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Video by Eduardo Chirinos



Anoche tuve un sueño. Acompañaba a mi padre
por un camino de tierra. Los dos íbamos a caballo
y apenas cruzábamos palabras. A lo lejos se veía
la sombra de unos sauces, las luces de un pueblo
desconocido y remoto. De pronto, mi padre detuvo
su caballo y preguntó si yo sabía a dónde íbamos.
Le contesté que no. Entonces vamos bien, me dijo.


Los caballos del sueño sabían de memoria
el recorrido. Era cuestión de abandonar las
riendas, de dejarse llevar. Eso me causaba un
poco de aprensión, incluso un poco de miedo.
Mi padre, en cambio, parecía muy tranquilo.
Pensé, parece tranquilo porque está muerto.


Aquí es donde vivo, dijo como si me quitara
una venda. Fue muy poco lo que vi. Sólo un
páramo de piedras, remolinos de arenisca,
huesos de caballos amarillos. ¿Qué te parece?
No supe qué decir. Tenía sed y me dolía un
poco la garganta. Es un lugar hermoso, dijo,
pero a veces me gustaría regresar. ¿Por qué
no regresas, entonces?, pregunté. Porque es
más fácil que tú vengas me dijo. Y desapareció.




Last night I had a dream. I was travelling with my father
over a dirt road. The two of us were on horseback and we
barely said a word to each other. Off in the distance you could
see the shadow of some willow trees and lights from a strange
and far-away town. Suddenly, my father stopped his
horse and asked if I knew where we were heading. I told
him no. Then we’re going in the right direction, he said.


Horses in dreams always know the way by
heart, so it was simply a matter of loosing the
reins and letting ourselves be led. This caused
me not a little apprehension and even a little fear.
My father, in contrast, seemed very calm.
He seems calm, I thought, because he’s dead.


This is where I live, he said, as if taking a blindfold
from my eyes. I could see very little there, only a
rocky plain, sandstone whirls and the yellow bones
of horses. What do you think? he asked. I didn’t
know what to tell him. I was thirsty and my
throat hurt a bit. Beautiful place, he said, but
I feel like going home sometimes. Why don’t
you, then? I asked. Because it’s easier for you
to come to me, he said, and disappeared.

(Translated by G. J. Racz)

Poet Eduardo Chirinos

Eduardo Chirinos (Lima, Perú 1960) is the author of numerous books of poetry as well as volumes of academic criticism, essays, translations, children’s books, and occasional pieces. His most recent poetry titles in Spanish include Abecedario del agua (2000), Breve historia de la música (2001, winner of the inaugural Casa de América Prize for Latin American Poetry), Escrito en Missoula (2003), No tengo ruiseñores en el dedo (2006), Humo de incendios lejanos (2009), Catorce formas de melancolía (2010), Mientras el lobo está (2010, winner of the XII Generation of ’27 Poetry Prize), and 35 lecciones de biología (y tres crónicas dicácticas) (2013). An anthology of his work was translated into English: Reasons for Writing Poetry (London: Salt Publishing, 2011). The University of Montana Press has published the English version of Escritoen Missoula (Written in Missoula, 2011), Open Letter (Rochester, New York) published the English translation of Humo de incendios lejanos (The Smoke of Distant Fires, 2012), Diálogos Books the English translation of Mientras el loboestá (While the Wolf Is Around, 2014), and Díaz Grey the English translation of Treinta y cinco lecciones de biología (Thirty-Five Zoology Lessons, 2015).

After completing his doctorate at Rutgers University, Chirinos held posts at Binghamton University and the University of Pennsylvania before moving on to the University of Montana, where he is now professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures.


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