Alexandra Domínguez – Journey – translated by Jeremy Paden

I traveled around myself like a naturalist or a geographer.

Each description contained details about the apparent,

gothic days, typewriters that wrote out moral resolutions,

and also scars caused by intimacy connected to chance.

The compass of my obsessions spun in tune to fate.

No sentimentality, all silhouettes seemed like Chekov.

Nothing, also, of patient architecture,

a crimson horizon for the clothes moths of bewitchment.

I prefer to debate poetry with doubt’s warehouse manager

than with that other species of gossipy wailers.

A possible description of what’s been found, two points,

now what flies is far away, blue water with fag-ends,

a green hieroglyph the further I descend,

foreign eyes in the eighth region of the province sadness.

If each lamp is the eye of a serpent in the night.

If the architecture of respectability and the geometry of patience means nothing.

If the intuition of astronomers opens its folder in the tea fields.

If each watch is an empty room where promises are never broken.

If you beneath the light are the wind of light and we don’t call you light.

If already from the perfect labyrinth you weren’t able to find the doorway of meaning.

If there out in the open the calculus of the universe had something to do with the clay pots of


If only you were to speak of things you didn’t know and we were to hear you as if an empty


If of all that which you aren’t you weren’t ever the theology of imagination

Alexandra Domínguez (Concepción, Chile 1956) is a Chilean artist, poet, and translator who resides in Madrid, Spain. She has exhibited in various galleries and shows throughout Latin America, Europe, and the US and won the Gran Premio Nacional de Pintura Salón del Sur in 1989. She has published two award-winning collections of poems: The Conquest of Air winner of the Premio Hispanoamericano de Poesía Juan Ramón Jiménez in 2000, and Poems to Carry in Your Pocket winner of the Premio de Poesía Rincón de la Victoria In Memoriam a Salvador Rueda in 2006. She and her partner, Juan Carlos Mestre, translated the complete poems of Saint-John Perse into Spanish published in 2021. 

Jeremy Paden is professor of Latin American literature at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky and he is on faculty at Spalding University’s low-residency MFA. He is a literary translator and has published translations of contemporary Argentine, Colombian, Chilean, Mexican, and Spanish poetry. He is also a poet who has published three chapbooks and two full-length collections. The latter two are: world as sacred burning heart (3: A Taos Press, 2021) and the bilingual Self-Portrait as an Iguana (Valparaíso USA, 2021). Self-Portrait, written originally in Spanish, was named co-winner of the inaugural Poeta en Nueva York Prize. His bilingual and illustrated children’s book Under the Ocelot Sun/Bajo el sol del ocelote (Shadelandhouse Modern Press, 2020), on the migrant caravan crisis, won a 2020 Campoy-Ada Prize awarded by the North American Academy of the Spanish Language for Children’s Literature in Spanish.