The author will not answer for any problems his writings may raise:
It may be hard on the reader
But he'll have to accept this from here on in.
After pulling apart the doctrine of the Holy Trinity
Did Sabellius, great humorist and theologian,
Answer for his heresy?
And if he did, it must have been something!
He did it the craziest way,
Basing his answer on such a heap of contradictions!

The doctors of the law say this book shouldn't see light:
The word rainbow can't be found anywhere in it,
Much less the words sorrow
Or torquate.
Sure there's a swarm of chairs and tables,
Coffins! Desk Supplies!
All of which makes me burst with pride
Because, as I see it, the sky is coming down in pieces.

Those mortals who've read Wittgenstein's Tractatus
Can beat their chests
Because it's a hard book to find:
But the Vienna Circle broke up years ago,
Its members scattered without leaving a single trace
And I've decided to declare war against the cavalieri della luna.

My poetry may very well lead nowhere:
"The laughter in this book is canned!" my detractors will argue,
"Just crocodile tears!"
"These pages bring yawns instead of sighs"
"He kicks and screams like a baby crying for the breast"
"The author sneezes to make himself understood"
All right: I invite you to burn your ships,
Like the Phoenicians, I'm trying to develop my own alphabet.

"Then why give the public such a hard time?" my friendly readers will ask:
"If the author himself begins by putting down his own work,
How good can it be, after all?
"Watch out, I don't put anything down
Or better yet, I'll praise my way of seeing things,
I'm proud of my shortcomings
I'll praise my creations to the skies.

Aristophanes' birds
Buried the corpses of their parents
In their own heads
(Each bird was actually a flying cemetery).
The way I see it
The time has come to bring this ritual up-to-date
So I'll bury my quills in the heads of my readers!


translated by David Unger
traducido por David Unger


en: Antipoems: New and Selected (edited by David Unger), New York, New Directions, 1985.

SISIB - Facultad de Filosofía y Humanidades - Universidad de Chile