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Dan Eltringham tr. Leire Barrera Medrano

Updated: May 26

Dan Eltringham is a poet, researcher and translator based in Bristol. His academic monograph, Poetry & Commons: Postwar and Romantic Lyric in Times of Enclosure, is out with Liverpool University Press (2022). Recent poetry and (co)translations have appeared in Firmament, Ludd Gang, Revista Kokoro, Protean and Cambridge Literary Review, as well as in two anthologies of poetry in translation: Poetry’s Geographies (Eulalia/Shearsman, 2022) and Temporary Archives (Arc, 2022). A chapbook of his translation of Alonso Quesada’s Scattered Ways was published by Free Poetry (Boise, 2019) and his poetry collection Cairn Almanac was published by Hesterglock Press (Bristol, 2017). He co-edits Girasol Press, a small publisher that explores handmade poetics and experimental translation.

Leire Barrera Medrano is a lecturer, writer and translator raised in the Basque Country and based in Bristol. She teaches Spanish Studies at the University of Bath and co-edits Girasol Press, a small publisher of experimental translation. She wrote a PhD thesis on Decadence and the Anglo-Spanish cultural encounter at Birkbeck College, University of London. In her previous life as a journalist, she wrote and translated for The Wall Street Journal Europe, Dow Jones Newswires and EFE news agency. Since then, she has continued translating for several non-profit organisations. She has published literary translations in Jukub (Girasol Press, 2022), Volupté: Interdisciplinary Journal of Decadence Studies (2019) and in Wretched Strangers (Boiler House Press, 2018).


The Emptying (from Off/Set)

Dan Eltringham

For Encarna & Juan

The river the same verse recited

over & over with water distinct,

Mijares cutting down through karst

mountain goats & morisco caves

carved in caliche, yes,

but only really feeling out the edges of erosion

shepherds making space for habitation or flight

or refuge, really, from the transhistorical revanche

securing the endless perimeter

sod it, getting the reconquista done

those guardia fuckers driving about in their little cars

under this endless quota of sky, they don’t even see the brilliance

or doubled deaths at sea this year,

2021, year of death by drowning

until next

while at another level

the old reservoir & the new arguments

the edges of the ravine thick with rosemary

the open land around the ruined tower & ancient holm oak

sea of kermes oak


no way in even

for hounds

but below the same old speculations:

truffle fields (€500/kg)

water, Roundup®, 14yr foreyield

times for watering & times for gathering

inscribed in the almanac according to Monsanto

even shrooms subscribed or renewed

as direct to debit fungibility’s finest, like all fields

stretching out their soil so thinly into translucence,

that’s time, but sums might not

booms & bubbles burst in time or they swing around

and knock you in the head, but

these are the old farmers

but made new as little capitalists of the old ways

winter’s burning sun brings in the contradictions

but still Los Mases might still time

time as the shadow of the memory of autonomy:

the way it’s always been done

up until the emptying of the uplands

before water or light starve em into the cities

all through the long forties, fifties “urbanization”

cutting supply-lines & social bases

los guerrilleros del levante

Florencio Pla Meseguer, “La Pastora”

between his legs

social categories

& sex fade out

en las sierras de Gúdar, Javalambre

(s/he knew the lie of the land

they didn’t catch her till ’60…

masoveros between maquis & guardia

(remember the CNT transmitter in Los Baltasares…

the little left

subsistence terraces growing back into self

same low-sown,

boar paths over the no-grow clay

globe galls pend this long winterval

ways with energy & estovers rotation

take the dead & only

only fell when sap wanes to soil

only the absolute relativity of relations in time

here is an imprint for passing through market & state

to something, the spider’s structure

arbitrary points give the sensation of order or

in time,

or stasis within movement,

a new image that can’t be descried

just not yet:

no new art unless new forms of living

easy to find, but very hard to do

or vice versa,

the only experimental procedure left in art today

is to see whether it’s to the planet’s liking

or not,

then you’ll know, or not, placing

bets on the nearest future of all

my next hand is killer

órdago, I’m calling it

they’ll never snout them truffles up.


El vaciamiento (parte de Com/Pensación)

Traducido por Leire Barrera Medrano

Para Encarna y Juan

El río canta siempre el mismo verso

pero con distinta agua,

el Mijares se abre un paso cárstico

entre cabras montesas y cuevas moriscas

talladas en caliza, claro,

tanteando tan solo los cantos de la erosión

pastores que abren espacios para vivir o escapar

o refugiarse, en realidad, de esa revancha transhistórica

asegurando ese perímetro infinito,

a la mierda, cerrando la reconquista

esos cabrones de la guardia