Heptagrama Poetry Contest 2014

Award of the fifth Heptagrama poetry contest

This year, the jury has decided to award as winners to the following poems:

First place
I, Odysseus, confess my destiny with hands stained with century after century

Second place

Third place
I am used to erring when speaking about her

Honorary mentions

+ On the pretentious attempt of writing poetry
+ Collage
+ I should

This year the jury was composed of Liliana Varela, Mónica Gallardo, Julieth Insuasti and Norma Estuard.

Heptagrama thanks profously the art of all contestant poems. The level of this poetry contest was exceptionally high, and choosing a winner has been really difficult. Our most sincere congratulations.

The poems...

I, Odysseus, confess my destiny with hands stained with century after century

To Mildrey Betancourt.
For her return and supposed eternity.

Nobody waits for us. Penelope never knew me, she barely knits. Ships are wrecked. I, Odysseus, give in myself to Circe, to the visitation of the demons. We are creatures of a roughly distinguishable world. Like pack of hounds against deer of pleasure. Here we are, children of God, orphaned and hungry, a hand on the chest (not in summon of Him but hugging its arteries) and the other in the pith, taking a census of instincts.

Silence! Repeat the chants in Sodom.
ecneliS? Conscience replies, mi suspicious conscience, which insists on going back over the arguments. What if Achilles left, tired of dying for pettinesses, if they are barely creatures of oblivion, dead who live in other dead.

We are the same species of centuries ago. The one which died without fire under the paws of the tiger. The one of Hiroshima. The one which some day will reach the stars, provided that it survives the tigers chasing it now. We still need amulets and summon both gods and oblivion.

This Odyssey dies in the mere act of thinking oneself in a different essence. www.odyssey... and we are in front of the screen again, in front of the sky in Babylon or the chamber of Auschwitz, and I convince myself once again that we are the usual same creatures, we, the Homo sapiens sapiens.

It was maybe me who threw the first stone. Allow me to pick it up now that nobody is watching, that pride is asleep. Let us pick our stones up once and for good, those which we also throw against the conscience, before a wall separates us from Ithaca forever.

© Isbel González González


I bring the story of a broken book
Of its yellowish-stained pages
Of the humidity and beauty
of letters underlined in pencil and their interior filled with mysterious deepness

I bring the story of a broken ashtray
Of the smoke ascending to a cloud of grey breathings
Of an open half-drunk bottle of wine
Of the lonely and melancholic afternoons
Of the days in which we walk alone
We sleep alone
We wake up alone
To see through the window the world has not stopped even an instant
For us

I bring perfume of poppy and stork's-bills
Confused memories
Illegible letters
I bring an aroma of beer in my throat
Nights with full moon
Air condensed in eternity

I bring with me the games of the broken childhood
The glamorously-dressed simplicity
The black and deep eyelashes as a nocturne by Chopin

I bring a worn leather pouch full of
Crows and poems next to
Maybe also grey pens, like the sky today
I bring
Night in my eyes
Rings under the eyes
Porous skin
Pale skin
Asleep skin
Purple nails
Purple death

I bring
Hot sunny days
Lights shining in the retina
I bring
And a dried, dozy, sharp tongue
I bring coldness
I bring fog
I bring verses covered with melancholy
Verses which smell lik ginger
Verses which fade away and run and camouflage
On the white walls
I bring
Gurneys and hospitals
I bring
Needles and botflies
I bring
Your look and your voice

I bring
This red pocket book with red poems and red blood

I bring
Arrows and raptures
Letters and birthdays and well-kept conflicting images, which people don't know


I bring emptiness.
I bring emptiness.

© Giovanna Lisette Chadid

I am used to erring when speaking about her

She swings in the forgotten palisade of a branch
(Now that air is key to decant what it is lost)
And slowly she starts transforming:
A wind, a fable, a prism
A wizard, a locksmith, my death
She rides without cutlass but with a twisted look
She knows there is love,
She knows there is oblivion
She saw the sea and rivers of the world hearing
Sparrows make comments about the old strolls of their next trips
(I am used to erring when speaking about her)
I would sit down to be the rain and write to her with ease
I would predict the time of the wind and closed autumn with a padlock
We could stay there, inactive, encouraging silently the idleness of the shadow
We could embrace the world with a twist of a rag doll
It could become night and day hundreds of years at the border of time
Now that present is a never-ending of actions in sublime infinite
Now that the horizon was outmoded by man
She bites a piece of her own life and then another and then yet another
Until dripping her feet with new flavours
She sets up the place in swan foldings
She drops only one tear from the tree
Because she knows she doesn't have more than two feet to support her
Because she knows she will never lose what she conquered
Because she knows herself genuine and tigress
And plant and liquor and life And body and sex and mother
And gladiolus and infinite female skylark
She was the first to thrust in her feet in the moon
The first to lick without disgust other person's wounds
The first and maybe only in the world
To preach with loftiness any and all of my verses
To listen with grace all my fictions
To hug with struggle every death
And I
I am used to erring when speaking about her.

© Luciana Nacimento

On the pretentious attempt of writing poetry

Anaphora, metaphors
"Compassionate drug for famished loves.",
"Compassionate famished loves like drug
for hyperbolic loves."
They extend like exorheic rivers
That escape to the ocean. —hyperbolic loves—
Everlasting cure for he who suffers the symptom,
That strange little thing in thee throat —how shall I explain it—
Something that sticks in your throat.
Kicks your stomach.
Like an octopus and its tentacles
Gripping your trachea, suffocating you.
Something that obliges you to throw up your sleep
During the night.
Something that catches up moving your wrist, your fingers.
Rhetoric which make you drunk
More than wine.
Medicine for the thriving loves.
For poor and rich,
The housewife,
Lesbians and gays
For the drug addict and
The alcoholic —including me—
For he who writes to the night, —or during the night—
For he who writes to the goddess —who tortures you when the word doesn't come out. I know someone will understand.
For he who sings to the dead ones,
For he who wants to throw up his words, —and others—
Anaphora, metaphors,
Alliterations, etc...
"Compassionate drug also for scraggy lacks of affection"

(Parenthesis) sometimes you call it Post Scriptum and this will be the same:
Interpret it as you want, clever cult reader
Of poetry, pretentious master of the planet,
Yet for me it will be the drunk rhetoric the
Endless cure for the unforgettable loves of my pretentious soul,
And my pretentious poetic intention which is placing a rope around my neck
Those eternal bohemian nights of conceited summer in Santiago.

© Camilo Ignacio Collipal Bahamonde


"Where nothing is less nothing"
Roberto Juarroz

he could name the birds and the air in the background of time which is without time
he could name the reed and the cannas where narcissus is not narcissus
but a barefooted child in front of the map without hunger limits
while he names the homeland and spells both overseas blue and prairie in shadows

nobody is the street of his yesterday         now           he ties the laces of the fear of being born
          there where unrains the look of a september without laughs
          there where the stable is a gathering of dirty shirts
while the sphere rolls around the world
while it draws thin men of straws on a line during lent

nobody tells him about the two by three of the bedroom while mum is written in lower-case
and he plays to never being there because he unsews the curtain of a friday without party
the thursday miniskirt of a hundred pesos           everything is equal to the other regular yesterday

night adds by reduction of figures
cardboard lies for the others, who sweep the imperfect symmetry of a path of fog
when it rains inside the silence and a father without accent becomes stubborn
in stripping of petals the plot of abyss while the king is not one-eyed and sells silver ore
while he strips out the H because it doesn't sound and he reminds it in hugo and in hammock
in the night which copies nouns and predicates subjects of silence
          the deserted absence of absence

he traces with the compass the white alchemy of a cardboard sky cast to oblivion

all the pain he is through is just an adverb in the here and now of the night

a touch of icing and chopped pain embroiders in ash a heaven that is hell

nobody is the wolf and everyone is the granny in the jaws of the hunter dayspring

there are no hoods in the vain dike which separates the before from the not always
only a dark light   a pencil which draws the tree and a house
while it sharpens certainty
while the night burns up and erases the last line of lying

© José Luis Frasinetti

I should

I should
quit the Army files of my fears
and pull out the stitches of any and all of my wounds,
follow the invisible footprints
of the unadmired on a pure-blood covered in flames,
clone poets so they can drill the white
pages of the world,
exploit the fields of poetry
so that sensitivity shares would go up.

I should
visit the high-voltage zones of my memory
and electrocute in memories.
Go back to the playground and have a drink with my infancy,
until the bell rings and I need to go back,
drink in one gulp the juice of all the rotten fruit
of hate and spit it over a mirror stained with freedom,
try to join all the blues of the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas
and melt them in an impossible blue.

I should
love her from the first atom of oxygen to the last breathe,
love her like never before forever,
close any and all of Argos eyes, until only finding your and my look left,
gather all the wasted time to resurrect the clocks of nostalgia.

I should
open my chest wide open, uncross my arms and defile
all minutes of silence,
visit the place where yesterdays get together,
desist in the search of my own me
and lose myself in the closest we.
join humanity with the thread which separates us,
dig out the corpses of my dead dreams and resurrect them once and for good.

I should
with Spartan discipline
and thus fulfil my duty.

© Andrés Belalba Barreto

Arts + Poetry