Excerpt from visual poetry book GHROMYT by J. M. Calleja and Carlota Caulfield
"GHROMYT captures 24 hotels that became unique zones of our lives. We played with words and images until finding the expression of our recollections."
From Introduction by Jordi Marrugat
Hotels appear in our space-time fabric as conjunctive nodes that collect the countless threads of the travelers' trajectories and open them to the current physical environment, to its supra-historical cultural projection and to inner personal intimacy. They are transit locations to which one abandons the familiar collective to come into contact with another before returning transformed: GHROMYT offers in terstitial zones of detached observation in which memory and novelty exchange flows to turn the traveler into some one else with new experiences, new memories, new images of himself/herself and the world. Linked to space and time, though, they seem like an opening or a pause in which everything momentarily becomes possible above and beyond everything. lts concretion is hardly seen or remembered. lts often homogeneous aesthetic undoubtedly contributes to this. The hotel is not experienced as a zone with its own entity, but as a portal to the wonder of the imagination renewed by contact with a place that, does in deed, impose its concreteness--unfortunately, though, one that is increasingly strained and diffused through rampant globalization.
The beauty and strangeness of GHROMYT's poems lies precisely in offering this multiple experience of the hotel in images. This is indicated by its no less strange and beautiful title: a combination of letters in which the random combinatorial nature of any trip seems to have intervened, the names of the travelers (the r and the o of Carlota, the m of J.M. Calleja), the h of hotel and a visual and playful use of language (the o to the center, as a nucleus, a mirror, a clock, a zero,a multidirectional starting point followed by "myt," evocative of "meet," the hotel as meeting place).
Each GHROMYT poem builds the image of a hotel as a gathering of experiences of different orders: personal memories, the silhouette of a city, its representative works of art, its known inhabitants, elements of the national flag, the rain... The language that Calleja and Caulfield construct, with its combination of concrete and visual poetry, its collages, paintings, and objets trouvés, proves magnificently capable of transcending the simplicity of the superficial, unconscious, linear gaze. The mixture of artistic resources within the book of poems accounts for the essential complexity of the conjured experience. The achieved form is already by itself the content of each poem. lt is not limited to giving an image that tries to re cover what has already been lived, but one that becomes a new experience enriched by the meeting of two poets. It transforms the personal memory from the shared present: it is projected backwards and forwards: photography is immersed in the future. Each page of GHROMYT does not seek the incautious evocation of a stay in a hotel, but is fully transfigured into a hotel where you can live, having new experiences.
GHROMYT is available from REDFOXPRESS.
J. M.Calleja was born in Mataro, Spain in 1952. Visual poet, multimedia artist and performer. Formed in the world of the image (photography-cinema), the artist realised various experimental films (8mm) between 1976-81. Coordinator and curator of different creative events.Expo sitions: Poesia Visual del'Estat Espanyol. Lleida1989(trav elling 1 year) and Poesia Visual Catalana. Barcelona 1999 (travelling 2 years). Anthologies:1 7 (Spanish Experimental Poetry) withJ.A.Sarmiento (1980),Poesía Experimental-93 (1993), Vl(r)US (2005), Poéticas Experimentales Catalanas with JordiMarrugat (2018),.•• xyzA-Cdef... (Anthology of Argentine and Catalan Visual Poetry) with Claudio Mangifesta (2019) and Vl(r)US-dos (2020).
lnstallations realised in Greece, México,Uruguay,Germany, France, ltaly and Spain. Performances realised in México, Brazil, Argentine, Uruguay, Italia, Germany, France and Spain Personal books: Llibre de leshores (1981), + Que mai per als ulls (1988), Mixtures (1993), Transfusions (1996), Alfabia (2000), Desfilada (2003), Homenajes (2007), Pets (2009), Mes de Maria (2011), ABCDarum with K.P.Dencker (2013), Huellas. Poemas visuales 1974-2006 (2013),Album 013(2016),Travessia with C.Mangifesta (2017),Dietari 015 (2018), Aquiahoraotravoz with A.Thornton (2021) and ln édits deis setanta (2021).
Carlota Caulfield was born in Havana, Cuba.A poet, essayist and translator, she has been recognized with many awards, among them the 2016-2019 Mills College W.M. Keck Professor in Creative Writing, the First lnternational Poetry Prize "Dulce María Loynaz," (Spain-Cuba 1999), and the lnternational Poetry Prize, Poets of the World, ("Ultimo Novecento") ltaly,1988. She has been a Visiting Scholar / Poet in Residence at the University of London, University College London, University of Grüningen, New Mexico State University, Pomona College and the University of Barcelona. She is Professor of lberian and Spanish American Studies at Mills College (California).
She is an active participant in Experimental and Visual Poetry events. Caulfield also co-organized art projects and exhibitions in Spain, Mexico, New York, Holland, Oakland and SanFrancisco. She is the producer of the documentary Llígans. The Art of the Catalan Painter Carme Riera, directed by Ona Vega in 2008.Her work Le malheur d'aimer. Home naje a Dora Maar (piece of art) was exhibited in "Gráfica contemporánea y poesía experimental." Sináptica Exhibi tion, Mexico, 2021.
She is currently finishing a poetry book about New Mexican birds and completing her collection "Dreaming birds," drawings from the red dessert house (2020-2021).
Plegarias en la playa
by Ricardo José González-Rothi
El viento soplaba, estrujando los surcos y dunas de arena, tanto agitando con ánimo,
conchas, estrellas y todo el aserrín marino.
Que noche, y éste viento que me canta en lo oscuro, y las olas que me lloran,
golpeando como sin abandono la arena con lágrimas frías, saladas.
Cuando miro hacia el cielo, un soplo de aire remolca las nubes, abriéndole paso
a una lazca de luna, y al acarecer mi espalda, me arrastra con mágica vela.
Los misterios que esconden los caracoles de mar serán míos,
vida de pescador con sudor en la frente será ésta, la mía.
En el mar contemplaré las sirenas chismeando sobre amores perdidos
y de paisajes marinos, donde tempestas curiosas hunden secretos profundos.
Mientras miro al horizonte, pronto todo cesa, y la frialdad en mi espalda no me deja descansar
Un punto de luz lejano, fijo trás las olas, papadeando vez en cuando como faro en la distancia.
Es hora de dormir, y con falsas esperanzas espero de que al cerrar mís ojos,
mis huellas quedarán allí, en arenas de mis sueños, escondidas bajo las olas.
Y cuando el sol me despierte le pido que como un beso en mi frente, mi amante, el mar,
me traiga calor y luz, y brizas frescas en la mañana.
An academic physician and scientific writer, Ricardo José González-Rothi has had his fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry featured in the U.S. and in the U.K., in Acentos Review, Hispanic Culture Review, Biostories, Foliate Oak, Lunch Ticket, The Bellingham Review, Molotov Cocktail, Star 82 Review, Wingless Dreamer, Litro and others. Born and raised in Cuba, he came to the United States as a refugee in his teens and now resides in North Florida.
Rinconcito is a special little corner in Somos en escrito for short writings: a single poem, a short story, a memoir, flash fiction, and the like.
by Michele Shaul
Were I to subscribe to reincarnation
I would call him
Men interested in their own aggrandizement
In the guise of stabilizing the whole
Contemporaries abound that offer parallel
Egos and interests
Bonding in their embodiment of self-interest,
exploitation, and greed
But even those bonds were not enough to fulfill his insatiable needs,
to maintain his self-absorption,
To bolster his insecurities
His counterparts quickly fell short in worshipping at his shrine
Escalation of efforts to uplift his need pushed ahead
No concern for consequences
No shame at deception
Yet soon, God willing,
Our own defective incarnation will disperse just as the edge of twilight slides into obscurity.
Michele Shaul was born in Oakland, CA to a Kansas farm boy and a Key West girl. Her mother’s maternal family immigrated to Havana, Cuba and subsequently Key West, FL in the 1800s. Her paternal grandfather was born in Havana and moved to Key West where he married her grandmother and managed the local tobacco factory until his death.
Michele currently lives with her family in Charlotte, NC where she is the Director of the Center for Latino Studies and a professor of Spanish at Queens University of Charlotte, formerly serving as Chair of the World Languages Department for 22 years. She is co-founder and co-editor of the e-journal Label Me Latina/o and is involved in several arts and social outreach projects that use art as a vehicle to address the topics of diversity and tolerance. Her writing has been predominantly academic in orientation although in recent years she has had the opportunity to write more creative pieces. Her critical essays are published in a number of journals and collections. Her translation of the novel The Suitcases was published in 2005 and her poem “Vida cercada” appeared in Minerva (5 (2), septiembre-diciembre 2005. Mellen Press published her book A Survey of the Novels of Ana Castillo: A Contemporary Mexican American Writer (2016). Her short story “Mixed Reviews/Reseñas mixtas” has been selected for inclusion in Nos pasamos de la raya/We Crossed the Line Vol. 2 (Slough Press, 2021 anticipated). The collection of essays Not White/Straight/Male/Healthy Enough: Being “Other” in the Academy coedited with Michael Moreno and Kathryn Quinn-Sánchez was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2018). Her essay “We Met Pregnant at the Snack Bar” is included as part of the collection. The book Contemporary U.S. Latinx Literature in Spanish (Palgrave, 2018) was co-edited with Kathryn Quinn-Sánchez and Amrita Das. Teatro latino: Nuevas obras de los Estados Unidos, coedited with Trevor Boffone, Amrita Das, and Kathryn Quinn-Sanchez, was published by La Casita Grande (2019). The collection of essays Whiteness in the Workplace edited with Michael Moreno and Kathryn Quinn-Sánchez was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2020). Her translation in partnership with Erin Debell and Liliana Wendorff of Miguel Orosa’s play Brave Women and Laughter (Quite a long night’s journey throughout Latin America) was published by Proyecto Ñaque Editorial (2020) and her translation of Enrique Weichs’ Anteayeres (Before Yesterday), also teaming with Erin Debell, is currently seeking a publisher. Michele directs the Latino Studies Project which is a student/faculty research project that seeks to document the story of the Latino population in the Charlotte region. She is the recipient of the Queens’ 2016 Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award.
Poems by Carlota Caulfield from her book Los juguetes de Bertrand / Bertrand’s Toys
Aquí y allá una palabra.
Después todo fue simple,
un fuego interior que lo consumió de golpe.
Al poco tiempo, un exilio impuesto.
Después un cambio de fotografías
y un borrón en la fecha de nacimiento.
Bordes geográficos desvaneciéndose y confundidos
en garabatos infantiles, y voces,
voces infinitas en asedio.
Reconstruyes tu perfil y tu acento,
vuelves a entrar en tu pasado,
permaneces en uno de sus rincones,
recorres los barrios de sus excesos,
y nunca eres un huésped inoportuno,
eso nunca te lo perdonarías.
He made sketches.
Here and there a word.
Later on it was all-simple:
an inner fire gobbled him up.
A little later, an imposed exile,
Later on, different photographs
and a blotch over his birthdate.
Geographic lines faded and interchanged
over infantile scribbles, and voices,
infinite voices laying siege.
You redesign your profile and your accent,
you reach the past,
you settle into one of its corners,
you stroll the neighborhood of your excesses,
and you're not an inopportune guest,
you'd never forgive yourself that.
El oratorio de Aurelia
La primera mirada es una mano en movimiento. Una gaveta se abre, otra se cierra, y así combinaciones imposibles del cuerpo. Un trapecio de lo familiar, del perchero y la colcha de la abuela. Cortinas donde se esconde la niñez, esas cortinas rojas del teatro, y el show del circo imaginario para mayores de ocho años. Sabiduría del acróbata y del pintor en su gotear de rojos y esos verdes y esos amarillos. Casi se pueden tocar. Entonces, los waltzes pirotécnicos, los abrigos y vestidos con vida propia, la música de acordeón, tangojazz, y trombón, eso parece. Y cuando todo se ha vuelto un Magritte, el timbre de un móvil desata una pelea violenta entre los otros, audiencia de marionetas crueles.
Fin de la primera parte.
At first glance, it's a hand in motion. A drawer opens, another closes, and thereby impossible body combinations. A trapeze of the familiar, of the hanger and Grandma's bedspread. Curtains where childhood hides, those red curtains of the theater, and the show of the imaginary circus for those over eight. Wisdom of the acrobat and the painter in his splashing of reds and those greens and those yellows. You can almost touch them. Then the pyrotechnic waltzes, the coats and dresses coming to life, accordion music, tangojazz and trombone, that's what it's like. And when everything has turned into a Magritte, the ring of a cellphone unleashes a violent fight among the others, audience of cruel marionettes.
End of part one.
The poem “Aurélia’s Oratorio” alludes to the theater piece of the same name, a combination of a magic surreal show and acrobatics created and directed by Victoria Thierrée Chaplin that her daughter Aurélia Thierrée performs with extraordinary mastery and grace in theaters around the world.
Nueve poemas para Charlotte
1. Agrietadas de pasión, las manos del titiritero descansan.
Sólo en un pestañear, las marionetas se mueven y se confunden,
y se enredan en sus cuerdas. Conmoción de un instante.
2. Dentro del armario, la sombra de un antiguo Pinocchio es una marca
perenne. Así se hace la memoria y eso es lo mejor de todo, dejar que
el corazón se fragmente con el tacto. Lo inexistente ha dejado un recuento.
3. Sus labios en una taza de té. Un sabor verde de Himalayas
se confunde con la vasija terracota curtida por el uso.
Capas y capas de residuos, testigos impregnados en el barro.
Pone a un lado su diario. Mapa Mundi.
4. Su nombre reaparece en diferentes formas. En caligrafía es trazo
llamado Tao. Su efímera inscripción lleva la espiritualidad de los sentidos.
Digo y cuento, aunque raras veces es también toque de inscripción propia.
5. Puertas hinchadas de aguas a destiempo, como si la torrencial lluvia se hubiese vuelto un dulce y pegajozo delirio mientras observas las vestiduras extraviadas de la madera. En la ventana, una silente figura vacila. Y de pronto, el espacio de sonidos se confunde con grises, blancos y verdes.
Lo de afuera entra y roza tus manos.
6. Ella, la que eres tú en ciertos días, deja un rastro de bruma y se reclina sobre varios senderos. Atrapar lo inasible se vuelve aquí furor y apatía.
7. Pasas bordeando voces. No quieres quedarte en la orilla de la muerte.
Como un animal ebrio de miedo te enroscas hasta que la lluvia cese.
Palabras en desorden. Trabalenguas.
8. Tú misma eres una abstracción. Todos los remedios disolviéndose. Noches de insomnio cercanas a la locura. Así tu cuerpo. Las treguas conjuradas. La parálisis un abismo de telas. La corrugada pesantez de tu espalda mancillada por bloques terapeúticos.
9. Mientras intocable hasta en la palabra, la presión de dedos y el aire denso de lugar a lugar, a tus labios coarteados les frotas unas gotas de miel y los pules como si fueran un desgarrón purpúreo. Así tus huesos, nervaduras de sombras chinescas lanzadas al piso. Tú.
Nine Poems for Charlotte
1. Cracked by passion, the puppeteer’s hands rest.
With only a blink, the marionettes move and are baffled,
and get tangled in their cords. The commotion of an instant.
2. Inside the wardrobe, the shadow of an ancient Pinocchio
is a perennial imprint. This is how memory is made and that’s the best of it
all, to allow the heart into pieces if touched. The non-existent has left a trace.
3. Her lips sipping a cup of tea. A Himalayas’ green flavor
is fused with the terracotta cup stained by use.
Residual layers and layers, witnesses impregnated in the clay.
She puts aside her diary. Mapa Mundi.
4. Her name reappears in different ways. In calligraphy it’s a pen stroke
called Tao. Its ephemeral inscription carries the spirituality of the senses.
I say and tell, although rarely it’s also a touch of self-inscription.
5. Doors swollen by untimely waters, as if the torrential rain had become
a sweet and clinging frenzy while you observes the lost garments of the
wood. In the window, a silent figure hesitates. And suddenly, the space of
sounds blends with grays, whites and greens.
The outside comes in and grazes your hands.
6. She, the one you are on certain days, leaves a trace of mist and bends,
over several paths. Here to grasp the unreachable is fury and apathy.
7. You stroll around voices. Not wanting to remain on the verge of death.
Like an animal drunk with fear you huddle until the rain stops.
Words in disorder. Tongue Twisters.
8. You are yourself an abstraction. All solutions are dissolving.
Nights of insomnia close to madness. So is your body. Conjured ceasefires.
Paralysis, an abyss of cloths. The corrugated and heaviness of your back
sullied by therapeutic blocks.
9. While untouchable even by words, the pressure of fingers and the
misty air from place to place, onto your cracked lips you rub some drops of
honey and you polish them like a purplish tear. And your bones, too, Chinese
shadows nervures tossed on the floor. You.
Bosques de Bélgica
Voz suelta. Pura respiración.
Labios de breves heridas.
Después, un tañido.
Boca sobre el metal. Voz hueca
y los labios un pico abierto de pájaro.
El aire es murmullos, rumores, silbidos,
y marca permanente en la cámara interio.
Rapidez del movimiento de la vara, privilegio de una mano.
La mano tiene forma de U. Es una U.
En el cielo de Berkeley hay pocas nubes,
Cierto, el aerófono es latón ligero,
tríptico en un cuadro donde un trombón de vara
parece pájaro en vuelo y alas de ángel.
¿Quién recuerda el nombre del cuadro?
¿Cómo se llamaba el pintor?
Voice unleashed. Pure breathing.
Lips of brief wounds.
Then, a note.
Mouth to metal. Hollow voice
and lips a bird's open beak.
The air murmurs, whispers, whistles,
and permanently marks the inner chamber.
Rapidity of the valve's movement
privilege of a hand.
The hand is U shaped. It’s a U.
In the Berkeley sky, here are few clouds,
you were saying slowly.
True, the aerophone is a light brass
triptych in a painting where a valved trombone
looks like a bird in flight, and angel wings.
Who remembers what the painting is called?
What was the painter's name?
Carlota Caulfield is a Cuban-born American poet, writer, translator and literary critic. She has published extensively in English and Spanish in the United States, Latin America and Europe. Her most recent poetry books are Cuaderno Neumeister / The Neumeister Notebook (2016) and Los juguetes de Bertrand / Bertrand’s Toys (2019). She is the recipient of several awards, among them The International Poetry Prize Dulce María Loynaz and The Ultimo Novecento, Poets of the World. Caulfield has also published
widely on Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik, as well as on other Latin American and Latinx poets, including Magali Alabau and Juana Rosa Pita. She is the co-editor of A Companion to US Latino Literatures (2012 &2014) and Barcelona, Visual Culture, Space & Power (2012 & 2014). She is Professor of Spanish and Spanish American Studies at Mills College, Oakland, California.
Mary G. Berg, a Resident Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, Boston, Massachusetts, has translated poetry by Juan Ramón Jiménez, Clara Roderos, Marjorie Agosín and Carlota Caulfield and novels by Martha Rivera (I’ve Forgotten Your Name), Laura Riesco (Ximena at the Crossroads), Libertad Demitropulos (River of Sorrows). Her most recent translations are of collections of stories by Olga Orozco and Laidi Fernández de Juan.
Dos Poemas del Destino
(sobre motivos de George Orwell)
Todo el poder que iría adquiriendo
la casta de funcionarios
(…) lo iría perdiendo el pueblo.
José Martí, sobre La futura esclavitud
Dia De Los Muertos
Ecology / Environment
Farmworker Rights / Agricultural Work / Labor Rights Issues
Indigenous / American Indian / Native American / First Nations / First People
Puerto Rican Disapora
Spanish And English