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BORJA AGUILÓ OBRADOR

& KEITH PAYNE

 

 

 

 

 

Borja Aguiló Obrador

Borja Aguiló was born on the island of Mallorca and he was soon to date a green-eyed mermaid, just in case she could introduce him to the already famous mantis shrimp. His poetry and translations have appeared both in Spain and Ireland. He is currently finishing his PhD on the work of American poet Theodore Roethke.

 

 

 

Keith PayneKeith Payne is an Irish writer living in Salamanca, Spain since 2008. His poetry has appeared in The Stinging Fly, Mombaça,The SHOp, Incorrigibly Plural, Alimentum, and Cúirt Poets for Patience among other publications. Most recently, his poetry translations appeared in Forked Tongues: Galician, Catalan and Basque Women's Poetry in Translations by Irish Writers, Ed. Manuela Palacios (Shearsman, 2012). He has also published stories by Argentinean writer Alan Pauls for  Mountain-islandglacier (Broken Dimanche Press, 2012) and Catalan writer Victor Balcells Matas from his debut collection Yo Mataré Monstruos por Ti (I Will Kill Monsters for You) (Editorial Delirio, 2010), one of which is forthcoming in The Stinging Fly translation special edition (Summer, 2013).

 

 

 

A skull in Sayago

 

Was there a father?

                   Gunshot in the woods

Is there a son?

                   Stones heaved plash into the river.

 

There is, we can surely say,

a skull in Castille y León,

cleaned of all chagrin

laid empty in the river.

 

The river where you must minister to the fear

when crossing, for out here

the stones move, out here

beyond the greenhouse

where the river is not even a river

but a drag of gravel and deadwood

at your feet.

 

And still you find yourself

jumping from stone to moving stone

making out of it the biggest leap of your life.

                                    ©2013 Keith Payne

 

 

 

Anecdote of a bone

 

About the concrete shelves

the trees are collecting dust,

the rocks massive, the streams

pierced by glass,

the cancerous lichen ash

blights the small branches,

the sparrows, (there are so many),

the cow’s tongue licking the loquats.

 

They languish, waiting.

Sometimes politely coughing.

 

I wonder if it’s because of the tale you told me

but the sun is now rolling along the attic

waking the children from their hollows,

grinding the paths of the acari

and his soft face just behind the whiskey chasm…

 

It’s alright, I know you’ll think I’m exaggerating,

that I’m rambling again.

 

“Come on, you’ve got it now, don’t let it go!”

 

The lusterless bone that we came across in the country.

Don’t remind me!

Broken in three places,

not weighing much, doesn’t cast much of a shadow.

I’d rather talk about its petrous forests,

its porous drought

pierced by pine needles,

the soft fang of maggots

that liberates the cracks of flesh…

 

“These are just ideas about the bone,

not the bone itself!”

 

I’ve just been looking at it now.

Its lucid smell sickens me;

its corrupted, unruly presence.

 

©2013 Borja Aquiló Obrador
translated by the author.

 

 

Author Links

 

'To Commit a Desecration': academic paper by Borja Aguiló Obrador on Theodore Roethke

Purchase Forked Tongues from Shearsman Press containing translations by Keith Payne

'Beyond the Representation': lecture by Borja Aguiló Obrador on Roethke and Tarkovsky (video)

More about the Stinging Fly translation issue, containing work by Keith Payne

 

 

 

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