Thursday, January 23, 2014

Inverse Translation #10 after Ariana Reines

No, I don't live here.
an half-inverse translation after Ariana Reines

by Susan Calvillo

I’m no warrior, I’ve no walls
I stand under willows, I wear no chains
I sleep with both eyes open, I keep owls
awake. I want to live forever, to feel
the heat of stirring blood.
I am open-armed in a literal sense.
I don’t give myself hugs. I’m not bad
with a frying pan. I’m even better with a fork.
Mi honor está estudiando en otro país.
Seventeen was a very good year, I’ve been trying
to get back ever since. I’d be lying if I said
I don’t have asthma or compare myself to the famous
and I dress like I just stumbled through
twelve closets. I’m perfect in that complex way
where everyone’s perfect because I sort of forget
the point of flaws, until I do remember
and realize I’m just as bad as everyone else.
I’m [insert relevant descriptor here].
Before the house was built, there were cows.
Accents go over my head. Houses
go under my feet.
The fires are always off in the distance
somewhere under the smoke. It makes your eyes water
like when fireworks are set off too close and scraps
drop down on you. Careful. You can really damage
your iris one little scratch at a time. Fireworks were invented
by the Chinese but that has nothing to do with what
my grandpa did for us. He wasn’t one to hide. He ran
for his life and ours. It was never in the news.
Neighbors always shared roofs.
When we could we shared them too.
Standing on guard outside, I dream
of the lines in my palm and where they go
since my lungs don’t know the difference
between being a man or a woman.
I’m often clothed
by a nuclear family, which is crazy as any other
family behind the remote control.
As far as anyone else knows we’re all perfectly normal
so why should we run now?
A TV guide can overstay its welcome.
We make homes of nothing.
My Hispanic brothers get blamed too often.
Men wishing to share their opinion
when they finish eating
might share it with actions, might share
a home.

This is an inverse translation of Ariana Reines' "Dream House." Unlike other poems, I only translated half of this poem. This one was more of a challenge to sustain, so I only included the more successful portion.
Never heard of the Inverse Translation Project? Read about it here.
For Reines' original poem follow the link here

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