Friday, January 18, 2008

Hey, Mgmt-

Remember that strange poem HR wanted to know about? The book has come from the library, and I have copied the piece from the book (Maraca, New and Selected Poems 1966-2000 Victor Hernandez Cruz: 2001 Coffeehouse Press, Minneapolis).

I print this copy below, with apologies to both author and publisher- if they want to argue with me about it, they may do so here. If this is not good enough, that’s what the courts are for. Not that I necessarily subscribe to the frequently misapplied “information wants to be free” doctrine, or scoff at copyrights- I merely wish to test the notion that I could paint the words of this poem on my automobile and drive around town without breaking any law. This is the same thing, which ought to make us all wonder what a copyright is good for. Wondering is a good start. Besides, I print all kinds of my own original material here without worrying about who might “steal” it, and I therefore hereby claim the right to draw upon prior goodwill. Speaking of niceties- I also apologize for not figuring out how to reproduce the tildes and other accents in the Spanish text and names. I know there’s a way, and I know it is not difficult, but I don’t know what it is.

San pronto no se wis windos cuan el calus de la
mananana en el airsty es que tu desde po la me
cally fooly sa fo so mo to eh se onpeso a tocar
si yo ser nada su conjunto de alegria tal ves su
coro de la risa a mi me theo dan pati pami estos
communiqués dolores en el pecho parte atra parte
alounde y en ses lenguaje asi asi camina en el
verso tu pierna y tolla tu boca tis desde el primer
escalonosoco de dia tu puerta toca en mis labios
labytory de inversion tu cuerpo rompe la ventana
y hasta acaba con la pueh si ah.

Now, what is this all about? I don’t know. My Spanish is weak, and my poetry circuits have been jammed from reading too many comic books. Don’t ask me how that works- well, go ahead and ask me, but have the kindness to accept my answer without resentment: I don’t know, maybe it’s a reverse miracle. Sometimes I want to never read poetry again. When I feel that way, anyone may read poetry to me, with my thanks, but I don’t want to see the printed words anymore. In fact, I think I would “get” this poem perfectly, if I could hear it. I’ll get someone to do that around here, if I can. If anyone out there on the web wants to do it, please drop me a line. Better yet, record your reading, post it on the web and send the address. I’ll thank you right here in print. I’ll even thank you in advance- Thank You.

Following in the inept tracks of the HR monoglots, I put the text of the poem through Babelfish and got this:

San wis soon windos how calus of the mananana in airsty is not that your from po me cally fooly sa fo under mo to eh onpeso to touch itself if I to be nothing its set of alegria so you see its choir of the laughter my theo one these give pati pami communiqués pains in the chest divides atra part alounde and in ses language asi asi walks in the verse your leg and tolla your mouth tis from first escalonosoco of day your door touches in my lips labytory of investment your body breaks the window and until it ends pueh if ah.

which cleared up very little. In fact, it garbled some of what I had already figured out, and gave me a headache. Possibly the headache also comes from the red squiggly underlining my word processor puts wherever it finds something not in its internal dictionary. Since the world is far too large and weird to fit in any dictionary, I see a lot of red squiggles, which remind me of an unresorbed (ouch, another squiggle) artery in my eye. So, even if I have to record this myself, I will do nothing more until I can hear it, but I’m not giving up, not even if I have to take Spanish lessons.

Finally, a note on yesterday’s wild happenings in this space-

The copy runner has quit her job, which she never did anyway.
The editor has come back to work.
The management have gone back to their offices.
And I am on my way out the door again, to help my literary Dad with his blog.

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