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Keith Ekiss

Keith Ekiss

Keith Ekiss is a Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing at Stanford University and a former Wallace Stegner Fellow. He is the author of Pima Road Notebook (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2010) and translator of The Fire's Journey by the Costa Rican poet Eunice Odio (Tavern Books, 2013).

The Dead (English Translation)

Dead trees, dead rocks
and destroyed thoughts
half gone on their way
between decay and oblivionó
at times a tender breath
a gust of thyme
at times lips without darkness
avoid divine rumors     
at times a thunderbolt crosses
the bones of God and my bonesó
moments that break promises
of howls and flowers in snow
and the dead the dead the dead
dancing in the dust with elegance
my hoarse golden torment
encircled by faded wings
and the dead stare trembling
with eyes of frozen honey
build strange forests
and cultivate ermine meadows.
They didn't leave, they never left:
I prolong their sunken being
through a tunnel of shining flame
what they heard comes to my ears
their pulsing nakedness
travels by thorn through my flesh
at times with hands of clay
playing the fifes of wine
from the depths of the sea
their ashes rise with my breath
and brush the labyrinth of fruit
with an unfamiliar touch.

Muertos (Original Spanish)

ÁÅrboles muertos, rocas muertas
y pensamientos destruidos,
cosas a medio andar su ruta
entre podredumbre y olvido;
a veces un hálito tierno,
una ráfaga de tomillo;
a veces labios sin tiniebla,
que orillan rumores divinos;
a veces un rayo que cruza
los huesos de Dios y los míos;
instantes que rompen en nieve
promesas de flor y alarido;
y muertos y muertos y muertos
danzando en el polvo con brío,
ciñendo con alas marchitas
mi ronco y dorado martirio;
y muertos que miran temblando
con ojos de miel y de frío,
construyen extrañas florestas
y labran praderas de armiño.
No se fueron, jamás se fueron:
yo prolongo su estar hundido,
por un túnel de tersas llamas
viene su oído a mis oídos,
viaja en espina por mi carne
la desnudez de su latido;
a veces con manos de greda
toco los pífanos del vino,
del fondo del mar se levanta
su ceniza con mi respiro;
y rozo el dédalo del fruto
con un tacto desconocido.
Sara de Ibanez

Sara de Ibanez

Sara de Ibanez (1909-1971) lived and wrote in Montevideo, Uruguay. Her principle works include Canto (1940), La batalla (1967), and Apocalipsis XX (1970).

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