Poems by Ulises Torres / Poemas de Ulises Torres

Collage by Corinne Stanley / Contact: cjstanley22@gmail.com

ACERCA DE ULISES TORRES

Ulises Abraham Torres Díaz, León Gto (1983). Licenciado en derecho por la UNAM, and Gestor Cultural y Coordinador de la Casa de Cultura Efrén Hernández, ha impartido talleres de literatura y creación literaria en CERESO De León y Tutelar de menores. Premio Nacional de Literatura Juegos Florales de San Juan del rio (2019) y Premio Nacional de Poesía José Emilio Pacheco (2020). Fue incluido en el bilingüe Anuario de Poesía de San Diego (2019-2020).

ABOUT ULISES TORRES

Ulises Abraham Torres Diaz, Leon, Guanajuato (1983) is Licensed in Law (UNAM) and Cultural Director and Coordinator of the Efrén Hernández Casa de la Cultura. He has facilitated literature and writing workshops at the CERESO Prison of Leon. Torres Diaz won the 2019 Juegos Florales National Prize of Literature and the 2020 Jose Emilio Pacheco National Poetry Prize. His work was included in the bilingual Anual de poesía de San Diego (2019-2020).

Translated by Corinne Stanley


INCÓGNITAS

Jacqs es un hombre común,

una isla

donde la muerte es una flor desorientada

que florece siempre en otras manos

desde su ventana

el aire es más delgado,

la banqueta parece una tibia caricia

una playa que promete besos y reposo

a lo lejos un perro invisible

persigue una cola invisible

que alguien le cortó.

QUESTIONING

Jacqs is a regular guy

an island

where death is a disoriented flower

the air is thinner

from his window

the sidewalk seems like a lukewarm caress

a beach that promises kisses and rest,

in the distance an invisible dog

chases an invisible tail

that someone chopped off.


HORTICULTURA ORNAMENTAL

Puedes ayudarme si tienes cuidado – decía mi madre – no te vayas a

espinar.

A mis cinco años lagartija

no imaginaba un mundo más allá de los tinacos.

Roban el agua a las plantas y no las dejan crecer – repetía – los tréboles

estorban, son piedras

en la bota de los nardos, como tu padre

que es una piedra muy grande para nosotros.

en ese momento yo no entendía

por qué razón las lombrices seguían vivas

aunque les arrancara la cabeza.

HORTICULTURE TALK

You can help me if you are careful—said my mother-

You aren’t going to get pricked.

Long ago, when I was just five

I couldn’t imagine a world beyond

the water tanks on the terrace

They rob water from plants and don’t let them grow-she repeated-

the clover, they’re in the way,

they are rocks in the nardo pots, like your father

who is a huge rock to us.

at that moment I didn’t understand

why the worms were still alive

after I cut off their heads.


LAIKA

Si un perro ladra en la negrura del universo

y nadie está cerca para oírlo

es inútil preguntar si hubo ladrido

Gira sobre la tierra, lame sus orillas,

orina sus ocho esquinas,

sortea su cola entre la música de Dios

y estrellas muertas.

Un perro en el espacio no es un perro.

Un perro en el espacio es un cuchillo

que flota,

un bisturí cortando la espalda de Dios,

un perro en el espacio no es un perro,

es una herida que ladra.

Una mosca rebota “N” número de veces sobre un foco

lo acecha abiertamente en su terquedad de mosca

Intenta atravesarlo sin saber que nada que valga la pena

produce su propia luz.

LAIKA

If a dog barks in the darkness of the universe

and no one is close by to hear it

it’s useless to ask

if he has barked.

He twirls over the land, licks

its waves,

pees on its eight corners,

wags his tail among

the music of God

and dead stars

A dog in space isn’t a dog

A dog in space

is a floating knife

a scalpel cutting

the back of God

A dog in space isn’t a dog

he’s a barking wound

A fly buzzes the number “N” furiously over a lightbulb

he persistently stalks it

with the stubbornness of flies.

Intent on getting in he doesn’t know

nothing worthwhile

creates its own light.


PRODIGIOS DE LA LUZ

Para llegar aquí hay caminos rectos,

hay caminos que rodean,

hay caminos claros, y caminos

que se oscurecen,

no todos los caminos van al pueblo,

hay unos que van, otros que vienen.

No todos los santos

fueron santos, el cielo puede ser

un trozo de sandía.

Si abres el refrigerador a las tres de la mañana,

se encenderá una lámpara, ni siquiera la luz

conoce lo que alumbra.

PRODIGIES OF THE LIGHT

To get to this place there are no straight paths

There are paths that wind

there are clear paths and

dark ones, too.

Not all paths lead to town,

some come, some go.

Not all saints

were saints, heaven

can be a slice of watermelon.

If you open the fridge at three in the morning,

a light will come on, even if that light

doesn’t know what it’s illuminating.

Translated by Corinne Stanley

Published by bilingualborderless

Bilingual/Borderless poetry

4 thoughts on “Poems by Ulises Torres / Poemas de Ulises Torres

  1. I love the poems. My favorite line is “death is a disoriented flower.” I found the poems playful, imaginative, and witty. There are surprising turns that strike with a memorable undercurrent of violence tinged with pain. I could read his poems all day and want more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All of the poems are so provocative. There is a touch of Zen to them but then it is subverted by that undercurrent of violence that Mario Duarte mentions in his comment. I especially like the imagery of the dog, his tail, his “barking wound.”

    Liked by 1 person

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