Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Poems by Tanya Huntington

Jul 3, 2022 | Poetry | 0 comments

ψ

Did you know in wave mechanics, equations never end?
Well, after reading that, I attempted to visualize
mīmēsis as splitting odds and ends in half. Not KAPOW!
like atoms, or Aristophanes’ bi-gendered orange
when angry bolts of lightning strike; think more along the lines
of protoplasmic flow, eukaryotically hacked
every single time we observe anything around us.
Hence, from the moment you first scan these printed words in verse,
they have already morphed into dotted lines on a curve:
letters rising/letters falling simultaneously.

 

Gravity
Joe Creek, 1970

The real danger occurs when a baby falls
hard surface from a height of three to five feet, or
more. Broken limbs, retinal hemorrhages, skull
fractures, brain damage or swelling, and internal
bleeding are among the most severe risks
associated with a serious fall. 

Aminah Kahn, Fatherly magazine

 

a baby is carried
from the onset
rocked
in the womb
as her mother walks
cradled
by her mother’s arms
strapped
to her mother’s chest
because
a baby is helpless
a baby is fragile
utterly defenseless
in fact
and yet
a baby is made
out of rubber
so she bounces back
after her mother’s brother
loosens his grip
in a farmhouse kitchen
and lets her drop
though it wasn’t his fault
she arched outward
abruptly
like infants do sometimes
as if she could
topple gravity
and then careened
less than 1 second later
she hit the linoleum floor
less than 1 minute later
a bump swelled on her forehead
she bawled so hard and loud
the air ran out
and she went limp
the adults panicked
they blew in her face
they shouted her name
and then she came to
and seemed fine
other fallen creatures
aren’t so lucky
birds for example
are not carried
but kept in an egg
that’s kept in a nest
and below
instead of linoleum
lie white concrete squares
dotted
here and there
in early spring
with the bodies
of fledglings
that flubbed
their one shot
their premature attempt
at maiden flight
angles so tragically ugly
bulging eyes sealed shut
pinfeathers never to be unfurled
exposed there on the ground forlorn
in fossil positions
waiting for the ants to come
and devour them slowly
in plain sight
because none of us
dared lift a dead bird
it would have been sacrilegious
somehow
and I used to wonder
whether they remained awake
as they plummeted
without plumage
whether their parents
mourned their loss
but getting back to the infant
what did she feel as she fell
was there a rush
did the position of her internal organs shift
ever so slightly
on impact
did this re-accommodation
make her into someone else
perhaps
a girl whose liver
had moved
a little
to the left
a girl with a hole
between two chambers
of her heart
?
eventually
other shes would manage to:
–fall from a 2-story tornado slide
–fall off a horse that reared when Dobermans barked out of nowhere
–fall for some dropout from California she met in a parking lot who worked odd jobs and wrote lyrics along the lines of: “I was supposed to fall in love this fall, not fall, and here comes another wall now”
in her defense
he carried a guitar
rode a Moto Guzzi
slept in a hammock
smoked weed
looked like Jim
and sang like Cat
but aside from all that
it was this particular fall
this life-defining moment
at the dawn of life
that would later be dusted off
and used
to explain what was wrong with her
every eccentricity
every tendency
every obsession
every bad decision
well you know
she WAS dropped on her head
as a baby…

ψ

Physicists use the Greek symbol called psi to represent
the wave function they consider to be emblematic
of this flux. The conjunction of lines that, once assembled,
form ψ is similar to signs found in caves dating back
to the Ice Age in Europe. ψ is also the direct
pictographic forerunner of the phenome known as X,
which among mathematicians, symbolizes the unknown.
Other possible interpretations, according to
Wikipedia, include Neptune’s mighty trident, or, in
Judeo-Christian lore, that pitchfork held by the Devil.
ψ can signify psychology, psychiatry and
even parapsychology, i.e. studies delving
into the paranormal or the supernatural,
such as research into extrasensory perception.
In mathematics, ψ is the supergolden ratio, or
reciprocal Fibonacci constant, if you prefer.
According to biochemists, it denotes one of the
dihedral angles found within the backbones of proteins.
It is also the symbol used for the traditional
Okinawan melee weapon for striking and blocking,
which is similar in shape and coincidentally
known as a sai. In Biblical studies, it is read as
an abbreviation for the book of Psalms, considered
to be the most poetic —writ mostly by King David.
But back to the field of physics: for decades, physicists
divided our reality between microscopic
indetermination and the so-called classic world, where
causes and effects prevail, and never the twain shall meet.
Hugh Everett III, creator of the theory of
many worlds, proposed that we demolish that wall, remove
that barrier. Or rather, he pointed out there was no
actual evidence of the barrier’s existence.
Everett’s interpretation states that whatever we
consider possible will take place at some point in time.

__

A bi-national author and artist who resides in Mexico City, Tanya Huntington is Managing Editor of the digital magazine Literal: Latin American voices. Her most recent book of poetry is Solastalgia (Almadía, 2018). She holds a Ph.D. in Latin American literature from the University of Maryland at College Park and currently teaches Poetry and Design at CENTRO. Her writing and art have been published in Cold Mountain Review, Dead Skunk Mag, Este País, The Guardian, Letras Libres, National Geographic Traveler, Nexos, Periódico de Poesía, La Razón, and ZiN Daily, among others. Follow her on Twitter @TanyaHuntington and Instagram @tanya_huntington

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