Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Welcome to America

Welcome to enjoy the best shoot-outs
on and off the big screen
welcome to smile at the helicopters
passing over the backyards
to make it clear that fear exists
welcome to experience the sweetest torture
to win wars in foreign lands
to make money in foreign lands
to impose ideas on foreign lands
welcome to enjoy a fast food
fast read, fast friendship, fast sex,
and hurry so you don’t miss the train of fame
and the American Dream.

Three helicopters fly over my house
they come and go in circles
People cross the street quickly
the noise in the sky doesn’t allow me to lose my fear
the noise in the sky is the new church, new catechism
the new way of saying that justice has spoken
the white man still has the power
and that having a black president is just a coincidence
of time and space.

I’ll try to leave without being seen
I'll climb trees and hide in the branches
I’ll make a nest with the birds who offer me refuge.
From the top of this tree I can see more people like me
writing poetry, more people like me out into the streets to protest
I can see frightened people, people with rabies
people wanting revenge.

I don’t want to live hidden in four walls of fear
I want to say that here I am
with all my verses ready to shoot my words
to strafe my poem in their faces
and in response be killed in self-defense
with the permission of justice
and the inevitable problem of the color of my skin.

© Adrian
Oakland, 15-16 July, 2013
Translation by Nina Serrano

-Helicopters photos by Adrian-

Monday, July 15, 2013

Love Poem in Paris

I am going to create a ceremony
to the glass you drank from
I will dance around the silverware
you used to eat with
I will save forever
the napkin that touched your lips.

I am a romantic collector of your footsteps
the patches of your sleeplessness
he who stitches together the bits of light
that you left in the air you pass through.

I like to scratch your head
and feel the velvet
of the archangels guarding your sleep
I want to kiss your closed eyes
and feed myself on your visions.

I am going to sing to your hands
that figure out the equation of the day
in each wing beat
I am going to make a blanket
with all the smiles
that you brought today
with it I will cover myself in the dawn
to write you a poem,
this poem.

Image: Rodin sculpture, photo by Adrian

© Adrian Arias, Paris 2013
Translation by Nina Serrano