The following poems are the first two sections from Bolivian poet Jaime Saenz's 9-part 1967 long poem, El frío, as translated from the Spanish by Kit Schluter under the title of The Cold, and recently published by Poor Claudia. The subsequent prose excerpt is the final two paragraphs of Schluter's afterword to the translation, written in direct and intimate address of Saenz himself, over thresholds of distance, language, and mortality.
Jaime Saenz was born in 1921 in La Paz, Bolivia, the city where he was to spend his days until his passing in 1986. Poète Maudit in letters and life, Saenz was rumored to have stolen a limb from a corpse at the university morgue, and to have brought a panther home to his wife on their wedding day. It was around his now notorious, magical Krupp Workshops that a generation of young La Pazian poets burgeoned, and his body of work was the first Bolivian, and among the first Latin American, to openly explore bisexual experience. He lived nocturnally, excoriating the false divisions of body and language, debauchery and exaltation, and life and death in his many novels, plays and volumes of poetry, including El Escalpelo, Los papeles de Narciso Lima-Achá, and Muerte por el tacto.