mischievoice

some poetry, politics & what have you

Monday, August 29, 2005

THE POET DOES AND DOES NOT HAVE
by Alberto Blanco (translated by Robert L Jones)

He doesn’t have the poverty of Christ
He doesn’t have the speed of zen
He doesn’t have the strength of yoga
He doesn’t have the compassion of buddhism
He doesn’t have the sophistication of tao
He doesn’t have the complexity of hinduism
He doesn’t have the solemnity of American Indians
He doesn’t have the sense of humor of the sufis

He does have the poverty of the bourgeois
He does have the speed that comes from anger
He does have the strength of a mechanic
He does have the compassion of a begged coin
He does have the sophistication of an actor
He does have the complexity of a newspaper
He does have the solemnity of a fifteen-year-old
He does have the sense of humor of a tractor

Alberto Blanco was born in Mexico City in 1951. Poet, musician, translator, artist & art-critic. Among those he's translated are W.S. Merwin, Philip Lamantia, Seamus Heaney & Lawrence Ferlinghetti. In 1995 City Lights published a bilingual selection of his poems titled Dawn of the Senses (ed. Juvenal Acosta) in their Pocket Poets series (this poem is from that book). He lives in Cuernavaca where he moved to escape the pollution of Mexico City. When he was in Malmö, some years back, he said that the translator (a few years dead) of the above poem was a really good poet in his own right. I have not been able to find any information about him other than the fact that he had a chapbook published in 1977. Also not one poem online, impressive. So if anyone reading this has any information regarding Robert L. Jones &, most importantly, where to find some poems by him, let me know. I'm curious