A Pandemic of Cynicism

Translated  by Katrina Hassan We don’t want to see injustice of any sort, not because it hurts, but because we do not care even one bit about the suffering of others.  If we come across injustice on the street, we cross the road to avoid it. We go in reverse or jump over it as if it were a mud puddle. We are good avoiders. Historically, we have skipped over and avoided the reconstruction of social fabric. There is not a virus more lethal than cynicism and human kind is the best at it. Viruses come and go. The way information…

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Between Hustle and Bustle and Serenity

Translated  by Katrina Hassan There are days in which I want to write and I can’t. As much as I try, it doesn’t flow, words hide. I light some incense. I smoke my room. I prepare myself some tea. I exercise to stretch my muscles, and take deep slow breaths. Minutes pass and the three lines on the blank page do not progress. That is when I know that today is not a day for writing. The glass is empty. I shouldn’t write when there is hustle and bustle. It does not let me express myself. I need silence. For that…

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My Attempts at Painting

Translated  by Katrina Hassan This morning I sat in front of my canvas and I stared at it. It looked like a blank; huge! I was a late starter to painting. I tell myself this as I try to draw and don’t manage to get it right. I think of a painting one way and it comes out a different way. It’ll be less bright, less delicate. My paintings come out rough, with poor technique. They turn out like something made by someone who does not know the guidelines of art and paint and of course cannot master them. I like…

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Summer Graduations

Translated  by Katrina Hassan The bleachers on the football pitch are full of people. The warm summer sun, is at its best at this part of the day. The weather is perfect. The people assisting are dressed in their best clothes. This is not just any day. It is the day when their kids graduate high school. Many born in the USA and others emigrated as kids but speak English without an accent. The memory of their place of origin is fading away more every day. Along with the idea of university, the grandparent’s house and the legal residence in this…

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The Lighthouse

Translated  by Katrina Hassan Shipwrecked, going from storm to storm, having tried everything to reach the edge and not being able to float on my own, I quit. I thought the waves would take my lifeless body, but suddenly, I don’t know how and why, I have asked myself a thousand times. I still don’t know the answer, but in the darkest of nights, it appeared to me. The most beautiful lighthouse took me in it’s arms and cloaked me with its warmth. Since then it has healed my wounds with its tenderness and guided my way with its resplendent light.…

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Ilka Oliva Corado’s Poetry of the Diaspora

Comparto este texto escrito por Tiffanie Clark, que estudia el Doctorado en Literatura Centroamericana en La Universidad de Cincinnati, Ohio, Estados Unidos. Tiffani está escribiendo su tesis y escogió la poesía de 4 poetas migrantes para su análisis, entre ellos la mía. Le agradezco el empeño por dar a conocer mi trabajo literario entre la comunidad académica de Estados Unidos. Ilka Oliva Corado’s Poetry of the Diaspora Tiffanie Clark  Síntesis              Este trabajo presenta algunos aspectos sociopolíticos de la producción poética de Ilka Oliva Corado (1979) con un enfoque en las maneras en la que su condición y consciencia diaspórica afectan…

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Dare to heal the wound

Translated  by Katrina Hassan It is not important how the first form of expression emerges. If with fear, anger, ire, powerlessness, or frustration and therefore booms and hurls fire or burns like embers.  If the expression scratches, screams, painfully cries or throws punches into the air. That is really not important. The wound is beginning to heal, that is important. It is not important that there are tumbling steps. There might be three steps forward and one step back, going sideways or zigzagging. It is important to stand up, try and walk, even though at first only crawling and dragging oneself. Soon,…

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On rainy days like today…

Translated  by Katrina Hassan Yes,yes, yes, I regularly burn sage my room, on drizzly mornings like today. The smell of the sage leaf brings back memories of the smell of wood burning ovens lit up in rural Guatemala. There are no wood ovens here. In this enormous industrial town, there are only factories that line the packing district. Although, the other day, I saw an outdoor oven. It was on a farm on the outskirts of town. I felt winded, I couldn’t breathe!  An oven! An oven! I yelled again! I ran from the stable, past the goats and vegetable patch.I reached…

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Migrating Wings

Translated  by Katrina Hassan They arrive with their sad little eyes, anxious, and with all hope lost. They have an urgency to find work, after all, that is why they came here. To work. These are the man-boys and women-girls that never had a childhood and went straight to work as kids.  They were made to grow up in one go, just like their parents and grandparents. They look like kids and adolescents, yet something was taken from them. Something did not develop properly in what should be the natural way a child grows. In a healthy society, protected by the…

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Love above all

Translated  by Katrina Hassan A huge cloud appears all of a sudden. What was once a sunny morning becomes a typical winter day. People run frantically from the parking lot towards the supermarket. The rain is from a great big storm. In a matter of seconds the sky darkens and huge drops fall as heavily as hail from the sky. I take my shopping cart and enter the store, shaking the rain off my sweater. I walk towards the vitamin aisle. I search for what I need, but it is difficult because there are two shopping carts in the way. They…

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