Kristin Dykstra translating Reina María Rodríguez

the one who’s diving (1978)

the young woman is Lily Brik, Mayakovsky’s comrade
and Elsa T.’s sister, diving
into the pool with blue and green waters
and I’m her between other stories about friends.
there too are my parents in the little boat,
“Victor,” victorious over the ocean enclosed
in a fishbowl. the one who’s diving is
someone else too, who has never written a poem, who has
no other hierarchy besides the desire inscribed
in his brow, frowning about not being someone. the victor
(that one who’s diving) jumping over the quiet water
with his glass of ice-cold light (Bavarian) beer
time is between his fingers. a character who is always
with us, signifying us to ourselves
as we enter turbulence or emerge into peace
after a mental war. earth, water, fire, air,
heavens, discernment and ego-essence, here I have the
division of my nature, its instrument.
the one who’s diving — manipulating reality
with his hidden camera, montage technique,
makes an effort by his immersion to be convinced
that he’s coming back from there, from some unreal landscape,
to encounter her again
in that corridor of alcohol
where she stands still at the end
(she’s at the end of her life)
still, between them and the others;
while your image refracts
and accelerates the collapse of the islands
into the blue and green waters…
the manipulation is so old
the one diving is the only innocent
who, in his joy, doesn’t recognize this experiment
interrupted by the arrival of a wave…
(I think that when it happens to you, if it happens to you,
you won’t know it.)

the difference
a haunted house on the corner of San Rafael
like a cedar in a line of cedars
mouths, destinies
in Beckett’s South-Eastern Railway Terminus
the one who’s diving (1978)

Kristin Dykstra Translating Reina María Rodríguez

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