Jan/Feb 2018 • Vol. XL No. 1 Generation Zero: New Cuban PoetryJanuary 1, 2018 |

What Counts

From the Spanish.    what counts is being there, on the edge of the stands. the dogs barking in front of you. dogs trained in the art of killing. welterweight dogs more than thirty pounds. (i liked being there). the folks who come to these places are interesting. folks terminally ill with lifeless faces. folks who come out of love: love of shoes love of clothes, love of disaster; and disaster with its force began to appeal to me. the dogs were in their essence beautiful. more beautiful than my parents, more beautiful than God. they had red tongues and a masculine way of drooling. i felt like my life was bound to that drool, to that depraved way of looking. so i pulled out two hundred pesos and put them on the nobody dog, a dog that had never fought against another who'd been in sixteen. a dog unbeaten and secular like a government. they began to kill each other, their mouths making violent crime. instants of hard pleasure. dogs fighting for what's

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Oscar Cruz
Oscar Cruz (Santiago de Cuba, 1979) has published five books of poetry, the latest being La Maestranza (2014). He holds a degree in history from the Universidad de Oriente. He is the coeditor of the prestigious literary journal La Noria. He lives in Santiago de Cuba.
Photo of Katherine M. Hedeen
Katherine M. Hedeen is the poetry in translation editor for the Kenyon Review and the associate editor of Action Books.  She is a two-time recipient of a NEA Translation Project Grant, she is a professor of Spanish at Kenyon College.
Víctor Rodríguez Núñez is one of Cuba's most outstanding contemporary writers. He has published more than thirty books of poetry throughout Latin America and Europe and has received major awards all over the Spanish-speaking world. He divides his time between Gambier, Ohio, where he is professor of Spanish at Kenyon College, and Havana, Cuba.

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