ISSUE SIX
February 1999

Lloyd Schwartz


THE CORTLAND REVIEW

INTERVIEWS
 
Henry Taylor

POETRY
 
Mark Bibbins
  Sharon Cumberland
  Philip Dacey
  Daniela Gioseffi
  Brent Goodman
  Mark Halperin
  Ben Howard
  Stellasue Lee
  Linda Lerner
  John McKernan
  DeWayne Rail
  David Rigsbee
  Peter Robinson
  Terry Savoie
  Joseph Stanton
  Mary Winters

REVIEWS
 
David Grayson

TRANSLATIONS
  Lloyd Schwartz

FICTION
 
Rosa Shand
  Daniela Gioseffi

Lloyd Schwartz Lloyd Schwartz is a regular commentator on NPR's Fresh Air. His most recent book of poems is Goodnight, Gracie (Chicago). His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry and many others. In 1994 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. Currently, he is director of the Creative Writing Program at UMass/Boston, and Classical Music Editor of The Boston Phoenix.
the following poems are from Brazilian Winter by Rogerio Zola Santiago (translated with the author by Lloyd Schwartz).  Rogerio Zola Santiago is the author of three books of poems and editor of the newspaper for the Cultural Foundation of the city of Belo Horizonte.
Sons    Click to hear this poem in RealAudio


My mother listens to the cries of one
and then the other (the ones she wants to spoil
with her body, with her skin), and my
own cries. Entering this labyrinth, she
puts back into the tree the spineless colors
of bankrupt Christmases. Our cries ricochet
from the veranda to the street, and
we all feel sorry for ourselves, except
for father, who's gone shopping and
is out buying slates. My mother
doesn't realize just how much she's succeeded in keeping
us from dying young. Yet ungrateful
and precipitous, we continue to demand that
she mend our socks.

 

 

Family Scene    Click to hear this poem in RealAudio


They are like a fence
at the end of the afternoon—
a fat woman and
a tall man—
holding each other up,
while the children
eye a dog mounting his bitch.

At the Sacred Lagoon there are
family scenes
in the solitary depths of those
waters contaminated by time
that would pass almost unnoticed—were it
not for that howling.

 

 

Flutes    Click to hear this poem in RealAudio


My stomach is stuffed from eating up
the view. Peruvian women
show me cornfields and hairy
pigs. The horses are dots of color
as I dive dizzily
into the meadows. Infinity
eats rats. In the Pisac Church
the natives and their buttocks under
the rain—their clothes: sadness and cold.

A sad people
in the solicitude of flutes
their bodies renouncing the coca leaves'
tea of wisdom before the calm siesta—

Laugh at yourself,
breathless tourist.

 

 

The Condor Passes    Click to hear this poem in RealAudio


Magda dances with me.
Solange dances with me.
The condor laments. The pan-pipes
go mute. No breath.
My face and hair hit the sun
in the alchemy of lies & truth.
Dance with me, History—melancholy/
ecstatic intercourse between memory
and a weathervane.

 

 

Brazilian Winter    Click to hear this poem in RealAudio


Nadja wants to die.
She'll never find
her father (who's already dead) in
the body of a nonexistent lover.
She sobs and pushes me away,
then sobs and begs "Don't go—
don't go
." Hair-on-Fire, Golden-Fur,
she blindly follows each morning—
the same lost morning she's detached
from Day and Night—
drifting numbly across the panorama
of unfinished power plants.
Nadja wants to—yet
she won't. She has yet to plunge
into the Brazilian winter, the one
without snow, so hot
it both melts and cools
her burning need to submit.

 

 

Poetry: Rogerio Zola Santiago — Lloyd Schwartz (translator)
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue SixThe Cortland Review