Featured poet: Emersson Pérez

Emersson Pérez (Santiago, 1982) studied library science and publishing at the University of Santiago de Chile. He contributed to the books Márgenes del colectivo mal de ojo (Ajiaco Ediciones, 2011) and Rieles sumergidos (2012), and his work appears in the anthologies Poesía molotov (Editorial Cascada de Palabras, Mexico 2011), Cordillera de voces: Poesía chilena actual (Sediento Ediciones, Mexico 2012), Antología de conspiradores (Marciano Ediciones, 2016) and Pánico y locura en Santiago (Editorial Santiago-Ander, 2017).

The following poem comes from his book La muerte de la televisión no será televisada (Ediciones Filacteria, 2018).

The superhighway

We have the fixation of giving a name to everything;
by naming, it becomes human property.
The most beautiful damsels drink dew of pearls
at midnight.
A glutton atones by eating cakes of solid gold.
They travel, it’s six in the morning,
outside some birds fly the wrong way
confused by the blue light of a mountain range,
birds that will not see the ocean
but will devour our flesh.

We have the fixation of looking within;
from space we observe our luminous houses,
from a program we see our ancestors
sleeping in a hammock.
Prisons full of eyes without lids,
eternal watchmen.

We have the fixation of predicting everything;
do a few letters
herald the trunk, the human reawakening?
Our predictions burn,
our prisons too;
the fire hypnotizes.

After a tidal wave
is the best moment to gather sand hoppers,
when our networks are nothing
and the greatest ruins will transform
into sublime coral reefs.

We have the fixation of driving on everything,
buildings, perpendicular highways,
elevators, exclusive streets,
according to how many gold pieces or pearls
have been consumed during breakfast.
Outside, near a lagoon
the evolved dodos
give a class on some primates that kill themselves
with their own forks;
the hologram shuts off.

We have the fixation of giving a value to everything;
millionaires run in the nights
like hare-dogs,
their paws gleaming in the darkness.
The music in their ear makes them feel safe,
as with their nose they try to bite off their tails
to hang as amulets.

The underground trains
possess armies,
sweaty cosmic cleaners
who advance with a rhythm
over yellow highways that end in their interior.

— translated by Jessica Sequeira