When Puerto Rican poet and scholar Mara Pastor visited Colorado College last month we were so taken with her work that we invited her to read a few poems for The Big Something. 20 poems later, we found ourselves translating the entirety of a short series of Science Fiction poems called Llamame Lactea (Call Me Milky). The poems tell the story of Hiraki and her cosmonaut lover Maduk who leaves earth for 20 years only to return the same age. In so doing, Call Me Milky beautifully addresses an immutable existential present cloaked in a darkly familiar speculative future. (Click HERE for the text version of the poems and translations, and please forgive the loss of Spanish punctuation in this post.)

Canto de Hikari/The Song of Hikari

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Quisiera saber como se afrontan decepciones atomicas/I’d like to know how to confront atomic deceptions

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Presagio/Omen

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Conversacion/Conversation

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Hikari en la oficina/Hikari at the office

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

La mirada se cansa en el monitor/The gaze grows tired in the screen

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Carta a Maduk/Letter to Maduk

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

El Cosmonauta/The Cosmonaut

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Los ninos de otra hora/The children of another hour

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Fantasma triangular/Triangular phantom

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

El trabajo de Hikari II/The work of Hikari II

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Conversacion II/Conversation II

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Presagios II/Omens II

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Hikari veinte anos despues/Hikari 20 years later

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Maduk regresa joven del espacio/Maduk returns young from Space

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Conversacion III/Conversation III

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

El fin del mundo/The end of the world

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

El viento abrio la puerta/The wind opened the door

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Canto a Maduk/Song for Maduk

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Alcanzo la llave/I Reach for the Key

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

3 Responses to Call Me Milky: Sci-Fi Poems from Puerto Rico

  1. Gerald says:

    Wonderful poems but I wish there had been something about mothers day or prosaic midlife transcendence in em’

  2. Mike Sorensen says:

    right on gerald! i was just thinking the same thing. i’m tired of all of this lady stuff all the time. you guys need to do more articles about guns and motorcycles. if you must do lady stuff you should do a tasteful spread of nude local ladies. i suppose they could be reading poems or whatever i dont really care what they’re saying as long as their tastefuly nude.

News

October 1, 2016 | NPR · President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines says he’s “happy to slaughter” millions of drug addicts and likened it to Hitler’s efforts to exterminate Jews.
 

October 1, 2016 | NPR · A new exhibit explores what people leave behind online after they die. BuzzFeed senior writer Doree Shafrir discusses what it was like to attend her own “digital funeral.”
 

October 1, 2016 | NPR · Sound designers have been competing this week for the honor of “Worst Sound in the World,” organized by See Space Labs. Listen to some of the submissions, if you can stand it.
 

Arts & Life

Wendy Webb
October 1, 2016 | NPR · In addition to being the author of the Doc Ford books and the Hannah Smith series, White has been an explorer, a deep sea diver, a full-time fishing guide, and he owns restaurants throughout Florida.
 

Stephen T. Maing
October 1, 2016 | NPR · Photographer Phillip Toledano lost both his parents, an aunt and an uncle and began to wonder — what other dark turns did life have in store? He explores the possibilities in a new short film.
 

Erika Beras for NPR
October 1, 2016 | NPR · Michael Twitty wants credit given to the enslaved African-Americans who were part of Southern cuisine’s creation. So he goes to places like Monticello to cook meals slaves would have eaten.
 

Music

October 1, 2016 | NPR · In 1962, Richard Trentlage recorded an advertising jingle in his living room that began “I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Weiner…” He was no one-slogan wonder.
 

October 1, 2016 | NPR · Craig Hartley makes unexpected juxtapositions, including Bach with a Miles Davis overlay, and a John Lennon with a Bill Evans backdrop, on his new album, “Books on Tape Vol. II — Standard Edition.”
 

Getty Images
October 1, 2016 | NPR · A history of NPR’s jazz thing, and a goodbye, from its editor.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab