When the moon is in Fresno.

A Wrist-cutter's Glow, oil on canvas, 50x50 cm., Adam Donaldson Powell.
A Wrist-cutter’s Glow, oil on canvas, 50×50 cm., Adam Donaldson Powell.

saturn’s blues.

when the moon is in Fresno

and the sun sets a purplish

haze over early-autumn skies,

the cold winds of Hell

breathe heavily against

the hopes of local heroes

and the women who made them.

farmers stare off into the fields

without realizing, and housewives

pull their young close to their

bosoms – suddenly and

without explanation.

intuitively they sense the onset

of a long and severe influence;

a time of hardship and hindrance

when the faith and courage of

more than a few good men

and women are put to test.

the carousel is out-of-control,

and in the whirlwind confusion

crops will fail, loved ones will

pass away, jobs will be lost

and the simplest of dreams will

be stifled by saturn’s blues:

a mocking nursery rhyme telling

of horror and despair, and sung

over and over again with endless

variations on the same cruel theme.

(from Adam Donaldson Powell’s “Collected poems and stories”, 2005.)

don’t ask.

(original English version, from Adam Donaldson Powell’s “Collected poems and stories”, 2005.)

please don’t ask me how I am;

you can’t really expect

me to be any different

than I was yesterday.

we’re all really quite normal —

me, myself and I, and in

spite of our narcotic state can

be up and down simultaneously.

and don’t look at me too long;

I despise those “I know

how you must be feeling

eyes” and concerned tone.

why must you always misconstrue

the way my gaze avoids yours?

my anti-social disposition is

intended to protect you from us.

no — it doesn’t help to

speak slowly, pronouncing

each word with the sweetened

diction of a nun or nurse.

I honestly can’t tell you how to

act, for I have trouble enough

getting us to agree about

how we’ll shield you from me.

it’s really best to let me volunteer,

lest my unbridled demons unleash

their flame-throwing dragons to singe

the delicate threads of your own ego.

and you, so footloose, must avoid looking

back into the darkness whose glittering

maze of mirrors encaptures those who poke

their noses where they don’t belong.

go ahead — ask me how I am …

(Spanish version)

Por favor, no me pregunte cómo estoy;
usted no puede esperar
que yo esté muy diferente
de lo que estaba hasta ayer.
Todos estamos bien, normal –
yo, mí y yo mismo, y debido
además, a nuestro estado
narcotizado
podemos estar simultáneamente bien o mal.
No me mire fijo, le recomiendo;
yo detesto esos ojos de “Yo sé
como se siente … ”
y el tonito preocupado.
¿Por qué todos siempre malinterpretan
el modo en que mi mirada evita la suya?
Mi disposición antisocial es
para proteger a todos de nosotros.
No – no ayuda
hablarme despacio, pronunciando
cada palabra con el dulce tono
de una enfermera o niñera.
Honestamente no puedo decir
cómo actuar,
ya tengo bastantes problemas
tratando de ponernos de acuerdo
entre nosotros.
Sobre cómo protegerlo de nosotros.
Realmente lo mejor es dejarme ser un voluntario,
y permitir que mis demonios salvajes se suelten
y a sus dragones de lenguas llameantes hacer arder
los hilos delicados de su propio ego.
Y usted, tan descuidado, evite mirarme
cuando me vaya de nuevo a la oscuridad
cuya brillante masa de espejos captura
a los que meten su nariz en lo que no les importa.

Déle, déle, pregúnteme cómo estoy …


(from Adam Donaldson Powell’s “Three-legged Waltz”, 2006, trad. de Maria Cristina Azcona, Buenos Aires)

Un día lo entenderás …

Trato de ignorar el zumbido del teléfono —
tan incesante … y desesperado.

Ya conozco tus palabras:
“Me preguntaba si aún estabas muerto …
¿Hay algo que pueda hacer para ayudarte?
!Ay Caramba! … Perdona mi torpeza.
(Quiero decir: ¿hay algún cambio
desde hace una hora?)”

Tú sabes: no puedo contestar el teléfono
porque no puedo cuidarte nunca más.
Ahora no.

Un día lo entenderás.

(from Adam Donaldson Powell’s “Jisei”, 2013.)

Tightrope.

I swear they make this tightrope

thinner each time I attempt to cross.

I remember how my psyche could once

dance endless sommersaults back and forth.

and how every now and then I would

laugh mercilessly to myself at how I

astonished and sometimes even

infuriated others with my devilish

dexterity of mind and wit.

but now, having fallen all too often,

I quiver at the sight of both

challengers and supporters; and

look upon success in reaching the

rope’s end as another day’s survival

rather than a demonstration of prowess.

I know a good sport never complains but,

I swear they make this tightrope

thinner each time I attempt to cross.

(from Adam Donaldson Powell’s “Collected poems and stories”, 2005.)

THREE-LEGGED WALTZ.

well hidden behind the portals

of passionless and watery eyes

the incessant carousel of an insomnious

three-legged waltz is revealed with

childlike vision; hypnotically in

syncopation with the murmur

of the inviolate ticking clock.

in this surface-like existence, well

beyond resistance and emotion,

every attempt to break through is

as futile as punching a pillow

or screaming in a dream.

and in the absence of promise we

eventually find solace in our perpetual

state of existentialism and blues –

and pretend not to recognize the

everpresent and bittersweet

scent of lemons exuding from

each and every passerby.

(from Adam Donaldson Powell’s “Three-legged Waltz”, 2006.)

PsychedelicAdam

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