Rocío Uchofen (Perú) escritora y promotora cultural. BA Lingüística y Literatura (PUCP) MA in English ( CUNY-CSI). Recibió una micro-residencia de The Poetry Society (2019) Antologías: Intervalos: 12 narradoras peruanas (2020) y Staten Island mi historia/Staten Island my story (2020), Todos podemos escribir un cuento (2021); prosa poética Staten Island personal/Personal Staten Island (2021). Ha publicado los poemarios Liturgias Clandestinas (Taller del Poeta, 2004), El Oscuro laberinto de los sueños (Tranvias Editores, 2011) y Geometría de la Urbe (Carpe Diem, 2019); los libros de cuentos Odalia y otros sin esquina (The Latino Pres, 2004), En algún lugar del laberinto (2011) y La irrealidad y sus escombros (Maquinaciones Narrativa, 2021). Dirige el webzine Híbrido Literario desde el 2002 y un programa con el mismo nombre en Maker Park Radio, Staten Island, Nueva York.
I was that poet, yes, that simple voice
whose echo meant new mornings.
Verses around a silent voice
Verses and more, multiplying around my neck
What is a poem
but that constant beat and the light
in your eye when the sun finds you.
What is a poem
but a weapon of meanings, a weapon full of images.
A poet said you were poetry,
but the skin gets older,
then the pure and soft melancholy becomes
just a shadow.
A poet sweats, exhales, shouts,
cries, weeps words and rhythms.
Words and nightmares have that essential link
full of meaning.
A poet says “my dream is simple:
green butterflies kissing the gray pavement...”
Sweet melodic beats, my blood and the
silence filling spaces.
oh yeah, filling all with words until there is
just an explosion of meanings like petals,
an explosion of truths and salt and water,
green butterflies, my friend,
gray pavement like the city of my dreams.
I was a girl that collected words like petals,
I was that hand that traced sentences,
I was a poet that quietly saved all her
little pieces of papers,
her broken words, her limits and more…
Raw, unfiltered poetry pouring life through the pores,
Raw, unfiltered poetry like the rain and the thunder
Raw like the language in the subway
unfiltered like all the words that scare your status quo,
unfiltered like the damned falling from the Babel tower
unfiltered like my own thoughts
This is my voice and those are my words
and you cannot silence me you cannot silence me
Those are my words, those are my weapons
Unfiltered, raw poetry like the strong waves of the Pacific Ocean.
This is my poetry, those are my words,
Those are my weapons.
I was the poet of the silence,
the one saving symbols and dreams,
the one that walked your street and heard
the one that observed
the one that tried to understand
the one that left
the one that changed
the one that writes these verses
the one that vibrated along with your soul
the one that listened to your cries
the one that stuck them into my verses.
Song to the Island
After long weeks inside home walking imaginary paths,
after trying to sleep while the night was dense and full of
After looking at the street through the glass in the distance,
I decided to go out for a walk…
Free of my bubble I found the same colors surrounding the same mysteries,
a sweet dragonfly searching for gold in my front garden and
the first blooms awakening from a profound dream.
The road was the same, maybe some new
speed cameras or signals.
The park, the sweet glance of a squirrel or the blackbirds
looking for seeds and for my shadow.
Hey people of Westerleigh, the sound of the afternoons
has these glorious moments, when the park full of life
is also empty of people.
I have seen you in darkness, now I see you blooming
smiles through your eyes full of meanings.
Hey people of South Beach, we have enjoyed magical foggy
afternoons near the water,
I have seen you flourish from the cruelty of the waters and now I see you
blooming new waves from the wings of seabirds in a promising sky.
Hey people of West Brighton, your quiet little ghosts
still mourn their losses while the sun sets
but there is noise of life germinating in your gardens,
there is still color in your sun drenched porches
and in the river’s view
I see sunsets from Tottenville and the sunrises from Grymes Hill,
the beauty of turkey chicks on Dongan Hills and some fawns hiding
their colors in Richmondtown or new mental roses growing in St George.
I see the island waiting for us.
We will be back to those images,
we will be back…
This poem was translated by Guillermo Echanique:
I have come to see you and I’m afraid.
I'm afraid of the dark,
of the twilight of this vaulted cemetery.
of the smell of loneliness, of lifelessness.
of the smell of shadows flowing through the silence.
I have come to say goodbye.
a carnation crushed in my hands,
its perfect leaves fainting in the cold,
in the small storm of grief
that wanders through the aisles,
through the gridded tracks
perfumed with the smell of dead roses,
my aspirations drown within the marble.
My carnation too has died.
My pain clings to the letters
that spell your name,
to the characters that decipher the secrets
you always wanted to understand.
And where is it, then?
It is not hidden in the liturgy,
nor in the Christ whose infinite hands
bleed out in silence.
nor in the Sacred Heart
melting slowly in the plain.
I know closing time will come.
I bid goodbye to you again.
In this anguished loneliness,
Let's all advance together.
Each step a cross each grave a cross.
The light changes
From blue to violet to purple.
(From Liturgias Clandestinas, 2004)