Bree Alexander: ‘Cruzando’ Translation and Notes

Contigo y sintigo I began
until I arrived at a point sin ti
(sintigo is grammatically incorrect but an error I used to make, sin ti is the correct way to say ‘without you’)

Eres guap@ became
¡Qué guap@ eres!
and in a particular moment
¡Qué guap@ estás!
(Following an English word order in the first instance ‘eres guap@’ and later learning the order more commonly used as well as the difference between the ‘ser’ and ‘estar’ forms)

I was not sure if el cielo era azul
o naranja until I realised that
era azul, y estuvo naranja
from time to time
(the difference between the ser and estar forms, ser as a more permanent state)

Me siento en otra dimensión became
como si estuivera en otra dimensión
(I feel in another dimension became as if I were in another dimension – learning everyday uses of the imperfect subjunctive) 

vino vino vino…what?
Yes…it’s missing the uve sound
(highlighting the ‘uve’ as distinct from the English ‘v’)

Panuelo panuelo (incorrect spelling/prounounciation of ‘tissue’)
Does anyone have a pañuelo?

Rosa rojo Roma reloj rama perro (words meaning pink, red, watch, branch, dog, all with the ‘rr’ sound)
(don’t confuse it with pero o porro) (words with similar sounds – pero = but, porro = joint)
repeat ‘til you have it
on the tip of your tongue

Ascensor, piscina (con θ) (lift, swimming pool with combinations of ‘s’ and ‘θ’ – more difficult to pronounce)
Yeah…I will practice that one
a little more

Estar ser estar ser (the two verbs for ‘to be’ in English)
el problema el sistema el poema el idioma (all irregular masculine words ending in ‘a’)

Conservativo…quiere decir conservador (conservativo sounds more like the English ‘conservative’, but when used to describe a person in Spanish, ‘conservador(a)’ is used)
don’t confuse estar caliente y tener calor (estar caliente may seem like a logical direct translation from English of ‘I am hot’ but actually means ‘to be turned on’. ‘Tener calor’ is the one to use)
Voy a por ella y tengo una de cosas esas (Combinations that are specific to Spanish and different word orders to English)

aunque sea un ridículo
aunque es encantador
(Uses of the indicative and subjunctive, showing possibility vs a sure thing)

I love the subjunctive
for those subtle distinctions
es una pasada
(It is great)

Menos mal que sigue el aprendizaje (It’s a good thing learning continues)
forever
I will never reach perfection
pero cruzando sigo (but I keep crossing)

Bree Alexander: ‘Cruzando’

Bree Alexander reading ‘Cruzando’

Contigo y sintigo I began
until I arrived at a point sin ti

Eres guap@ became
¡Qué guap@ eres!
and in a particular moment
¡Qué guap@ estás!

I was not sure if el cielo era azul
o naranja until I realised that
era azul, y estuvo naranja
from time to time

Me siento en otra dimensión became
como si estuivera en otra dimensión

vino vino vino…Qué?
Yes…it’s missing la uve

Panuelo panuelo
¿Alguién tiene un pañuelo?

Rosa rojo Roma reloj rama perro
(don’t confuse it with pero o porro)
repeat ‘til you have it
on the tip of your tongue

Ascensor, piscina (con θ)
Yeah…I will practice that sound
a little more

Estar ser estar ser
el problema el sistema el poema el idioma

Conservativo…quiere decir conservador
don’t confuse estar caliente y tener calor
Voy a por ella y tengo una de cosas esas

aunque sea un ridículo
aunque es encantador

I love the subjunctive
for those subtle distinctions
es una pasada

Menos mal que sigue el aprendizaje
forever
I will never reach perfection
pero cruzando sigo


Translation and Notes



Bree Alexander (also Lika Posamari) is a multi-form Australian writer whose work has appeared with Eureka Street and Westerly, among others. She spent three semesters (2009-10) studying at the University of Granada, Spain before getting her C2 DELE from the Instituto Cervantes and her love of Spanish continues. She was shortlisted for the Overland Fair Australia Prize 2018 (NTEU category) and she has a poetry chapbook called The eye as it inhales onions (in case of emergency press, 2018).  She tweets sporadically @LaBree_A and blogs (mostly about fims) at Roundly in the Eye.

CB Mako: Telefono

Mr Bear reading CB Mako’s ‘Telefono’

Comadre,    my    beloved   iho    has    an    ugly    new
girlfriend.    Que    horror!       Her     nose     so   pango,
her   skin   so   itim,      so    dark!     Why     didn’t     he
pick                someone          mestiza              like       us?
And    she    is    so    short!    Pandak    and   mataba! I 
have        had        prettier      katulongs       than      her.
Hadn’t    we    already       matched      my      son      to
your   daughter,    Miya?    With      our         American
and    Spanish        bloodlines       our      future       apo
would   be    beautiful,      so    puro!   Ay,   Diyos   mio,
what     should     I    do?     They    will     have      ugly
babies.     My    apos     will    be        ugly!      I need  to
pray       a       novena     to      Nuestra      Señora      De
Guadalupe.      Please       say       a      rosary   for   your
handsome       godson.      The                     impertinent
maldita,    punyeta.        I’ve     got     to    go,  comadre.
The    block    rosary      Blessed    Virgin     Mary       is
here.           We          have             guests              coming.


Glossary

Apos – grandchildren
Ay Diyos Mio – Oh my God
Block Rosary – The Block Rosary is a devotion wherein animage or statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary visits the home of each family for aweek or so. It encourages the family to pray the Rosary everyday not only fortheir own intentions but for the intentions of the whole community.
Comadre – son’s godmother
Iho – Son/Male child
Itim – Black
Katulongs – domestic helpers
Maldita – a woman with attitude, as opposed to the stereotypically modest Filipina who’s always thinking of others ahead of herself. Possible translations in English: snob, aloof, cruel, sharp-tongued, rude, mean, bitchy,self-centered
Mataba – fat
Mestiza – female of mixed native and foreign descent.
Nuestra Señora De Guadalupe – Our Lady of Guadalupe is a Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary associated with a venerated image enshrined within the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City
Pandak – short in stature
Pango – a flat nose
Punyeta – profanity expressed in anger, borrowed from the Spanish word puñeta or ‘wank’
Que Horror – How awful


CB Mako is a West Writers Group member and a perpetual art student at Footscray Community Arts Centre. CB Mako has performed as an artist and panellist at the Emerging Writers Festival, Digital Writers Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival, and Melbourne Writers Festival. Winner of the Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Competition (non-fiction), CB Mako has been published in The Suburban Review, The Lifted Brow, The Victorian Writer, Pencilled In, Peril Magazine, Mascara Literary Review, Writers Victoria, Writers Bloc, Djed Press, and Wild Tongue Zine. She is @cubbieberry on Twitter and @cb.mako on Instagram.  Her website is https://mercurialmum.wordpress.com

Rose Hunter: High Roller

Rose Hunter reading ‘High Roller’

since the only direction to take is more
i cast my questioning aside.            lift me 
in a bubble turn me on a rolling ribbon        
spin me on a tambourine            of visions
             a bicycle wheel with bobbles
             a diadem with thought balloons

wanting sockets, looking for air pock(ettes)
            flashing fuchsia & 
magenta ice cream cones sideward 
glances or            a reckoning, ¿he estado 

soñando todo este tiempo?             a ride
            a rite            a great white 
tumbleweed spinning in which to have big 
& little thoughts, to wonder about that man 
that woman, you.            a place to inhabit 
yourself as podling, hatchling, fledgling
as someone to frame.            a way 
              of levitating, a way of lingering            
an unprocessed            regret, a place to be 

             fugitive without even knowing
             si pudiera aceptar una invitación

or cease my self-talk with repetition            
(this head skirmish)            momentarily
            a starting point is
not easy to pin down, but easy to forget


Glossary

¿he estado / soñando todo este tiempo? – Have I been dreaming all this time?
si pudiera aceptar una invitación – if I could accept an invitation


Rose Hunter’s book of poetry, glass, was published by Five Islands Press in 2017. From Brisbane, she lived in Canada for ten years and currently spends a lot of time in Mexico, where she works remotely as an editor and ESL teacher. More information about her can be found at rosehunterwriting.com, and she tweets @BentWindowBooks, a chapbook publisher she founded. These poems were written during a stay in Las Vegas. 

Rose Hunter: girls, girls, girls, & God

Rose Hunter reading ‘girls, girls, girls, & God’

or being a bit precious i mean semi-
precious, i mean burning out of EZ Pawn            

& por favor conduzcas on the right

side of the road            anytime now–

confetti & polyester sweat            sliding
               gunning the bumps

the thunder            (vámonos Jimbo!)
of martillo neumático & I-15
rocket ship liftoff; Jimbo!            spaghetti 

bowl billboard & horizontal freefall
end of the world en todas las direcciones

               a no woman’s land

the Wynn            sweats & swells
a giant/cooking/golden/            almohada


Glossary

por favor conduzcas – please drive
vámonos Jimbo! – come on Jimbo!
martillo neumático – jackhammer
en todas las direcciones – in all directions
almohada – pillow


Rose Hunter’s book of poetry, glass, was published by Five Islands Press in 2017. From Brisbane, she lived in Canada for ten years and currently spends a lot of time in Mexico, where she works remotely as an editor and ESL teacher. More information about her can be found at rosehunterwriting.com, and she tweets @BentWindowBooks, a chapbook publisher she founded. These poems were written during a stay in Las Vegas. 

Consuelo Martínez Reyes: ‘Ficciones’

Consuelo Martínez Reyes reading ‘Ficciones’

Ficciones
which usually is
a widely known book by Borges
is now this

the thought that San Juan and Africa are not so close together
despite their common
              drought
              enemy
              natural disaster
of people who left
without consent.

We both draw graffiti
a la postmortem.

Los polvos del Sahara nos asfixian
y llegan hasta aquí, tarnishing los carros
con el mismo barro del que estamos hechos
nosotros los inhumanos.

We hear
the whispers coming from the photo
stuck to the fridge door
held together by cheap metal, just like us.

We are
comunes dromedarios,
anélidos,
agua edulcorada por los cuerpos abandonados a su suerte.

But do not worry.
My period is here.
Involuntary blood,
como nosotros,
rogando a los dioses
no reproducirnos
because not all of us can be president
of the united states
or anything else united for that matter

Ficciones
such is the idea that we may reproduce
freely and willingly
or not, if we decided,
because this is not our body,
only land
to be conquered.


Translation of Spanish Verses

Los polvos del Sahara nos asfixian
y llegan hasta aquí, tarnishing los carros
con el mismo barro del que estamos hechos
nosotros los inhumanos.

Dust from the Sahara Desert asphyxiates us
and make it here, tarnishing cars
with the same clay with which we, the inhumane, are made

comunes dromedarios,
anélidos,
agua edulcorada por los cuerpos abandonados a su suerte

common dromedaries,
annelids,
water sweetened by the bodies left to fend for themselves

como nosotros,
rogando a los dioses
no reproducirnos

like us,
begging the gods
not to reproduce ourselves


Dr Consuelo Martínez Reyes (San Juan, 1980) is a Puerto Rican writer, translator, and Lecturer in Spanish and Latin American Studies at Macquarie University. She is the author of the short-story collection En blanco [Blank Canvases] (La Pereza, 2018), as well as editor and translator of Not the Time to Stay: The Unpublished Plays of Víctor Fragoso(Centro Press, 2018).

S. E. Hermanoczki: Down la Avenida Pueyrredón

S.E. Hermanoczki reading ‘Down la Avenida Pueyrredón’

(para mi hermana y Ken)

In every tienda on la avenida or so it seems, the music is on one continuous latin dance party loop, Ricky, Fonsi, Jesse y Joy, Enrique, Shakira, repeat the up-beat. One-two-three, uno-dos-tres, one-two-three, uno-dos-tres. The bright over-lit strip lighting of the shops’ interiores seem to disguise el exterior, la realidad of the hot ciudad out there with its dirt and noise, of coches y colectivos, of legit blue radio taxis and the black unnamed ones that hike up their precios and take you far from where you want to go. Step outside el apartamento, avoid the dog shit as you cross the street to the chino shop, and the woman who shouts and swears en Putonghua, who takes your guita while not looking at you in the face, past the local vendedor de fruta who everyday wants to know more than where you’re from, and turn left at la esquina avoiding more mierda to where the cop cars line the streets and where the barricadas are left waiting, ready for another lock down. Down town is where you are and will return many horas later after walking back down from visiting Eva Perón’s grave en el cementerio de la Recoleta. You’ll notice the smooth sidewalks slowly cracking on the way back to the bad lands, to the bad part of town, to the Jewish quarter where once una bomba went off, back to el barrio immigrante de Once where un grupo de manteros rioted only the week before. You are staying down there? Strangers ask. ¿Allí? Walking back down la avenida Pueyrredón balancing on broken bits of vereda, stepping on cracks and almost breaking your back tripping on pot holes. Walking back, you pass a homeless man just lying down on el pavimento. It’s not yet night, yet his day is clearly over. ¡Basta! He cries. I’ve had enough. Enough of this city and its Buenos Aires. ¡Ay Dios! ¡Por favor! ¡Basta!



Pronunciation Guide, Glossary, and Notes

tienda \ tēˈendə \ shop,

avenida\  a β̞ e n i ð̞ a\ avenue

uno \ ũ n o\one, dos \ d o s\ two, tres\ t ɾ e s\ three

interiores\ i n̪ t e ɾ j o ɾ e s̮\ inside

el exterior \ e l e k s t e ɾ j o ɾ\ the outside

la realidad\ l a r e a l ið̞ a ð̞\ the reality

cuidad\ k w i ð̞ a ð̞\ city

coches\ k o ͡ʧ e s\ cars

colectivos\k o l e g t i β̞ o s̮\ buses

precios \ p ɾ e θ j o s\ prices

apartamento\a p a ɾ t a m ẽ n̪ t o\apartment

chino ͡\ʧ i n o\ Chinese

Putonghua\ ˌpo͞oˌtôNGˈhwä\ Mandarin

guita\ gɪˈtɑ\ money

vendedor de fruta\ β̞ e n̪ de ð̞ oɾ ð̞ e f ɾ ut a\ fruit seller or greengrocer

la esquina\ l a e s k i n a \corner

mierda \ m j e ɾ ð̞ a\ (dog) shit

barricadas\b a r i k a ð̞ a s\ barricades

horas\ o ɾ a s\ hours

el cementerio de la Recoleta\ e l̪̟  θ e m ẽ n̪ t e ɾ j o ð̞ e l a r e k o l e t a\ the cemetery in Recoleta

una bomba\ ũ n a β̞ o m b a \ a bomb

el barrio immigrante\ el  β̞ a r j o  i mː i ɣ̞ ɾ a n̪ t e  ð̞ e o n̪̟ θ e \ suburb

un grupo de manteros\ ũ nˠ g ɾ u p o ð̞ e m ã n̪ t e ɾ o s \ a group of market sellers

¿Allí?\ a ʝ i \ (over) there?

la avenida Pueyrredón\ l a β̞ e n i ð̞ a p w e i̯ r e ð̞ o n\ Pueyrredon Avenue

vereda\ b e ɾ e ð̞ a\the gutter

el pavimento\ e l  pa β̞i m ẽ n̪ t o \the pavement or footpath or sidewalk

¡Basta! \b a s t a\ (I’ve had) enough

Buenos Aires\ b w e n o s̮  a i̯ ɾ e s\

¡Ay Dios! \a i̯ ð̞ j o s\ Dear God

¡Por favor! \ p o ɾ f a β̞ o ɾ\  Please

About the poem: In ‘Down la Avenida Pueyrredón’, I wanted to capture the difficulties and hardness of Buenos Aires and to reflect how I code-switch from English into Spanish—which is how I tend to speak and think. Though (Argentinean) Spanish was originally my mother tongue, over the years, English has slowly replaced it as the language I predominantly use and write in, so now, when I speak it, I sound like a gringa (I find it hard to roll my ‘r’s). The poem was inspired by a recent trip back to Argentina. My first time there, I was just a child and only have fragmented memories of the people and place. On this trip, however, I was greeted at the airport by a friend who said, ‘Welcome to my country’; this set the tone and an immediate distancing and the perspective to a place I had always considered my mother’s and my ‘home’.


S. E. Hermanoczki is a writer and teacher of creative writing. Her writing on death and photography, trauma and the immigrant journey, memory and postmemories, code-switching and bi-cultural identity, have been published in local and international publications. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne, where she teaches.

Emily Westmoreland: Awkward

Emily Westmoreland reading ‘Awkward’

There is no word for awkward in Spanish.
No me siento incomoda.
Tampoco me siento rara.

Me siento como mis piernas y mis abrazos están sticking out at strange angles,
Como los curly blonde hairs on my legs que
Las abuelas en el metro miran fijamente.

Me siento como I’d like to stay in, pero voy a salir,
O salgo a las diez, y llego too early para la previa.

Me siento como I had to tell your abuela that vegeterianas don’t eat jamón.
Ni pescado.

Me siento como un handshake,
En vez de dos besos.

No me siento incomoda ni rara,
Pero tampoco me siento como en casa.
Me siento awkward.


Note

This poem is in Spanglish, the affectionate/informal term for mixing Spanish and English. I have been learning Spanish since I started university and have lived in Madrid for two years. As my entire life operated in a Spanish/English bilingualism, I often joke that, ‘Spanglish is now my propio idioma.’

Click here for a translation.


Emily Westmoreland (@limeywesty) is an Australian bookseller living in London (previously Madrid). Recently she has been working with Desperate Literature to launch a literary prize for short fiction. The inaugural shortlist was published as Eleven Stories, and the anthology was launched at Desperate Literature in Madrid and Shakespeare & co. in Paris. Other work by Emily has appeared in Global Hobo. 

Emily Westmoreland: ‘Awkward’ With Translation

There is no word for awkward in Spanish.
No me siento incomoda.
Tampoco me siento rara.

//translation
I don’t feel uncomfortable,
Nor do I feel strange

Me siento como mis piernas y mis abrazos están sticking out at strange angles,
Como los curly blonde hairs on my legs que
Las abuelas en el metro miran fijamente.

//translation
I feel like my legs and my arms are sticking out at strange angles,
Like the curly blonde hairs on my legs that
The grandmothers on the metro stare at.

Me siento como I’d like to stay in, pero voy a salir,
O salgo a las diez, y llego too early para la previa.

//translation
I feel like I’d like to stay in, but I’m going to go out,
Or I go out at ten, and arrive too early for the pre-drinks.

Me siento como I had to tell your abuela that vegeterianas don’t eat jamón.
Ni pescado.

//translation
I feel like I had to tell your grandmother that vegetarians don’t eat ham
Or fish

Me siento como un handshake,
En vez de dos besos.

//translation
I feel like a handshake,
Instead of two kisses.

No me siento incomoda ni rara,
Pero tampoco me siento como en casa.
Me siento awkward.

//translation
I don’t feel uncomfortable or strange,
But nor do I feel at home.
I feel awkward.