Aquiles Nazoa translated by Ariel Riveros Pavez
Aquiles Nazoa (born in Caracas 17 May 1920 – 26 April 1976) was a Venezuelan writer, journalist, poet and satirist. His work expressed the values of popular Venezuelan culture though in 1940 he was arrested for defamation and criticism of the municipal government. In 1948, Nazoa obtained the Premio Nacional de Periodismo (National Journalism Prize) in the humour and customs section. He was also awarded the Premio Municipal de Literatura del Distrito Federal (Municipal Prize for Literature of the Federal District) in 1967. He wrote for the Colombian magazine, Sábado and lived in Cuba. He was expelled by the Jiménez regime in 1956 for two years. His poems have been reproduced as lyrics by musical artists throughout Latin America from the 1970s to this day.
Rezo el Credo o Credo de Aquiles Nazóa
El Mayordomo y El Gato
Recientemente falleció en Montana
una viejecita norteamericana
que, en calidad de único heredero
le dejó a un mayordomo su dinero.
Mas la anciana del caso que relato
dejó también un gato
que ha venido a plantearle al mayordomo
un problema, lector, de tomo y lomo,
ya que en el testamento hay un mandato
que le impide aunque llegue a la indigencia,
disponer ni una puya de la herencia
hasta que no se muera dicho gato.
Me diréis: - ¿Y por qué ese mayordomo
no se arma de una estaca o de un zapato
y acaba de una vez con ese gato
que debe de caerle como un plomo?
Ah, porque la viejecita, en previsión
de que ocurrir pudiera cosa tal
aclaró al imponer su condición
que del gato en cuestión la defunción
debe ser natural,
y si no muere así, tampoco hay real.
Lo que le queda, pues, al mayordomo
ante este caso, es conservar su aplomo,
con paciencia llevar su dura cruz
y esperar que se muera el micifuz.
y como el gato tiene siete vidas,
¡esas puyas, lector, están perdidas!
The Credo according to Aquiles Nazoa
The Butler and The Cat
An old American lady
passed away recently
and made the butler
her sole inheritor
Furthermore, the old woman
in this case also left a cat
that caused contention
my learned friend, of books and spines,
because there was a clause in the will
that put pause to any pay
even on pains of penury
‘til said cat died
And may well you ask:
why wouldn’t the butler
take hold of a stake or shoe
and finish off said cat
which must be gnawing at him by now?
Oh, it’s because the grand old dame foresaw
that such a thing could happen
and clearly imposed this condition
that the cat in question
should die of natural cause
and if this did not occur,
there would be no recourse
So what’s left in this case
is that the butler should
keep calm and composed
bare his heavy cross
and wait for the furball to croak
but as a cat has nine lives
my learned friend, to all those bucks
you might as well say goodbye.
Ariel Riveros Pavez is a Sydney-based creative writer, publisher and poetry translator. He also writes on experience-dependant Neuroplasticity. Ariel was convener of The Blue Space! Poetry Jam and is founding editor of Australian Latino Press. His work has appeared in various publications including Arena Magazine, Journal of Postcolonial Text, Southerly and Verity La.