FIELD WORK: Hugo García Manríquez

On the occasion of Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field, SFMOMA curator of public programs Frank Smigiel and poet and playwright Kevin Killian co-organized a small chapbook of poetry, beautifully hand-produced by Andrew Kenower and Lara Durback. We are posting selections from FIELD WORK on Open Space throughout the fall.

Pre Columbian, 1965



We pushed history backwards
and turned it into our own indexicalities

A bronze removed a number of times
demoted from statue to its second life. So is nationalism
that almost perfect machine

We threw this that cobblestone
but always ended with the cobblestone heavy as signifier
in a given system of flowers

With each move bronze and iron amend our angles
eaves of timber and refuse           reclaimed wood

A chronicler salutes us twice in the form
of disparate objects gathered momentarily

As if



‘Each single sound already says We’
already says racial fixations

It reduces to somehow reduces to
somehow incommensurable

Dear language of totality, we forget about totalities

Cannot elaborate but those swallows are the negation of practice

That partly sudden surge of dream and loss
in a language with no plural for music



Born in Mexico, Hugo García Manríquez lives in Oakland. His most recent publications in English are Two Poems (Oakland: Hooke Press, 2013) and Painting is Finite (LRL, 2012). In Spanish Hugo has published No Oscuro Todavía (Práctica Mortal, 2005) and Los Materiales (Tierra Adentro, 2009). His forthcoming book, A-H. Anti-Humboldt, is a bilingual work that intervenes the NAFTA/TLC agreement. His translations into Spanish include William Carlos Williams’s Paterson (México: Aldus, 2009) and George Oppen, among others. Hugo is a graduate student in the Spanish and Portuguese Department at UC Berkeley.

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