Two poems by the Argentinian poet, Jorge Fondebrider

Jorge Fondebrider

Jorge Fondebrider, well-known as one of Argentina’s foremost critics and cultural historians is also – or rather is first and foremost – an eminent poet and translator of poetry, both from French and English. He is the author of four collections – painstakingly spread out at the rate of around one per six years. Fondebrider’s poetry is meditative, wistful and ironic, although it can be savage in its indictments of hypocrisy and pretension.

There is no day of total happiness
– he says in exasperation –
there is always the shadow of the dead,
pigeons on the roof,
the dentist’s chair, an expiry date.
There’s always something
more powerful than the sun, your company.
Look – she says, more seriously –
neither you nor I are going to be here
so we’d better hug each other
while there is still something to embrace,
while we are here today. He manages to hear her
and suspects that they are strange bodies,
alien as everyone,
even in love,

Translation by Afric McGlinchey

No hay día enteramente feliz –le dice contrariado–.
Siempre está la sombra de los muertos,
palomas en el techo,
el turno del dentista, vencimiento .
Siempre hay algo
que puede más que el sol, tu compañía.
Mirá –le dice seria–
ni vos ni yo vamos a estar
así que mejor nos abrazamos
mientras hay algo que abrazar,
mientras estamos hoy. Alcanza a oírlo
y sospecha que son cuerpos extraños,
ajenos como todos
los cuerpos aun en el amor,

Jorge Fondebrider (Buenos Aires)

La noche tiene mil ojos

No possible denial between waves
that fold into their dark pages.
Behind the horizon follows the sea,
then constellations and corals,
submerged stars
like the cold foam,
and here the moon
shuffling among the ships without logic or order.
Mountains or palm trees. It does not matter.
It’s only a matter of creating a scenario
in which to plant a self lost in thought,
without logic or order.

Translation by Afric McGlinchey

The night has a thousand eyes

No hay negación posible entre las olas
que doblan sus páginas oscuras.
Detrás del horizonte sigue el mar,
después, constelaciones y corales,
estrellas sumergidas
como las espumas frías,
y más acá la luna
rielando entre los barcos sin lógica ni orden.
Montañas o palmeras. Da lo mismo.
Todo es cuestión de plantar un escenario en que transcurra
un yo cualquiera perdido en pensamientos
sin lógica ni orden.

Annemarie Ní Churreáin: Four Poems

These lovely offerings from Annemarie Ní Churreáin.

Rochford Street Review

Biographical NoteContemporary Irish Poetry Index

The Scandal
Blue Dress
30th Birthday



Openly, the sea prays
against the moon’s lead….. the pier’s edge….. the palm-trees

as I sway beneath a ringlet of your hot breath.

And though we know nothing yet of cruelty,
there is a vague bloodedness in the air,
the scent of bulls on the heels of men,
…………..a red hem flaring poppies.

Soon, the dust-clouds will spin
like none seen
at Las Ventas.

Back to Contents


The Scandal

The villagers did not unite
in outrage
but instead, they set about their days as usual,
posting letters, buying fruit, forming queues in the bank
after lunchtime.

They said little
but within that little lay much;
little was a gated field in which something extraordinary was

They held to their inner selves
in emergencies of projected light.

And yet,

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Directory of Poetry Film Festivals

The great thing about making a poetry film is that you can enter it into as many poetry film competitions and festivals as you like. Here are details of the O’Bhéal poetry film competition:

Ó Bhéal
Location: Cork, Ireland
Annual since 2010

The IndieCork festival of independent film and music.

2017 is Ó Bhéal’s eighth year screening International poetry-films, and fifth year featuring an International competition. Up to thirty films will be shortlisted and screened during the festival in October. One winner will receive the Indie Cork / Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film prize.

Judges: filmmaker Shaun O’Connor & poet-artist Lani O’Hanlon

Deadline for submissions is the 31st of August 2017.

And here’s a list of other new and ongoing festivals:

Art Visuals & Poetry Film Festival
Location: Vienna, Austria
Originally annual, now biannual, since 2009

Backup_festival: Weimar Poetry Film Award
Location: Weimar, Germany
Annual since 2016

Ciné Poème – Festival de courts métrages (Facebook page)
Location: Bezons, France
Annual since 2011

CYCLOP International Videopoetry Festival (Facebook page)
Location: Kiev, Ukraine
Annual since 2011

Festival de la poésie de Montréal: Rendez-vous vidéo-poésie
Location: Montreal
Annual since 2014

Filmpoem Festival
Location: various, but mostly Scotland
Annual since 2013

International Poetry Film Festival
Location: Athens, Greece
Annual since 2012

Juteback Poetry Film Festival
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Revived in 2017; 2012 and 2013 as The Body Electric Poetry Film Festival

Liberated Words Poetry Film Festival
Location: Bristol, UK
Since 2012

Oslo poesifilm
Location: Oslo, Norway
Annual since 2009

Location: various, UK
Multiple screening events each year since 2002

Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival
Location: Worcester, Massachusetts
Annual since 2014

Sadho Poetry Film Fest
Location: New Delhi (and touring other Indian cities)
Biannual since 2007

Location: Barcelona
Annual since 2015

VideoBardo International Festival of Videopoetry
Location: Buenos Aires
Biannual since 1996 (skipped 2010)

VISIBLE VERSE Videopoetry Festival
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Annual since 1999 (hiatus in 2016)

ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival (Facebook page)
Location: Münster (Berlin through 2014)
Biannual since 2002

Belief in Magic by Dean Young

A poet after my own heart. One who always wants to ‘put everything in.’


Belief in Magic

How could I not?
Have seen a man walk up to a piano
and both survive.
Have turned the exterminator away.
Seen lipstick on a wine glass not shatter the wine.
Seen rainbows in puddles.
Been recognized by stray dogs.
I believe reality is approximately 65% if.
All rivers are full of sky.
Waterfalls are in the mind.
We all come from slime.
Even alpacas.
I believe we’re surrounded by crystals.
Not just Alexander Vvedensky.
Maybe dysentery, maybe a guard’s bullet did him in.
I believe there are many kingdoms left.
The Declaration of Independence was written with a feather.
A single gem has throbbed in my chest my whole life
even though
even though this is my second heart.
Because the first failed,
such was its opportunity.
Was cut out in pieces and incinerated.
I asked.
And so was denied the chance to regard my own heart
in a jar.
Strange tangled imp.
Wee sleekit in red brambles.
You know what it feels like to hold
a burning piece of paper, maybe even
trying to read it as the flames get close
to your fingers until all you’re holding
is a curl of ash by its white ear tip
yet the words still hover in the air?
That’s how I feel now.

Deep Heart’s Core – an anthology

Rather thrilled that a poem of mine is included in this anthology, published by Dedalus (eds. Eugene O’Connell and Pat Boran) which features a hundred Irish poets, each with a touchstone poem and a commentary. The Cork launch of the anthology is on the 19th April, at the Cork City Library, at 7pm.

The poem I chose as my touchstone poem (in slightly different form) is:

Do not lie to a lover

but on the other hand, do not
always tell the whole truth.
Sometimes your secrets will feel
like a fire inside your brain,
silently burning,
but they should be revealed
only when required,
like a cat’s eye necklace
on a road’s dark skin.

Disclosure exposes,
creates a stalking fear,
like that of the grasshopper
who sang all summer
and now faces winter
without provisions,
as the wind whoops and fleers
and sleet skitters over
the whitening ground.

For the commentary, you’ll have to buy the book!

Good Friday by Daragh Breen

Daragh Breen.jpg

Good Friday (Part III of a poem sequence titled The Sun King)

The sun, as always, sets just off the stone-rubble
of Connemara, dragging with it the dark from
just beyond Mars, drowning all the fuchsia-clogged
lanes of childhood summer evenings out along
Dog’s Bay,
and Clifden also topples into the dark,
only its rooftops visible in the moonlight, like
the jellyfish that cobbled the coast’s warm beaches
and across which we step once more into the hotel
hallway where you once lead the four of us
to look at the photographs on the wall of
Alcock and Brown who made that first Trans-Atlantic
flight in what looked like a homemade aeroplane of
lashed together tarpaulin, travelling sightlessly
through the Atlantic night.
Some morning saw us rumbling
towards the flaming pyre of the sun as it coloured
the inside of the plane the yellows of the gorse
that smells of the cheap macaroon bars that you
loved so much, talking about Little Richard, Jerry
Lee Lewis and Midfield Generals,
and in this ford of your memories
I realised that someday the same Dark Bull would
trample free of its stall and come snorting
across the sea of clouds, coming ashore in the weakening
Yet, I have seen you now as a man,
a youth, a young boy, and when all our collective
years have slipped from us, drip by slow-slow drip,
and lie pooled in the universe’s stilled dark silence,
the spaces where we sat or walked or talked
will remain, like hollowed-out ghost forms,
waiting for some future sun to nest in their
wide, bridging arms.

From the collection, What the Wolf Heard (Shearsman Books)