I Shouldn't Complain
Anna Maria Carpi
Translated by: Lisa Mullenneaux
Artwork by Tim Gardner
I shouldn’t complain. Some evenings
this little bar is my saloon,
I know what joy is.
I saddle up and fly
over fantastic prairies
for a fistful of dollars or nothing.
It’s the effect of the sea in front of me,
I adore the sea and the coming night
and the words that appear in my head—
a little mixed up, perhaps,
because I’ve drunk a bit, I don’t know
how much, the bottle’s emptying,
but not much.
I’ve drunk at the world’s ocean
where each evening
on its five continents come
buffalo, deer, tigers to drink from its springs
and I get to see them
each evening that God gives us on earth—
such a beautiful, quaint expression.
But he is there, when you let yourself go.
A lifelong Milanese, Anna Maria Carpi has won awards for her translations of German 20th century poets—such as Benn, Celan, and Enzensberger—and also for her own poetry, which she began publishing in 1993. In 2016, Marcos y Marcos published her collected poems as E io che intanto parlo. Besides poetry, she has written essays, stories, and four novels, described at annamariacarpi.org.
Mullenneaux (translator) is the author of Naples’ Little Women:
The Fiction of Elena Ferrante. Her poetry appears widely in print and online
journals. She teaches writing for the University of Maryland UC.