Sunday, January 19, 2014

Inverse Translation #5 after Cherry Pickman

For Giveaway
an inverse translation after Cherry Pickman

by Susan Calvillo

Diurnal deserts in the greenhouse. There isn’t a shadow
in there, stretching to the right, tasting red. Just an oasis
terrarium complete with miniature pool, an inferior mirage,

leveled on the road like the sky is falling. What can we do
without and still get a leg up? A hefty wad of gauze,
sunglasses, anglerfish, lamp shade, an eclipse

performing the Heimlich maneuver on the sun? The sundial sits
under a cloud again and I forget the year, for horror stories,
for crop circles versus a popcorn shortage, and now accidentally

we are free to go. So we get going. You are lost
in the bandana pulled up to your cheekbones, stones
weigh on the tongues of unnecessary dialogue, dry up

the bloody nose; we already figured out the ending.
Hindsight is the peal of spoons as the fray flies into
a tear, losing the kite string spool

to the lightning bolt. Can I get a little more sky in here,
one with less horizon, less vanishing point, and a vague width
we can rotate the sun into and out of? Such danger

in distance. Here we are, hem to hem, and still
willing to face any combination. Can’t you hear the fire
under the cacti in our greenhouse, the earth crumbling

off its own face, from outside to in? Backs to each other
we take ten steps further, all too aware of the inevitable draw
when mice wake to the excess of light and necessity turns to flood.

This is an inverse translation of Cherry Pickman's "From the Keep."
Never heard of the Inverse Translation Project? Read about it here.
For Pickman's original poem follow the link here

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