A Stone to the Chest, winner of the Premio Alhambra de Poesía Americana, weaves together tango, soccer, and contemporary Argentine slang with echoes of Vallejo, Manrique, Gonzalo Rojas, and Cortázar. In this collection, stones are earth, stars, mountains, and water-smoothed pebbles. They are those surfaces where we draw petroglyphs; the material we use to build houses, pave streets, and construct lives; and they are what we hurl at each other in anger and grief. The stones in this book have been collected from the vast expanse of the Argentine prairies and northern jungles, from its bustling cities and the kitchens of grandmothers, and from the poet’s own life. Stones are the memories and songs we pick up and polish, and which we lay down as a path to find our way back home on moonlit nights.
Author Carlos Aldazábal
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LISTENING TO LOU REED
The song of the ashes,
rips the air with its weeping:
it’s a sermon on what will be, on what we were.
I tune in on the station
and the curtain that hides the neatness
fades to take our photograph:
you with your mania for truth,
me with my dream of a perfect old age.
When the song of the ashes goes quiet
everything will return to its anesthesia,
illusion of eternity, mirage of what will last.
But the song of the ashes will sound again
to lullaby us.
Confused by the song’s notation,
scattered over a sea on whose shore
the bonfire of bones that look like us