Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ya Eres Todo Un Muerto by Guest Poet Mario Meléndez of Chile

I welcome most enthusiastically, as guest poet, my friend and gifted poet, Mario Meléndez of Talca, Chile, South America. Mario has agreed to participate in the International Carnival of Pozitivities as the first contributor from South America. I first "met" Mario a couple of years ago when I was asked to translate his poetry for the Other Voices Poetry Project. Since then, I have been working with Mario to translate a number of additional poems that should soon be available in print. When I learn the name of the publisher and the title of the book, I will give you an update. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Mario Meléndez, Chilean poet and ally of the HIV/AIDS community around the world. (A special thanks to Mario's Canadian/Canadien friends who proofed my translation.)

Ron Hudson

Te felicito ya eres todo un muerto
y como tal saldrás por el mundo con tu color
/de historia seca
con tus mejillas ancladas con tu perfume de piedra
Te felicito porque este muerto que ahora eres
tiene más vida que un vivo
y busca entre los ojos que amanecen su inigualable
Y para cuántos y para quiénes
y para quién sino para ti este inventario de abejas
este rebaño de estrellas que alumbran tu nombre
tu corazón desvelado
Y ahora cantas juegas ríes sobre todos nosotros
sobre nosotros que no tenemos piedad
que no tenemos silencio que no tenemos ceniza
que no tenemos nada para regalar sino un gran beso
/con los labios sellados
Nosotros los últimos sobrevivientes de una historia
/que jamás será contada
que jamás será descrita para nadie
lloraremos de envidia cuando tus huesos abran la tierra
y te hagas carne de gusano
y las orugas devoren tu sangre para hacerse parto
himno eco de tus alas verdaderas
desde donde nos verás sin que podamos ni en sueños
porque ya eres todo un muerto
y nosotros tan sólo fantasmas en un teatro vacío

* Este poema inédito está dedicado al gran actor y director
teatral chileno, Andrés Pérez, quien falleció a causa del SIDA
el 3 de enero del 2002

You Are Already Completely Dead

By Mario Meléndez

I congratulate you you are already completely dead
and as such you will leave the earth with your color
/of dry stories
with your anchored cheeks with your perfume of stone
I congratulate you because this corpse that now you are
holds more life than a living body
and seeks among the eyes for the dawning of your incomparable
And for how many and for whom
And for whom if not for you this inventory of bees
this flock of stars that illuminates your name
your sleepless heart
And now you sing you play you laugh above us all
Above all of us who have no mercy
who have no silence who have no ashes
who have nothing to offer except a big kiss
/with lips sealed
We the ultimate survivors of a story
/that will never be told
that will never be described for anyone
we will cry from envy when your bones open the earth
and you become meat for worms
and the caterpillars devour your blood to be born
hymn echo of your true wings
from where you will see us unable even in dreams
/to catch you
because you are already completely dead
and we merely ghosts in an empty theatre

* This unpublished poem is dedicated to the great actor and director
of Chilean theatre, Andrés Pérez, who died of AIDS on
3 January 2002

UPDATE: To read more about Andrés Pérez in Spanish, please visit Opus Gay, a Chilean gay news ezine, where an article celebrating his life was published.


Mario Meléndez (Linares, 1971) studied Journalism at La República University of Santiago, Chile. Figured among his books are:

“Autocultura y juicio” (with prologue from the National Prize of Literature, Roque Esteban Scarpa)

“Apuntes para una leyenda” and

“Vuelo subterráneo”

In 1993 he received the Municipal Prize of Literature in the Bicentennial of Linares. His poems have appeared in different magazines of Latino-American literature and in national and foreign anthologies.

Mr. Meléndez has been invited to numerous literary encounters among which stand out the First and Second Encounter of Latino-American Writers, organized by the Society of Writers of Chile (SECh), Santiago, 2001 and 2002, and the First International Encounter of Amnesty and Solidarity of the People, Rome, Italy, 2003, where he was named Honorary Member of the Academy of Arts and Letters of Rome. Moreover, he directed a literary workshop in the Prison of Talca which was the source of the book “Los Rostros del Olvido” (two volumes) where the poetic work of the prisoners is compiled. Currently, Mr. Meléndez is working on the project “Fiestas del Libro Itinerante”, and presides over the Society of Writers of Chile, Maule Region.



Blogger Erin said...

Oh wow Ron, such a powerful piece. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Hope Christmas treated you well. Love you sweetie!

12/26/2006 01:25:00 PM  

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