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Salas-Rivera, Rebollo-Gil and Torres

by POETS' BASEMENT

Estatua de la Libertad
by RAQUEL SALAS-RIVERA

1. Estatua de la Libertad

nadie te visita por gusto

participemos entonces del lugar de las prendas
en el centro del parque donde nadie se duerme
entre rotos que nunca reciben
en alto y alegórico estado
tu arrebato
desde el cual ningún pregonero envía iglesias o programas
hasta donde no se nos corren alusiones de 5ta avenida
como chocolates en bultos
semanas en años
relevos en premios
veremos en vistas

lupas grandes
guindan de tu pecho
que lacta piedras
liquificadas y fundiendo
las futuridades en un gran grandísimo Futuro

he aquí la libertad

con una corona de vellos y un latifundio de latas
con un trapo sobre el ojo y un ojo sucio en el diente
se acerca huele a disgusto y te disgusta que te toque
para pedirte que la liberes y como no vas a decirle
libérate tú de tu de tu de tu

he aquí, mana, tu hermana
no son familia tu hermana no son ni cercanas
ni se han visto ni viven en la misma área llevan acentos
distintos queman sus viandas comen flamboyán trituran calabazas
no rezan y rezan son como he dicho hermanas
se creen de la misma nocionalidad
se unen por el hilo del vamos
a ver a la estatua
fue construida sale del agua
como sirena y nos promete que el mar es vencible
y más aún vencido
y que aquí en manhattan se muere feliz

1. Statue of Liberty
after f.g.l.

no one visits you for pleasure

let’s take part then in the place where they sell cheap rings and paper hands
in the center of the park where no one sleeps
between benches
never receives
in high and allegorical state
your high
from which no auctioneer sells steeples or wares
where we don’t get 5th avenue
allusions runny
like chocolates in book bags
weeks in years
relays in prizes
let’s sees in seens

large magnifying glasses
hang from your chest
liquefied and merged
the futurities in one great greatest Future

here, liberty

like a crown of hair and an aluminum plantation
like a rag over the eye and a dirty eye in the tooth
it comes near and smells of your distaste touches you
asks to be freed and how can you not say
free you of you’re of your of you

i have here your sister
you’re not kin your sister not even close
you haven’t seen each other nor live near you both
speak broken and different each from each
you burn your viands eat flamboyant mash gourds
don’t pray and pray like i said sisters
being and believing in the same notionality
joined by a string of let’s go see
the statue
was built comes out of the water
like a siren and promises the sea will see defeat
better yet promises it is defunct
and here in manhattan
it’s blissful when you die

Raquel Salas Rivera has published poetry in anthologies and literary journals such as Los rostros de la Hidra, Cachaperismos, and La Revista del Instituto de Cultural Puertorriqueña. In 2004, she received a scholarship to participate in Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program. In 2010, she won first and second place in the Decimosexto Certamen Literario de la Universidad Politécnica de Puerto Rico, and first place in the Certamen de Poesía del Festival Cultural Queer. Her theoretical work seeks to establish a dialogue with the writings of Samuel Delany, Jack Spicer, Angela María Dávila, and various Puerto Rican writers from the 1950s and 1960s. In 2011, she published Caneca de anhelos turbios, her first poetry book. She has a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Puerto Rico and is currently completing her doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Contact information: raquels@sas.upenn.edu

 

Fire Island
by GUILLERMO REBOLLO-GIL

fire island
para Martín Espada
the day after Frank O’Hara was run over by a dune buggy
on Fire Island, NY two pro-independence activists were shot to death
by Puerto Rican police.

O’Hara died that evening in 1966, police
in Puerto Rico opened fire in 1978,
Fire Island is named after a mistake in translation,
Puerto Rico was renamed Porto Rico
shortly after the U.S. invasion—
their mistake.

On Frank O’Hara’s headstone: “grace to be born
and live as variously as possible”
I wouldn’t translate that into Spanish
for fear of mistake. besides,
in Puerto Rico the only variation poets of history
are interested in
is seeing the dead forever rise
to shoot back at police.

Guillermo Rebollo-Gil (San Juan, 1979) Author of the poetry books Sospechar de la Euforia and Sobre la Destrucción, among others. His poetry has been featured in Mandorla, Retort Magazine and Punto de Partida. Has a blog (patternofthething.blogspot.com).
Recojo Rojo
by YARISA COLÓN TORRES
Recojo rojo
De todas de las hojas anchas y pequeñas de las recién nacidas y las secas extraigo el color que alimenta el bastón de las viejas
de toda la gráfica entintada y esparcida por la tierra de las venas que corren hacia la fiesta de los latidos fibras y frutas frescas saco el líquido oloroso que me monta alza eleva enterrándome en las letras que no canjean agua por sed
de todas las vasijas elegidas por las cuevas de los códices del alcohol y la madera de las carnes y del chorro entre las piernas recojo rojo y me pinto los talones para subir la cuesta
porque del rojo soy hija del cuerpo sin orillas, del encarnado brillante que seduce y engendra la oscuridad con su candela

I collect red. Translated by Leora Fridman.
From all the leaves the wide the tiny the newborn and the dry ones I extract color that fuels the old womens’ walking sticks
from all the images inked and scattered over the earth from the veins that run toward the party the heartbeats fibers and fresh fruit I suck out the fragrant juice that mounts lifts raises me burying me in the letters that don’t swap water for thirst
from all the vessels chosen the caves with the codices from the alcohol and wood from the meat and the stream between the legs I collect red and I paint my heels to go up the hill
because I’m red’s daughter, the daughter of crimson, the limitless body, gleaming flesh that seduces and conceives darkness with its fire

Yarisa Colón Torres (Puerto Rico) publishes her poetry by creating unique handmade books, and collaborates with artists and writers in the development of multimedia projects and independent publications. Yarisa was granted an archival space at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, as part of the “Puerto Rican Writers: History and Context” project; and received a writing fellowship with the Cropper Foundation for Caribbean Writers, in Trinidad & Tobago. Currently she writes for Global Voices Online, and teaches Caribbean Literature at CUNY.

José M. Tirado is a Puertorican poet and political writer living in Hafnarfjorður, Iceland, known for its elves, “hidden people” and lava fields. His articles and poetry have been featured in CounterPunch, Cyrano´s Journal, The Galway Review, Dissident Voice, Op-Ed News, among others. He can be reached at tirado.jm@gmail.com.

I chose this selection because I wanted to highlight for CounterPunch readers some of the diverse work of Puertorican poets: Puerto Rico natives, Boricua ex-pats, and Nuyoricans, who all live the richness of Life in many different forms and in many different places and whose warm, spicy blood flows furiously in my veins as well.

José M. Tirado is a Puertorican poet, Buddhist priest and political writer living in Hafnarfjorður, Iceland, known for its elves, “hidden people” and lava fields. His articles and poetry have been featured in CounterPunch, Cyrano´s Journal, The Galway Review, Dissident Voice, La Respuesta, Op-Ed News, among others. He can be reached at tirado.jm@gmail.com.    

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