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  • Nothingness in the Rough
  • Gabriel Magaña (bio)
    Translated by Suzanne Jill Levine (bio)

nomad impulse in the idea   in the gut in the instinct [End Page 171]

toward the immense and swaying as it falls the country flower in your walled-up abyss amasses [End Page 172]

soundless    a snap warps the word. deafens        the unpronounceable        plea the uproar of the sea soothes [End Page 173]

* dawn breaks: supreme tension. the crowing of the cock dislocates the compass of the eye. splashing nets the hoe chips away abyss betwixt the shining and the night [End Page 174]

splintered downpour grays the horizon split open by some human substance [End Page 175]

the spontaneity of the underbrush wrinkles the hill. free of fate and foolishness the turtledove twitters your soul receives what you envision with your ears [End Page 176]

the morning floats as its bottom falls out, covered by the blue vault swirling. the old church bell chimes in the thirtieth century. A need to glimpse a gesture that will never be seen is reborn. [End Page 177]

on a gray afternoon the light grows yellow. I hear a prehistoric stammering always nearby. the grindstone of the mill crushes the last island. the ravine, growing black ghosts piled up [End Page 178]

booming impetuously, disguising its requiem. only from hearsay we know it once flowed full of life [End Page 179]

Gabriel Magaña

Gabriel Magaña is the author of five books of poetry, including La Nada en Bruto and Intolerante superficie, which are being translated into French and Italian, as well as English. A volume of selected poems, Lejos alcanzado aqui, appeared earlier this year.

Suzanne Jill Levine

Suzanne Jill Levine, professor and director of the translation studies program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the author of Manuel Puig and the Spider Woman and The Subversive Scribe: Translating Latin American Fiction. She is general editor of the works of Borges for Penguin Classics and has received the PEN American Center Career Achievement award.



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pp. 171-179
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