Wednesday, 9 May 2012

south of the walls of the north

a poem for Angye Gaona & for her daughter

this small room and the child i swore to make a safe and 
excellent world for, just for you, just for you and the me 
that is touched and touched and touched by your small

the big world mounting around us high and high as far as
eye can see, well beyond that, feel the weight of the waves 
coming in to pummel this beach, my belly, this beach, my

belly of home, all across the walls of the house the world 
impends, steadily pressing, we have our guns they whisper
we have our armies, dear, we brought them for you, smell

my police forces, my careless cocktails of whose words 
will and whose will not, whose voice will and whose will 
not, whose blood will and whose will not, whose girl are

come ride with me in my wonderful machina. i have eaten
bigger trees than you and nourished larger pockets than
you will ever be. sleep with me and i can make all of this 

putting our lives on the line to make a better world here
now turning my womb inside out to show here how now
this exposé o release me dammit, if i can just rest i can 

beyond the machinery of state that has got us patiently
waiting for more of the same to the good, or more of the 
same to the treacherous side of creation. breathe slow and

bodily boldly okay. i can make a girl a man a poem a home 
i can taste wind and the sea flowing over all of the impending 
to tell me and by virtue of telling me telling you but just

draw on the well like i told you, here, all you have learned 
of the world you can use to make a new one a green and a
blue one with all the autumn colours and the deep surprising 

of the flowers. you can make the excellent sea the restful
day you can make or house a point and for the pleasure of 
the ancestors and in the vindication of all of the lost i have 

i will do this, just and joyous, but for now try to sleep and if 
i can make a make or a life i will if i can i will i told you, here 
draw listen sing soon wait wait wait o darling, despite the fire

leaning up against the walls of the house know the just men are
after all just men, and can be persuaded and yet may succumb.
i will keep synthesizing danger and truth and making beauty for

while others will carry our names, and do the same for me too.
we are a safe well of creation and the well of danger no deeper
than us. the ancestors, the new words, the poets, the old words
the wrong roads 

and the right relationships unfurling on a cloudy day. and i know
the sun's light. i know the clarity. i can find my words and the will
to finish what was started and to strengthen what was weakened that 

Joanne Arnott

I wrote this poem after reading three of Angye's poems on poetry blogs, and reading two news stories, and visiting more blogs... am searching for updates in the english language. Details below + beyond.

Angye Gaona: Sur

La carretera sueña que lleva al mar
mientras asciende al volcán
o cruza el gran pantano.
La carretera de orilla oceánica
recuerda la nieve y la ceguera,
el secreto de la laguna,
la palabrería de la selva.
La memoria de la carretera es nómada:
transitan los recuerdos en cualquier sentido del tiempo,
llevan más acá, más allá.
La carretera recoge aromas idos,
deja enseres olvidados junto a miradas rotas,
contiene adioses que múltiples
se refractan en el retrovisor.
Retorna en ocasiones la carretera
trayendo consigo
paisaje edad huella.
Angye Gaona: South

The road dreams of the sea
as it climbs the volcano
or crosses the great marsh.
The ocean shore road
remembers the snow and blindness,
the secret of the lagoon
the verbiage of the jungle.
The memory of the road is nomadic:
recollections pass with any sense of time,
and carry more beyond.
The highway picks up past aromas,
it leaves equipment forgotten next to broken glances,
and it contains multiple goodbyes
scattered in the rear-view mirror.
Sometimes the road returns
with the age old tread of the landscape.

poetryblogs as newsgroups:

From Harriet:

"In international poetry news, we’ve got this to share from SLAG — Surrealist London Action Group: Thirty-one-year-old Colombian poet and journalist Angye Gaona has been formally charged with “rebellion” and drug trafficking, after being imprisoned in January of last year and later released due to international pressure. Gaona now faces up to 20 years in jail; the trial is due to start January 23. SLAG writes: ...
She is currently under house arrest in the single room she shares with her six-year-old daughter. adds:
Angye is a creative and socially committed woman, always active in the development of culture, part of the organizing committee called the International Poetry Festival of Medellin, the quality of work and dreams testifies to a tie between peoples. Urging an international movement for liberation and for reporting that the Colombian state prisons hold more than 7,500 people for the “crime of opinion” in other words, thought crimes: there is a real dictatorship in disguise.

An extensive article in english & several more, here:
  Mobilization for the Colombian Poet Angye Gaona


Sources & notes: poetry blogs as newsgroups
Thanks to Steve McCabe + poemimage for Down The Pipe by Angye Gaona
Thanks to Weaponised Poetry especially for this needed translation of Sur, and as well, this one, Jaguar steps on the blues.

Thanks to Cristina Castello for les-risques-du-journalisme
+ Angèle Paoli for Land of Women (as translated by Google)
The Robber Bridegroom/Pearl Handel + Poetry Foundation's Harriet
+ many more news pages + poetry blogs of the world

2013 update:
This poem was translated into Spanish by Susana Wald, & posted here
PEN Sept 2012 case report here

2013 Fundraising initiative hereDanger Poésie
An Anthology in Support of Angye Gaona (France)


Fauzia Rafiq said...

Thanks Joanne, beautiful poem.
I shared it on my FB page:

Joanne Arnott said...

Thank you Fauzia