Agustin Lucas

trans. Jesse Lee Kercheval


The hardware store and the warehouse open.
The woman selling vegetables is looking strong.
You keep spinning around.
You. Her.
You walk through the barrio stinking of pain.
Your mouth lets out a mocking tone.
No matter that from the balcony
all that hangs is a feeling.
You leave it hanging.
A tile a hole a bottle a dog
you kick or dodge everything without thinking.
You are the Ronaldinho of rock n' roll,
you have the tight dribbling of a man who just left a bar,          
the mark, man to man, is on you,
the certain shot on the edge of super ego.
A short touch of whiskey without ice.
A long pull
of love.




I am entering the barrio,
people are sitting outside
smoking, hoping
that it rains.
I go deep into the barrio,
cobblestones, a thousand springtimes,
secret wandering strides,
the barrio made poem.
Lightning from the storm
merges with the shadows.
Future ex-con on the corner
blends cumbia with old tango,
in the background the smell of weed.
Smell of weeds and earth.
Three fireworks
part the cloud in two,
I do not have an umbrella nor have I ever.
The sidewalk
takes care of me.







Two of my obsessions in life are poetry and soccer. I discovered Agustín Lucas’s book Club when I was in Montevideo, Uruguay looking for poets for América invertida, an anthology of younger Uruguayan poets I am editing that will be published by University of New Mexico Press. For a country of only 3.3 million, Uruguay produces a disproportionate number of world class soccer players—and poets. But Agustín Lucas is unique in that he combines both these very Uruguayan talents.


For Joaquín