Arqueóloga de poca monta

Small-time Archaeologist :: Megan Berkobien

artefacto ii.

Se escurren los sentimientos. Esto sí es un intento de tenerme sentido. Qué raro el manantial en que fluimos: las cosas que te pasan con las piernas en paréntesis. Red de pesca. Huelo a ti y aún me queda un pelín de lengua. Lo hago para los dos.

They’re feelings that drain. This is me trying to make sense of it all. [better you not hear this sentimentalism.] I do it for us both.

artefacto x.

Tengo propuestas: ¿Fogón? ¿El corrector en el ojo? ¿Te quito las manos?

A few propositions: Stove-top blaze? White-out vision? I make off with those hands that touched her once-upon-a-time? It’s a stupid story.

artefacto xi.

Imposible la transición. Figure it out anyway.

Read the micros in the offing here.

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“The Translation Tango”: On Being an Emerging Translator

I’ve never liked traveling. It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed living abroad or visiting the various countries that have welcomed my feet. Rather, it’s something in the physical movement from place to place that unsettles. The movement between cultures and languages is a bodily experience; it marks you, and it can be exhausting to learn the new gestures, to contort your limbs into another semantic system, to conjugate your entire tongue. Even after years of not speaking Russian, though, I can still easily pull out the phrase: “My head hurts, do you have any aspirin?”

Read the full article in the November/December 2015 issue of Poets & Writers

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Ulva Lactuca

Cristina Peri Rossi; Megan Berkobien ::

Buy a mattress of… He had wanted to try out a new waterbed, but she had thought it an excessive investment. Investment, no, he corrected himself: an expense. Aboard that aquatic mattress, they could have paddled themselves through life, hardly swaying, rowing – arms crossed, excuse me, in cross, arms extended in, the shape of, a cross; sacrifice, hands hardly bent, the altar of some tribute, gods less perverse than you, legs gently opened, like this, hands bent and arms extended, the altar of sacrificial, ritual gesture, swaying back and forth, now this way, to port, now that way. Me above, you below, me below, you above, and the ship always rocking, me aside, you crouching, me standing, you kneeling, me leaning, you from the back, you standing, me going down. Why didn’t she want to open her mouth?

Read the full story here.

“The Port”

Llucia Ramis; Megan Berkobien ::

I remember a hedgehog devoured by ants; we found it near the house and wanted to feed it milk from the tetra-brik carton. It was dead by morning. I remember my brother wanted to taste an ant because the Chinese eat them, so he put it in his mouth while it was still alive and spit it out because it stung. I remember my cousin pulled out a dock tire at the pier and that a crab jumped out, she got scared and let go and it crushed the crab, it pushed the guts right out through its mouth, sprtz. Afterward we hurled the body into the water and it began to float. I remember the time I picked up a log and pinched a lizard hiding underneath; I could swear it cried out. We spent some time observing that detached tail, my cousin, brother, and I.

I don’t come here often and these memories have nothing to do with nostalgia.

Read the full story here.

An Interview with Anne Carson

Edited by Matthew Jakubowski ::

I first met the pair in their class “Egocircus” at the University of Michigan (an incarnation of the course on collaboration first offered at New York University). The seminar began with a series of curiosities: for example, Currie’s favorite shoes worn days prior were now suddenly relocated on Anne’s feet, and she allowed herself just a slight smile when he noticed. The way Carson and Currie moved about one another looked to me like a dance where each refused to lead.

Read the full interview here.

“All the World’s Men”

Llucia Ramis; Megan Berkobien ::

Uncle Joan had a Fiat. The few people who owned cars in Felanitx had to take the others to the warfront at Manacor. The frontlines frightened Uncle Tomeu, Joan’s brother-in-law, and so he offered to accompany him on those trips instead. On the ride there he stood on the door railing so that no one would complain about him taking up a free seat; on the way back, he’d sit next to Uncle Joan, who drove. During one of the trips to Manacor, an airplane passed right over their heads. Uncle Tomeu got spooked and jumped off to take cover. He fell on top of some bushes. He was cloaked in blood and covered in scratches. When he came back to Felantx, everyone asked whether he had been wounded at war.

Read the full story here.

“Milky Way”

Cristina Peri Rossi; Megan Berkobien ::

There were so many stars he felt he saw them not only through his eyes, not only did they flood his pupils and retinas and irises and eyelashes and the lake of his brow, but suddenly the stars invaded him, penetrating him through his ears, assailing his hearing, filling up his head, his hair, the air in his mouth. He had stars in his fingers and below his fingernails and his pockets were filled with stars and if he took a step his feet would crush the twinkling celestial bodies.

Read the full story here.

“By Night We Howl”

Care Santos; Megan Berkobien ::

But, what does a mountain of books matter when compared to the iron bridges, the concrete masses, the skyscrapers hurdled into the void? We heard them fall piece by piece, one by one. First the glass gave way, then the iron and cement frames. The entire city began to corrode. The rusty gangrene penetrated everything, even spreading to stone. The noise returned for a while: that of the collapsing of structures at one point erected by men, so self-fulfilled. By day, wind and foliage. By night, wolves howling at the moon.

And we, the ghosts, terrified, listening.


Read the full story here.

“Music and Petals”

Gabriela Damián; Megan Berkobien ::

In the depths of my head the melody booms alongside a groan, deep and dry; the combination submerges me in a thick drowsiness. I feel so heavy that I sink, I feel like all of me is paralyzed, but the strangest part is that it’s not my body that can’t move, but me. And, yet, there I am, I see everything happening in front of me while the notes repeat themselves, while the terrible sensation of a never-ending fall tickles my legs, and the sensation that it’s me and not my body that’s submerged in a black well of heavy waters, the music taking hold of my hands, of my flesh… My brother puts back on his face of eternal idiocy as he climbs the stairs. And it’s only at that point that I return from that darkness, from that death.

Read the full story here.