Bagel Bard Tino Villanueva in The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature

The BBs are my favorite poerty group so it’s good to report that Bagel Bard Tino Villanueva has been included in The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. Here’s one of his poems in English, the orginal is, of course, in Spanish. The Bagel Bard Website.

I PICTURED A PAGE

I pictured a page–a blank white presence,
pure opposite of life,
since life bursts forth.
It brings on its rituals, come calm or storm,
and instantly: it’s unerasable.

The page was real; I held it
in my two hands: white-page-utterly-white,
its utter whiteness unfathomable–
higher logic of a stuff that above all
demands the vital coloring of life
and of all that’s been lived.

It was night; I just couldn’t go on,
but still, I couldn’t stop. Gazing and dazed,
I reached toward the immense ocean-wide
of the white. I scratched scant words
across the blank white-washed: mineral white.
Page white.

In the beginning there was a page;
and on the page, a memory,
and memory turned to words–
what gets forgotten, then comes back,
what’s been mine, forever and without end,
what, when it ends, ends up being what I write.

Original in Spanish: “Imaginé un papel” from Primera causa / First Cause/
Merrick: Cross-Cultural Communications, 1999). ©1999 by Tino Villanueva

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