CGP 27: Zinc Landscape / Paisaje zinc
by Dayana Fraile, translated by Guillermo Parra (32 pp. Saddle-Stitched) $7 ppd. ($9 ppd. outside of continental U.S.)

In her English debut, Venezuelan fiction writer and poet Dayana Fraile conjures an urban scenario where the self unapologetically embraces a melancholic gait. These are city poems built on a fractured diction, with lines constructed out of tin roofs, skyscrapers, knuckles and traffic. The city might be Caracas, Venezuela but it’s also a stage where the poet maps out her particular narrative of doubt, frustration and visionary fervor. The poems in Zinc Landscape employ the daily panorama as an opportunity for reinterpreting our inner world, where crickets “essay silence” and “the shadow makes body.” Thinking of Baudelaire’s relationship to Paris, Walter Benjamin wrote: “We know that, in the course of flânerie, far-off times and places interpenetrate the landscape and the present moment.” These poems let us witness this interpenetration as it proceeds from tree branches to office cubicles, plazas, avenues and TV screens. Dayana Fraile’s hard poems are furnished with “the aluminum of the season.” --Guillermo Parra

por Dayana Fraile

esta tristeza se me va por las ramas
                                            se cuelga de lianas de plástico
me penetra silenciosa mientras grito

como toda bestia sagrada se adorna con cayenas
arde como un horizonte entre las manos
se unta mascarillas de pepino y miel

cerril                     montaraz
desorienta a los vecinos         lleva piedras en la boca


celebra el camino del abismo
no deja dormir
toma el agua directamente de las jarras
escucha discos de Chopin hasta bien entrada la noche
by Dayana Fraile 
trans. Guillermo Parra

this sadness gets tangled in branches    
                hangs from plastic vines
silently penetrates me while I scream

like all sacred beasts it adorns itself with cayennes
burns like a horizon in your palms
dabs itself with cucumber and honey masques

untamed           rough
disorients the neighbors      carries stones in its mouth


celebrates the road of the abyss
leaves no room for sleep
drinks water straight from jugs
listens to Chopin records well into the night

Foreign orders click here: