I call a spade a spade
We either know everything from the start
Or we'll never ever know a thing.

The only choice given us
Is to learn to speak correctly.


All night long I dream of women
Some make fun of me
Others give me rabbit punches.
They won't leave me alone.
They're always fighting with me.

I get up with a thunderstruck look on my face.

Which means I'm either crazy
Or just scared to death.


It's some struggle to believe
In a god who leaves his children
All on their own
Vulnerable to the winds of old age
And illness
Not to mention death.


I'm one of those who greets hearses.


Young poets
Say whatever you want
Pick your own style
Too much blood has gone under the bridge
To still believe -I believe-
That there's only one way to cross the road:
You can do anything in poetry.


Old Age
and Death
Dance like innocent girls
Around Swan Lake
And with seductive coral lips.


Anyone can see
That no one lives on the moon

That chairs are tables
Butterflies are flowers always fluttering
That truth is a collective error

That the soul dies with the body

Anyone can see
That wrinkles aren't scars.


For one reason or another
When I've had to climb down
From my little wooden tower
I've come back shivering from the cold
The loneliness
the fear
the pain.


The trolleys are all gone
They've chopped down the trees
Crosses line the horizon.

Marx has been betrayed seven times
And we're all still alive.


Feed bile to the bees
Introduce semen into the mouth
Kneel down in a puddle of blood
Sneeze in a funeral parlor
Go milk a cow
And throw the milk in her own face.


From the morning stormclouds
To the thunder at noon
And on to the lightning at night.


It isn't easy for me to feel sad
To be honest
Even skulls make me laugh.
The poet asleep on the cross
Greets you with tears of blood.


The poet's job is
To improve on the blank page
I don't think that's possible.


I can only accept beauty
Ugliness is something that I find painful.


I'll say it one last time
Worms are gods
Butterflies are flowers always fluttering
Rotting teeth
brittle teeth
I go back to the days of silent movies.

Fucking is a literary act.


Chilean aphorisms:
All redheads have freckles
The telephone knows what it's saying
The turtle never lost so much time
As when it took lessons from an eagle.

The automobile is a wheelchair.

And the traveler who looks over his shoulder
Runs the grave risk
That his shadow might not want to follow him.


Analysis means self-denial
You can reason only in a circle
You see only what you want to see
A birth doesn't solve anything
I admit that tears are rolling down my cheeks.

A birth doesn't solve anything.
Only death tells the truth
Even poetry convinces no one.
They teach us that space doesn't exist

They teach us that time doesn't exist
But all the same
Old age is a fact of life.
What science says wilI'be will be.

Reading my poems makes me drowsy
And yet they were written in blood.


translated by David Unger
traducido por David Unger


en: Antipoems: New and Selected (edited by David Unger), New York, New Directions, 1985.


SISIB - Facultad de Filosofía y Humanidades - Universidad de Chile