Featured poet: Nicolás López-Pérez

Nicolás López-Pérez (Rancagua, 1990) is a lawyer and writer currently living in Santiago de Chile. He has published the book of poems Geografía de las geografías [Geography of geographies](2018). He runs the website “La comparecencia infinita” [The infinite summons], which features poetry from around the world. His translations of English-language poetry appear in the magazine Saposcat.


There is beauty in a stoplight too
not just in the colours
but also in those
who walk
within the blinking
before crossing the street.

Each of their positions is different
not that in London
you have to look the other way
but rather in the direction
how big the stride is,
how short the thought.

The stoplight says what is essential
but takes no responsibility for the flesh
that creates the gait.


Let us go from one side to another
xxxxxxxwe sculpt the existence of memory

as in an atlas
xxxxxxxon a map
xxxxxxxnaming everything

a city is
xxxxxxxall cities together

and all the cities in the world
xxxxxxxsare in the landscapes of my neighbourhood

Metatheory of the journey

open and close

xxxxxxxthe doors of the ignition
xxxxxxxof a land     of a world
xxxxxxxthe pages of another’s book
xxxxxxxthe blows of dawn
xxxxxxxfragments against ruin
xxxxxxxand conscience, a gloomy moment

the map adjusts itself to the cartographer’s description

xxxxxxxwhere the crowds lose their bones
xxxxxxxthe first cities are baptised
xxxxxxxthe origin corresponds to a disposition
xxxxxxxand dispositions are territories and geographies
xxxxxxxterrestrial globes sharpening pencils
xxxxxxxflags, capitals and people inventing life

xxxxxxxwhen the cities are invented
xxxxxxxtheir history makes sense of us
xxxxxxxlike Behaim toasting with Columbus

they make sense to us of things which have always been there

xxxxxxxthe end of geography
xxxxxxxis incited by the melancholy of kings
xxxxxxxand the stubbornness of imaginary travellers
xxxxxxximpossible places speak to one another
xxxxxxxas realistic as the one from which you are reading
xxxxxxxall moments are created
xxxxxxxcoughed up at each word;
xxxxxxxthe mouth of the land
xxxxxxxa shotgun by which I happen to die

xxxxxxxconfused cities
xxxxxxxcities and deaths
xxxxxxxcities and signs
xxxxxxxguttural truths
xxxxxxxany city is all cities together
xxxxxxxdisturbed by desires
xxxxxxxborn upon looking at a map

xxxxxxxthe cities receive journeys
xxxxxxxin the measure that travellers suffer
xxxxxxxor maps can be fatally wounded

xxxxxxxthe journey and the memory
xxxxxxxnatural history of a personal poetry

the beginning of geography

xxxxxxxwas developed by the first vagrants
xxxxxxxbeyond words, experiences
xxxxxxxas real as what you are living while reading this
xxxxxxxall moments are destroyed
xxxxxxxwith every silence between prayers;
xxxxxxxvulva of the earth

deaf rooms in which I happen to sleep

xxxxxxxthe cities are in my neighbourhood: the landscapes belong to it
xxxxxxxa tourist rejects feelings
xxxxxxxthe traveller is responsible for adoring every name

xxxxxxxthe journey and literary ghosts
xxxxxxxare the alien poetry of a personal story

xxxxxxxcities are inventions of foreigners
xxxxxxxas a reply to their eternal homelessness.

Istíklal Avenue

The insects go silent
if the sermon
comes at three


In spring
the sun explodes
bursting open the Bosphorus


Statues of Ataturk
children playing
we avoid meeting each other’s eyes


Over the rakı
regrets rain down
I forgot to think


At the foot of the bed
my verses fall
upon your intoxicated night.

— translated by Jessica Sequeira