To read the original Spanish
For poetry by J.C. Todd
For a review by J.C. Todd.
J.C. Todd's work can be found online at:
"Why I Teach Poetry," an on-line supplement to the PBS special Fooling with Words with Bill Moyers, Fall, 1999 is located at www.pwnet.org
J.C. Todd is a Contributing Editor of The Drunken Boat
Ivón Gordon Vailakis
Laughter dropped out
Laughter dropped out of you for living in the wrong kind of world
now you live in favor of fading away
you set up at each corner, so rosy
and give out pamphlets to people
who have forgotten how to read
and you give yourself away in all forms of nakedness and plenty
shouting at those who donít listen
because the happy heart listens only to itself
and you give them a thank-you for turning an ordinary day into ashes
and you slip away.
Translated by J. C. Todd and the author.
She carries in her womb
She carries in her womb an odor of mire
she doesnít feel the bodyís strong, uneven quiver
a tug comes down from never
pulls her to her knees, the ground
like a river flowing between her legs
a contraction that binds uterus to spine
a wing, broken
without a yelp without breath
spattering her shoes
a thread of blood
that runs off
into thick mud.
Translated from the Spanish by J. C. Todd and the author.
Woman in the corner
Woman in the corner, rundown
filling a space already taken, you
by each mouthful, each roll on the pillows
I sensed you
opening yourself to the world
you, subrosa, shrugging off its uproar
a wound, a woman
you roused yourself, wet
your fingers thrust out, a grievance
leaving me open
to a presence
that we are not, neither you, nor I.
Translated by J. C. Todd.