Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cristina Peri Rossi / Saturday Night


“Lower Fifth Avenue at Night”, Guy Wiggins.
American Impressionist Painter (1883 - 1962)

by Cristina Peri Rossi
Translated by Tatiana de la Tierra
In the solitary dawn
through drifting secondhand smoke
and sidewalks sticky with spit
I go out walking
to escape the nocturnal silence of my room 
seeking bright lights 
oh, those neon friends who always ward off 
my internal wolves 
my hungry demons
(my Vallejo ancestors). 
I go in search of something 
losing myself in the narrow streets round the harbor 
looking for company, 
oh, the sweet drugs that since Baudelaire 
have run along the gutters of cities at nighttime 
—London, Paris, New York, Madrid— 
oh, the unknown flesh that stirs, aroused by a look. 
Finally I find it: some sleazy joint that’s still open 
a prison cell of solitary pleasures 
a peep show hidden between the trees: 
a bookstore open all night 
where I can wallow among the books 
luxuriate in other people’s verses 
and finally reach orgasm 
with one of Allen Ginsberg’s self-destructive poems.

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