Shoot Out


(1) or volley, barrage, bullet shot, double entendre with football, chose this as has association with having a blast

(2) or could be street

In her poetry, Tania Montenegro explores themes of violence inflicted by various entities (the state, the patriarchy, the police) upon a nation, communities, and individuals, particularly women.

While translating the poem, we aimed to maintain the same rhythm, music, and flow in English as in the original and also retain the sense of dislocation, fragmentation, and disjunction.

During the session, we discussed the original title: "El balón," which translates to football in Spanish. We proposed a few alternative titles such as "The Blast," "The Shot," and "The Boot," but we ultimately agreed on "Shoot Out" after a suggestion by both the poet and the translator Helen Dixon. We believed that "Shoot Out" has a strong connection with the game of football and also has significant associations with state violence in Nicaragua.

The first verse was filled with vivid metaphors and imagery. The phrase 'Se traslada al momento en que el recuerdo la catea' was translated as 'She transports herself to the moment when memory raids her,' highlighting the time and spatial movement conveyed by the word 'trasladar' and the sense of fear evoked by 'catear'.

We discussed the meaning of the verb 'mosque', which can signify 'to cause distrust or anger in someone' or 'to scare away flies'. During our conversation, we imagined an eight-year-old girl mimicking the sound and movement of mosquitoes while looking at a threatening helicopter. This inspired us to create 'Helicopter Mosquitoes,' which explores movement and visual effect concepts.

The poem conveys a sense of disconnection, which is evident in the second line: "G.N. kicks the door, says won't kill innocent people, commands street." Despite using an abbreviation for the National Guard (G.N) and the suddenness and brutality of the police's actions, we chose to retain these to get closer to the original.

In the final section, we broke the lines and created a four-line stanza. This emphasised the idea of remembering violence as a child, along with its visual implications and political undertones: “Then she resists the sweat of the palm and looks back,/never forgets the first time/she saw a dinosaur/that was a tank."

- Leo Boix, Poet-Facilitator