Two poems in translation by Lawrence Schimel

The Great Atlas of the Human Body
by Care Santos
translated into English by Lawrence Schimel

The Prefrontal Cortex
is the largest room of the home
we call the brain.
That’s why it’s used as the storeroom
to keep everything:
what is learned, what is sometime thought,
what we are and what we do,
what we sometimes unlearn
about the already known
and also (how difficult it is to imagine)
that which we feel through the skin:
that night in Cordoba
(the name of the hotel is fuzzy),
the infernal noise of the Gran Vía
under our moans,
the unharmonious voices of local seagulls
above the skylights
and that periodic pain of pulling away from you
week after week.
What a shame,
how much space we take up in warehousing worthless
bits of junk.

Any day I’ll get some boxes
and empty the storeroom of useless memories.
I’ll leave them in the street, beside the garbage can
in case they’re of any use to someone.
Any day I’ll see them, my memories,
in the hands of another woman
who knows how to appreciate them.

(first published in Dissection by Care Santos (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2014).

by Jordi Doce
translated into English by Lawrence Schimel

You live in a city where the map of the side streets dangerously resembles that of your heart. A city where the stains and chips in the walls are windows that follow your steps, doors that no one dares to enter. Where the hung laundry sends coded messages and the glassy eyes of fish exchange glances of recognition with the copper coins of the servants. A city of towers and minarets that change location every day, of carpets that fly inside one’s eyes, of lamps that hide their own light. A city where at nightfall groups of young and old men gather atop the walls to look over the flood plain, the melted nugget of the sun illuminating the fertile land, cornstalks trembling at the slightest breath.

(published in STRUCTO 12)

Care Santos (Mataró, 1970) is one of Spain’s most versatile and prolific writers. Writing in both Catalan and Spanish, she is the author of over 40 books in different genres, including novels, short story collections, young adult and children’s books, poetry, etc. (@CareSantos) Jordi Doce (Gijón, 1967) is a poet, critic, and translator. He holds a PhD from the University of Sheffield, and has taught at both there and at Oxford. (@JordiDoce) Lawrence Schimel(New York, 1971) writes in both Spanish and English and has published over 100 books in many different genres, for both adults and children. He is the publisher of the independent poetry press A Midsummer Night’s Press. He lives in Madrid, Spain where he works as a Spanish->English translator. (@lawrenceschimel)