December 5, 2007

there's no imagination in the blues


Bridget Sue Lambert, The Road To Satisfaction, 2001

Poems by Nicanor Parra
-- translated by Miller Williams

The Situation is Getting Delicate

You only have to look at the sun
through a smoked glass
to know things are bad:
or maybe you think everything is fine.

I say we ought to go back
to cars pulled by horses
to steam-driven planes
to TV sets cut from stone

The old folks were right:
We have to go back and cook with wood again.


Inflation

Bread goes up so bread goes up again
Rents go up
This brings an instant doubling of all rents
The cost of clothes goes up
So the cost of clothes goes up again.
Inexorably
We're caught in a vicious circle.
In the cage there is food.
Not much, but there is food.
Outside are only great stretches of freedom.


Warnings

No praying allowed, no sneezing.
No spitting, eulogizing, kneeling
Worshipping, howling, expectorating.

No sleeping permitted in this precinct
No inoculating, talking, excommunicating
Harmonizing, escaping, catching.

Running is absolutely forbidden.

No smoking. No fucking.


Sentences

Let's not fool ourselves
The automobile is a wheelchair
A lion is made of lambs
Poets have no biographies
Death is a collective habit
Children are born to be happy
Reality has a tendency to fade away
Fucking is a diabolical act
God is a good friend of the poor

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