Pessimism of Understanding, Optimism of Attention

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 45th birthday.

01-28 Neuman
Andrés Neuman
b. 1977


My attention
steps down from its center
like an oil stain.

Contradictory hand:
while it feigns snatching
specific objects,
its fingers count digressions.
Is to touch to have faith?

I attend to that shoe
that almost frees itself
from a young woman’s heel,
to the deaf-mute debates
on the TV in the back,
to the impatient tics of the light
and, just every so often,
to the time I have left.


Translation by Arthur Malcolm Dixon

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