This Moment of Mine/Este Momento Mío by Marigloria Palma


Translated by Carina del Valle Schorske

 

I drink down my aspirins and watch the stars shiver.
This is my time, time of jet planes and plastic bombs.
Atomic era of the calculator. Ecological time,
biochemical time, transplant time, cancer time.

In a corner of the sky the tainted moon
(prostitute moon) puts her rabbits out to pasture
over her beaten breast. She passes, meditative, dragging
her swarm of wilted lilies, her dusty bitter God-help-you.

Man defiled her with his ideas (his scientific alchemy)
blasting rockets between her radiant hips and storming
her secret locks. Then he climbed up and spat in her face,
digging his heels in her chest. Brutalized moon

without mystery or shadow. Man has stripped you down
with his hands of clay. He’s blackened you with his magic
machine of flame-for-brains. He’s crushed your thighs
of foam and cream, your throat of milk, your transparent pubis.

But still you laugh, impassive, lifting your brow like a mad queen
on the eve of a coup… On earth the poet thinks of you and sobs:
don of words, genius of fine-wired syllables, he fashions you
a clever new snatch of blood and torment: a poem, sky-blue.

 

Este Momento Mío (de La noche y otras flores eléctricas)

Trago aspirinas y miro las estrellas parpadear.
Este es mi tiempo, tiempo de avión a chorro
y bomba plastic. Era de la calculadora
y fuerza atomica.
Tiempo de ecologia, de transplantes,
de cáncer y bioquimica.

Por un rincón del cielo la luna mancillada
(luna prostituida) pastorea sus conejos
con los senos vencidos. Pasa meditativa
arrastrando el enjambre de sus lirios ajados
y el Diostesalve polvoriento y ácido.

El hombre la ultrajó con sus ideas
(su cientifica alquimia) disparando cohetes
que ensuciaron sus radiantes caderas
y desentrorinzaron sus secretos invictos.
Despues subió hasta ella y le escupió la cara
Hundiéndole en el pecho los tacones.

Luna brutalizada sin misterio ni sombra.
Te ha desnudado el hombre con sus manos de arcilla.
Te ha mancillado el hombre con la maquina magica
De su ardiente cerebro. Ha estrujado tus muslos
De natilla espumosa, tu garganta de leche,
Tu transparente pubis.

Pero aun rielas impavida levantando la grente
Como una reina loca depronto destronada…
En la tierra el poeta te contempla y solloza
Y con don de palabras y alambritos de silabas
Te fabrica ingenioso una nueva vagina
Con su angustia y su sangre: un celeste poema.

 

 

Marigloria Palma was born Gloria María Pagán y Ferrer in 1915. Records differ regarding her birthplace—either Loiza or Canovanas, Puerto Rico—but she was raised by her working-class single mother before leaving school to work first as a maid and later as an assistant to a photographer in San Juan, the island’s capital. In 1942, she was the second woman (after Julia de Burgos) to receive the island’s premier poetry prize from the Institute of Culture. She cultivated a wide-ranging creative practice—folklore, children’s literature, theater, poetry, fiction, drawing, and painting—over her fifty year career.

 

 

Image by Jack Delano, public domain,