“It Is Magic” by Amor Halperin

Amor Halperin


It is magic
science fiction
one wants
to call it,
the truth is
that there are
for instance
this small universe
which is
the brain
is a mystery
for many people.

When I was a child
I thought
that the brain
was an amorphous mass
when my mother prepared
brains in vinaigrette
a gourmet dish,
but for a ten-year-old child
quite distasteful.

Lately I have
more respect
for the brain
after what I went through
during ten months
of anguish
for my family
and me.

In a few words
I will tell you
that an interloper
was damaging
one of my nerves
the acoustical nerve
the intruder
was growing
by dint of my brains
he wanted me
not to hear
the beautiful sounds
of this world
nor the coarse
that we hear

then somebody decided
to deal
with the uninvited
and what better way
than to give him
a medicine,
the Star Wars’ way:
they deal
with their enemies
with a Zap! Zap!
and make them disappear
from the site,

That’s why I say
in my case
a magician
a bundle of rays
the intruder
to destroy him
and now that
I am breathing
more easily
I think
that in my horoscope
my sign
said to the one
that follows it
“Don’t you dare enter
in my dominion!”

this ends this story
of intruders
and science fiction
and I am getting ready
for the new millennium,
that will come
with more surprises
than one
can foresee.

translated from Spanish by Ida Halperin

from Rattle #12, Winter 1999
Tribute to Latino & Chicano Poets


Amor Halperin: “For many years I worked at the Jet Propulsion Lab, in the unmanned space program. All our endeavors were and are still to reach other planets and expand the knowledge of the universe. The beauty of these faraway worlds where man tries to find, if not the origins of our species, at least another civilization, can best be described as the highest form of literature: Poetry. I say let us go beyond our petty wars and build a world where our children will become adults. My hope is that one day man’s inhumanity to man will be a thing of the past.”

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