“Lizard Tail Blues” by Roberto Castillo Udiarte

Translator: 

Blues Cola de Lagarto

 

Su frenesí candente
de espiral infinita
muere, revive
– blues cola de lagarto –
del juke box a nosotros
(al interior infierno
que lo rumia y regreso)
de la angustia a la angustia

– Franciso Morales

 

Reptilario

 

1
Inútil
que pretenda ignorar
al lagarto
tarde o temprano llega
sin tocar siquiera
la puerta.

2
Con el menor ruido
se arrastra
y repta
por escalones
la tristeza
subterránea.

3
Con piel azul
cola verdosa y negra
se acerca
lentamente
se yergue en sus dos patas
traseras
y se asoma a mis ojos
me reconoce
me reconozco:
blues cola de lagarto. 

*

Hace varios días
que mi corazón
tiene mucho que ver
con una peluquería,
la botica cerrada
y el estacionamiento vacío. 

*

Platos sucios,
servilletas amarillas,
cigarrillos, ceniceros nácar,
una fruta apenas mordida,
el ratón en la trampa,
el eco de una risa en el rincón
y la tibieza de las sillas:
ruinas cotidianas.

*

Esta mañana,
al abrir la puerta del martes,
un perro amarillo agoniza
bajo el invierno.
Sus ojos
                        miran algo que no comprendo,
algo
            que tiene que ver con diciembre
no con la tibieza de mi café. 
Soy su última visión:
Ante él me arrodillo. 

*

Mañanas
de café frío,
calcetines sin par,
pantalones sucios
de grasa y lodo;
mañanas de oscuridad de cartera.

Noches
de cerveza caliente,
colillas, tiendas cerradas
y del libro que no encuentro;
noches
en las que el enfado,
en silencio,
se sienta a mi mesa
en espera del amanecer.

*

Hay días
en que el coraje
me rasga atrozmente las axilas
y empequeñece mi estómago.
Días
en que la rutina
hace nuevamente
de las suyas
mientras el peine,
triunfante,
acumula mis cabellos. 

* 

Claxon de carros,
la falta de agua,
tardanza de quincenas,
cateos domiciliarios,
encarcelamientos y
baladas sentimentalonas,
la libertad condicional
y la muerte de los amigos,
son algunas de las cosas
que me disgustan,
son
ese algodón
emergiendo entre las costuras
de la muñeca de trapo
que algunos llaman realidad.


 

Lizard Tail Blues

Its red-hot frenzy
of an infinite spiral
dies, is reborn,
– lizard tail blues –
from the jukebox for us
(into the infernal interior
which chews it, returns it)
from one anguish to another anguish
– Francisco Morales

 

Reptiliary

 

1
No use
trying to ignore
the lizard;
sooner or later it’ll
arrive without even
knocking the door. 

2
With barely a sound,
dragging itself and
crawling up
the steps:
subterranean sadness.

3
With azure skin,
greenish black tail,
it slowly
approaches,
sits up on two hind
paws and peers
into my eyes;
it recognizes me,
I recognize myself:
lizard tail blues.

*

For several days
my heart has shared
much in common with
a barbershop,
the shuttered drugstore,
and empty parking lot.

*

Dirty plates,
yellow napkins,
cigarettes, mother-of-pearl ashtrays,
a once-bitten fruit,
the mouse caught in a trap,
echo of laughter in the corner,
and the slight warmth of chairs:
daily ruins. 

*

This morning
upon opening the door to Tuesday,
a yellow dog in winter
suffering his death throes.
His eyes
                        gaze at something I can’t comprehend,
something
            that has to do with December
and not the tepidness of my coffee.
I am his last vision:
and before him, I kneel. 

*

Mornings
cold coffee, socks
missing pairs,
pants filthy
with grease and mud;
mornings with a dark wallet.

 

Nights
warm beer,  
cigarette butts, closed shops
and the book I can’t find;
nights
in which anger
silently
sits on my table
and awaits dawn.

* 

There are days
in which a rage
viciously tears at
my armpits,
and crushes my stomach.
Days
in which the routine
plays itself out
while my comb
triumphantly
accumulates more of my hair. 

*

Cars honking,
the water shut off,
delays with the paychecks,
search warrants,
imprisonment and
sentimental shooting sprees,
freedom on parole,
and the death of friends
are some of the things
I loathe:
they’re
that cotton stuffing
coming out from the seams
of a rag doll
some call reality.

 

Translation from the Spanish
By Anthony Seidman

Roberto Castillo Udiarte is one of Mexico’s most important and controversial contemporary poets; he was also the first to translate Charles Bukowski’s work into Spanish. His poetry unflinchingly reflects the landscape and language of the border, specifically Tijuana. He is the author of half a dozen collections of poetry, including his selected poems, Nuestras vidas son otras, published in Spain by Aullido Libros. He currently resides in Playas Tijuana.

Anthony Seidman’s most recent book is The Motel Insomnia (AdeLeo Editions, Paris). His poetry, essays, and translations have been published in such journals as The Bitter Oleander, Nimrod, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and the cultural supplement to Mexico’s major newspaper, La jornada.


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