Bohdan Piasecki emailed me recently and asked me to pick a favorite poem and cover it. It's nice to see performance poets acknowledge other poets... I only changed a few lines from a translation (from Spanish to English) in this poem but I'm learning it as it is one of my favorite poems.
On the dogs’ path, my soul came upon
my heart. Shattered, but alive,
dirty, poorly dressed, and filled with love.
On the dogs’ path, there where no one wants to go.
A path that only poets travel
when they have nothing left to do.
But I still had so many things to do!
And nevertheless, there I was: sentencing myself to death
by red ants and also
by black ants, traveling through the empty villages:
fear that grew
until it touched the stars.
a black and white boy educated by night and day
Can disguise himself as anything,
I thought, but it wasn’t true.
In darkness, my heart cried. The river of being chanted
from feverish lips I later discovered to be my own,
the river of being, the river of being, the ecstasy
that folds itself into the bank of these abandoned villages.
Mathematicians and theologians, diviners
and bandits emerged
like aquatic realities in the midst of a metallic reality.
Only fever and poetry provoke visions.
Only love and memory.
Not these paths or these plains.
Not these labyrinths.
Until at last my soul came upon my heart.
It was sick, it’s true, but it was alive.