Mirada, nada más
que un paisaje pintado.
La luz, el lápiz fabricado in situ
Temor, los enemigos meticulosamente
Conocidos, la sorpresa más contenida.
Las horas cantan y los años bailan.
Ingeniamos las sin salidas
con talento y el mínimo esfuerzo.
Es lo que conocemos, dicen,
bien lo que tragamos.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
The silence comes in the wake,
a place refusing to ever be named.
It would swallow tongues
and pour the echo’s dust
relentlessly into every wave.
Silence is not still, yet
a song lost in an infinite dance.
It rocks assertion off its altar
and longs for a witness to make
its repetition ultimately heard.
Shatters faith and disbelief,
pieces to bring back together.
It lets you stand somewhere
and though you don’t speak,
you know the place will.
This is a day that you have not been waiting for your whole life.
The tides tear apart, tongues are cut off, or maybe, just maybe, words are unwritten.
If it wasn’t for the blue lightning, the yellow sky, and my conviction, I could have gone far. I could have jumped cities and said no to Time. They say only cities can be said yes or no to, and Time is our master and History not our friend. But nostalgia, an easy disguise, is what gets us going, what gets us forgetting, what gets us willing to crave day after day, as an interrupted dream that there’s no going back to.
Fear is desire. He desires fear. He fears desire. Desire isn’t and fear isn’t. Our favourite fictions with no need to be printed. That would be too much to handle. Like a thousand five hundred page book, hardcover at that, a mammoth smack to the hand’s body and the eye’s memory.
It starts raining pages and I close the windows to the remorse. No one will read them anyway. People will miss paper airplanes. People will miss their laptops, cellphones, digital stalkers. They’ll miss them so bad that they’ll say that times aren’t actually getting better, quoting the paper plane man in the subway who they never actually listened to.
Beauty brushes itself into our pictures, the ones we take, keep, draw, recall. But beauty is a stranger due to all the pressure.
Your half life tells you that the day won’t wait.
Only nine years old, Adriana’s early runaways surely needed parental consent. So she never opposed to spending weekends or school holidays at her grandparents’ house. Her own house had its perks: the upright piano, her big desk, books galore, arts and crafts, and all her cassette tapes. But she was sick of the TV, because her older sister made it hers and while she was at it, the whole room too.
In a way, her grandmother spoiled her even more. She lived on Crawford St., a thick vein in Little Italy. Downtown, they could just walk out and there would be plenty of variety stores, video rentals and fast food choices all on one street. What College St. is now would make for a whole different story.
The best part about it was that her grandmother never spoke a word of English. She didn’t need to. Besides, Adriana, who didn’t speak a word of Italian, had no trouble understanding her gestures and shift in volume. Theirs was a dialogue based on giving or receiving hugs, pasta, kisses, small change, the surprise five dollar bill, and more kisses.
Adriana grew up believing she was in her right with so much she had to put up with. Her incompatible parents aside, at her Nonna’s house, she had to deal with boredom though there were distractions that would one day be exotic: imported soap operas, the religious radio station, the non-stop wheel dialling, and above all, the unexpected visits of neighbourhood friends, old ladies who ranged in smell, facial hair, kindness and chatter, whose sons would end up selling their houses to head off for a cold “clean slate” suburbia.
Her grandmother had her own living room and bedroom. So did her grandfather. They would run into each other in the kitchen or dining room with a storm of dispute always coming down. Terrified of her grandfather, Adriana stayed close to her grandmother and never strayed into his living room, except on the odd occasion: when he would go on his annual trip to Cuba. His TV screen was bigger and he had the box, that one that unlocked all the pay-per-view channels. The room was hers.
What she didn’t understand and left a lasting effect was the Uma Thurman needle scene in Pulp Fiction and Sharon Stone’s legs wide open on an office desk. An awakening more than a scar, it was a future lesson of freedom in small doses.