Dreams for Kurosawa
by Raúl Zurita / translated by Anna Deeny
arrow as aarow , 2012
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I would like you to see how I’ve scratched and bent and battered this beautiful book. I have been holding this bark relatively near to my person for almost every day of the past few months. (I don’t go to the wheezy bar or to the co-op or to any grass just outside without some kind of bike bag growing out of my back. It rains on the way. There was an angry spill in August.) Do you think it’s still in a magical shape this way? I do. I thought I might want to write something about Raul Zurita when I got Dreams for Kurosawa in the mail, and I kept waiting for the bones of the poetry to dry out. They still haven’t. They drip on me. “Once again I see the worlds,” says a line in poem simply called #2 that I repeat to myself like tattoo berries.
Being near poetry means clanging mis-remembering and remembering together into brackish jewels. Both make the cardboard around us shine. In the case of Zurita, we have some kind of glimpse of where the lines between a real event and the logical leaps writing causes the brain to take exist. If you are familiar at all with the shapes that pus in and out of Zurita, you know he is a Chilean poet who writes primarily about surviving Augusto Pinochet’s atrocity-ridden coup d’etat in 1973. You know that his life is a circle of hinges burning around the real sadness it was pulped into. “I was seized by the Arauco brigade and before/dying I remembered the worlds” (#2). During the coup, Zurita was detained in the hold of a ship with a thousand others deemed enemies of the new military government. (He was carrying poems at the time, which were thrown into the water by a soldier. Those poems are his book, A Song for His Disappeared Love.) Over 30,000 people are estimated to have been tortured and a little over 3,000 killed during Pinochet’s time at the helm.
November 2nd, 2012 / 12:00 pm