Triunfo Arciniegas, "Distance"

Translated from the Spanish by Steve Dolph


En un cuarto apestoso
El viejo esparce la baraja
Y a través del humo
Me señala tu imagen
Junto a un hombre
Que no soy yo


In a molding room
The old man
Lays out the deck
And through the smoke
Points to your figure
Next to a man
Who is not me

• • •

Triunfo Arciniegas is a fantastically prolific Colombian author. If he were American he'd be labeled a "fabulist" or something else in that vein. Not a Magic Realist, but certainly not not one, Arciniegas sees the world always slightly refracted through his irony glasses. Below is translated a poem Arciniegas posted to Letralia, a website that serves as a good introduction to his work, including poetry, prose, and essays.

Steve Dolph edits this journal. He is currently translating a short story collection by Arciniegas, The Unicorn Garden and Other Places for Lonely Men.

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