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12/7/13: I've just relaunched this blog! With a whole new look, I'm returning to this blog and will be publishing my fictions - old and new - along with notes and thoughts about writing and being a writer. I'll also be including posts about my work with World Vision as their blog manager as well as my travels. You can now subscribe to this blog by email or through Google+, and you can leave me comments here or in Google+ itself. Come read!

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Friday, December 13, 2013

How To Use The Eyes

"How To Use The Eyes" is the title poem of Margarita Rios-Farjat's second collection of poems, "Como Usar Los Ojos," which I've been working with her to translate. She is a poet from Monterrey, Mexico. It's a stunningly beautiful book of poems, and my only complaint about the entire project is that I can't work on it faster! 

There are lots of great poems that I've finished, and almost a dozen published already (this one was from Los Angeles Review, March 2013), so I'll be sharing more as this blog continues. But this one stands out for me as one of my favorites – a clear choice as the title of the collection, and a great example of Margarita's lovely poems!

"How To Use The Eyes"
from Los Angeles Review

With what eyes can I see
how to open the skin to enter the veins, 
to sink them in the restless blood, 
to seat them to decipher the soul, to rescue the luminous fibers
the golden thorns of roses devouring between the shadows
what roses now unknown, heir to which histories
tied to silhouettes turned into dust, into ghosts of roses.

How to distinguish the vine that strangles the voices of the days
and to separate the cords of ivy rounding the throat,
how to reap from the garden the stony flowers that were so much
the sun of every day, the vocal chords of life,
how to remove the vein that leads to the abandoned garden
and to root the eyes inside, how to fasten a heart in the gaze,
to leave the eyes in the soul, on the shaded petal of time
in the unbound memories of the eyelids;
what eyes elucidate the remnants of torn wings, birds without flight,
what eyes of stone understand which abysses and leave them in peace
lighten what shadows lost in the herbs of the dry hours;
how to sit inside and review the life, to gently separate the nettles,
to change calmly the route of the aorta,
the line of the hand that slices through the arm
and mends the heart to the shoulder, tethered falcon.
How to use the sickle without doing damage, to reap without blinding,
how to use the splendor of the gaze,
the silent, enlightened motion of the eyes.

(c 2012 Matthew Brennan)

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