Bulmenia - A Translation

Bulmenia - A Translation

Nacho Oliden

I work at night, forsaking the insatiable ogre
that leaves the young men disfigured and acephalous,
not trading a sack of apples for my head.

I work like the sea, like a shadow,
where sparrows jump on the crumbs of the day,
and the swallows make a fuss for a bite of sky.

I drink cyanide and poisons unknown,
           for this thirst has no lamps
and its crust is multiplied like dearth.

I work as everybody works,
not achieving a star, not satiating a quill
           losing the ways
giving slight uneven deaths on my body. 

           Not reaching at least one dream,
I let some helpless drunks proceed, enslaved remains
that have been and forever will be defamed
           dried in the air of the crime.


Yo trabajo de noche, desertando al ogro insaciable
que desfigura a los jóvenes y los deja acéfalos
sin cambiar una bolsa de manzanas por mi cabeza

Trabajo como el mar, como una sombra,
donde unos gorriones saltan sobre las migas del día
y las golondrinas hacen un escándalo por un pedazo de cielo

Bebo cianuro y venenos desconocidos,
        porque esta sed no tiene lámparas
y su cáscara se multiplica como la pobreza

Trabajo como todos trabajan,
sin lograr una estrella, sin saciar una pluma
        perdiendo todos los rumbos
dando pequeñas muertes en partes desiguales sobre mi cuerpo

        Sin alcanzar tan solo uno de mis sueños
dejo embriagar a unos pocos desamparados, restos esclavizados
que han sido y que por siempre serán difamados
        secados en el aire del crimen

Juan Arabia (Buenos Aires, 1983) is a poet, translator and literary critic. Author of numerous books of poetry, translation and essays, among his most recent titles are: Il Nemico dei Thirties (Samuele Editore, Collana Scilla, 2017), Desalojo de la Naturaleza (Buenos Aires Poetry, 2018), L´Océan Avare (Al Manar, Voix Vives de Méditerranée en Méditerranée, 2018) and Hacia Carcassonne (Pre-Textos, 2020).

Graduated from the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires, he also practices literary criticism in the culture supplement of Diario Perfil and in the magazine Revista Ñ of Diario Clarín, among others. After the publication of El Enemigo de los Thirties (2015), awarded in France, Italy and Macedonia, Arabia participated in several poetry festivals in Latin America, Europe and China.

In 2018 he was invited to the poetry festival in France (Sète) Voix Vives on behalf of Argentina, as well as in 2019 he participated in the Poetry Comes to Museum LXI meeting sponsored by the Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, being the second Latin American poet to be invited.

From Bulmenia, to be published in 2022. Translated by Ignacio Oliden.

Nacho Oliden

In charge, with Facundo, of the translation column Paraphrasis, I share hidden or forgotten treasures with the literary world. I find LPB an extraordinary point of encounter for cultures and arts, for discovering new authors, and for enjoying life in its poetic form, whether it be reading the submissions, or talking with the editing crew.

Issue 36
Back to Issue
Also in this thread
This thread has no other posts