NW: The poems are all in English except for one in Spanish, with a translated version. What is the piece in Spanish doing there? What about its translation into English? What do you want readers to be thinking about language? 

RT: In that piece, what I am trying to do is shed a bright light on the specifics of English syntax. First there’s a Spanish piece that’s very brief, a rendering of somebody at a union hall, shushing up fellow co-workers, trying to get his/her take on last night’s incident—the explosion. Later, in another instance the English “version” is a translation of the Spanish one, but without me straightening out the syntax. I keep the syntax of Spanish but use English words. The intended effect is to keep readers/listeners from internally dozing off, thinking that what they’re hearing is “meaning”, rather than a making of meaning. I do all sorts of things to keep spectators on their toes. I do this too, to keep me on my toes. If I get complacent, then it’s all over for the poem, or book, or reading, in terms of keeping it vital.

From an interview with Rodrigo Toscano at Puerto del Sol.
Where there is
No lineage, no record,
No quantifiable
Proof, there are
Myths, and where
There is no myth,
There are traces.

- Jenny Johnson, "Ephemera"

Reblogged from Un alma cercana
Ellos existen, yo no.

Escribe una introducción al poema que sea el poema. (Idea fallida.)

Yo soy el producto del imperialismo petrolero.

Everything's so disgusting in Houston. - D.D.

I want none of that.

I've been looking around and you were here all the time. - Roxanne Collins

I'm not interested in the differentiating of fiction and non-fiction into separate genres, I'm interested in how fiction and non-fiction inform and deform each other constantly.

- A paraphrase of something Lidia Yuknavitch said in Tucson a few weeks ago...
По утрам я делаю ненужных вещей.
The massacre of the whites [in Haiti in 1805 under Jean-Jacques Dessalines] was a tragedy; not for the whites. For these old slave-owners, those who burnt a little powder in the arse of a Negro, who buried him alive for insects to eat, who were well treated by Toussaint, and who, as soon as they go the chance, began their old cruelties again; for these there is no need to waste one tear or one drop of ink. The tragedy was for the blacks and the Mulattoes. It was not policy but revenge, and revenge has no place in politics. The whites were no longer to be feared, and such purposeless massacres degrade and brutalize a population, especially one which was just beginning as a nation and had had so bitter a past. The people did not want it—all they wanted was freedom, and independence seemed to promise that. Christophe and other generals strongly disapproved. Had the British and the Americans thrown their weight on the side of humanity, Dessalines might have been curbed. As it was Haiti suffered terribly from the resulting isolation. Whites were banished from Haiti for generations, and the unfortunate country, ruined economically, its population lacking in social culture, had its inevitable difficulties doubled by this massacre. That the new nation survived at all is forever to its credit for if the Haitians thought that imperialism was finished with them, they were mistaken. 

- C.L.R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (1938)
I don’t think I write for freedom; I feel like when I write and read, what I go for is saturation, for intensity, that I am indeed operating “under the influence” of art. That’s a sensation that feels like a kind of freedom, but also the removal of agency, perhaps even of enslaving. Art connects me, ties me up, more than liberates me; and what it connects me to is often unpleasant because, as you note in your review of Kim Hyesoon, we live a blood-bucket world. I don’t feel like I’m “innovative” or progressive. I feel like poetry is dead, but I would rather wander in the Hades of poetry than in some new and improved world without poetry and its necro-glamorous excesses.

- Johannes Göransson, in conversation with Mia You here on the Poetry Foundation blog

and that quote builds off of something like this:

A translation – like a poem – is not a whole, complete item, as the monoglossic illusion would have us believe, but a zone into which we enter when we read and when we write. This zone contains boundaries but it also traverses boundaries; it contains contexts but the contexts might extend beyond the national boundaries; they may for example suggest that the U.S. and South Korea are intimately connected through wars and global capitalism. Translations are constantly taking place. Rather than try to quarantine them, or instrumentalize them for pedagogical purposes, we want to be overcome by them, possessed by them, changed by them. Just like we would with a work in English. That doesn’t mean that we forget about “context”: we forget about context as a field of mastery, as a way of accessing the “true meaning” of the poem, as an “over there.” It brings here and there into the same zone; the context becomes part of the deformation zone. We become gross sensationalists.

- By the same author on The Volta's Evening Will Come

En español por favor