Putting on my shoes

I am going to be sociable, I need
an intermediary between the planet and my own weight.
I lean my head towards my feet; I love and serve myself.
A rapid mechanical operation.
For four or five seconds
my brain engulfed with blood
and shut off from the universe
reformulates some fundamental notions.
Its conclusions are wiped out when I sit up.
I surface again, tired,
but the world hasn’t changed one iota.
Why not carry on, as a drowned man? Something
might happen.
Every morning my shoes grant me dizziness
and a sudden secret opportunity.

by Joaquín Giannuzzi

This year’s Oxford Brookes Annual Creative Writing lecture will be given by Mark Watson on Wednesday 9 October at 6pm. The novelist and comedian will be combining two strands of his rich and varied career in an evening of ‘bookomedy’, and the event is open to all. To book a place, visit the Brookes website.

This translation of ‘Putting on my shoes’ is copyright © Richard Gwyn, 2012. It is reprinted from A Complicated Mammal by permission of CB editions.

Notes from CB editions:

Joaquín Giannuzzi was born in 1924 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and died in 2004. His ten collections of poetry, written while working as a professional journalist, established his reputation as one of the most admired and influential Spanish-language poets of his time.  You can read further excerpts from the collection on the CB editions website. The translator Richard Gwyn has published several collections of his own poetry, two novels and a memoir, The Vagabond’s Breakfast (2011), winner of the 2012 Wales Book of the Year in the creative non-fiction category, as well as books on illness, language and the body. He is Director of the MA in Creative Writing at Cardiff University.

CB editions publishes no more than six books a year, mainly poetry and short fiction and including work in translation. Since 2008 its poetry titles have twice won the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and have been shortlisted for both the Forward Prize and the Forward First Collection Prize three times. In 2011 CBe put on Free Verse, a one-day book fair for poetry publishers to show their work and sell direct to the public; the event was repeated in September 2012 and this year, with over 50 publishers taking part. Find out more about the publisher from the website, where you can also sign up to the CB editions mailing list, or ‘like’ the publisher on Facebook to keep up-to-date with its activities.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.