of Valparaíso Ediciones (www.valparaisoediciones.es).

His website is

www.javierbozalongo.com

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