Poetry & Music -
2nd May 2017
with Mike Parsons David Kessel, Abe Gibson,
and Roger Hoddle.
floor spots come early...
Powis Road (off Bruce Road) E3 3HJ see map
Bow Road or Bromley by Bow Tube/Bow Church DLR
3-Bees Cafe 4 - 8: bring a bottle/cans
Austerity Door Policy - give what you can afford
Born in Chile in 1948. He studied Spanish and Spanish American Literature at the Catholic University of chile (Temuco). Following the military coup he spent two years in prison where he wrote many unpublished poems. He came to Britaiin as a refugee in 1976 and studied Latin American Studies at Portsmouth Polytechnic. Wrote a PhD on Chilean Novelist Jose Donoso.
These poems are from the 1988 Anthology of Latin American Poets in London
TE DEJO ESTAS LINEAS
Te dejo estas líneas que he pensado tanto
la verdad horrible, te advierto, es que dicen poco o nada
que hay una confusión porfiada a toodo recurso de teclas primordiales
y mi máquina de escribir no tiene eñe.
En un punto lo esencial se vuelve ocioso
un tiro al aire en la noche del aire de otra noche
del intricado fastidio que te ronda
cpomo un gato siniestro por la casa.
En última instancia lo que quiero
no es hablar de penas negras, sino blancas
sitiar palmo a plamo anunciuaciones, augurios
y a veces morderte la garganta.
Diciendo poco o nada
compañeras y compañeros
en confusión porfiada.
Variaciones más simples seguramente son factibles.
La situación actual para los pelos.
I LEAVE YOU THESE LINES I HAVE SO THOUGHT ABOUT
I Leave you these lines I have so thought about
the horrible truth, I warn you, is that they say little or nothing
that there is a confusion that resists anyresource that primordial keys may have
and my typwriter has no letter ñ.
At one point, the essential becomes useless
a shot in theair in the night of the air of another night
of the intricate uneasiness that surrounds you
like a sinister cat prowling roundthehouse.
At thebottom what I want
is not to speak of black but rahter white griefs
to lkay stealthy seige to annunciations, auguries
and at times to bite your throat.
I warn y0u.
Saying little or nothing
companions male and female
female companions of themale
all terribly mixed together.
That is all.
Simpler variations are surely possible.
The present situation is hair-raising.
Translated by P.T
Review – THE EXILES OF THE KINGDOM by Alfredo Cordal
White Bear Theatre Club 17th December 2011
A tragedy. A father killed by his son. A son struggling with sanity. A father who has links to Columbian guerillas.
Who has a past in a clandestine organisation in Chile, memories of a campaign to move prisoners children so that they can not be brought to watch the torture of their parents.
A sense of shock for me; to find that the lead character in the play was my first Spanish teacher. Albeit not for too long. At a time when I was sort of clandestine, hiding my identity as a writer in my enthusiasm to serve the cause of Human Rights. I can't even remember where those classes took place. I remember it was Veronica who took over, then Paul Moss and me had private lessons with Abel Lagos.
On the tube-train on the way there, a young Indian man spoke into his phone. Eventually he stopped. I considered moving. Then he proceeded to eat chicken. I tried to concentrate on reading Cardenal's “Music of the Spheres” but the guy infuriated me. I remembered from my meditation that it was me who had the problem. Maybe I should have stayed at home I thought to myself, nursing my bad back. It was good to see Dennis when I arrived at the theatre. He had been drinking since 11.00
Where do I begin to try and make sense of all this? Michael Kingsbury had organised a reading of a new play by Alfredo at The White Bear. I didn't know anything. Even the title was not what it seemed, one Alfredo had used before.
Where do I begin to try and make sense of all this? Where were the Latin accents? And Enrique, I remember him as a small slight, little guy.
But there he was, on stage, writing his play courtesy of Alfredo's writings. And some of it was very well written. I was so happy to see the dialogue between the father and son. This was a new departure for Alfredo I thought, though sometimes it was a bit static. But it was a reading. The mother was incomprehensible, what with code-names and God knows what else. And did she ever speak to the boy and if not why not? Where is the obvious oedipal bit? The mother spoke of the clandestine comrades using code. Alfredo said all would be revealed in the second half but it still makes no sense to me.
I look at Enrique's contribution to the Latin American Anthology of '88. Nothing special, some-one who knows cruelty and tries to sidestep it. But that was 20 years ago.
Somewhere there is a son who has killed his father, who has to live with all this. Should this play have even have been written. Dennis says now he is convinced that playwrights are all mad. But if there had been no play, I would not have known. Imagine, if there was not going to be a play, it might never have happened.
I think of paranoia and make a confession. I feel it. Dave Kessal feels it, anyone involved in politics feels it. The distrust, the mistrusting. Who is who? Sergio Navarro once told me not to worry. They are just doing their job he said. Don't worry. But you do. It is hard to make new friends. And to have children?
I am told that the Police still have Enrique's laptop, four years later, with all his writing. That doesn't seem right.
TU VIVIAS DETRAS DE LOS JARDINES
Tu vivías detrás de los jardines estivales
yo te odiaba con ganas, te mordí los pechos tantas veces
cuando el toque de queda amenazabas irte.
tú vivías contenta la lenta agonía de tu música
con caderas – con toad – hasta la última razón
dialéctica del baile de tus ojos calientes.
De alguna manera hablando
te dije entonces de mi ejército de hormigas.
Más tarde hice brillar el bello rubio de tus piernas
quemando rebeldes hojas sueltas de un otoño
metáfora aullante tras su cola -
valor de uso, valor de cambio
y malignamente dejo tus refugios habituales
lanzo armadas mis hormigas en viaje hasta tu cuello.
YOU LIVED BEHIND THE SUMMER GARDENS
You lived behind the summer gardens
I reallyhate you, I beat your breasts so manytimes
when you threatened to leave me at thetime of the curfew.
That's not true
you lived contentedly withall theslow death-agony of your music
withyour hips - with all ofyou - rightup to the last dialectical reason of thedance of your hot eyes.
Speaking in some way or other
I told you about my army of ants.
Later on I made the light-coloured down on your legs shine
by burning rebellious strayleaves of an Autumn
- a metaphor screaming after its own tail -
a use value, an exchange value
and in an evil way I leave your usual hiding places
I hurl my armed ants towards your neck