Featured poet: Francisco Ide Wolleter

Jan 21, 2015 Comments Off on Featured poet: Francisco Ide Wolleter by

Francisco Ide Wolleter (Santiago, 1989) has published Observatory (Corriente Alterna Editions, 2011), Yakuza (Cinosargo Editions 2014) and Poems for Michael Jordan (Luma Foundation, Zurich, Switzerland; Ajiaco Editions, Santiago; 2014). He was awarded a scholarship by the Fundación Pablo Neruda in 2010.

His texts were included in the anthologies Tea Party, Tri-national anthology of poetry: Peru, Bolivia, Chile (Cinosargo / La Liga Editions, 2012) and New poets from America: Young poetry from Chile to Nicaragua (Fundación Neruda, 2013).

In 2013 he was awarded second place in the Lamas Médula International Poetry Contest (Buenos Aires, Argentina). In 2014 he was awarded first place in the CNCA’s Roberto Bolaño Prize for Young Literary Creation in the Poetry category, and honorary mention in the Novel category; he also won the Toribio Larraín City Prize.


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[From Poems for Michael Jordan]


that’s what death is like:
an anti-gravity jump,
slam dunking the ball in the basket,
landing firmly on the waxed wood
smooth as the moon’s surface
and looking out at
the empty stands

it’s like this:
retiring, and yet
continuing to practice
as if the next game
were only a few minutes away
by private jet




the arc, the precise distance, the force
the ball in hand and control of the moment

as if nothing else existed
no hunger or orphans or guilt
that’s how one has to give it one’s all

love is a discipline just like basketball
and a game of basketball has the same
structure as life

one must love while there’s still time
as if nothing else matters

that’s how i’ve always played
and when my mates caught on
they carved tunnels in the air
so i could pass them my master play




Think about this: a swarm of wasps
devouring a half-decomposed
Bengal tiger

a confrontation of two symmetries

the synthesis of the wasp with the tiger
in its digestive system

is a kind of borrowing
or doubling,
a negotiation and plasticity of matter

no better example occurs to me

something like that happens
when you wear the bull of your Chicago Bulls shirt

when the pores of your hands touch the pores
of the ball

when the spring of your muscles lifts
you up off the ground
and mixes you with the air

— Translations by Jessica Sequeira


La revista, VL English

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