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Gustavo Pereira, winner of the Victor Valera Mora International Poetry Prize, is one of Latin America’s most prolific poets. He tells venezuelanalysis why poetry can’t be converted into ‘merchandise’ and why bureaucracy is the enemy of poetry.

An English-language volume of his poetry, The Arrival of the Orchestra, is available from Smokestack Books.

His translators are John Green, Michal Boñcza and Eduardo Embry.

Here is one of his poems:

End of History

‘Capitalism is the end of history’ (Francis Fukuyama)

Shiny metals might survive but not butterflies
plastics and rubble but not petals covered in dew
guilds of ruffians but not loners
banquets and parties but not joy
noise and din but not the melodies of morning
tables laden as never before but not the aromas
narrow-mindedness of the spirit but not compassion
edicts of power but not the secrets of conversation
one-armed bandits but not unbelievable luck
whores and vixens but not the goddesses of the night
harshness and ferocity but not revelations
integrated circuits but not the awakening of meadows
the stench but not the perspiration of lovers
stupidity and vulgarity but not the evidence of sensibility
the round and the square but not the indecipherable
dresses and jewellery but not the transparency of waters

metaphors but not poetry.

© Smokestack Books