Sandra Beasley




I dreamt we were in your favorite bar:
You were you, I was the jukebox.
I played Sam Cooke for you,
but you didn’t look over once.
I wanted to dance. I wanted a scotch.
I wanted you to take your hand off of her.
You were wearing your best smile
and the shirt that makes your eyes green.
If you had asked, I’d have told you
her hair looked like plastic.
But then, my mouth was plastic.
I weighed 300 pounds.
I glittered like 1972.
A man tried to seduce me with quarters
but I could hear his truck outside,
still running. I was loyal to you.
I played Aretha, Marvin, the Reverend Al.
You kissed her all the way out the door.
Later, I tried to make my own music,
humming one circuit against the other,
running the needle up and down.
The bubbles in my blood were singing.
In the morning, they came to repair me.


© 2010 Sandra Beasley From: I Was the Jukebox, W.W. Norton & Company Ltd.



Ho sognato che eravamo nel tuo bar preferito:
tu eri tu, io ero il jukebox.
Ti suonavo Sam Cook,
ma tu non mi guardavi mai.
Avrei voluto ballare. Avrei voluto uno scotch.
Avrei voluto che le togliessi la mano di dosso.
Tu sfoggiavi il tuo sorriso migliore
e la camicia che ti fa gli occhi verdi.
Se me l’avessi chiesto, ti avrei detto
che i suoi capelli sembravano di plastica.
D’altra parte, la mia bocca era di plastica.
Pesavo 130 chili.
Sbrilluccicavo come il 1972.
Un uomo cercava di sedurmi a suon di monete
ma io potevo udire il suo camion là fuori,
con il motore acceso. Ti restavo fedele.
Suonavo Aretha, Marvin, il Reverendo Al.
Tu la baciavi mentre uscivate dalla porta.
Più tardi cercavo di suonare una musica mia,
facendo ronzare un circuito contro l’altro,
facendo andare su e giù la puntina.
Le bollicine nel mio sangue cantavano.
La mattina dopo sono venuti a ripararmi.


Traduzione: © 2014 Stefano Bortolussi

3 pensieri su “Sandra Beasley

  1. beautiful … thank you …

    i’m wondering how your poems translate one language to another … are there subtle differences because of sentence structure … how big of a factor does grammar for example, ‘verbal usage’ or that many words have masculine or feminine gender attached or that the same word translated may have more power in one language than the other, or that it may take two words (or more) to express the same thought thereby interrupting the rhythmic flow … how big of a factor do all of these elements play in the overall meaning or feelings evoked from one language to the other?

    what i’m wondering is, if you laid one piece over the top of the other how distinct would the differences be in terms of emotions evoked or meaning? Would they fit like both hands put together palm to palm or only the fingers overlapping?

    it takes me hours to edit fairly short pieces in just one language! how can you possibly edit the same poem in two languages within a reasonable period of time with all the interconnecting word choices and phrasings!

    I’m wondering how something that i’ve written would translate in terms of mood and rhythm and meaning if i were to run it through a language conversion program. I doubt if there’d be a one to one conversion. maybe it would come out as gobbledegook or just have a different persona?

    I’m looking forward to reading more and more ….. ks