you are in the diode archives spring 2010



Big Bugs

I adore rhinos
so gray and definitive
I welcome their awkward ways
of leaning elbows on the table
The crumbs on their round lips
when they eat yesterday's bread
between ferocious laughter
The delicacy of their intercourse
A symphony of asses bumping
against the walls
The elegance of their departures.


Bichos grandes

Adoro a los rinocerontes
tan grises y definitivos
Celebro sus maneras torpes
de apoyar los codos en la mesa
Las miguitas en sus labios rotundos
cuando comen el pan de ayer
entre risotadas feroces
La delicadeza de sus coitos
Una sinfonía de culazos
contra las paredes
El garbo de sus despedidas.


Sharks with Yellow Raincoats

Their boobs walk around
on the sidewalk
without trumpets
in fishnets
Never sleeping
Drifting with open eyes

They are sharks
with yellow raincoats
The sadness rains 
on their shoulders
slightly fallen

They sell what is priceless
a francesa
a quickie
a long kiss
For nothing
a gentle caress in the crotch
for a second the face of God
the relief that cannot be found
at home

Neighborhood whores
leaning on the breeze
against paradises
Who would not give money
to scare the loneliness
from their skirts.


Tiburones con impermeables amarillos

Andan sus tetas
por la acera
sin trompetas
con las medias caladas
Nunca duermen
Navegan con los ojos abiertos

Son tiburones
con impermeables amarillos
La tristeza les llueve
en los hombros
levemente caídos

Venden lo que no tiene precio
una francesa
un polvo corto
un beso prolongado
Por nada
una suave caricia en la entrepierna
en un segundo la cara de Dios
el alivio que no se puede encontrar
en casa

Putas de barrio
recostadas en la brisa
contra los paraísos
Quién no daría el dinero
la vida
por ahuyentar la soledad
de sus faldas.


You’d be Better Off Never Knowing Anything

a woman in the water is the sign of a shipwreck?

where can one go if the sky is broken?

to paint is like passing through windows?

the most unexpected day is the most deeply felt?


Mejor no sepas nada nunca

¿una mujer en el agua es señal de naufragio?

¿dónde se puede ir si se rompe el cielo?

¿pintar es como atravesar ventanas?

¿el día menos pensado es el día más sentido?  


Reynaldo Sietecase was born in Rosario, Argentina, in 1961. He is a poet, a writer, and an investigative political journalist for radio, newspaper, and television, and he was one of the founders of literary group El Poeta Manco. He has published six poetry collections: Y las cárceles vuelan (1986), Cierta curiosidad por las tetas (1989), Instrucciones para la noche de bodas (1992), Fiesta rara (1996), Pintura negra (2000) and Hay que besarse más (2005). He has also published two books of chronicles, El viajero que huye (1994) and Bares (1997), the novel Un crimen argentino (2002), and the collection of short stories Pendejos (2007). These poems are from Fiesta rara and Hay que besarse más, and this marks their first appearance in English.

Mariela Méndez, originally from Argentina, holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she studied as a Fulbright Scholar and completed a dissertation comparing the non-fictional prose of Alfonsina Storni and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. She is co-editor of a collection of Alfonsina Storni’s essays, Nosotras . . . y la piel (Alfaguara, 1998); has presented on twentieth-century Latin American literature most recently at Jalla 2008 in Santiago de Chile and LASA 2009 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and has scholarly work appearing in various venues, most recently in Nuevo Mundo/Mundos Nuevos (France), and The Journal of Transnational American Studies (Stanford/UC Santa Barbara).

Daniel Coudriet lives with his wife and son in Richmond, Virginia, and in Carcarañá, Argentina. He is the author of Say Sand (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2010). Poems from this collection, as well as from a manuscript-in-progress, have made recent appearances in Verse, Denver Quarterly, Ploughshares, Boston Review, Octopus, American Letters & Commentary, and elsewhere. His translations of the Argentinean poets Oliverio Girondo and Reynaldo Sietecase have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Massachusetts Review, and Fascicle, among others.