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lunes, 1 de septiembre de 2014

SHERMAN PEARL [11.044]



Sherman Pearl 

(Estados Unidos, 1932)
Es un periodista retirado y publicista que llegó a la poesía en su senectud. Desde entonces, ha publicado cuatro libros (The Poem in Time of War , Conflu:X Press, 2004) y está trabajando en un quinto. Es uno de los fundadores del Festival de Poesía de Los Angeles y ex co-director the Valley Contemporary Poets. 

La obra de Sherman ha aparecido en más de 40 revistas literarias y antologías (especialmente Poetas de Sam Hamill contra la antología Guerra). Sus premios incluyen 1º premio en el concurso 2003 de la Unión Nacional de Escritores. Más recientemente, fue honrado con el Premio Internacional a la publicación por the Atlanta Reviewe.





EL POEMA EN TIEMPO DE GUERRA

debería despertar a la ciudad gritando ¡EXTRA! ¡EXTRA!
luego susurrar la historia detrás de la historia
como un conspirador. Debería ser corto, incitador,
como el llamado del presidente a las armas;
lo suficientemente suave para una bandera a media asta;
lo suficientemente fuerte para dar firmeza a los afligidos;
lo suficientemente amplio para servir como una bolsa para los 
cadáveres.

El poema debería llevar la noticia, por cuya carencia
mueren los hombres miserablemente. Es
un resumen en nombre de los vivos, un megáfono de papel
para las voces de los muertos. Debe ser
la última voluntad y testamento del mundo, una lista
de lo que queda. Roba de los antepasados: 
Diario condenado de Sassoon y llamado de Auden al amor.

El poema podría ser una receta para la sanación
pero ¿quién podría leer tal garabato? ... o un vendaje
para las heridas, excepto que la sangre
tienda a borrar palabras.
Tal vez todos los poemas de guerra podrían ser cosidos juntos
en una gran manta gruesa que extendamos alrededor
de nuestros hombros, podría calentarnos en noches como esta.







WHO'S NEXT? 

If they could banish Pluto 
for being too small, too obscure-- 
if they could kick him 
out of the family 
because the name they'd 
given him was too underworld-- 
if they could downgrade him to orphan 
condemned to circle 
the house forever, peering in 
through sun-lit windows 

who's next? 
Saturn for his gaseous lack 
of substance? Mercury, too hot 
to be civilized? Venus 
for being suspicously 
brilliant or Mars for his failure 
to produce the life forms 
our comic books promised? 

I mean, when they came 
to ostracize Pluto--that unseen 
star of my cosmos, my 
farthest-out friend-- 
the faceless part of me said 
No matter, he was not like us. 

But the part of me 
that was disowned, designated 
as "other", still wears 
a yellow star. It orbits 
endlessly outside the spheres 
of more desirable bodies. 
It waits 
for the system's 
purifiers to return 
with hounds and flashlights, 
searching the night for aliens.







ATLAS AGONISTES 

Upsy-daisy you went 
light as a laugh 
high as my hand could stretch 

and sure of the strength 
love has given me 
I held you there 
halfway between sun and safety 

so you could see your horizons 

Atlas I was and you the world 
I carried across the sky like a trophy 
all triumph and glitter 

you pretending to fly 
I pretending to be immortal 

till I faltered under the burden 
I had to uphold 
the weight of your fragility 

and lowered you to my shoulder 
as I sank to one knee 

and saw I was kneeling on clouds 
supported by nothing but 
fear of failing you 
and plummeted from the heights 

of the myth I'd made of myself 

and you fell from my grasp 
and for all my soothing assurances 
I could not lift you up.






ROCKET SCIENCE 

This poem is not rocket science 
yet it, too, is trying to thrust itself out of orbit, 
rise into the unknown. It will not, 
however, rain missiles on unseen enemies; 
nor was it fathered by transplanted Nazis. 

Rocket science is what easy "ain't". 
Art is infinitely more fragile; builds spaceships 
out of spider webs. But it knows 
how to mourn those lost in the ether; 
it lets us witness their travels through time. 

It is not rocket science 
but it hitchhikes onto the scientsts' rockets. 
When they land on alien worlds 
it unveils the beauty under the bleakness; 
it transmits urgent reports from the dark side. 

Art is the lonely capsule 
that wanders through space after the rockets 
have fallen away. It is the gasp 
of astronauts who've glimpsed a magnificence 
science can't name. It is that name. 






MILE HIGH

Even the cone on the ice cream shop's roof
was sexy, how it poked the summer sky,
how the plastic vanilla that filled it
looked so much like flesh.

Even the door's tinkling bells aroused me.
The decor was virginal, the aroma wholesome…
fertile ground for lascivious thoughts.

The girl behind the counter wore a tight-
fitting uniform.  She was the flavor of the day.
I ordered rocky road for its manly sound
and the erotic little bits inside.

When the girl leaned over the containers
I froze; when she scooped me some extra
I melted.  I paid my quarter

and carried her into the sunlight with me.  
I tasted her smile, tongued her lips.
I bit a small hole at the bottom, sucked 
her sweetness, licked drips from my fingers.

Her name was Innocence.  
Her name was Cherry, Caramel, Butterscotch.
I named my children after her.






                       JUNK SCULPTURES

From things without value that nonetheless
                                                            couldn't be wasted
from thimbles and remnants of cloth
from debris the sky deposited 
                                                            each time it fell
from unnamable scraps brought home in pushcarts
                                                my forebears crafted a life
I myself am shaped by cracked photographs
synagogue relics
                                     fragments of fractured languages 
I'm composed of desecrated headstones
                                    and junkyard car parts
            and bones that have fallen from my family tree
Everything I've reclaimed from the trash bin
is welded to me
                                                             bit by bit I grow  
                                                   





THE LAST TELEPHONE BOOTH

It stood on the corner, a relic 
            of old movies in which calls
were made behind tiny closed doors, 
            spoken in private.
Behind its fogged windows,
            silence, except for graffiti 
that spoke a language
            alien as the words I heard 
on the street, the jabbering 
            of cell-phones and psychos, 
warnings emitted by stop signals.
            The booth offered sanctuary.  
I entered, squeezed myself 
            into that plain sight hideaway.
In solitude I listened to wisps 
            of voices that had spoken there, 
heard echoes of coins 
            that had clinked down the slots.  
The receiver dangled as though 
            the last caller had rushed out 
in mid-conversation. 
            Something stirred in the cord, 
maybe a breath exhaled after a long time 
            on hold.  Something spoke
from the world I was connected to.  
            Hello, I shouted 
into the mouthpiece, are you still there?


© 2012 Sherman Pearl