Wednesday, July 7, 2010


by Roberto Bolaño, trans. by D. Matus

In my works the practice pours as cause and effect

as a rhombus, always present and in movement.

The desperate look of a detective

faced with an extraordinary sunset.

Fast writing rapid blur on a sweet day that

remains unseen.

But no bridge can lead the way or show

the exit from this illusory maze.

Perhaps invisible and armored rhymes about

a childish game, the certainty that she is dreaming.

Poetry that perhaps will speak for my shadow in coming days

when I am nothing more than a name and not the man with

empty pockets wandering and working in the slaughterhouses

of the old and new continents.

Integrity and durability to not ask for the romances

composed in the honor of certain young girls.

And pity for my years to come at 26.

Friday, June 4, 2010


by Roberto Bolaño, trans. by D. Matus

Strange fair trade Dropping hair

and teeth The old ways of education

Wonder at complacency (The poet does not want

to be more than the others) Neither wealth nor fame

nor even poetry Maybe this is the only way

to have no fear Settle into fear

as one who lives in mediocrity

We all have ghosts Simply

waiting in the ruins for someone or something

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Street Poem 2

The homeless sleep

In bags on cement

Encampments in parks

Or hidden urban lairs

Flopped, behind bushes

Beneath stairwells

Cushioned by cardboard

Strewn bits of paper and

Other small trash

This Is The Honest Truth

by Roberto Bolaño, trans. by D. Matus

I grew up next to puritan rebels

I have been criticized helped pushed by heroes

of lyric poetry

and the seesaw of death.

I say my lyricism is DIFFERENT

(it has all been said but let me

add something more).

Swimming in the swamp of pretension

is for me like a mercury Acapulco

a fish blood Acapulco

a submarine Disneyland

Where I am happy with myself.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sonnet I

I’ve seen meteors flash and fall from heaven.

In the Bible, the best angel was the first to go

And leave the rest to pale in remembered glory.

The mighty falls affect us, not because we fear descent

But because the impact shudder shakes us to pieces.

Dear Matthew, Dear Ronald, Dear Kenneth,

Your names ring like those of apostles;

But who am I? A sorry Christ to avoid crucifixion.

If I could raise you from the dead

Pick up your fallen stars, dust them off

And toss them back up into an empty sky, I would.

But miracles aren’t in my repertoire;

Only poems. And no poem ever raised the dead.

As no statue ever stepped down, to walk, to breathe.

Piggyback on Death, American Flag Number Five

She will clutch you, stamped with her number

Ride upon her black shroud, slumped, hanger-on

Relax. Take a nap even.

Death is wide eyed and knows where she’s headed.

She waves a flag in one withered hand

Does it celebrate some glorious pursuit?

No, it is ragged with its own number

Old Death, cloaked and harried

The lines on her face spell out her name:

Deep ruts, the cracks of dry earth

Ennui imprinted in her gaze, blank as a blue sky

Aged, as a care can age, yet remain eternal

Tight-lipped, to yield no secrets about the

Hereafter, where she bears her load, bent double.

Black Hole

My mother is a black hole

Face darkness once removed

With studded stars ornaments

To lure the next piece of meat

An aching abyssal mouth

Matter flows around to feed

Swallows every pill cock and heart

Feeble men ever offer

My mother is a black hole

Her roar in stasis in my head

Pitched a low register grinding

Turning wheels of immolation

She spewed forth dark materials

Into the void of her passing

Some collapse to suns others fragment

Well beyond the grasp of her horizon

My mother is a black hole, engine of creation

Yet God the father never showed his face

Mother’s spirit, far from holy

No triumph in the son’s martyrdom

Only the pain of driven nails and

The hanging body that smothers itself

My mother is a black hole, and I know the answer

That science cannot give: What lies behind?

All the light she ever swallowed

The ruined phantasm of a normal family

A boy who doesn’t have to make up stories

To paper the walls of barren space