World Literature

Contemporary World Literature: Poetry from Guatemala

Contemporary World Literature - Poetry from Guatemala-1Contemporary World Literature: Poetry from Guatemala

Matheus Kar (Guatemala, 1994) is the founder and sole member of the Bartleby Collective and creator of La Poeteca: writing workshop for creative sensibilities. He has published Asubhã (Manuel José Arce Award; Editorial Universitaria, 2016) and Alturas de Wall Street (Ipso Facto Award; Editorial Equizzero, 2018; Tujaal Ediciones, 2019), as well as the plaquette Felina sombra de la infancia (Malpaso Ediciones, 2020).

Contemporary World Literature - Matheus Kar GuatemalaEditor of magazines specialized in the dissemination of young poetry and organizer of the Central American Congress of Literature of the University of San Carlos. He is the editor, anthologist, and columnist in physical and electronic media. He has also participated in festivals and literary meetings throughout Latin America.


Yesterday I lost my shadow.

I, who took her out for a walk,

And covered her eyes when the light,

Lost her


But the shadow of all men looks alike.

Maybe I haven’t lost it,

Maybe it was stolen from me.

But how do you know?

How to know if the shadow I have

Is the one that has been given to us?


How do you know if the clear silhouette,

Among all those that exist,

Is correct?


Maybe we have someone else’s shadow

And someone else has ours,

And we’ll never know.


Maybe I am the shadow of my shadow

Or the shadow of another man!

Maybe I’m lost too

And maybe no one is looking for me.


My precious cat, rug bohemian,

Like the rat, is not of any major breed.

He is no more akin to cheese or lace

Than to Schopenhauer’s humor!


His attire is indifferent to her.

He is more of a cat for not being

Aware of his hairs!


My cat is mine

Because I submit to him,

And to his indecipherable gesture!


He is brown on the outside,

And black on the inside,

With some stains of silence!


Stealthy, he escaped all names.

I (a little foolish) called him Poe,

But at home (even more foolish)

They call him Patches.


And, despite everything,

In his cat innocence,

Since he doesn’t understand me,

He still has his name.


My cat, an airplane at rest,

Is an island in the navel of the world?

An eye that glows at night!


His meows bounce around the house

As he chases a world hidden

In a ray of sunshine!


My cat is movable,

A silent suitcase of stumbling mischief


My cat, who is actually a female, has no gender.

Well, yesterday she fulfilled two years dead.

But, among all the dead,

Her memory is the most alive in this house.


Oblivion is the shortest way, another early form of death,

Which will come, alone, with so many memories,

With its yellow skin, like a tiger, and its Bengal bars!


I treasure and forget moments that do not belong to me.

This muscular cell imposes its memory on me:

Moments that I have collected, but which are collective,

Own moments? I don’t think I remember them.


In my chest there is a bone stained with glory.

But today I feel alone, neither my company

Nor that of others will lower this feeling that coward, I only feel!


The time to be another man and forget what was done on Earth

Has come, the glory is a consolation.

The divine banishment arrived, which for the old man is opportune.

In the end, the guest is me. I am what remain: the intruder

The host, as always, is oblivion.


Without you my silence would be nothing.

I know I have been hostile,

To tell the truth, quite strange

And I know that I have a lot of things.

But step by step I am taking my place in the world.

A world without it!


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