Tuesday, June 27, 2006
STRANGELY, A POEM IN JUNE
A decade, perhaps; maybe twelve years, or more. It has been that long since I last wrote one. I have had no compulsion at all to write poetry. It feels silly to even write that I attempted to write verse. And yet, early June, as I read a single page from a book of grace over and over while time dissolved in Don Muang airport, small waves from the page washed over and I did not know what to say and all I could do was write. It's like when you lie down on some shore and the sea is a murmur, its waves more like ripples and with your back on the sand you merge with an almost placid ridge of water. I suppose dark days are coming. Dark days have come. And I was a writer from Manila writing in Bangkok in response to what someone from Montevideo wrote while he was exiled in Barcelona or Buenos Aires over two decades ago about a world that slipped in through a tiny crack, that glowing sliver under the closed door.
A NOTEBOOK'S QUESTIONS IN REPLY TO ANSWERS IN THE UNIVERSE AS SEEN THROUGH A KEYHOLE
RENATO REDENTOR CONSTANTINO
How do you paint melancholy dreams without drawing a food-laden table or a big bright house and smiling, still children?
How do you sketch a withered soul?
Can you paint terror without using the color of blood or the pallor of cadavers? And sorrow, how do you draw its marrow?
Can you hum melodies of cowardice and infection, the kind bred by fear and despotism?
Can you draw spirit it if it chooses to die while it sleeps? How do you draw the ambition of pragmatism?
How do you sing about the cliff that wishes to copulate with flight?
How do you convey despair without using the palettes of regret, anguish, oblivion and grief?
Bangkok, June 3, 2006 #
THE UNIVERSE AS SEEN THROUGH A KEYHOLE
from Eduardo Galeano's Days and Nights of Love and War (NYC: MR Press, 1983)
Valeria asks her father to turn the record over. She explains "Arroz con leche" lives on the other side.
Diego chats with his friend inside him, whose name is Andres, and who is a skeleton.
Fanny explains how today her friend was drowned in the river at school, which is very deep, and that from down below everything was transparent and you could see the feet of grown-ups, the soles of their shoes.
Claudio grabs one of Alejandra's fingers. "Lend me your finger," he says, and he sinks it in the can of milk on the burner, because he wants to see if it is too hot.
From the other room Florencia calls me and asks me if I can touch my nose with my bottom lip.
Sebastian suggests we escape in a plane, but he warns me to watch out for the lights and the propeller.
Mariana, on the terrace, pushes the wall, which is her way of helping the earth to rotate.
Patricio holds the lit match between his fingers and his son blows and blows the little flame that will never go out. #
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