Defensa de Violeta Parra

Defensa de Violeta Parra

The Parra family has the rare distinction of producing two major artists in a single generation: Nicanor, impudent antipoet who died only last year, and Violeta, folklorist, singer-songwriter and visual artist, who ended her own life in 1967. I read Victor Herrero...
Habits of the Pigeons

Habits of the Pigeons

One nice thing about Ben’s work on the Real Pigeons series (Book 4 is out now) is that he and I now notice pigeons much more than we used to. There are lots of different pigeons in America, too – the little brown torcazas, with their feathers like scales,...
Frangipani

Frangipani

I see my grandfather’s bones in frangipani tree branches: incautious in their instinct to share, they loll green tongues of leaf, litter the pavement with blossoms where they are trodden, turn banana-skin brown. I see them floating in saucers, stuck in lapels, a...
Los Angeles Nocturne

Los Angeles Nocturne

This is my translation of Xavier Villaurrutia’s poem “Nocturno de Los Ángeles” from his collection Nostalgia de la muerte. Villaurutia was an important literary figure in Mexico in the years after the Revolution, a member of the contemporáneos along...