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Rattapallax 9 – 2003

This issue of Rattapallax focused on new Brazilian poetry, presented in the original Brazilian-Portuguese along with the English translation, as well as a scattering of experimental American writings. Quite a bit of the poetry in this issue was a little too clever or experimental for me, but I warmed up to some of it after more than one reading, particularly Rodrigo Garcia Lopes’ “Thoth.” Here’s an excerpt from the English translation of the final paragraph of that prose poem:

This issue of Rattapallax focused on new Brazilian poetry, presented in the original Brazilian-Portuguese along with the English translation, as well as a scattering of experimental American writings. Quite a bit of the poetry in this issue was a little too clever or experimental for me, but I warmed up to some of it after more than one reading, particularly Rodrigo Garcia Lopes’ “Thoth.” Here’s an excerpt from the English translation of the final paragraph of that prose poem:

“The scintillae of the invisible, splinters of Osiris, silence denuding the secret made of dry petals; rain’s paradox refining its metals. All is made light when light liquefies into sound, rain out of season. Signs. Serpents spiral in their skin…”

Kudos to translator Chris Daniels for his work on that poem as well, as he really got the fabulous sound effects from the original to come through. I also liked Brenda Coultas’ “An Early Alphabet” and Fabio Weintraub’s “Universal Gravitation.” The issue included a CD (a practice that this journal pioneered and is starting to catch on) that had audio files of poets from the issue reading their work as well as some Brazilian electronic music classified as “Now Sound.” This style of music is referenced in a short essay in the journal so you can use that as your guide to this experimental sound of the moment. If you are feeling adventurous and want to get a peek at the avant-garde writers of Brazil, this is your issue. [Rattapallax Press, 532 La Guardia Place Suite 353, New York, NY 10012. Email: [email protected] Single issue $7.95. www.rattapallax.com/index.htm] – JHG

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