(the business of living)

Carlos Egaña is one of Venezuela’s most prominent poets. Like many other poets of his generation he mainly publishes his poetry online. Internet has become a second home since traditional media are dominated by the state and because publishers have become more careful as to what they print. Here we publish a recent poem by Egaña. 

January 22 2019 Text: Carlos Egaña Translation from Spanish: Rahul Bery

                                                                                                                                                                             cesare pavese in memoriam

there is an image that brings fear to my footsteps and mocks my attempts to concentrate in class: you, beneath me, cradling my neck in your hands and drawing me in towards your heavy breath. you can’t stand being far from me; but distance is a kind of torture when our eyes meet. my gruff-voiced girl, will there ever come a day when circumstances unbind me from your smile?

                      the teacher quotes: “there are no paradises other than lost paradises”. and my sight fades once more. in a city that is too hot, the dark night i yearn for echoes in my dorsal spine. asking you is embarrassing, so i ask borges: is there any way back to eden?

                      the story of my misfortune is the story of poetry. we start from a memory, treasured like a cigarette, cancerous like a cigarette. then on to obsession. to tragedy. to the reckless exhalation of smoke which stains the page with ashy verses.

                      we’re martyrs, us writers: the nakedness we won’t ourselves feel will be our readers’ solace.

                      we’re martyrs. but oh how i would love to abandon my pen, swallow all the ink, and be left with just the music of your hips.

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Carlos Egaña (Caracas, 1995) is the author of the poems Los Palos Grandes (dcir editions, 2017). He writes in media such as Prodavinci and El Universal, and niche media such as Tráfico Visual and Guatafoc.