Antipoem

Yo galán imperfecto
Yo danzarín al borde del abismo,
I am an imperfect man
I dance on the edge of the abyss,
Yo sacristán obsceno
Niño prodigio de los basurales,
I, an obscene sexton,
Child prodigy of the rubbish dumps,
Yo sobrino – yo nieto
Yo confabulador de siete suelas,
I, nephew — I, grandson
I, confabulator of seven souls,
Yo señor de las moscas
Yo descuartizador de golondrinas,
I, lord of the flies
and breaker of swallows,
Yo jugador de fútbol
Yo nadador del Estero las Toscas,
I, a soccer player,
swimmer at Estero las Toscas,
Yo violador de tumbas
Yo satanás enfermo de paperas,
I am a rapist of graves
a Satan sick with the mumps,
Yo conscripto remiso
Yo ciudadano con derecho a voto,
I, a draft-dodger
a citizen with voting rights,
Yo ovejero del diablo
Yo boxeador vencido por mi sombra,
I, the devil’s sheep
a boxer defeated by my shadow,
Yo bebedor insigne
Yo sacerdote de la buena mesa,
I drink of the symbols,
a priest of the good table,
Yo campeón de cueca
Yo campeón absoluto de tango
De guaracha, de rumba, de vals,
I champion underwear
I absolutely champion the tango,
the cha-cha, the rumba, the waltz,
Yo pastor protestante
Yo camarón, yo padre de familia,
I, a protestant pastor
a shrimp, father of a family,
Yo pequeño burgués
Yo profesor de ciencias ocultas,
I, petit bourgeois
a professor of occult sciences,
Yo comunista, yo conservador
Yo recopilador de santos viejos,
I communist, I conservative
I collector of old saints,
(Yo turista de lujo) (I, luxury tourist)
Yo ladrón de gallinas
Yo danzarín inmóvil en el aire,
I, thief of chickens
Dance immobile in the air,
Yo verdugo sin máscara
Yo semidiós egipcio con cabeza de pájaro,
I, hangman without a mask
Egyptian demigod with a bird’s head,
Yo de pie en una roca de cartón:
Háganse las tinieblas
I stand on a cardboard rock:
I become the darkness
Hágase el caos,
háganse las nubes,
Let chaos
create the clouds,
Yo delincuente nato
Sorprendido infraganti
I am a born criminal
Surprised infraganti
Robando flores a la luz de la luna
Pido perdón a diestra y siniestra
Pero no me declaro culpable.
Stealing flowers in the moonlight
I ask forgiveness from the right and left
But I do not plead guilty.
— Nicanor Parra was born this day in 1914. — Google Translate, with a little smoothing from JJM

In the end, we are only left with tomorrow. I raise my glass to the day that never arrives.— NP

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