Mocked, acclimatized to good, morbid, urent,
I double the carnal cable and play cups,
where the destinies end up in flies,
where I ate and drank what's cleaning me out.
numeral bier, those of my debt,
those of my debt, when I fall exceedingly,
At bottom, then,
it's time to moan with all my ax
and it's then year of the sob,
day of the ankle,
night of the rib, century of pained breath.
Sterile qualities, monotonous satans,
leap from the side,
from the flank of my sitting-in mare;
but, where I ate, how much I thought!
but, how much I drank, where I wept!
Well that's life, life
being what it is, way over there, behind
the infinite; thus, spontaneously
before the legislative temple.
Thus the string lies buried at the violin's base
when they spoke of the air, shouting, when
very leisurely they spoke of lightning.
The wrong cause thus doubles, we go
three by three to unity, thus
one plays cups
and those who fold match my bet,
the destinies end up in bacteria
and one owes all to all.
--César Vallejo, "Escarnecido, aclimatado..." (7 October 1937)
tr. Clayton Eshleman