Six Poems by Karmelo C. Iribarren

Karmelo C. Iribarren


What others look for 
in the moon 
or the stars
I look for
in the rain
between streetlamps at night.
But no luck.
Most likely 
we’re just not asking right.
The Horizon
It makes sense for it 
to blush
before it goes:
it lies to us the whole day long.
There it goes,
calling it
a day,
the last
A Beggar
He appeared 
to regard me
from a great distance,
though we were 
a meter
I, standing up.
This Morning
This morning,
after showering,
before the mirror.
—as real and overwhelming
as ever—
the word decline.
The autumn has come
and poetry will soon follow.
Shorter days and gray skies
—which are what she likes—
will bring her back home.
Now I just have to wait and, 
when she knocks, let her in.
The pain of your absence 
won’t make her want to leave.
Translated from the Spanish by John R. Sesgo

from Rattle #77, Fall 2022
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Karmelo C. Iribarren, born in San Sebastián, Spain, worked—and wrote his poems—as a bartender in San Sebastián’s Old Town for over twenty years. He has published thirteen collections of poetry, most recently El escenario. | John R. Sesgo: “A former bartender and bar owner, Karmelo C. Iribarren writes poems that are simple, sharp-eyed and true. His unassuming lines seem written off the cuff, but are, in reality, expertly crafted: the ‘carpentry’ of his poems (as he puts it) hinges mostly on internal slant rhymes, ‘which the reader hears but rarely notices.’ Alongside his poetry, Karmelo has also published an ever-growing collection of aphorisms, one of which sums up perfectly the tone and appeal of his work: ‘It’s all been said a thousand times, and better. But not like this.’”

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