Kendel Hippolyte: Blues Rizado y Blues Cuerdo

Paper cutouts yellow and orange on stone steps in the snow_Toronto Canada
Kendel Hippolyte (poeta de Santa Lucía, Caribe, nacido 1952)
Blues Rizado*
en la ciudad aquí afuera, me estoy ahogando en mi rarezas,
de un esfuerzo por quedarme auténtico…
la cabeza flotante, el cuerpo hundiendo,
mi cabeza va navegando pero estoy sumergiendo…
las mujeres venden ciruelas, los hombres venden barras de chocolate…
compra uno – o el otro – quizás los dos
pero cuídate con el comprando, porque algunos se pudren ya
– es valuable el dinero, y la putrfacción propaga tan fácilmente…
hacia arriba de los caminos cruzados, intercambio mi rostro
pero no hay nadie que lo compre – ¿y quién necesita un rostro?
me embolso mi cara y me maquillo con una inexpresiva,
muy tarde para las caras, y me pongo la vacía…
anoche, estaba oscuro como alquitrán, los faros se fundieron,
y ahora, por fin, conozco adonde voy…
estoy buscando a Kinky (“Rizado”) – ha cambiado su dirección, es el mismo lugar pero ha cambiado su dirección
vivo por el resto de mi miedo y estoy muriendo en mi “vivo”,
tengo que aprender como cantar desafinado,
me siento extraño, al primero, pero me sentiré de acuerdo, muy pronto,
tan pronto como puedo aprender esta canción, voy a sentirme bien.

. . .

* Rizado tiene aquí el sentido de pelo rizado o de la mente excéntrica/estrafalária. También es simplemente un apodo encantador.
. . .
Kendel Hippolyte
Kinky Blues
in the city out here, i’m drowning in my weird
from trying to stay real
head floating, body going under
head sailing, but i’m going under
the women sell plums, the men sell chocolate bars
buy one or the other or both
but watch your buying, some are rotten already
money is precious and rot spreads too easy
up at the crossroads, i’m selling my face
but no one’s buying – who needs a face
i pocket my face, put on a blank
too late for faces, i put on a blank
last night dark as asphalt, my headlight blew out
now i finally know where i’m going
looking for kinky, he’s changed his address
still the same place, but he’s changed his address
living out my afraid, i’m dying in my alive
i must learn to sing out of key
feels strange at first, but i’ll soon be alright
soon’s i learn this song, i’ll be alright.
. . .
Blues Cuerdo
Ah, he intentado ser cuerdo, sí, tan largo tiempo,
pues ahora estoy intentando a ver el beneficio
– me pregunto, me pregunto
Desde muchos años me he quedado quieto, agarrando,
y yo había debido pensado que: es lo correcto hacer
– ya no más, ya no más
Porque estoy perdiendo motivos para constreñir mi alma,
quizás debo ponerla en libertad, dejarme entregarme
por esta hambre (qué hambre)
¿Y supón que yo permito quedar libre el mismo, mi naturaleza?
¿Se desbocaría hacia una biblia? ¿una mujer? ¿un lazo de horca?
– me pregunto, me pregunto
¿Cielo azul? ¿Nube negra? ¿Triunfar o fracasar?
¿Cómo lo sabré? ¿Y cómo yo escogiere?
Oigo un trueno.
. . .
Del poemario Visión por la noche (Night Vision), lanzado por TriQuarterly Books © 2005 Kendel Hippolyte
. . .
Sane Blues
Oh i’ve tried for so long to be sane
And now i’m trying to see my gain
i wonder
i wonder
For years i’ve kept myself held tight
I must have thought that this was right
No longer
No longer
‘Cause i’m losing the reasons for holding it in
Perhaps i should let go, let my self give in
to this hunger
this hunger
Suppose i let that self run loose?
Would it run to a bible? A woman? A noose?
i wonder
i wonder
Blue sky? Black cloud? Win or lose?
How can i know? How do i choose?
i hear thunder.
. . .
From: Night Vision (TriQuarterly Books) © 2005 Kendel Hippolyte
. . . . .

Kendel Hippolyte: Snow as metaphor…

February 22nd 2015_paper cutouts in the snow_Toronto Canada_A

Kendel Hippolyte
It’s snowing in our land.
The warmth evaporates, the cold settles
on hill and house, on friends we knew, on families.
A fallout from a cold war covers them
and they diminish, disappear into a blizzard.
Snow falls, a blitz of words.
News crackles in the air like frostbite,
a bland subtle obliteration hiding from us
the common ground.
Till even flesh and blood numb into snowmen,
caricatures formed with the precipitate from TV screens.
The flakes, the white lies, drift, bury the mindscape,
and we shape our effigies
– honkies, terrorists, reactionaries –
then smash them.
Snow in the tropics.
Lately we pass each other in a gorge,
fearful between its east and west walls.
We do not call out, we whisper, we dare not declare
that despite this, despite the chillblain hardening over our hearts,
we still are
what we have always been:
Man-Woman, looking for fruitful ground again.
We walk, the flakes fall, wintering the mind,
blurring a dimming memory of garden, shared fruit in warm air.
And we know
by our cold silence, our static fear,
trudging through drift and blur, hoping we’ll find our homes again,
we are becoming snow.
. . .
Kendel Hippolyte was born in Castries, Saint Lucia, in 1952. He has written a half dozen books of poetry, most recently Fault Lines, published by Peepal Tree Press in 2012. Fault Lines was awarded the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature in 2013. Hippolyte has twice won the Minvielle and Chastanet Fine Arts Award for Literature, the premier arts award in Saint Lucia, and was awarded the St. Lucia Medal of Merit for his contribution to the arts. He has taught at St.Mary’s College in Vigie, and Sir Arthur Lewis College at the Morne. He co-founded the Lighthouse Theatre Company, where he is actively involved as both a playwright and director. Mr. Hippolyte is married to fellow St-Lucian poet and teacher Jane King.
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February 22nd 2015_paper cutouts in the snow_Toronto Canada_B

Winter-cold and snow in the poems of Claude McKay:
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Black History Month: Love Poems for the Belovéd; for God; for a Child

 Paper hearts in the snow_February 2015_Toronto Canada
Eric Merton Roach (1915-1974, Trinidad and Tobago)
A Lover Speaks (1948)
Climb up a rainbow’s arch
And be arrayed in all that loveliness;
Be gilded as a sunset cloud
Or take the moon’s soft radiance for gown
And the great stars for diamonds,
Be costumed like a queen in cloth of gold
And all the earth’s rare and famous finery,
Be what you will for I am fancy free.
Become all legend beauty,
The glorious goddess from Olympus leaping,
Contested Helen or the Pharaoh queen,
Isolde or Deidre,
All that fair company that pass
In love and sorrow down the corridors
Of rhyme and story.
Be what you will for I am fancy free.
But, when your bright imaginings shall end
And you are your black hair,
Black eyes, deep lips and dark complexion;
When you are native to this time and island,
Attractive in the streets and gay and graceful,
Your beauty maddening in the moment’s dusk,
Your Naiad nakedness in the clean sea;
When you are you
Then shall my fancy not be free
But slave and bound to what I love to see.
. . .
Eric Merton Roach
Buy her wine and roses,
gladden her laughter,
tell her she’s legend
like Ledas daughter,
a boldly made beauty
aching the eye, Isis, Astarte.
But never ask her
of hearts that keep honour,
puritan modes,
ethics and codes.
Cords that should bind her
to one bed
crumble in
her passionate blood.
To the body only
that ripe beauty,
golden as honey
hum your canzone.
. . .
R. L. C. McFarlane (born 1925, Jamaica)
O Girl, How Should I Tell You
O girl, how should I tell you how
You shatter all philosophy,
And melt the hardened theory,
And lay the walls of reason low?
For so I yield within an hour
The strength that I had wrought with pain,
And am become a fool again,
Colonial to an alien power,
Seeking the furtherance of my being
Within another’s happiness;
Enwombed in utter helplessness
– Blank days that jump the time for freeing.
No, stand apart and keep your state
Free of my tribute, lest we prove
How in the curious knot of love
The mind conceals a knife of hate.
. . .
Mervyn Morris (born 1937, Jamaica)
Love gave her eyes:
the tough man snatched,
locked them up tight.
Love gave her hand:
the tough man tickled it
early one night.
Love gave her tongue:
the tough man found
it tasted right.
Love gave her body:
the tough man smiled,
switched off the light.
Love gave her heart:
the tough man fled,
flaccid with fright.
. . .
Esther Phillips (born 1950, Barbados)
Between the silent Seraphim,
Wings overarching me,
I kneel before Your Mercy Seat.
Oh, do not speak, I fear
Your anger; I cannot bear
The censure in Your voice.
Commune with me,
Your great Heart to
My trembling heart.
Feel my love torn,
The greater portion Yours
And still shall always be.
The rest is his, and he
And I are flesh – eyes, lips,
Hands and thighs, and sweetness.
Do not forsake me,
Oh, do not cast me off!
Was it for love You died
That I might live
– And love?
. . .
Esther Phillips
Night Errant
You hate the ignoble
thing, the unworthy.
You believe man is
the measure (despite
your brilliance.)
So when the wolf rips
the night open,
the night you had so drawn
with soft colours,
you deny, you deny,
you deny.
And the creature,
on cue, disappears;
the air, snarled, lies
heavy between us.
I’ve not much use
for a cerebral-shaped heart
nurtured on some one-eyed
Love me with your own
heart hoarding the traitor,
the rough rage, your un-
certain compassion.
. . .
Kendel Hippolyte (born 1952, Saint Lucia)
The child is sleeping,
folded in among the brown boughs of my arms,
and a promise, formed beyond language, drawn upward
like sap through a pith, stirs through me.
In its slow course, I feel a vow so deep
it does not reach the flower and fade of word
but leaves me steeped, resined, in its truth.
Because I wish this child, awake, a man,
to know that he can keep, lifelong,
the trust, the self-astonishing joy that he has now
and he can draw from them the strength to make
his true path from the place I am
to where he will become, for his own child, a tree,
I vow: these boughs will never break.
. . .
Margaret D. Gill (born 1953, Barbados)
I want to make you cry tonight
I want to make you
cry tonight
I want to shake you
and break you
and take you apart and then –
want to create you
To begin you
And sing you
And bring you
(if you care to)
They say heaven is
heaven is
heaven is.
I want to make you
cry tonight
Like a big ole man child.
Shall I liberate you from all that holding in and
holding on and
self sufficient?
I may not succeed now! But
I shall certainly try –
cry, cry
cry (it’s good for you).
. . .
Gladys Waterberg (born 1959, Surinam)
Never before
the past
has been
such a
great future dream
when I met you
the first time
and wished
that the future
would never
become part
of the past.

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More Love Poems at ZP:
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