Fabián Severo

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Fabián Severo (Artigas, Uruguay, 1981) is a literature teacher and an academic administrator for the literature and creative writing section of Project ProArte at the Uruguayan National Public Education Administration. In 2012, he received the Justino Zavala Muniz Fellowship in the Arts from the Uruguayan Ministry of Education and Culture and in 2011, he was awarded the Bronze Morsoli Medal in the Poetry from the Foundation Lolita Rubial. Severo is the author of four poetry collections: Noite nu Norte (Montevideo, Uruguay: Ediciones del Rincón, 2010 and Montevideo, Uruguay: Rumbo Editorial, 2011), Viento de Nadie (Rumbo Editorial, 2013), NósOtros (Rumbo Editorial, 2014), Viralata (Rumbo Editorial, 2015). 


Laura Cesarco Eglin is an Uruguayan poet and translator. Her translation of the Brazilian poet Hilda Hilst was just published by Co-Im-Press. Cesarco Eglin holds a BA and an MA in English from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an MFA in Bilingual Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Phd in Spanish and Portuguese from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She is an assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Simmons College. She is the publisher of Veliz Books, an independent literary press dedicated to literature from authors writing in English, Spanish, or Portuguese. 


Jesse Lee Kercheval is a poet and translator, and a 2016 NEA Fellow in Translation. Her translations include Invisible Bridge/ El puente invisible: Selected Poems of Circe Maia (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015) and Fable of an Inconsolable Man (Action Books, 2017) by Javier Etchevarren. She is also the editor of América invertida: An Anthology of Emerging Uruguayan Poets (University of New Mexico Press, 2016). She is the Zona Gale Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.

Fabián Severo, translation from the Portuñol by Jesse Lee Kercheval and Laura Cesarco Eglin

 

from NIGHT IN THE NORTH (3 poems)

 

 

Eighteen

        

The hour when the sun hides

is the hour when one listens.

The stars pop out and

the fireflies light up.

The crickets sing and bring good luck.

I close the gate

and go into myself

so I can think

and so I can write.



Twenty-six

 

My father prepared mate

brought a chair to the side of Josefa’s house

and sat there so he could listen to the news.

We did not have a TV.

 

One time

my parents went to buy a used TV.

They went by bus

I stayed behind waiting.

When they returned

they set everything up but the TV didn’t work.

They tried this, that, but nothing.

 

After a long time

they were able to buy a new one.

It was big

black and white

full of with buttons.

I spent hours in front

of the turned off TV

just watching.

 

Every morning

Xuxa sang

and they played cartoons

the kind that doesn’t exist anymore.

 

When, at last, we had a TV

my father was able to drink mate

inside our house.


 


Twenty-nine

 

Old Mary died to leave us the sidewalk.

Every afternoon

she sat there drinking sweet mate

with a street dog lying at her feet

and a battery-powered radio

to listen to her programs.

She growled and threatened us with her cane

so we wouldn’t play soccer

but she was also the one that cured us

of the shingles and the evil eye.

 

Now we can play without being bothered.

But Mary was our neighbor

and her house is closed forever now

with the dog lying at the door

waiting.

 

She died to leave us the sidewalk

but the sidewalk is still hers.

© The Acentos Review 2018