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Hugo Mujica

Y siempre después el viento

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Bajo toda la lluvia del mundo

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Lo naciente

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Poesía completa 1983-2004

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Flecha en la niebla

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Poéticas del vacío

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La palabra inicial

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Kyrie eleison

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Kénosis

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--

HUGO MUJICA was born in Buenos Aires in 1942.  He studied Fine Arts, Philosophy, Philosophical Anthropology and Theology.  This range of studies reflects itself in the variation of its works that covers so much the philosophy, like the anthropology, the narrative as the mystic and above all the poetry.  

Among his main books of essays are "Origen y destino" (1987), "La palabra inicial" (1995), "Flecha en la niebla" (1997), "Poéticas del vacío" (2002), "Lo naciente" (2007), "La casa y otros ensayos" (2008), "La pasión según Georg Trakl" (2009) and "El saber del no saberse" (2014).  " Solemne y mesurado" (1990) and "Bajo toda la lluvia del mundo" (2008), are his two short storybooks.  

His poetry work, initiated in 1983, has been published in Argentina, Spain, France, Italy, Mexico, United States, Chile, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Slovenia, Greece and Bulgaria.  In 2013 Vaso Roto published his "Complete Poetry  1983-2011", and in 2013 he published "Cuando todo calla" (XIII Premio Casa de América de Poesía Americana), his up to now last poetry book.

His life and trips have been the main material of his work, milestones as the to have lived and participated of the decade of the 60 life in the Greenwich Village of new York, as plastic artist, or to have quiet for seven years in the silence of the monastic life of the Trappist Order, where began write, they are some of the steps of his own history.  

Book in English:

“What the Embrace Embraces”, translated by Joan Lindgren. Coimbra Editions. San Francisco, California. 2008.

POEMS:

***

in the pond
the stars speak out

the earth
sends up
its earthy incense

the word
listening to the night

and all names
all
in one late bird

***

near

very near
a blind man is reflected
in my quiet tear

near

nearer yet
in his eyes I place my tear

so that both may see

 

***

lilac
dawns
among gray chimneys

humble
resurrection
of every night

the possibility
of creating all once again

something
like a pardon

 

***

as if
making love
through the wound

are we not born
                     out of the pain of others?

 

***

like the blind man
calling light
to the thunder

my saying
what silence names

***

in tatters
I continue whole

I almost
do not need myself

***

a forest, felled,

shrieks
not knowing that it shrieks

like the marble angel
                         on a child’s tomb

 

***

wounded lamb
drinking farewells at the shore
of every shipwreck

              we all need someone
                                          from whom we die

 

***

from the window I saw autumn
inside I saw nothing,
I shivered

           an emptiness in not only emptiness

 

***

when there are no walls
neither are there echoes

only rain
falling
towards
forever

only the beggar sleeping
on a bench

as if on the open palm of the world

when there are no walls
neither are there echoes

only rain
falling
towards
forever

only the beggar sleeping
on a bench

as if on the open palm of the world

 

***

obstinate
the window
of the blind man’s
house

to see darkens the gaze

 

***

knocking at the door
         of the empty house

not that they might open,
                                     that I hear myself calling

 

***

my hands are dead
                     from begging pardon for life

of such guilt am I already victim

 

***

when two hollows meet
                               they are not hollows: it is transparency

 

***

in the depths there are no roots,

                                               there is what’s been torn from

 

***

and everything is achieved by itself

                                without errors, as uselessness does

 

***

there is a god looking at himself
                      in the blindness of every man.

there is a destiny that repeats the one and only time,
crossing the same threshold
                        where I sat down as a child
                                                            to watch god go blind

 

***

it is not enough to open the eyes
                       we must open what we see
                                            remove the bandages
                                                                  from nobody’s breast

 

***

                  there are mirrors that are like men
they open breaking themselves

                                                    so few die of life

 

***

to live as if under the sea,
where to breathe is to swallow death

or as if living searching
for one’s child lost in a crowd

                      not knowing where he is,
                                           nor knowing if he’s been born

 

***

earth: the sky’s shore
but without sky:
a wasteland
where life kneads with my life its host
                                                         for a god no longer hungry

 

***

face down
muzzled by dirt
without disowning anything denied me:

the lightening speaks through its slash
                                                  not its thunder

 

***

I dressed for the banquet
and they put me to prune my bones

 

I undressed
for the wedding
and they clothed me in frost

                               of what greed am I the price?

 

***

TWO MANNEQUINS

             My mother and my father: two mannequins, one of sea foam flying over the beach, the other of snow falling upon a storybook (the shadows of both made of coal). The two of them under the rain, the rain that washed me of them, but high up, there where the rain’s still a lake, high up, where no children set foot.

 

EDGES

A child running along a breakwater under the rain.
The rain ceases, the breakwater ends.

            Jump! (Don’t die at the borders, don’t become a furrow on man’s brow).

 

WITHOUT ECHOES

          One can shelter oneself from fear by writing “fear”, as if to fear something, fear of writing, not the terror of nothing, of writing “nothing.” Of a life without echoes, as sailors speak on high seas, as those who are heard pray.

 

LIFE DOWNHILL

                Barefoot, in a cemetery of cans, three kids are pushing an empty cart uphill. One on each side, one behind.

                              The cart they push uphill,
                                                                 life downhill.

 

IN CIRCLES

          There is a dead child on the beach in broad daylight, and there is a dog circling around it as if the earth were his cage. A man watches them fixedly, or the sight has transfixed him, but he does not see the child, dead children cannot be seen, for to see them is not to see them, it is to see a hole in one’s own eye in the form of a dead child.

TRAP

         Like the trap of wanting to be the other, to see oneself.

        In the broken mirror I see myself opened, but in fact I am only broken.


THE RITUAL OF FUTILITY

like seeing a star fall
without
making a wish;

or like someone
with no assigned destiny
except waiting
for what will pass by
               without taking us along

what we see
without seeing
because it’s not like us.

the ritual of futility
or hope in the extreme:

a blind child
in front of a mirror
as if what one is
                  were not needed in order to be.

 

DAWN

quiet,

as if not moving
so that the blood not overflow the mouth

quiet,

as if sensing a bird
wounded
in the palm of the hand

without closing the hand
without opening the eyes

there is a faith that is absolute:
                                    a faith without hope.

 

THERE ARE DOGS WHO DIE ON THEIR MASTER’S DEATH

there are dogs who die on their master’s death

bodies which make not love
but fear
not moving
             but trembling.

and there are men
in whom god dies
like a drop of lacquer
upon the breast
             of a marble torso,

they are those who weep believing
they’re speaking,
or cry out in their sleep but
at dawn forget the cry
by which they’ve lit the night.

there are men in whom god groans
at not finding a man
                       to die in the flesh,

but he weeps
not as one weeping alone,
but as one weeps in a child’s embrace.

 

REMAINS ON THE BEACH

all is a tide
ebbing
and leaving
           remains on the beach,

all is outside
in the nakedness
             of hands.

what remains is to lick the lips
to taste the salt,

what remains is all
that will be asked of us again
         with nothing of what we’ve been given.

 

 

WHAT THE EMBRACE EMBRACES

the tap drips
and something of the stone
                    fades out with the water,

dies
as if it were human.

we seek to retain that which
in the other goes,
what at times falls apart

but it’s just the farewell
                           what the embrace embraces.

 

 

SHORES

outside a dog barks

at a shadow, its own echo
or at the moon
to lessen the cruelty of distance.

it is always to escape that we close
a door,
desert is nakedness without promise

the distance
of being near without touching
                like the edges of the same wound.

inside doesn’t fit inside,

they are not my eyes
that can look me in the eye
they are always the lips of others
                      that tell me my name.


ONLY A FEW DAYS AGO

my father died only a few days ago
it’s only so long.

he fell weightless,
like eyelids closing at nightfall
or like a leaf
when the wind doesn’t swept it away
but cradle it.

today's rain is not like other rains
today it rains for the first time
                     on the marble of his tomb.

under each rain
I could be lying, I know now,
                                 now that I have died in another.

 

A PIECE OF HUNGER, A GLASS OF WATER

faithful to the human,

to the dimensions of what the arms
can cradle,
to the fiesta
of what fits into the hands,

to the silenced hope
which is not keeping your lips pressed.

faithful to a glass of water
and to a piece of hunger
                             brought us by another body,

faithful swallow by swallow,
hunger to hunger.

faithful to the modesty of barely a sign,
barely the abyss
of the other
when silence
quiets the skin that divides us.

faithful to the limits of dying a man,
of having embraced the void
                                  that this very embrace filled.

 

DEEP INTO NIGHT

Even deep into night
snow
melts white

and the rain in its fall
keeps
its transparency.

It is night itself
who frees us of reflection,

night, who dilates
                    our pupils.

What the blind man with his stick seeks
                                               is the light, not the path.

 

WIND WITHIN WIND

Wind within wind,

                      rain over the sea and
                      the water neither rises nor ebbs.

Naked we are all face:
                      a slash is always a slash complete.

 

DEPARTURE BY DEPARTURE

I.

Without clothing one is born,
one springs forth

naked arrives:
           departure by departure.

II.

Having no place to go is not
                      having no one awaiting us,

is not having no place to go back to:
                                death is being born outside.

 

ABANDON

Between the fist
and the hand that opens
a life unfolds.

Only death is no stranger to us,
                     only what's most ours is born of abandon.

 

 

ARIA

It's a cold night

          and off in the distance
          a woman sings
                           seems to be cradling life.

The voice, not silence,
                        is the nakedness of words.

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

Autumn evening,

wind
and, from time to time, a leaf trips down
                                                      my window;

from time to time, something is announced
                                in the indecisive beauty of
                                                               every falling leaf.

 

VI

................Period of

.................low tide

................a bit of croaking,

................what the sea abandons

.................in the sand

...........................and the loneliness of being

......................................................only halfway.

 

The hour

of melancholy,

that of the absence

of what never was

and we feel it more closely:

that of us to which still

.................we did not give birth in life.

 

XXXIII

 

When distance

beats within

it is that the within

is already without;

 

it is to have arrived at the soul,

..............at the no man's hollow

..................................that is opened within each of us all.

 

 

LXXVIII

 

In the end there will be no end

there will be surrender;

 

.........that leap

.........without edge from which to take it,

.........that leaping into the emptiness

.........from where one time we

.....................................arrived,

 

....................................that surrender

....................................on behalf of which we went about

.........................................................................emptying ourselves.

 

 

Day is Born

 

Day is born

beneath a clearing sky,

 

transparency in which everything

is displayed,

what towards it sprouts

and what its very light withers.

 

Every birth demands nakedness,

...............................as love demands it,

....................................................as death bestows it

 

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