The Lost Poems of Alfredo Montenegro (1908-2011)


On Sunday October 23, the world lost one of its greatest poets. Alfredo Montenegro's verse has been cherished by readers, celebrated by scholars, and whispered between lovers. Here we reprint some of his unpublished works from his final years, translated from their original Spanish:

Morning orange fall off the tree
And then
In the puddle
You look at me
Full of vitamin C
And accuse me of stealing your wallet

Hammock #4
Take a nap on a summer afternoon
Have a dream full of cocaine and pizza
Shout curses at the neighbors for the loudness they make
And the way they have stolen your goodness

Natural Thursday
Gentle breezes in the overgrown grass
Island music playing off in your head
Wonder women laying bare-breast in the sand
Other things which you cannot comprehend
Where were you when I was writing this poem?
You were at work and I was truly alone

From Behind
You have inside a softness
That I like to put inside me
Get down on your hands and knees please
Right away this instant
The softness!

Eskimo day the answer
polly is a poodle you can never refuse
baby goat
steals a motorboat
is simple with rhythm and blues

Booze (Oklahoma)
coconut luck takes me yesterday bake
bastard man choke on a bowl of corn flake
catalog frog, cat agog on a log
fish-kissing prince turns into a dog
Is dripping out the reasons like a waterwipe

Domestic #7
Meadowlark bark is the answer
“Bonk,” say the wings of the hummingbird
turbo in the bathroom and
mayonnaise is easy
Let the school bell deafen the child

Bumblebees tumble in the fumble yard
Envelope egg yolk alabama boulevard
Vegetables rising from dirty waters
Beauty lies
Between your eyes
And the depths of your hindquarters

Dragonfly is passing by
Lazy on a morning marmalade
Birthday suit, jujy fruit, cosmopolitan cover shoot
I am dizzy from experience
And I’m going home for the day

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