Gary’s Shop and other poems

Gary’s Shop and other poems
Four poems by one of Cuba’s most outstanding contemporary writers and winner of Spain’s coveted Loewe Poetry Prize, excerpted from despegue/departure and translated from Spanish by Katherine M. Hedeen, as part of World Poetry/Prose Portfolio [WPP], curated by Sudeep Sen

Gary’s Shop

wood piles up like syllables
sleepless like Verlaine
it begins to dry out
with a snow’s thirst

fir oak cedar
the ax already edited
the suspension knots
only the heat fibers remaining

what to do with the slugs
dripping pauses
and green snakes?

rheumatism has reached the soul
the woodcutter gloves worn out
the very mist burning 

Powell’s Books

that flower with history
won’t make this qasida smell any better
the stone dreamt by the jeweler
won’t brighten it 

this is written on the tree bark
gone missing in the forest
to subtract chances?
to add essences?

there’s no formula for this yeast
everything takes shape freehand

inspiration is a zero to the left
this is written in the mold
not in the rock

Helen’s Sewing Room

the house blessed by silk
in a wicker taboret
prayers in ribbon
calm the north

flowers stamped on the wall
to perfume sleep with musk
patterns and measures
error discarded

soaks the fabric
at the foot of a scissor rainbow
no door closes

vigil ajar
everything a meticulous mess
the world to mend

Oregon City

between a bluebird jumping from the grass
with the first light
and a verse by Szymborksa
against the mix ups of death

you have a lingering doubt
its rustproof stem
its geometric corolla
the rubble runs to seed

at the hands of the dew
its stubborn celestial thirst
another world rhyme 

meaningless signifier 
every thing a voice
with nothing to say 
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