Deudas (Doubts) by Reina Maria Rodriguez

BOMB 9 Spring 1984
009 Spring Summer 1984

Today I’d like to write about what I need—
not to waste time
or throw words down into gulleys
descending into my depths
naked and alone


what proofs can I give of my existence.


I am simply    ugly
with freckles                dreams and sores
I have two children,
and another will be born this September.
I’m not a good investment—
right away I get pregnant—
I’m number 338 123 on the i.d. card
without a photo—the children destroyed it—
or any black marks—because I don’t have any
previous convictions—large or small.


I work as a writer of programs
for a salary of 163 pesos
a career of literature
many daring poems
and friends in four categories:
normal        good       very bad        and sad
a house that isn’t mine
a fan         a comb
the balalaika that my brother gave me
the piano from my childhood concerts
a magnifier to see things more clearly
the photos of Marti and Hemingway,
books that no one stole from me yet
maps to enlarge the walls
letters from old loves
a watch        a blue butterfly       a heart.


and many doubts
endless doubts about my life.

Translated from the Spanish by William Allen.

From Ventana, the Nicaraguan cultural newspaper, 1984.

Five Poems by Roque Dalton
After the Massacre by Carlos Fonseca
Hernan Ronsino 01

Staging historical justice in Hernán Ronsino’s Glaxo

Álvaro Enrigue by Scott Esposito
Enrigue Bomb 01

“A writer worried about reception is cooking a dead book. A writer’s job is to produce the best possible book in absolute freedom, so the category ‘acceptable’ does not play in the process at all.”

Signor Hoffman by Eduardo Halfon

From the train I could look out onto the infinite blue of the sea. I was still exhausted, wakeful from the overnight transatlantic flight to Rome, but looking out at the sea, that Mediterranean sea that was so infinite and so blue, made me forget it all, even myself. I don’t know why.

Originally published in

BOMB 9, Spring 1984

Nicolas Echevarria, Pam Yates, art by James Nares and Tom Otterness, writing by Daisy Zamora, Kathy Acker, Glenn O’Brien, and more.

Read the issue
009 Spring Summer 1984