José de la Rosa —Dominican Rep.—

José Miguel de la Rosa (1955-2019) A great Dominican writer and a great human being. His literary work (poetry, theatre, short stories) was inspired by his daily walks through New York City, memories of his early years in the Dominican Repubic, books and art. He studied Spanish American literature at The City College of New York (CUNY) and was a member of the literary group Pensum, as well as co-founder of the Hispano/Latino Cultural Center of Queens. His books of poetry include: Entre sonrisas y sueños (1995), Otra latitud (2009), Días infinitos (2015). Many of his poems have been anthologized. His published plays include: La loca de la Estación Central (Mi cielo Ediciones, México, 2010); El hombre que esperaba en el camino which was produced in NYC in 2012 and published in the Grupo Teátrica’s anthology: Palabras acentuadas: Antología de Cuatro Dramaturgos Latinos en la Ciudad de Nueva York (2014).

Cenizas

Te esperaba a la vuelta de la esquina debajo del parapete del destino cobijándome de la lluvia de la inocencia horas largas con la sola compañía de mi perro con un libro de poemas bajo el brazo inquieto tembloroso disparaba la mirada a cada movimiento o destello tratando de anticipar tu llegada un arcoiris se deshacía a lo lejos la noche se desplomaba (con luna y todo) en una polvareda de ceniza que me dejaba ciego de ti regresaba a casa con las manos llenas de sueño aún encendía la lámpara y empezaba a imaginarte de nuevo

At Nightfall

long hours would pass as I waited for you around the corner under the parapet of destiny sheltering myself from the rain of innocence with a book of poems under my arm and my dog as sole companion troubled trembling shooting glances at every moving object or spark of light straining to anticipate your arrival rainbows would fall apart in the distance while nights collapsed (with the moon and all of heaven) in distant dust storms of ash blinded by love for you I would return home with my hands full of dreams light the gas lamp and begin to imagine you once again

Herido de soñarte

muriendo entre azucenas que expiran en un jardín de traspatio en el barrio más humilde donde los perros ladran a tu ausencia detrás de la ventana que se ha bebido las nubes y los espejos con los ojos amoratados de insomnio te espero.

Wounded by my Dream

waning from ceaselessly dreaming of you fading away like the water lilies withering in my backyard garden forlorn as the poorest ‘hood where howling dogs are haunted by your absence I stand behind a window which has devoured all the clouds and mirrors with eyes purpled from sleeplessness and wait for you


Postcard

Te escribo desde abril esta ciudad/puerto estacionaria desde el centro de este sueño entre aleteos de pájaros y el ruido de sirenas y de la algarabía de la gente desde este jardín de palabras desde este mercado casi nocturno te escribo

Postcard

I’m writing you from this port city known as April crossroads of the seasons from the center of this dream among the flapping wings of birds the screeching of sirens and the joyful din of the crowds from this garden of words from this marketplace at dusk I am writing you

Legado

Les dejo mi sombrero y mi sobretodo, con los que me cubro del polvo sidereal, mis botines viejos, la angustia que me han dejado los años, este orgullo de homo sapiens con paraguas, el sabor amargo de los crepúsculos de un país ajeno, el humo de las fábricas, este enredo de alambres de alto voltaje que es esta ciudad les dejo todo, menos mis sueños y mi sonrisa de flamboyán.

Legacy

I bequeath to you my hat and overcoat which sheltered me from stardust my worn-out work boots the anguish assigned to me by time the pride of homo sapiens with umbrella the bittersweet taste of twilight in an alien land the smoke of factories this tangle of high voltage wires that passes for a city I leave everything to you except my dreams and my flashy smile.

All these poems were translated by Tonia Judith Leon

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