RED DOOR MAGAZINE
Issue #18, Spring, 2015
A poetry book by Elízabeth Torres
New York, 2015
-José María Zonta
por Elízabeth Torres (New York, 2015).Music & Film:
Mónica González Velazquez – El que camina lo hace con el espíritu.
Carolina Olguín: 33 Sirenas – de Rodrigo Guajardo.
Video: The Shoelace – Charles Bukowski (a personal favorite).
Copenhagen Red Door Collective: firstname.lastname@example.org
“throughout the dismal months
my life sparkled alive
only when i made love with you.
as the firefly ignites and fades out, ignites and fades out –
– in glimpses we can trace its flight
in the dark among the olive trees.
throughout the dismal months
the soul lay shrunken, lifeless,
but the body went straight to you.
the night sky bellowed.
stealthily we milked the cosmos and survived.”
– tomas tranströmer.
(April 15, 1931 – March 26, 2015)
(With eternal gratitude, this issue is dedicated to Jairo Anibal Niño, Facundo Cabral, Ricardo León Peña-Villa, Gonzalo Arango and Emilio Fuego, poets who have now become celestial bodies).
If ever I belong to anything, maybe it is to poetry. If ever I “believed” and had the need to pray, I guess I would get on my knees and ask poetry for its miracles. (I bet you she’s got long legs and a taste for short skirts and whiskey). And whenever I hurt so much I thought I touched the toenails of darkness itself, the only thing I knew how to do, was write about it. And whenever I’ve found I might be approaching feelings of love and gratitude, righteousness and virtue, I’d say it feels like finding a good poem. At risk of sounding redundant I declare, I am a fervent servant of poetry in all things.
It is not a coincidence. I think it was she who found me.
As a child, the first memories are those of a typewriter and of my mom reading to me LatinAmerican classics. Neruda, Mistral, Pizarnik, Silva, Marquez. We had a huge library in our home. A little later, when my mom realized I was writing poetry, she began taking me to the cultural nights that make Bogotá such a magical city, with places like the Casa de Poesía Silva – its Fonoteca (Sound Library) hosts over 2000 hours of poetry in the voices of its authors – and soon after my poetry books began to get published and I became a constant visitor to book fairs in Colombia and México. Jotamario Arbelaez, one of the founders of the Nadaismo movement in Colombia, was at the time the Director of the Ministry of Culture and one of the first people to believe in my poetry. It is an honor to include some of his recent poetry in this issue, both in Spanish and English. I can say the same about Jose María Zonta, a renown Costa Rican poet, who took me under his wings and became my mentor and my friend. Poems for his upcoming book can be found in the spanish poetry section.
When things got difficult in Colombia in the 90’s due to the monster that has always been the drug conflict in LatinAmerica, it was an invitation to a TV show in the states that got my family and I a visa. Then we became political refugees. And these things I don’t discuss often, but I feel it’s appropriate to share them today. Then came the teenage years, learning English and losing myself to the magic of Hemingway, Whitman… Jim Morrison, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen. When I left home at 17 I stayed at a poet’s house, a Red Door issue in 2011 dedicated to him when he passed away. And Red Door’s foundation is in itself a poem: Tanya Cosío, Carolína Olguín, Mónica Gonzalez Velazquez, Mario Z. Puglisi and Jorge Valbuena, all poets whom I met at poetry festivals, have been correspondents for several years from their respective cities.
So please understand how precious this issue #18 is to me as you go thru its pages. Now I find myself in Copenhagen and Red Door continues growing. With writers in Australia, Colombia, Mexico, the US and Denmark, and with content being submitted from all corners of the world, this magazine is a dream that continues multiplying its worldthreading effect. What a pleasure to announce in this edition that Red Door as a collective is also expanding, and that we are now opening a gallery / shop / studio space in Nørrebro. I want to thank each one of you for your constant support and each and every poet who is participating in this issue for sharing their poetry with us and also for their friendship and light.
Now in its 6th year, Red Door has become a constant, permanent, primordial aspect of my life. I am humbled and thankful. You, too, are poetry.