Erín Mouré

Tr-lating Wilson Bueno

How not to speak, how to not speak, this oscillation is missing in the phrase “how to avoid speaking” that is the English title of Derrida’s essay. The curious presence of the word avoid in this title of a talk first given in English in Jerusalem. (How the young poet waking from a coma in Montreal after the accident, when asked: Do you know where you are? said: Jerusalem). In English, an avoidance, whereas in French an oscillatory structure is at work: “comment ne pas—parler” along with “comment—ne pas parler.” How can we not—speak? How can we not-speak?

Or perhaps in the English there is a nearly hidden reverberation: how to a-void speaking? How to unvoid it, remove its void. While trying to stay far from what will not ever stay far from us, for it adheres to us. So that we can’t just ignore or abandon speech, we must a-void it.

In translating Wilson Bueno, there is a reverberatory relation of three languages: Portuguese, Castilian, Guaraní, across a colonial border in western Brazil.

I am creating a translation in English-with-French-and-Guaraní that perhaps no one will read.

Something unreadable, un-avoidable, un-a-voidable. And its relation to sea: a river is also the sea, infolded.

The book will “succeed” even if no one reads it. Because it will exist in the structure of English, as risk. Paraguayan Sea. Sea in a country with no shore but yes its rivers give unto the sea, lay claim to sea, and reach inward from sea’s exteriority

inscribing the risk directly into the structure.

for Odile Cisneros


This poem is published in Vallum: Contemporary Poetry 14:1 in PRINT and DIGITAL! This issue also features work by George Elliott Clarke, Shane Book, Phil Hall, Sonnet L'Abbé and many more! To order your copy, please visit our ONLINE STORE !



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