Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Ricardo Domeneck

EARTH IN THE BODY

A history of the land
in the very body.

From Father, the white
portion of the flesh,
its ancestry registered
in offices by notaries,
a proper name retaining
Grandfather’s original
Catalan pronunciation
even if its orthography
is under dispute,
and from Grandmother, names
of cities in the past, such as
a certain Campobasso,
which may just as well be Atlantis.

From Father, principally,
the possibility of an invitation
to the dining room of the manor.

From Mother, the chestnut tint
of the skin of Caboclo peoples
from the interior, a proletarian
surname for any nobody,
the forgotten past of the hut,
of the rape of women
both Amerindian and African
erased and silenced
by History,
but not by the flesh.

The flesh remembers,
and the flesh reminds.

As the irrational panic
of the mother at every flu,
which will surely cause
the whole house to perish.

The straight line of the fathers
remembered,
and the winding line of the mothers,
forgotten.

But in our very language
there persists, perhaps,
the memory of
age-old disasters,
when the sky blackens
and they shout
from the little house,
run and take the
clothes off the line,
a toró is about to fall.

Always, and still always,
the toró is coming.

And the flesh of the children,
without knowing
precisely why,
desires and fears
the final toró
to come and take
clothing and clothesline,
yard and home.

HERKOMST IN JE LIJF

Het verhaal van je herkomst
in je eigen lijf.

Van je vader het blanke
aandeel in je vlees,
afkomst zoals door notarissen
opgetekend in kantoren,
je achternaam heeft van je opa
nog de oorspronkelijke Catalaanse
uitspraak, hoewel
de schrijfwijze ervan
verhaspeld is, en van oma
namen van dorpen
uit het verleden, zoals
Campobasso, dat even goed
Atlantis zou kunnen zijn.

Van je vader vooral
de kans te worden uitgenodigd
om te eten bij de heren thuis.

Van je moeder
de koperen huid
van mensen uit het
binnenland, de proletarische
achternaam van een
Jan met de pet en het vergeten
verleden van hutten,
de verkrachting van inheemse
en Afrikaanse vrouwen die
werd weggewist en verzwegen
door de geschiedenis
maar niet door het vlees.
Het vlees herinnert zich
en herinnert.

Zoals de redeloze paniek
van moeder bij elk griepje
dat het hele gezin eraan gaat.

De gepaste vaderlijn
bewaard
en de foute moederlijn
vergeten.

Maar in de taal zelf
volhardt
wellicht de herinnering
aan een oude ramp,
wanneer de lucht
betrekt en er
wordt geroepen
gauw gauw haal
de was naar binnen,
want het gaat regenen.

Steeds en steeds weer
gaat het regenen

En het vlees van de kinderen
verlangt en vreest
zonder te begrijpen
waarom
dat de laatste stortbui
losbarst en kleren
en waslijn, tuin
en huis wegspoelt.

 

TERRA NO CORPO

Uma história da terra
no próprio corpo.

Do pai, a porção
branca da carne,
ascendência registrada
em cartórios por tabeliães,
o sobrenome que retém
do avô a pronúncia catalã
de origem, ainda
que sua grafia se tenha
baralhado, e, da avó,
nomes de cidades
do passado, como certa
Campobasso, que tanto
poderia ser Atlântida.

Do pai, principalmente,
a possibilidade dos convites
à
s salas-de-jantar da casa-grande.

Da mãe, o tingir
castanho da pele
de gente cabocla
do interior, sobrenome
proletário de qualquer
zé-ninguém, e o passado
esquecido de ocas,
do estupro de mulheres
ameríndias e africanas
apagado e silenciado
pela História,
mas não pela carne.
A carne lembra-se
e lembra.

Como o pânico irracional
da mãe, a cada gripe,
de que morra a casa toda.

As linhas retas de pais,
lembradas,
e as linhas tortas de mães,
esquecidas.

Mas na língua mesma
resiste
talvez a memória
de um desastre antigo,
quando empreteja
o céu e se grita
da casa-pequena
que se corra e tire
a roupa do varal,
que vai cair um toró.

É
sempre e ainda
o toró que vem.

E a carne dos filhos
sem entender bem
o porquê,
deseja e teme
o toró-final
que venha e leve
roupa e varal,
quintal e casa.

Close

EARTH IN THE BODY

A history of the land
in the very body.

From Father, the white
portion of the flesh,
its ancestry registered
in offices by notaries,
a proper name retaining
Grandfather’s original
Catalan pronunciation
even if its orthography
is under dispute,
and from Grandmother, names
of cities in the past, such as
a certain Campobasso,
which may just as well be Atlantis.

From Father, principally,
the possibility of an invitation
to the dining room of the manor.

From Mother, the chestnut tint
of the skin of Caboclo peoples
from the interior, a proletarian
surname for any nobody,
the forgotten past of the hut,
of the rape of women
both Amerindian and African
erased and silenced
by History,
but not by the flesh.

The flesh remembers,
and the flesh reminds.

As the irrational panic
of the mother at every flu,
which will surely cause
the whole house to perish.

The straight line of the fathers
remembered,
and the winding line of the mothers,
forgotten.

But in our very language
there persists, perhaps,
the memory of
age-old disasters,
when the sky blackens
and they shout
from the little house,
run and take the
clothes off the line,
a toró is about to fall.

Always, and still always,
the toró is coming.

And the flesh of the children,
without knowing
precisely why,
desires and fears
the final toró
to come and take
clothing and clothesline,
yard and home.

EARTH IN THE BODY

A history of the land
in the very body.

From Father, the white
portion of the flesh,
its ancestry registered
in offices by notaries,
a proper name retaining
Grandfather’s original
Catalan pronunciation
even if its orthography
is under dispute,
and from Grandmother, names
of cities in the past, such as
a certain Campobasso,
which may just as well be Atlantis.

From Father, principally,
the possibility of an invitation
to the dining room of the manor.

From Mother, the chestnut tint
of the skin of Caboclo peoples
from the interior, a proletarian
surname for any nobody,
the forgotten past of the hut,
of the rape of women
both Amerindian and African
erased and silenced
by History,
but not by the flesh.

The flesh remembers,
and the flesh reminds.

As the irrational panic
of the mother at every flu,
which will surely cause
the whole house to perish.

The straight line of the fathers
remembered,
and the winding line of the mothers,
forgotten.

But in our very language
there persists, perhaps,
the memory of
age-old disasters,
when the sky blackens
and they shout
from the little house,
run and take the
clothes off the line,
a toró is about to fall.

Always, and still always,
the toró is coming.

And the flesh of the children,
without knowing
precisely why,
desires and fears
the final toró
to come and take
clothing and clothesline,
yard and home.

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère