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  Donald Wellman
Donald Wellman
Donald Wellman lives in Weare NH. His books of poetry include The Cranberry Island Series (Dos Madres 2012), A North Atlantic Wall (Dos Madres, 2010), Prolog Pages (Ahadada, 2009), and Fields (Light and Dust, 1995). He edited O.ARS, a series of anthologies, including Coherence, Perception, and Translations: Experiments in Reading. His books of poetry in translation include Enclosed Garden, Emilio Prados (Lavender Ink / Diálogos 2013) and two books by Antonio Gamoneda, Gravestones (University of New Orleans Press 2009) and Description of the Lie (Talisman House 2013). He also contributed to The Alteration of Silences: Recent Chilean Poetry. He translates from German, French and Spanish.

Description of the Lie

Antonio Gamoneda

Donald Wellman, translator
Now is the day of luminous reflection, the day to despise me in your eyes.
I have feared life as much as death; there's light above these empty boxes,
stones on the head of my mother,
long accusations under ciphers of winter.

Functionaries and widows masked with the skin of their sons wrote incandescent pages and you used to sleep in their arms and you would sleep in their arms and the writing penetrated your stomach.

You were not dreaming of liberty.

Now is the day of reflection most beauteous; martins contemplate expiation from terraces where clarity is perfect,

where you compel me to lucidity without cause.

Moreover blue softness—that shadow in the mercury—and the larks that flocked to tortured udders have slipped inside of your eyes.

You are the day of disdain.

Enclosed Garden

Emilio Prados

Donald Wellman, translator
How far, how far
does the skin of infinity extend?

If after having determined,
the limits that the body inscribed for me
in shadow or sorrow,
today, more imprisoned in myself, smaller,
I surrender only a fearful seed,
sterile and opaque
—blind pupil—, flesh from hell:
where, wherein does the wind spill itself?

The Cranberry Island Series

Donald Wellman
does transcription slide the melody
up or down?

It alters timbre and signature.

I asked a friend about musical architecture,
the sounds that articulate spatial presence.
I asked about dance
and how it might be coded.
Sketches of Balinese legong:
rigid spines and fluid hand signs.

Gray gooseberries grow on that shore
There are two sopranos
who play the role of Christ
as they climb the night sky.

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