Mario Meléndez (Chile)

 
Mario Meléndez (Chile)
 
Mario Meléndez (Linares, Chile, 1971). He studied Journalism and Social Communication. His books include: Notes for a legend, Underground flight, The paper circus, Death has its days numbered, Waiting for Perec and The magician of loneliness. Part of his work was translated into various languages. For several years he lived in Mexico City, where he directed the series Poetas Latinoamericanos in the press Laberinto Ediciones and made anthologies of Chilean and Latin American poetry. At the beginning of 2012 he fixed his residence in Italy. In 2013 he received the medal of the President of the Italian Republic, awarded by the Don Luigi di Liegro International Foundation. During the period 2014-2016, he directed two collections of Latin American poetry for Raffaelli Editore, from Rimini. A selection of his work appeared in the prestigious magazine Poesia de Nicola Crocetti. At the beginning of 2015, he was included in the anthology El canon abierto. Last poetry in Spanish (Visor, Spain). In 2017 some of his poems were translated into English and published in the legendary Poetry Magazine, from Chicago. In 2018 he returned to Chile to become general editor of the Vicente Huidobro Foundation.
 
 
from Waiting for Perec
 
 
I
 
Trailer of past lives
 
The unconscious is a madhouse
with an ocean view
Each fish that leaps from the water
carries a straitjacket
 
 
1
 
I saw a blank page
wandering through fields
of unreality
It looked like a ballerina
ready to give birth
 
 
2
 
I saw Pizarnik emerge
from a shallow pane of water
Huidobro carried her in his arms
It was night
Death slept naked
on God’s corpse
 
3
 
I saw Death parachute
over a field of ashes
It was mid afternoon
The crows yawned inward
and Vincent painted his ear
with the blood of Christ
 
4
 
I saw God dig a grave in the void
His hands were shaking
It was February
Death wrote its epitaph
on a four-leaf clover
 
5
 
I saw the Pope waking
from a horrible nightmare
God had told him
he read Rimbaud
It was a new year
The Pope slept hugging
his plush Christ
 
6
 
I saw Death dragging
Vallejo’s coffin
The coffin was vacant
but weighed an eternity
It was November
The worms gargled
God’s ashes
 
7
 
I saw God kissing Death
in a cafe in Paris
He wore a beard of centuries
and carried an umbrella
to keep loneliness at bay
It was summer
His shadow fanned itself
with van Gogh’s ear
 
Trans. by Eloisa Amezcua and John Allen Taylor
 
 
 
I
Tráiler de vidas pasadas
 
El inconsciente es un manicomio
con vista al mar
Cada pez que sale del agua
trae camisa de fuerza
 
1
 
Vi una página en blanco
vagando por los campos
de la irrealidad
Parecía una bailarina
a punto de dar a luz
 
2
 
Vi a Pizarnik salir
de un espejo de agua
Huidobro la llevaba en brazos
Era de noche
La muerte dormía desnuda
sobre el cadáver de Dios
 
3
 
Vi a la muerte arrojarse en paracaídas
sobre un campo de cenizas
Era media tarde
Los cuervos bostezaban hacia adentro
y Vincent pintaba su oreja
con la sangre de Cristo
 
4
 
Vi a Dios cavar una fosa en el vacío
Le temblaban las manos
Era febrero
La muerte escribía su epitafio
sobre un trébol de cuatro hojas
 
5
 
Vi al Papa despertando
de una horrible pesadilla
Dios le había contado
que leía a Rimbaud
Era año nuevo
El Papa dormía abrazado
a su Cristo de peluche
 
6
 
Vi a la muerte arrastrando
el ataúd de Vallejo
El ataúd estaba vacío
pero pesaba una eternidad
Era noviembre
Los gusanos hacían gárgaras
con las cenizas de Dios
 
7
 
Vi a Dios besando a la muerte
en un café de París
Llevaba una barba de siglos
y un paraguas
para espantar la soledad
Era verano
Su sombra se echaba viento
con la oreja de van Gogh
 
 
Eloisa Amezcua, translator
 
Eloisa Amezcua is an Arizona native. She recently finished her MFA at Emerson College and works in Cambridge, MA. She’s received scholarships from the NY State Summer Writers Institute, the Bread Loaf Translator’s Conference and the Vermont College of Fine Arts Post-Graduate Workshop.
 
 

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