not failure

Santiago Vizcaíno

Translated by: Kimrey Anna Batts

Original text: "no fracaso "


Artwork by John Graham Coughtry

not failure

not glaucoma —green pupil—,

like a rigid toad standing before you.

not clear-eyed, but not glaucoma.

perhaps ulcer or sores,

indolent mediterranean pain.

no more atrocious hangover beside your forehead.

just water, water that knits together

—warp of hydrogen—.

trivial thing words.

no more shouting!

solidity, confrontation with the darkness,

but for what.

no more puddles where girls are deflowered.

look at me, you.

luminescent corpses remain.

share out the smile.

don't walk on the grass.

don't touch the pus of your rage.

there's a little liquor remaining down below.

let's drink.

not failure. 

Santiago Vizcaíno

Santiago Vizcaíno (1982) is an accomplished young writer and poet from Quito, Ecuador. His works have received numerous recognitions, including the Ecuadorian Ministry of Culture's National Literary Projects Prize and the Second Annual Pichincha Poetry Award. In translation, his poems have appeared in The Bitter Oleander Review, Chattahoochee Review, Connotation Press, Eleven/Eleven, eXchanges  and Ezra, among others, and there are bilingual editions of his poetry collection Destruction in the Afternoon and his book of short stories, Matar a mamá/Matricide. His latest collection of poems, Hábitat del camaléon (from which "just a man" is taken) was published by Ruido Blanco in 2015.

Kimrey Anna Batts

Kimrey Anna Batts (1983) grew up in rural East Tennessee and went to the University of Michigan, where she studied Anthropology and Latin American Studies. She moved to Ecuador in 2006, and her lifelong love of literature and language gradually blossomed into a career as a translator. In 2011 she went to Barcelona to pursue an M.A. in Literary Translation at University Pompeu Fabra, before returning to Quito in 2013. Her literary translations have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail (one of which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize) and will be seen in future editions of Ezra, The Bitter Oleander Review and Lunch Ticket.  She also translated Santiago Vizcaíno's short story collection Matricide/Matar a mamá (La Caída 2015).