from Cliffs of the Indian Southwest

Adam Greenberg

These poems use a limited vocabulary derived from the Fortune 500 list of company names to translate “Alturas de Macchu Picchu.” As an experiment in translation, they are meant as an active approach to reading Neruda’s poems anew. If Neruda attempts to recover the language that leaves no trace in history, I am interested in the ghost of a translation that leaves unspoken what can't be spoken, even as it haunts the gap between my poems and Neruda’s.



Travel up-ward, wild American walker.
Brush and powder parts of bliss on prudential keystone.
The silver anthem of air beyond the Amazon
arms the yellow tulip for the future.

Gap the green tube of natural cable,
the tree-gem, the holly crown
on the bell-less tribune of hill.
Dart, minor life, on ashland
fibers, and—glass and solvents, broadcasting—
refining green gem sheller,
o wild snowdrift, source of natural spring.

Maid-E-N, maid-E-N, for the post-sun minute,
on the sonic Indian firestone,
for the new lighting on idle devices,
pioneer the lines of snowdrift.

O, southern constellation of sonic fibers,
publishing white the post-lighting
spray of lines, coil-state snowdrift,
singer and kaiser of air-cliffs discovery,
can communications match young
and old for one southern powder?

One of us applied poly-wire and
consolidated powder on solar chain-link,
media-L on diamond packing,
(s)melting on electric plough,
belt-I-N-G the parts of the lily,
wheeling on genuine bed of arms,
pacific limit on limit of rock?

Publishing revere-D data?
Post-society pride: old source of reading?
Can one of us snap the time-less alphabet,
black industries, gold brands,
container of communications, con of data,
on post-channel river coil?

One of us parts the fibers of the cognizant
blue-bell on the bed of the forest?
One of us banks on life-less group of
fibers holding on borders of for-ward-
milling circuit of sun-less post-container
farm dynamics, continental land-group coal?

One of us partners forest link-gap and forest bed?
One stores future-less communications?

Maid-E-N, maid-E-N, watch the borders,
limit revere-N-C-E for the life-less head:
watch time quest zenith on
the hall of dry springs,
and, on the gap of whirlpool and stone,
the air of the valley,
the ply of the lines of the sheet of the wind,
the vista-less channel of the miles of the rock,
the signal of the transfer of the liquid on the tree
and advance, lily for lily, for the foot
packing the anaconda on the underwood.

On the cliffs-zone, stone and forest,
powder of green star, white Amazon,
tree-fruit controls the air, live pond,
new level of clear air.

Milk the reading life, the bard spirit,
for the crown-less crown
Re-new-A-L of the imperial castle.

And on the Watch the South American bird
springs for-ward, fleet-I-N-G black dial. 


Beyond way-ward bliss,
beyond all post-solar stone, aid one reader’s digital E-N-gulf-I-N-
aid the interpace wheeling of, bird sealed A-way for one
the old heart of the re-source-less!
Aid one reader’s U-N-channel-I-N-G of fortune, the grand ocean
      of fortune,
for all of us loom beyond the ocean and ocean land,
and one wells up, pumps up-ward,
ramo of state-less liquid and re-coil fidelity.
Aid the U-N-channel-I-N-G of fuller spectrum of rock, equity
limit-less media, micro-engineering rock,
and on the square instrument aid the digital exploration
on the long lines of the triangle of the chain belt holding pulp and
And, half-sp(ring) of air-case colorado, the way-ward South
      American bird
brands us on the temple, on the airways,
and the weatherhead traffic of fibers pumps the powder-pall of the
center-less up-ward circuit, nor can i dial the thrifty bird,
nor can i dial the wild wheel of devices,
i dial the old spirit, service, on the bed
of the valley, i dial the humana, the re-public, one son, humana up-
      on humana,
beyond the black air, sun-less black weatherhead,
stone pressed for the analog:
John Stone-Smith, son of the source de-us,
John Whirlpool, son of green star,
John Bear-Foot, grand-son of green stone,
enterprise, brothers, for i enterprise.