Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Aimless Reading: The P's, Part 26.1 (Omar Pérez)

La perseverancia de un hombre oscuro
Pérez, Omar
La perseverancia de un hombre oscuro

Given to me by the author in Havana in 2000. Inscribed. The inscription is actually a drawing of a some kind of bird -- not quite sure what kind, but it has longish legs and it feathers seem to be all fanned out. One leg is kicking up, as if it were dancing. It speaks: "Hey, Mike! Can I sing?"

If you read Ron Silliman's blog, you would Omar Pérez is also the son of Che Guevara. When I was in Cuba, everyone talked about this in hushed whispers and warned us not to mention it out loud. No one did, but it came out in the blogosphere a few years back, so I guess it is public knowledge now. This little whispering campaign forms an important part of my prose poem, Cuba.

Omar is an English language translator and he actually translated one of my more difficult poems into Spanish. It's a poem in my first collection, A Crowning, and it's built heavily on wordplay. He did an admirable job of translating it. I am not sure I even have a copy. I was given a photocopy from a small anthology of Buffalo poets published in Cuba after we left.

Ok...gotta run. Btw -- I noticed on my shelves this morning that I made a shelving error, putting Per before Pel, thus skipping my friend Ted Pelton. I'll get to him tomorrow.

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