I Keep Hosted in my Memory

Elí Urbina

I keep hosted in my memory
the placid image of the body of love.
Light must come again,
but now, in reality, only the rain
drapes the avenue as black birdseed.

Look at the slow descent of
meat’s thorn into the secret wound.
The brothel, its greed, absorbs my burnt-out soul,
my hope, thirsting of feeling,
for an instant, the deaf crackle.

In the gloom the prostitute dances 
with the sinuosity of a broad flare.
Already the longing gathers around in the mirror,
the shadow of my hand lengthens.

As strong as the pleasure burns
always her face inside me ignites.

From The Abyss of Men (2020)
Transl. into English: Sofía Leibovich

a view of an island city through a window
Photo by Leo Arslan

Opening an Old Fayad Jamís Notebook on Friday Afternoon

Julio Barco

In the winter of the summer I describe my eyes, I
the labyrinthine animal that still dreams
          opening the notebooks
between the divided rooms the score of life.

Old lovers buy
           dry bread in the cellars.

This poem starts here.
Foolish way of repeating the body;

This is the poem
Nothing but a shaky line that is
dream verse.

As the city sinks into depression
I separate signs and petals.

I am the one who watches over your name.
I am the one who observes
                                from your window the neighborhood
barely illuminated by the sunset poles.
The most beautiful youngsters are thrown
                                    of the Electric Towers.
The most beautiful young
               are launched from the Electric Towers?

My long hair is now a fucking form of
              walk against the wind.

Sailor of pampas, land, asphalt, poultry.
Girls commit suicide in their rooms
Yesterday everything was excessively sad
Everything will repeat itself or bifurcate the same
It doesn’t matter: I started another poem and came back
the same:

1. Inert object shakily disposed
                     on the table.
2. Street closed as destruction and desire.
3. Movement of machines & bodies.
4. This poem will begin when everything explodes.
5.Our bodies collapse.
6. We organize a concert in a body predisposed to joy
to correct this. Good.

                                 We will walk again.
I am the same one who drew
                  centuries ago in your womb
                                  A brilliant labyrinth of a thousand Sunflowers.
We repeat ourselves in the constellations.
                                  My fruit flavor intoxicated your hair.


A piece of jazz hissing through your body.
Everything changes and sprouts and multiplies.

The poems we repeat now are emptiness
Nothingness – a lilac flower.
Something mystically recognisable
when we are absence
looking behind the windows?
The beatniks have died
And Gary Snyder walks
The lonely mountains.
I walk the night.
You send your poems to other countries.
Reading the poem
leads to an understanding of its nature.
Nothing personal.
My poetic voice mutated in the neighborhoods
where we prepare lentils
And we boiled our sorrows
My poetic self is born
Sad blue lilac full of clouds
That the celery did not diminish
And so we love each other
Ambulances roam the city
Between Oscillations and Digital Semblance
In fornice
Of the silenced bodies
in the only concert that we give
At the time
in the only possible movement.
The Concert of our open green clear eyes
To the absolute mystery
To the burned factories and to the land
Did the young people jump from the Electric Tower today?
And we are And we run
And it’s cold in this damn city
That is my poetic art: our savage
the wind shaking your face.
Vague. Way.
I’m listening. I observe.
I am all this crazy movie where
Verb is beauty and lucidity a body
Looking for another.
I look for you.
This way of mine to flee is to pronounce your
The clarity of a dinner
well prepared.
Sometimes rooms or verses
Sometimes Stefan Joyce or Li Po
While we were cutting a tomato
Cool as the diagonal that
runs through my body when I touch yours.
When in yours I go back to mine
I recognize myself as a void between multiplication and clay.
When I hiss your name
In the mist of hearts.
This is my time.
Oh streets, I’m so sorry to come back
To live everything again
The poem will be a frozen room
The poem will be two bodies
The poem will be some dark images that I
I gently release between
The Axials of Terror and Glory.
The poem will be a path through the fire.
The poem will be a star.
The poem will be a way of feeling abstracted: a state in the crowd.
The poem will be the image of a man looking at the glass from a window.
The poem will be my hand looking for yours.
The poem is an angel about my loneliness.
The poem is a lost shoe.
The poem is your body
The poem is your mouth.
The poem is my destiny
Party in unrest.
Saturday without you.
We disappeared in the restless dawn
That you smashed in a can
of beer.
The body of the poem silently longed for
when we were two crazy teenagers
Seeking to satisfy our abysses
Oh Lima take me away from Minor Silt
Of the stars multiplied in my Phallus
Relatively common sentimental conversation
Facing the Centuries
Repeating the maze of the body
Labyrinth that I silently observed inside myself
Within others,
Within the total Other that is the Orb
And my mind opening between the cracks
Of the days / Smoke from the streets black prayer of the tuna
We will always long for the same poem
That perfectly leads us to ourselves
Labyrinth within Our Music
Music that croaked within our circumference
And I have rewritten our life:
Saturday or Friday night landscape
Looking for love on the long hard streets and
All the asphalt was the lost crevice of your face
We woke up looking for a ceviche in Puente Piedra
I still make love to you as the year closes with
Some rum in the room
10 lucas is all I have in my bank account
And I walk alone &
The poem
               it’s a mind game within our intensity
The poem
               It is the safe conduct to our temporality
The poem
                  is the concert of our honesty
The poem
                  it’s the concert of our decade
The poem
                  it’s your body, Antonio, Mara, streets, Miguel,
Ovid, Malaga, Omar, Agamemnon
The poem
                 between roses and glasses clothes and perspiration
From the fire of colours falling on
Your belly: wildfire, beauty, landscape, poem, theorem
Of chaos, fire, bodies that I deliciously
I became my alchemy. Eyelids
From the crazy city where I dance or play dreaming
This bouquet of wet roses that ended
Being my voice and my body, passion that is chaos
In mind awake where I slide
To know your eyes: what is
The Literary Work? What are your methods
In the garúa of faces and symbols
In the semen of infinities, what is reality? Ah, damn summer, you bastard
In the boredom of bitter girls
And I decided it embroidered on my hair a long
Grimace, a long beat of bitter flowers.
The speed of my rhythm. And here we start
This new notebook to protect my eyes
Of the folly of a world that is more deplorable every day.
And behind were the bodies that I silently loved
And behind, my house and the light from the windows, and the
Terrible affection that nobody knew how to give. And here,
In the showcase of loneliness, among the gardens of boredom,
I repeat your body virulently, I long
I rise, kiss, lunge, dream, I light up your voice
Intensely the voracity of our bodies.
And despair gave me this world that I
I turned on with the clarity of my mind. And now I do not bathe and I walk alone,
Disturbed between streets and hermit smiles.
And poetry was something that we tirelessly repeated:
Streets, bodies, pieces of a ballad that I placed in your eyes,
Insomnia, verses by Borges or Gelman, a ballad
De Manzanero while he was looking for the ideal epigraph
To simply show my intensity.
Chasing the writing was the verse itself.
The verse itself mutates into the plurality of I’s.
Perfection is not enough for me, I do not want the absolute.
Abstract thinking as an aphorism translated from English
To French, To Spanish
That simply reveals the chaos of a polished mind
As Kavafis thought
As I knocked on your door and you opened a quiet page
By M. Proust. I think we have nothing else left.
Except buying old editions of Verástegui
Find a volume of Eminescu to use his verses
As an epigraph
Walk, Walk, Breathe, Burn
Live it, inhabit it like a strange fire that haunts it.
Sing it, cry it, we inhabited the verse like a summer
Open with shorts and fear of going out on the streets
That was the saddest month.
I only want my little room where I dream verses
Or streets or landscapes that are necessarily another matter.
Another matter to describe the course of your mind
Inside silently sad computers.
And my sadness is miles of verses
That one day I will dream for you while
I miss you between the rooftops and loneliness, loneliness
And cats opening black garbage bags
Black tears of my still raging loneliness
Turned into a little hymn landing on the wings
Of the Lepidoptera. And it’s true, I’m depressed
Or sad or with a thousand rebellious sunflowers inside my eyelids
And my eyelids are all my crazy mind full of I’s
That, as Julio Herrera points out in metric verse,
It is the shuddering Me before the mud of the dough.
The Shocked Epoch tenderly overwhelming your sex.
And you shine so brilliantly.
Oh party, Lima is my crude city and my country
Lima is a luminous melody growing happily
and my crude way of walking and watching and scratching my music
Two young men haunted by hatred searching
A small room to love each other.
And yes, I am a boy and I love you, and I will shut up when you
Naked and I undress and we are this country
Open, shattered, cracked like your lips.
And that’s why I wrote this poem and started another
Within the same axial axis of your mouth.
Not this one, pick and choose in thickness
Of meaning the most. And what difference does it make to have
Been the fire if today we are but two
Silent truths. So far from love I speak
So far from faded feelings
That I reject my voice from another year, my loneliness
Now written between papers and cutlery
And this need to walk or stroll quietly
By rooms. I stared at a fly
That flew above volume two of the Work
Complete by Neruda. And I opened that little book of Fayad, the Cuban, Jamís. Days of getting bored and immediately writing the seizure
And convulsion is thousands of streets or pains. And all my power
It is to fix my eyes on you now that you are sobbing between
Your memories: streets, houses, shattered country, April
It’s the most stupid month, you know, you have to work
To pay for the receipts, electricity, streets, songs
And I also remember that we slept in the eye
Of a newly pregnant mother.

fashion photography of woman hands on chin with glitter makeup
Photo by 3Motional Studio


Walter Velasquez

Seeing the glow of your beauty
What does your beauty contemplate
Accompanied by your nature
And freshness

It is your face that amazes me
Quiet and distracted
Leaving my eyes blind
And my body turned off

Frankly I don’t know if this will be art
Oh no if it’s art, oh I don’t know if it’s art
But I can’t deny what it is
Brighter than ever
Have been seen
Oh blazing, oh blazing

About the Authors

Elí Urbina (b. Chimbote, Perú, 1989) is licensed in Letters and has a Master’s degree in University Teaching and Pedagogic Research. He has published the poetry collections: “La sal de las hienas” – The salt of the hyenas (Plectro Editores, 2017) and “El abismo del hombre”- The abyss of men (Buenos Aires Poetry, 2020). His poetry has been translated into Greek, Serbian, Macedonian, French, Italian and English. He is the founder and director of the poetry magazine Santa Rabia.

Julio César Barco Avalos (b. Lima, 1991) is the author of the books Me da pena que la gente grow (Arteidea Editores, 2012), Breathe (La Chimba Editores-2018-Writers Guild Award), Vastísima Architecture (Editora Huachumera-2019-Huauco de Oro Award), Arder (grammar of the dandelions) (Editorial Higuerilla-2019), The music of my head Vol. 7 (Language Peru -Editors) In 2019, he presented Semen (music for young lovers) (Language Peru – Editors). He is the founder and director of the TAJO group. In 2020 he published four books during lockdown: Des(c)ierto (Metaliteratura, Argentina 2020), the re-edition of Semen (Metaliteratura, 2020) and two volumes in Colombia: Operating System (SO, 2020) and Copy, cut, paste, load (Obra Abierta, Colombia, 2020). He is currently Editor of Literalgia and Lima Gris and Manager of the Poético Río Hablador Cultural Project (which develops poetry projects in El Agustino) and directs the website Lenguajeperu.pe, which is a new national blog of Peruvian and Latin American poetry and art. He obtained an honorable mention in the XI Young Poet of Peru contest (2020) with the poetry book Semilla Cósmica.

Walter Alexis Velasquez Mendoza is 24 years old. He is a journalism student at the Antonio Ruiz de Montoya University. He has been involved in literary activity since he was twenty years old, where he made his first poetic presentation at the Oral Poetry Slam, at the Reporteros Infiltra2 collective. He has participated in national anthologies such as “El Dolor de la Tinta” (Editorial El Verso Azul); “El Mar No Cesa” (Editorial Ángeles del Papel); “Al Lado del Camino” (Marginal Editions), among others. His writing has appeared in both national and international magazines. Previously, he worked in the Federation of Journalists of Peru, in the Diario La Verdad Municipal and the literary magazine Buensalvaje. He is currently an editor and reporter for the digital portal La Cuarta Noticias.


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