Jonathan Simkins lives in Denver, Colorado. He is the author with artist Justin Ankenbauer of the ekphrastic chapbook, Translucent Winds (Helikon Gallery & Studios, 2016). The title poem of his second chapbook, This Is The Crucible (The Lune, 2017), received a Best of the Net nomination. His poems have appeared in various publications, including Crack The Spine, Gingerbread House Literary Magazine, Literary Orphans, Requited Journal, and Wilderness House Literary Review, among others, and his translations of Ernesto Noboa y Caamaño have appeared or are forthcoming in The Bangalore Review, Hinchas de Poesía, and here at Visitant.
Below is part in a series of translated poems.
Ernesto Noboa y Caamaño (1889-1927) was an Ecuadorian poet and member of the “Generación Decapitada” (Decapitated Generation). Influenced by the French symbolists and the modernismo of Rubén Darío, he is one of the most widely read poets in Ecuador. Most of his poetry was collected in a single volume, Romanza de las Horas (Romance of the Hours), published in 1922.
Vivo galvanizado por un recuerdo triste
que acibaró mi enferma juventud desvalida;
de los viejos tesoros que hubo en mí, nada existe;
voy con el alma en sombras y con la fe perdida.
Del más mínimo esfuerzo mi voluntad desiste,
y deja libremente que por la vieja herida
del corazón se escape- sin que a mi alma contriste-
como un perfume vago, la esencia de la vida.
¡Lasciate ogni speranza! Hoy sólo el alma enferma
anhela desligarse de esta mísera carne
que los males agobian y que el gusano merma,
y pedir al olvido su ropaje de ensueño . . .
¡tal vez para que pronto torne al mundo y reencarne
en el cuerpo leproso de algún perro sin dueño!
I Live Galvanized
I live galvanized by an aging wound
burning still from my powerless youth.
Nothing remains of the treasures that were in me.
A vacuous vault, I keep to the shadows.
At the slightest effort my will gives up,
and from the maggots of the wound’s memory
-the affectionless knife still rejected and wet-
leaks the essence of life, a nauseating smoke.
Lasciate ogni speranza! Today my cursed heart
beats its longing to throw away this squalid carcass
that the worms waste and the evils overwhelm.
O to soak my cloak in the Lethe waters
and transform this world! O to reincarnate
in the leprous body of a homeless dog!