The Facial Angle

Translation of El Ángulo Facial, by Luis Vidales
Antología Poética, 2006
Translation by Tony Oats.

The Facial Angle

When they introduced me to him, I was like:

Dude! What happened to your face?

The mouth, the nose, the eyes, the ears – they were all out of position. They were all just piled up on his face!

Sir, said the man with the vertical mouth, a magician made my facial angle vanish.

And since then I have understood that that like umbrellas, faces have a frame.  And that frame is the facial angle.

Original Spanish version
El Ángulo Facial by Luis Vidales

Cuando me lo presentaron le dije con inquietud:

– ¿Pero qué hizo usted su ángulo facial?

La boca, la nariz, los ojos, las orejas, fuera de su sitio, aparecían amontonados en su rostro.

-Señor- me dijo el hombre de boca vertical-. Una vez un prestidigitador me escamoteó el ángulo.

Desde entonces sé que, como los paraguas, los rostros tienen una armzón. Y que la armazón de los rostros es el ángulo facial.

Tony Oats lives in Bushwick, New York, with zir cryptokitties Salvador Beachnut Sizzzz and Tangerine Cream.  Ze writes poetry about can openers, blenders, and the philosophy of time.  Ze does not write prose, except in anger. Contact: or FB:

Luis Vidales (1904–1990) was a Colombian poet and writer, a founding member of the literary group Los Nuevos, where he participated in various literary and political gatherings with Luis Tejada, Ricardo Rendon, León de Greiff, José Mar and others.

Illustration “El ángulo facial”, Carlos Vidales 2014 based on the photo of the poet from 1926.

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