Monday, March 9, 2015


The Angelic Angel

The sea went to give her a name,

and the wind gave a surname,

and a body, the clouds,

and a soul, the flame.

Earth gave no gifts.

That mobile realm that drifts

hanging from eagles' span

knows her not.

Her shadow never wrote

the semblance of man.


Someone behind you, always behind,

binding your eyes with words to make you blind.

Behind you, with no frame,

no soul.

Smoky voice of a dream

cut short.

A broken voice

of smoke.

With words, false panes of glass.

Blindly, down a golden tunnel

that evil mirrors face,

you'll bump into death

in some underground place.

You, alone there, girl, with death,

in an underground place.

And someone always there behind,


The Sooty Angel

Ugly, of mud and soot.

I won't look!

Yet once, all snow and gold,

in a sleigh across my soul.

Laden pines, and white slopes.

Now, through garages you crawl,

filthy, black as coal.

Devil take you!

Through garrets where my smashed dreams lie and rust.

Trailing cobwebs. Moths and dust.

God damn you!

Your hands have left their smear

on walls and furniture.

On everything,

your memory branded still,

stamped in slime and black ink.

Hell burn you!

Love, you dark squid of shadow,


from Alberti's book of angels...
Concerning the Angels
translated from the Spanish by Geoffrey Connell
Alan Swallow, 1967