Featured poet: Francisco Bitar

Nov 15, 2013 Comments Off on Featured poet: Francisco Bitar by

Francisco Bitar

Francisco Bitar was born in 1981 in Santa Fe, Argentina, where he still lives. He has published the books of poetry Negativos (2007), El olimpo (2009 and 2010) and Ropa vieja: la muerte de una estrella (2011), and the novel Tambor de arranque (2012), which won the city of Rosario’s literary prize. He has translated English and Northamerican authors, and helped edit the poet Juan Manuel Inchauspe’s Trabajo nocturno. Poemas completos. Currently, he works as an editor at the Publications Centre of the Universidad Nacional del Litoral, and frequently contributes essays and literary reviews to a variety of online and print publications, in Argentina and abroad. In 2013 he was granted a fellowship from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes.


Ventana Latina is pleased to offer the first English versions of the following poems, originally published in Ropa vieja and translated in close collaboration with the author.

­– Jessica Sequeira 




I skirt the city

where we lived together years ago,

In fact I fly over it

on the raised motorway

set atop a hill.

Far off there are a few lights

and I find myself in the useless task

of looking for our house

in the most obscure darkness.

But it’s a darkness I think I recognise.

I write this in the light of a mobile phone

in a handbag

although not so far inside it

that my neighbour doesn’t wake.

I too am a poet –he says– I write about love.





Last night

or should I say

early this morning

a dog followed me

from the club

to my house.

I had forgotten it

(like everything that had happened)

but in the afternoon

Lucas’s call woke me

and from the telephone

I could see the dog lying

under the bed.

I got back in the sheets

but now it was impossible to sleep

with the dog beneath me

as if he were breathing

from my own darkness.

I got up,

cooked some rice

for me and for him

and we went out to the garden

where the sun that remained

helped me with the tasks

of the flowerbed.

He looked at me

while I cut

the sick parts of the plants

with barbers’ clippers

and lifted his ears

when the drink entered the glass

settling the ice

in a different way.

I put out water for him

in a blue tupperware

and a little while afterwards

I didn’t know what else to do

to help him rest

from the hard life in the streets.

The fact is that he didn’t move his head

from the space between his paws

and I thought that he had been added

to my life, just like other things:

the same way things in drawers

seem always to have been there

in the air of the house.

Without making any noise

I crossed to the other side in two steps

and opened the front door

to smoke a cigarette

and the dog left beneath me

and faced the night

without looking back even once

walking near

the first traffic lights.

Reds, whites and yellows

separated according to speed

and regrouped at street corners

to resume the dance

a minute afterwards

merging their flows.




VL English

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