On Poetry and Culture Shock

You are my inspiration (Eres mi musa)

You are my inspiration. /Eres mi musa.

Love is a bad poet
and sleepless, writing haiku
about your shoulders.

El amor es un mal poeta
e insomne, que escribe haiku
sobre tus hombros.

Love is a bad poet.
Unconvinced? Come closer,
I will show you why.

El amor es un mal poeta.
¿no te lo crees? Acércate más
y te enseño por qué.

Love is a bad poet
who turns your hair into words.
Never trust a poet.

El amor es un mal poeta
que convierte tu pelo en palabras.
Nunca te fíes de un poeta.

Love is a bad poet.
It never edits a draft,
Unlike resentment.

El amor es un mal poeta
Nunca corrige sus borradores,
al contrario que el resentimiento.

Insomnia is a wonderful poetic theme. There is so much to say about it. I can’t remember any names right now, but I think there’s a handful of Spanish classic poems about sleeplessness.

I actually wrote the first three poems during a sleepless night. The fourth came a couple of days later; I have more than ten haiku cycles and this is the closest I’ve come to have the idea of a cycle before grouping the poems. On the other occasions, I have picked here and there for enough poems on the same theme to get a cycle together, sometimes composing only one or two to fit the others. It is also my only composition with a refrain so far.

This cycle is the more mature, restrained, mysterious older sister of “Heart on a tray”: another refusal to shove my feelings down the reader’s throat (we already have Bécquer to make us sick with his self-indulgence, so no need for the rest of us to make the paper dirty with tears and snot).

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