Isaac Goldemberg -Peru-

Isaac Goldemberg (Chepén, Peru, 1945), has lived in New York since 1964. He has published four novels, twelve books of poetry, two books of short stories and three plays. His most recent publications Libro de reclamaciones: Antología poética personal 1981-2016 (2018), Philosophy and Other Fables (short stories, 2016) and Acuérdate del escorpión (novel, 2015). His work has been included in numerous anthologies in Europe, the United States and Latin America. He is Distinguished Professor at Hostos Community College of The City University of New York, where he is director of the Latin American Writers Institute and editor of Hostos Review. He is also a Member of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language and Honorary Professor of the Ricardo Palma University in Lima, Peru.

 

Cusco

Caminé frente al muro, piedra tras piedra…Toqué las piedras con mis manos… en el silencio, el muro parecía vivo, sobre la palma de mis manos llameaba la juntura de las piedras que había tocado. José María Arguedas

Trepanadores de cráneos en el espacio. De hombres que hacían la paz y devolvían los reinos y vivían rezando y suplicando, los pies cerrados, cerrados los cerebros, de hombres que no tenían los labios cerrados, nos parecía alentador su silencio. El olvido recobra sus huecos de placer, carecemos de la voluntad de soñar y callamos en el espacio privado. Conservamos el fuego apagado, hemos rechazado preservar el imperio, sus cuerpos y sus ahogos. Hemos rechazado el espíritu de los que no sueñan. El imperio se sosiega en el paso de pocos segundos.

Mentes cabizbajas para la escritura de la historia, ese sol brillante, preservar el imperio, más cerca del impermeable tiempo, y más cerca del agua. Viejos de pie con sus máscaras sombreadas, quitaban al dios, desde la lúcida inteligencia, donde permaneciera la brevedad podrida de la tierra, y una muchedumbre de pequeños descensos, buscaba traducir la ley del imperio.


Cusco

I walked alongside the wall, stone after stone… I touched the stones with my hands…… in the silence, the wall seemed alive, over the palm of my hands flamed the joint of the stones I had touched. José María Arguedas

Trepaners of craniums in space. Of men who made peace and gave back the kingdoms and lived praying and imploring, their feet closed, their brains closed, of men who did not keep their lips shut, their silence struck us as encouraging. Oblivion recovers its hollows of pleasure, we lack the will to dream and we remain silent in the private space. We keep the fire extinguished, we have rejected preserving the empire, its bodies and distress. its bodies and their breathlessness. We have rejected the spirit of those who don’t dream. The empire calms down in a matter of seconds.

Downcast minds bowed for the writing of history, that brilliant sun, to preserve the empire, closer to the impermeable time, and closer to the water. Old men standing with their shadowy masks, removed the god, from lucid intelligence, where the rotten brevity of the land might remain, and a crowd of small declines, sought to translate the law of the empire.

Translated by Jonathan Tittler