THREE PIECES OF THE UNIVERSE

Late in his life, poet & visual artist Jorge Eduardo Eielson published an extraordinary book of poems that bears the paradoxical title: Untitled (2000). Extraordinary, because it was produced after a fifteen year abstention from the literary arts, during which all of the Eielson’s endeavors would be relegated to visual media. Untitled (Sin título, Pre-Textos: Valencia, 2000) showed that it was possible to produce a cohesive aesthetic across multiple media. These translations are drawn from a large anthology in-progress that I continue to chip away at. 

from UNTITLED

EVERYTHING THESE DAYS IS DONE IN A RUSH

The dew
Is produced in a minute
There’s no longer a need for the gaze
& in its place
There’s an all-knowing
Silver screen. But who cares
For there still are magnolias
Things will be much worse
When pain disappears
Or loneliness becomes
Artificial

EVERYTHING IS PARIS FOR ME

& Rome is also New York
Or Lima. Everywhere I go I breath
Put on a pair of pants & smile
Everywhere I get out of or
Into bed while staring at the stars
Even though they are not out
My name is Jorge & I’m the same
Lad who used to read Rimbaud
& Mallarmé weeping like a child
All my dreams & feces
Are the same in Paris Rome
New York or Lima

IMMEDIATELY AFTER READING

These words
Shut tight the windows & doors
Don’t blink too much
Don’t startle the fluttering
Yellow butterfly
Standing still on a chair
Flush the toilet
& let life pass by
As though nothing had happened
Then answer the phone
Talk about stupid or famous things
Hang up the phone
But this time bearing in mind
That the entire world is just
This mysterious yellow butterfly
Standing still on a chair

Translated by Joseph Mulligan

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