Introducing Vocablos y puentes
I'm excited that David Munoz has asked me to tend to this corner of Peregrinos. My idea is to use this space to publish creative works in English, and, in doing so, let the writing show how language and words create bridges between everything--cultures, individuals, social structures. Todo.
I begin this space with some of the poems that were published in Peregrinos in October 2015. I repeat this publication to establish a beginning framework for the Vocales y Puentes section ofPeregrinos. Vocales y Puentes means 'Words and Bridges.' By nature, I am an adventurous and curious person. (I write this on a day that I'm departing for a new part of the world --Polynesia.) In my travels I have found it crucial to observe and listen and see who and what is around me, and then determine how I can meet these differences with respect and humility. What I have also found, however, is that this process is equally useful at home--out in public or in the classrooms where I teach. In such an incredibly turbulent time in our world, I wonder, "How can we meet each other with grace and sincerity and even love?" For whatever reason, I have been able to express much of my meeting points through writing, and most specifically through my poetry. I think most writers do this, too, but each writer's meeting point can be different. Hence the need for multiple voices and perspectives.
Because of this opportunity that David has afforded me, I hope to make a kind of e-anthology, collecting these voices in a single place, representing in English the kind of breadth and beauty that still inhabits our world, even if it's hard to see. And sometimes, in order to see the beauty, we must also consider the hardness and hardships, and I hope to do that here, too.
Thanks for your interest in what is here and in what is to come.
Why did I choose this one? Something Where every color,
to hold onto, every shape, line, every
the edges blue like seawater, and every turn in the card has
time I’m afraid of meaning and significance.
leaving, I am Orange jaguar dream, orange jaguar
I am afraid of staying crouched in
I am afraid of losing the turquoise field,
I am afraid of being half-feline, half-human wearing
lost. I am afraid of that wavy frown, sitting on
forgetting. And I am afraid to remember that throne, waiting for
the secret that’s only whispered: colors in Mexico are alive, which comes
while I’m standing on the steps of Toniná looking over the whole empty emerald world.
México Shining: A Poem in Four Parts
I. Comal Rising
This time México turned north and arrived
wafting through the sun across the concrete one
Tuesday afternoon in September. How
rich the word: copal. In the daylight, it smells
of darkness, of Maximon in the cave, an effigy
in striped pants propped against the altar,
surrounded by candles blinking. In the cave,
the copal leads to pox. Hours later, it
enters the mouth, sits on the tongue like fermented
honey, like love that will not leave. When
I close my eyes, the copal becomes the chain
kissing the thurible as Father readies the air.
II. Mé-xi-co Shining
Metl = agave. Xictli = the navel.
Co = within. Agave is the navel
within. The navel
within is made
from agave. Within
agave the navel
forms. México is the agave
is the navel within the agave
and also Metlxictlico,
the center in which
the sweetness forms and thrives.
III. One Day
It all floated towards me at once--copal rising
and México shining from my view at the top
of Toniná. I said, Love, this is it. Es todo.
But he was gone. Already
departing, stirring up the sleeping
butterflies as he strode through the grass.
Alone, I had the white and spinning
wings, the day moon, pale
and arcing acres of green.
I had the sun and the wide,
wide air that tasted blue. I had the new
memory of my love and it, too, came shining.
IV. Red Galactic Moon
On the 27th day of September
in 2011, on 8 Muluc in the Tzolkin
calendar—day of the Red Galactic
Moon—day 220.127.116.11.9 in the long
count, México arrived in New Mexico
as it does daily. This time, blue feathers
fanned out from his head and goat hoof
shakers hugged his calves. He twisted
his inner thigh to let his skin touch
the fire showing the world
how to burn without singeing.
Mexico rose wet with ash. Every day,
new words were given to me across counters
and grocery aisles, words like: ¡Mira! And
justo llegamos. And no, which is the same
in both languages, but the vowel comes across
the palette in Spanish, brushing the nose. In
English, it’s only a matter of lips. Solo works
similarly. In either language, you are alone
(estás solo), but in Spanish it’s a whisper
and the tongue touching teeth. In English,
the words start the same way but then the jaw
collapses and the throat invades the mouth.
In English, if you are solo, you’re simply
alone, but in Spanish, using a different verb,
eres solo, you’re not only alone, you’re also
unattached, single, and very not married.
© Kimberly Williams
Kimberly has been fortunate to travel to half the Spanish-speaking countries in the world by the time she was forty. As a traveler into different cultures, she has learned to listen ask questions, and seek points of connections. This page is meant to offer different points of connections between writers, words, ideas, languages, and imaginations. Thank you for visiting.