Poems

White Trash

Notes

This translation began with a discussion of how few people take public transport in Miami as they all have cars. A bus, it was agreed, might be a rare sight, and someone actually walking down a pavement or snaking through the cars ‘like tuna’ even odder. 

There were other puzzling cultural references to unpack too. What, for example, was an escalera horizontal? Was it implying the speaker was walking strangely? Was it a train-track? A travelator?  Out literal translator Serafina Vick googled it and found the kind of monkey bars you get in a children’s’ playground, so the mystery thickened… 

The vegetation also caused confusion, as in the literal the ant was on ‘plantain’, but that suggested fruit rather than the actual non-descript little plant being referred to, so we switched it for ‘weed.’

One thing we could agree on though was profanities – the group decided that in America you wouldn’t fall on your backside or bum or arse, but your ass, and that we thoroughly enjoyed the line: Fuck you, train.  

Clare Pollard

 

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