Forklift, Ohio

31 Poems by Dean YoungIlluminatrix by Alexis OrgeraSecret Damage by Russell DillonFalse Soup by Melissa BarrettLast Ride by Abraham SmithThe Lost Notebooks of Juan Sweeney translated by Chad SweeneyRanges II by Michael SchiavoThe Dark is Here by Kiki PetrosinoTouch Monkey by Stuart DischellThe Dept. of Ephebic Dreamery by Darcie Dennigan I Feel YES by Nick Sturm PATRIOT by Laurie Saurborn Young The Imaginations by Jean-Paul Pecqueur


Cover Image: The Lost Notebooks of Juan Sweeney De Las Cobras

The Lost Notebooks of Juan Sweeney de las Minas de Cobras

by Chad Sweeney

48 pages, soft cover, stapled

$5 (First Class postage paid)

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from the Translator's Note

Little is known about the life of Juan Sweeney de las Minas de Cobre. He grew up between Andalusia, Ireland, Oklahoma and Bolivia, lived centuries ago and has yet to be born.


From what can be gathered, Sweeney’s books included Instructions to My Translator, Wet Book of the Otter, The Iconoclast’s Secret Window, and Shouts from the Copper Mines. All that remains of Juan Sweeney’s vast production are the fragments contained here.


Sweeney famously claimed that he thought in English but wrote in Spanish, so that the executioners of the Inquisition and the future fascists of the Spanish Civil War would “choke to death” on his poems. For this reason, I have committed to translating Juan Sweeney’s poems back into English, the language of his thoughts. 


Admittedly, I do not like his poetry much and have tried to improve on it when possible. Nevertheless, the work of Juan Sweeney de las Minas de Cobre has branded me forever, and I cannot look away.


Es muy fácil acusar a Dios
por cometer infanticidio,

pues, yo acuso a los sacerdotes
quienes cuidan a nuestra España

como cuidarían a un cementerio.
Sería mejor ser un hombre con una escoba,

barriendo la arena de la playa.
Cuando usted traduce esto,

no traduzca esto.


It’s too easy to accuse God
of infanticide,

so I accuse the priests
who tend our Spain

as one would tend a cemetery.
Better to be a man with a broom

sweeping sand from the beach.
When you translate this

don’t translate this.


The Lost Notebooks of Juan Sweeney / Chad Sweeney from Leigh Stein on Vimeo.
#3 from the Lost Notebooks of Juan Sweeney, read by Elizabeth Iannaci.




Bookslut (Sept 2010) - 
Poetry Foundation (Sept 2010) - 


Chad Sweeney author photoChad Sweeney is the author of Parable of Hide and Seek (Alice James, 2010), Arranging the Blaze (Anhinga, 2009), An Architecture (BlazeVox, 2007) and A Mirror to Shatter the Hammer (Tarpaulin Sky, 2006). He is co-editor of Parthenon West Review and editor of the City Lights anthology Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds: the Teachers of WritersCorps in Poetry and Prose. He lives in Kalamazoo with his wife, Jennifer K. Sweeney.