- In the Drying Shed of Souls, and: The Sorters, and: West Indies
In the Drying Shed of Souls
Drips drips dripsdripsdripsdripsthe cytostatic IVthe veinburstercr ush ing youslowlyslowlywhile next to yousomeone talksabout declineabout timeabout the endless crisisthe nationfinds itself inand behindthe nervous paneit's rainingstill the waterdoesn't cleanseor curethe expressionof lifeor deathin faces [End Page 30] and some kidsseem happybeneath the drizzlenot thinkinghow much pain there isonly a few meters awayfrom them
only a few meters awayeveryone's stopped cryingeyeshave driedin the drying shedof soulsdripsdripsdripsthe cytostatic IVtoward the limbsthat deserthorizontalityeating awayat fleshand spiritdripstoward the spiritand shadow'strunksprouts once morelike a jagüey treeripens its rootsout in the red opendripstoward the neckwhere your painand mineare drawndripsdripsdrips [End Page 31] and later you haveno more anguishyou have no moresubstancesto recall.
read in the ricethe same as what blood reads in the body that can't sort a thing.They count the hard remains (clots, torn sky, splinters)that pierce the mouth with the same intensityas a root breaking through the soil fleeing the naturethat lets itself be pricked by the nation's dirty needle.A body headless, limbless. A trunk diseased.Earth opening the earth where Oskar Matzerath grows.The human with the fewest ashes in Auschwitz and in the Morro-Cabaña.The rice sorters sometimes don't read a thing. They come and golike autistics in search of themselves and are foundin the axe to chop down freedom, in the earth opening the earthin me. Closing themselves up, closing me up.The same as what blood reads. [End Page 32]
What I learned was that there was a place called the West Indies a place within Euclidian geometry where the length width and height of the body don't have the same serenity West Indies forms an image of itself in each of us a fractal object against another "Rain acid" you say while the linguistic sign itself thinks about the function it ought to take up West Indies of the black man who conquers the white man West Indies in the parapet where it all begins to be an unending landscape like Gilles Deleuze's needing space to breathe space or rather time to breathe time that is not in Cuba or in the lesser or greater countercurrents we struggle to swallow Imaginary West Indies spurring itself on over the forgotten Renaissance over the old manuscripts in the printing house still smelling of continent What I learned was that there was a place called the West Indies where the soil was poor and exotic just like the one that will fall over me someday without touching [End Page 33]
Leyman Pérez (Matanzas, 1976) is a poet and editor. He holds a degree in library sciences, socio-cultural studies and Cuban culture. He is managing editor of Matanzas, a journal of literature and the arts. He has published eleven books of poetry, and his work has received numerous prizes. He lives in Matanzas.
Katherine M. Hedeen's latest book-length translations include night badly written and tasks by Cuban poet Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, and Nothing Out of This World, an anthology of contemporary Cuban poetry. A two-time recipient of a NEA Translation Project Grant, she is a professor of Spanish at Kenyon College.
Víctor Rodríguez Núñez is one of Cuba's most outstanding contemporary writers. He has published more than thirty books of poetry throughout Latin America and Europe and has received major awards all over the Spanish-speaking world. He divides his time between Gambier...