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issue 18: may - june 2000 

catalan original | author's bio

by Dolors Miquel
translated by Matthew Tree



Nordic Yamaha

This man was a motorbike
I asked him to tell me about himself
and he told me about his motorbike
a Yamaha several hundred and something,
the kind all my students dream about.
Afterwards I talked to him some more
-It's interesting to converse with a motorbike-
I told him my car had broken down
and my father had one foot in the grave.
He was worried about my car.
He said: Tell me all about your car
I haven't got a bastard clue about cars.
So I talked to him about life.
I don't know how I managed to bring up a subject
that had so little petrol in it.
My reply put him off
especially given that the temperature was
several degrees below zero
in that icy country he was riding through.
I fitted onto his Yamaha just fine
and he knew how to work the accelerator
feeling my breasts against his back
my breath, the diesel chemistry.
The words travelled over 10.000 km.
until the answers braked sharply.
A break-down. Something minor.
My father didn't die, after all.
The death foreseen happened to someone else.

Strawberries Knocked at the Window

Strawberries knocked at the window
Hey! Is there someone there? On the other side?
I was having a lie-in. Immortal. Unmoved.
I was savouring a grief of burnt wood.
Red fingermarks on the glass, black seeds were listening to me,
a rustle of dark leaves were shouting at me.
I drank a little alcohol. Straight after that I
went out to embrace the spring...
I wanted to be mortal: more so than most.

I swung my self high up on a great branch
A field playing with a little girl
Was running through my soul.
I sneaked behind them, to catch them,
the fields turned into forest.
Thanks to the forest, I saw a summer.
I forgot the scraps that were bursting the bag
under the sink. Time had bound up the water with a cork.
Venus was blinking.

A reindeer with a strawberry-stained muzzle invited me
to a lake full of vodka and desire.
It didn't take long for us to dive in.
There we swam all the strokes we knew, watched on by an old otter.
I said hello to the old ice cubes that were
in the dried-out belly of the sky: a lunar hangover.
At the bottom, the seaweed rotted with romantic ideas,
with the slug of anguish.

With my head in the Gulf of Roses and my feet in the Northern lights
I slept through that strange and magical night.
"I didn't know that a reindeer...!" I dreamed of a world
free of chains, a world worthy of the soul.
A world in which the fridges were forever full
and which we could all eat out of, without remorse.

And there, together with the spirit of the forest and the berry,
far from my self,
I purified myself
and the light cured me through and through.

2000 Dolors Miquel
translation Matthew Tree

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author's bio
Dolors Miquel was interviewed (available in English translation) by TBR last summer and she also appears in RealAudio reading two poems in Catalan.            
navigation:                         barcelona review #18                     may - june 2000
-Fiction Jess Mowry - One Way
Richard Weems - Curbside Mailboxes
Adam Blackwell - The Louis Agency
Deirdre Maultsaid - Puppy Dogs' Tails
Javier Calvo - Ned Flanders
-Poetry Dolors Miquel - Two Poems
-Article May and June in Barcelona
-Quiz William Faulkner
Answers to Jorge Luis Borges Quiz
-Regular Features Book Reviews
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