“La rueda del hambriento”

Cycle of Hunger
by Cesar Abraham Vallejo Mendoza; translated by Guillermo Calvo Mahé (Translation © Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Ocala, Florida, 2006; all rights reserved)

I flow out, smoking, through my own teeth,
making noises, struggling,
lowering my trousers…
my stomach empties, my gut empties,
misery draws me out through my own teeth,
hooked with a stick through a shirt cuff

A stone to sit on,
is there none now for me?
Even the one on which the woman who’s given life stumbles,
the mother of the lamb, the cause, the root,
can’t that one be had for me now?
Or at least that other stone,
the one stooping for my soul!
Or at least the calcareous stone or
the river-rock (humble ocean) or the one now so useless
that you can’t even throw it at a man,
that stone, won’t you give it to me now, for my own!

At least the one that might be found, crossed and alone in an insult,
that stone, won’t you give it to me now, for my own!
Or at least the twisted and tonsured one
on which the path of a clean conscience resonates but once,
or, at least, this other stone, which, thrown in a proper arc,
will fall on its own,
professing its true essence,
that stone, won’t you give it to me now, for my own!

A piece of bread, will that be denied me as well?
I can no longer be anything but what I’ve always been,
but, won’t you give me
a stone on which I can sit,
won’t you please,
give me a piece of bread on which I can sit,
won’t you give me
something in Spanish then,
to drink, to eat, to live, to rest
and then I’ll go…
A strange shape in my shirt I find
it’s very torn and dirty
and now I have nothing.  This is horrendous!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s