3 Translated Mardonio Carballo Poems

By | 1 August 2016

Image by Francisco Cañedo, courtesy of SinEmbargo

Mardonio Carballo (1974 —) is a Mexican poet, actor and journalist from Chicontepec, Veracruz. He writes in both Nahuatl and Spanish. His published works include Tlajpiajketl o la Canción del Maíz (2015), Las Horas Perdidas (2014), Las Plumas de la Serpiente (2013), Xolo (2012), Piloe, Canciones para Asustar (2012) and Xantolo (2010). In 2014 he curated the Festival Estruendo Multilingüe, an event underwritten by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He regularly collaborates with preeminent Mexican musicians, artists and journalists such as Eugenia León, Regina Orozco, Guita Shyftter, Jorge Fons, Salvador Aguirre and Carmen Aristegui.

Take a thorn and hold me
cut my neck once and for all
paint the house with my blood
cut off my legs
polish the floor with sea salt
open the windows and throw me out
only then will I leave
turned into a bird 
Icarus with palm-straw wings
look up at the sky
take a thorn and hold me …

Xijkui ze uitzli xnech najnaua
xi nech kechteki xi mo yolchicaua
xij pa mo chan ika no ezo
xij teki no mets
xtlachpana mo chan ika achi puyekatl
xij mo kajlapo xi nech kuatopeua
xij chiua pampa na nij nekis ni mo kuepas
ken ze piltotol
Icaro petlatltatatzin
xij tlachia kaajko
xijkui ze uitzli xi mo najnaua …
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