Saturday, December 27, 2008

Final(es)

A Manera de Presentación


Llegaste en busca de reposo
y tus ojos hallaron un espejo,
entre ellos y la imagen:
la deriva.


Elva Macías
Fragmento de “Estancias”


El final es un comienzo indecoroso,
reprochable,
malditamente abrumador desde su principio
y cruelmente insatisfecho después de su embestida.
El final es el principio del relato:
una inenarrable historia vacía de color
y repleta de estentóreo duelo.
El final es repositorio gélido de fracasados sueños,
sórdido recordatorio de una realidad fallida,
flagelador preámbulo de soledad eterna.
El final es una soga de insidiosas dudas
incapaz de ahorcarnos entre plegarias justas,
la cruel burla de un maleable destino,
la más tierna esperanza de un optimismo delirante.
El final es siempre renacimiento para algunos
en la búsqueda de todos sus placeres,
pero,
invariablemente,
es lenta muerte para ingenuos
después de su oneroso adviento.

.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Naufrago

A Manera de Introducción


Bajo tu tacto tiemblo

como un arco en tensión palpitante de flechas
y de agudos silbidos inminentes.

Mi sangre se enardece igual que una jauría,
olfateando la presa y el estrago,
pero bajo tu voz mi corazón se rinde
en palomas devotas y sumidas.

Rosario Castellanos
Fragmento de “En el Filo del Gozo.”



Desemboca en mi memoria
el impetuoso caudal de tu recuerdo,
e impregnado de ti,
mi férvida locura invoca
el hechizo de tu núbil cuerpo
engendrando evocaciones que me matan.
Empapado de ti,
mi ansia desgarrante suplica ardiente
por el erótido vergel de tus promesas,
por la recóndita lluvia de tu ambrosia
mojando mis labios encendidos,
por la balsámica caricia de tus besos
saciándose en mi enardecida cúspide,
por tus ebúrneos muslos encarnándose
en mi cuerpo con su escultórica danza de deseo.
Empapado y atormentado de ti,
del vertiginoso raudal de tu abandono,
mi férvida locura deriva,
simplemente,
en los umbrales de la vida.
.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Indómita Mujer

A Manera de Presentación:




Duro decir:

Te Amo.
Mira cuánto tiempo, distancia y pretensión
he puesto ante el horror de esa palabra,
esa palabra como serpiente que viene sin hacer ruido, ronda
y se niega una, dos, tres, cuatro, muchas veces,
ahuyentándola como un mal pensamiento,
una debilidad,
un desliz,
algo que no podemos permitirnos. . .

Gioconda Belli
“Permanencia”



Indómita mujer de indefinidas dimensiones
E indescriptible condición,
Musa de la sacra poesía profana
Y del sucinto y reacio erotismo,
Entre complicidades tácitas
Y falsas negaciones,
Y por encima y debajo de banales
Proscripciones de la sociedad,
Os digo que yo sería perfectamente capaz
De beber de tu sangre,
De libar de tus jugos,
De comer de tus labios,
De salvajemente acariciar
Tus enardecidos senos
Antes de encallar en el intersticio
Pasional de tu cuerpo;
De reeducar mis sentidos
Experimentando cada gajo
Del onírico deseo.
Yo sería capaz de todo
Lo que se puede hacer e imaginar
Viviendo alrededor de tu sexo:
Exorcizar las penas,
Orgasmar el gozo,
Borrar memorias estériles
O exonerar fértiles pecados.
Incluso sería capaz de cometer
La mayor falta que puede realizar un amante
Y me enamoraría de ti.
Pero ese sería mi problema
Porque, jamas, con mi amor,
Pondría título de propiedad
A tu albedrío,

.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Para Alcanzarte

A Manera de Presentación:

Cuando me sobrevenga el cansancio del fin,
me iré, como la grulla del refrán,
a mi pueblo, a arrodillarme
entre las rosas de la plaza,
los aros de los niños
y los flecos de seda de los tápalos.

Ramón López Velarde
“Humildemente. . .”


Hace algunos días
que aprendí a caminar,
pero llevaba tantos años corriendo
que he perdido el equilibrio.
Hace algunos días
que aprendí a caminar,
a justamente ponderar
sobre las cosas bellas de la vida,
a darme cuenta,
finalmente,
que mis prisas no eran más
que una absurda ansiedad
de llegar a ningún lado.
Hace algunos días
que por vez primera caminé,
cayéndoseme todo miedo de la espalda,
y finalmente fui conciente de mi andar.
Hace algunos días
que camino a paso propio
y que me veo tal cual soy:
Libre,
esclavizado,
paradójico,
absorto ante una esperanza
e inequívoco ante mi reflejo.
Hace algunos días
que aprendí a caminar,
pero me urge volver a correr
para alcanzarte.

.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vida (en)sueño

A manera de introducción:



Je fais souvent ce rêve étrange et pénétrant
d'une femme inconnue, et que j'aime, et qui m'aime
et qui n'est, chaque fois, ni tout à fait la même
ni tout à fait une autre, et m'aime et me comprend.

Paul Verlaine
“Mon rêve familier”



Amanezco a veces
con el sabor de tu boca
entre mis labios,
con la cadencia de tu voz
susurrándome al oído,
con el contorno de tu cara
ciñéndose en mi pecho,
con la obstinada certeza
de que hoy no me equivoco,
pero todo sigue siendo el residuo del sueño.
Amanezco entonces
porque a la noche le faltan
horas para seguir durmiendo,
porque a mi alma le sobran
razones para seguir buscándote,
porque aunque nunca os encuentre
a mí no se me acaba la esperanza.
Mi destino es entonces anhelar
en la pasividad del sueño,
en la torpeza de todas mis acciones,
en el sincretismo del significado
y todos sus antónimos:
Anhelar con ahínco y desespero
durante la consciente pesadilla
hasta el milagro de nuestra vida (en)sueño.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Podrás Negarme Alguna Vez


Sin introducción y sin fotografía adjunta para romper el esquema, aunque esto puede ser una imagen introductoria o una introducción trópica, pero me da igual.


Podrás negarme alguna vez
quizá toda mi existencia.
Podrás negarme incluso
a mí como memoria inútil
o negar,
tal vez,
todo pasado mutuo.
Podrás negarme alguna vez,
pero mi recuerdo tuyo es mío
y lo conservo siempre
hasta el final de todo sueño,
entre negaciones vanas
y realidades ficticias,
sin ti a pesar de ti,
contigo aún cuando me niegues.
Podrás negarme alguna vez
no sólo porque es justo:
La necesidad siempre ha venido
echándonoslo en cara.
Sin embargo,
la ocasión precisa es un pretexto,
el olvido una ilusoria condición
porque no puede negarse
aquello borrado del recuerdo.
Podrás negarme alguna vez
en tus intentos de olvido;
y cuando olvides plenamente,
alguna vez entre plácidos sueños,
negarás todo tu olvido.


Friday, November 07, 2008

Recordando

Para olvidar, he venido utilizando marañas de toda índole sin nece-
sariamente encontrar el resultado deseado. Una de ellas ha sido ocupar mi tiempo en distracciones menos nocivas que las usuales, como el arte. De esta forma, impulsivamente salí a comprar unos lienzos, un par de pinceles y varias pinturas de aceite para intentar plasmar el recuerdo en un medio que no fuesen palabras. Mi esfuerzo sólo se materializó en dos pinturas, la primera de ellas acompañando esta introducción. Por razones obvias, los materiales que compré ahora acumulan polvo, como mis recuerdos. Escribir para olvidar conlleva a relatar el dolor de ahora y me rehúso a metamorfosear en agonía la gracia de lo que alguna vez fue bello. Es por eso que incluyo el escrito que prosigue, dibujado durante la intensidad del amor difícil de olvidar que le originó.


Concupiscentes tus ojos de carrizo oscuro

y tu sombra náufraga reclamándome la esencia.

Concupiscente y feraz todo silencio,

cada palabra,

nimios ejercicios de prematuro olvido;

confrontaciones feroces y feraces

en la fecundidad de tu concupiscencia.

Cómplices de augurio fértil sobre-entendimientos,

marañas, verdades, mentiras,

expectaciones formales que sobreviven

la exuberancia carnal del beso.

Concupiscentes tus labios

como intersticios ignotos,

(descritos),

de tu cuerpo.

Salvaje tu lengua voraz

como dócil reflejo de tu alma.

Irrefragables tus alas plenas y todo el peso de amor

que cargan en su vuelo.

Concupiscente y casta vos:

La única mujer que abriga toda su esencia.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Crossroads

As certain of the subtler emotions seem to become more sporadic in my life, I have progressively adjusted to seeing the world without color, the reason for which the photograph to the left is in black and white. Ironically, given that hope remains faithful, I am still able to see color in the darkest shades of gray and thus regard the image as beautiful and promising. In a sense, its content represents my perception of things about the subject of the following reflection now and twenty years before.

Crossroads

Throughout my existence, I have maintained the delusional belief of having the ability to remember with unequivocal exactitude the specific time and date of memorable life events. This idea has itself been based on another delusion: Regarding my memory as above average; nothing exceptional, but simply above average. Such ability to process, record, and recall information, indeed, has allowed me to gather a few academic honors, as well as the respect of several friends, but its is far from extraordinary, especially considering that those honors have not withstood the test of time. I sure can recall every detail I experienced during the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, relive the pain when I broke my forearm in 1986, or even re-experience the surge of ineffable heat during my first kiss in 1981, but since those events pertain to flashbulb memories, as I try to recall more commonplace events, the effects of age or information overload have forced me to accept my memory as nothing more than normal. Twenty years ago I would have tried to rationalize my current deficiencies as a lack of interest or mere inattention, but after progressing through certain stages of life and after having poorly resolved their conflicts, I no longer have interest in favorably deceiving myself as a way to deceive others.

This sophomoric and almost infantile form of self-exploration, about my memory and about my self, stems from the situation of suddenly remembering that this Memorial Day weekend marks the twentieth anniversary of my arrival to this country, but I had to delve into my diaries in order to corroborate facts and dates that I had considered unforgettable. To my credit, I remember exactly when I left my natal city: September 2nd, 1988 at 7:45 in the morning. I used to remember the flight number and the airline that I used, but since I do not recall where I placed the boarding pass that I have carelessly saved for posterity, there is no way to include that information here. As I write and search for experiences in my memory, things increasingly become clearer. The outcomes, however, are the result of inductions leading to a conclusion that, although true, would have been easier to derive if I had remembered everything correctly. As a footnote, I would like to mention that the timeline of this particular event is obfuscated by a few variables—those related to inconspicuously attempting to cross a massive body of water in the middle of the night, which, by the way, are the subject of another essay I have written and consulted for this piece. The important thing about the current matter lies, ironically, in my inquiry about its significance.

Why does this seem so important now, apart from my inadequacy at accepting my normal memory abilities? Yes, why now if in the aforementioned essay I have described my experience in California during the ensuing years since my arrival as nothing but normal living? We humans like to categorize things into orderly, although arbitrary, compartments, and it may very well be the case that the end of my second decade here is providing an excuse to futile musings. However, life sometimes becomes as interesting as fiction and twenty years to the date and time of my arrival to this country, exactly, I will be starting a new job. This coincidence, apparently, has stirred emotional fibers I had considered long forgotten.

(Or suppressed, but that is the subject of another sophomoric, and long, form of self-exploration.)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Alguna Vez Te Ame


Hoy es la segunda vez que incluyo poesía en este esporádico ejercicio de catarsis cibernética. Es posible que ya no tenga nada que decir y que simplemente lo sienta. ¿Qué más da? Cuando tomé la foto adjunta, me regocijé en su belleza como testimonio de la lindura después de la muerte. Jamás creí que pudiera relacionarla a mi vida más allá de la coincidencia durante un paseo por el Bosque de Chapultepec. Sin embargo, la vida a veces se empeña en burlarse de uno. De cierta forma, el intento de poema que prosigue refleja lo que el muerto árbol pudo haber dicho, o lo que mi subconsciente entendió y plenamente siento en carne propia.


Alguna Vez Te Ame

Alguna vez te ame,

Inhóspita mujer

De irreconciliables horizontes,

Con el ingenuo fervor

De un idiota esperanzado.

Alguna vez te ame

Hurgando territorios clandestinos,

Y se me reptó furtivamente

Un arrebato primigenio,

Y se me escapó candente

La cordura por los labios,

Y corrí hacía ti como un iluso,

Y te ame íntegramente

En metáforas de espacio,

En símiles de tiempo

Y en tergiversaciones libres

De todo lo prohibido.

Alguna vez te ame

En blanco y negro

Hasta que llegaron los colores

Con tus besos,

Y habitando los ígneos

Rincones de tu alma,

Comencé a creer en el amor

Como un gran milagro inusitado.

Alguna vez te ame,

Pródiga mujer de todos mis anhelos,

Y tengo que escribirlo ahora

Porque ya no estás aquí para contártelo.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

De entre tus labios

video


De entre tus labios turbios

De frondosidad indescifrable

Han salido todas las mentiras y todas las verdades

Aptas de forjar toda esperanza.

Incapaz me hallo de impugnarlos hoy,

Aún en la mejor de mis derrotas.

No puedo siquiera huirles,

A pesar de que el mortífero desdén aceche

Desde todos los rincones.

Sigo creyendo en su sabor a magia,

En su redentora condición

Y en sus dúctiles cualidades de remanso.

Por eso así,

Aunque no pida clemencia ahora

O exija la capitulación total que surge

De pasiones derramadas,

Imploro a las deidades de un futuro indefinible

Que a pesar de todo y después de mí,

Tus labios me besen como antes.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Something about Fidel


Now that Fidel Castro has resigned to his position, I believed it would be timely to present this journal entry that I wrote a few months ago. It is not related to the current situation, although it pertains to him, in a sense. History has yet to absolve him. In my case, this little story will, perhaps, condemn me.

Something about Fidel

Fidel Castro has arisen from his deathbed, apparently to show the world that the Cuban health care system fulfills state-determined expectations or, in the most likely case, that he may have inherited the genes allowing his grandfather to have lived over one hundred years. Evidence of his vitality—or what some argue is a propagandistic resurrection—emanates from a recent video recording that has circulated global media. The certainty of Castro’s longevity, the video contends, is unequivocal, although this medium may give a sense of artificiality to the assertion. After all, as opponents argue, Castro could already be dead and the image campaign may very well be his last megalomaniacal effort to rule Cuba from the underworld.

Whether fabricated or real, this video caused me to experience a rather strange double sense of déjà vu. On the one hand, it forced me to recall a Julio Córtazar article about a faint and anonymous cough overhead during a Beethoven concert Furtwängler directed in 1947. Concerned about the fantastic side of reality, Córtazar ponders more about the identity of the interrupter than about the historical concert itself, a recording of which was discovered 30 years after the event. Was his acknowledgement of the cough a bridge between two different eras? Was it an extension of the life of the person who could not withhold a cough during an important event? On the other hand, and in conjunction with Córtazar’s contemplations, the video in question reminded me that there may be a recording out there, yet to be discovered, capturing my clumsiness when I interrupted Castro himself during a speech in 2001.

Castro’s vitality plays a crucial role in this exercise of reminiscence because my impression of the man, as he directly faced me from his seat in the Cuban Palace of Conventions, was that of a confused and senile man connected to a wireless life support system ready to drop dead at any moment. Minutes earlier, however, his arrival to the place had been vigorous. It occurred during the closing ceremony of a Youth Exchange between Cuban and the U.S.—which I attended under a licensed trip, just in case anyone would like to turn me in for having violated the Trading with the Enemy Act. I left the auditorium on my first trip to the bathroom that day, for I had drunk over two liters of green tea, as Perez Roque, the Cuban foreign minister, was at the podium. In the hall, when the voice of the minister became more audible as the regular city noise receded, I started to think that something big was about to happen. For some reason, although hurricanes are nature’s preferred method of weather inclemency in Cuba, I thought that a tornado would hit the city. I looked outside a nearby window expecting to see gloomy clouds and chirping birds announcing the tornado’s arrival, but what I saw was a caravan of modern vehicles entering the facility. “Fidel has arrived,” I thought. Although organizers had informed us that there was a very slight possibility that Castro would make a special visit, which was not at all certain because “El Comandante” had a very busy schedule, I was convinced he would arrive. How could he miss the opportunity to certify the sovereignty of the Cuban Revolution in front of American youth? I searched for clues. The atmosphere in the place had evidently been altered, but, although perplexed, every person I asked did not venture to share their knowledge or hypotheses about the change. A burly Afro-Cuban man, who I later learned was a secret service agent, confirmed Fidel’s arrival: He ordered my immediate return to the auditorium and no amount of supplication persuaded him to allow me to finish my trip to the urinals. On my way back, I noticed that all action in the hall had stopped. Even Cuban filmmakers working on a documentary about the Youth Exchange, in which I was supposed to participate upon my return from the bathroom, had begun packing their equipment. After hundreds of assassination attempts, it did not seem surprising, however exaggerated, for Castro to take his precautions.

Back in the auditorium, Perez Roque continued to speak even though it was evident that he had lost the attention of over half of the audience. In the few moments after my return, the murmuring filling the place resonated in my head like the chirping of birds I had expected earlier. “Fidel has arrived,” I told Maribel, one of the Cuban student volunteers serving as guide to my group.

-How do you know?

-I don’t know it for certain, but I feel it.

-I have never seen El Comandante.

Maribel uttered her remark with a contrite tone that touched me. She had proven to be an incomparable pragmatist during our conversations, almost to the point of cynicism, but as she desperately turned in all directions attempting to corroborate what everyone was murmuring about, she revealed a passionate side, for whatever reasons, that I had never expected. When Fidel finally entered the room, the audience received him with a full standing ovation. He was surrounded by an entourage of tall secret service men with muscular torsos draped in white guayaberas who, more than protecting him, revealed the head of a taller Fidel Castro dressed in full military regalia—except for his new pair of blue adidas tennis shoes, which El Comandante, for medical reasons, had recently replaced for his signature boots. I cannot deny that I felt some excitement, perhaps for historical reasons. The year before I had had seen the Pope and had chatted with Ralph Nader and Gore Vidal. At that point, I was even willing to meet Bush, for historical reasons, if only to nag about his dubious election.

Fidel waved his arms and the audience roared. With a vigorous sense of determination, he wavered his way to the podium. Perhaps out of custom, the fact that he may have forgotten about the event, the possibility that he may have not been informed at all, or out of sheer megalomania, he was ready to take over, but a dignitary intercepted him and whispered something in his ear. Fidel looked bewildered, almost infantile, revealing a sense of vulnerability inconsistent with the image of the man some of us had expected to see. Like a parent leading a child, the dignitary directed Fidel to an empty seat located precisely in front of my first-row seat. Forgetting my own sense of puzzlement at the scene I had witnessed moments earlier, I grinned like a monkey. The amateurish photographer within me crawled out and I, his master, was about to exploit him until death in socialist Cuba, right in front of Fidel and using his image for that purpose. I checked my camera: Almost out of film. Video Camera: Almost out of battery. Mini Disc audio recorder: Plenty of battery, but only one Mini Disc left. “What a lousy luck!” I thought. Maribel saw me in despair and laughed: She had warned me about the excessive use of my trinkets in recording the Cuban experience. “I told you so,” she said while I asked for socialist support, but no one had extra supplies or did not care to share them. I longed for room service, but that was out of the question. Where the hell is capitalism when you need it? I looked at Fidel, right in front of me, and, unwilling to loose the opportunity for a decent photograph with my meager point-and-shoot camera, readied myself for the first shot, but my inner photographer gave way to my inner voyeur: The man started nodding off. As Perez Roque was providing what seemed like an unrehearsed introduction to his chief—or perhaps because of it—Fidel appeared to be sound asleep. I also noticed that his body was trembling, which, in my mind, reeked of Parkinson’s disease. For all practical purposes, I thought, the old man would die there very soon. “Should I become a tabloid photographer?” I thought. Like Thurber’s Walter Mitty, I began to imagine the many ways in which I, a nonentity, would suddenly become somebody after revealing to the world that Fidel Castro suffered from such illness. My sense of delusion had already reached the point of rebutting official Cuban complaints about my discovery on Spanish television when another round of applause extracted me, as well as Fidel, from my waking dreams: Perez Roque had finished his introduction speech and Castro was next in line. Fidel lifted his body from the chair and firmly walked to the podium. “Shit!” I thought. Fidel had moved and I, succumbed in my stupid dreams, had not taken a decent confrontational photograph, in the etymological sense, from the position we had shared for a few minutes. Also, my bladder was about to explode.

The extensive duration of Fidel’s introductory remarks, in which he vigorously pounded at the podium with his right index finger, gave me a sense of entitlement after he opened the floor for questions. I lifted my hand with the intention of exercising that assumed right, which he acknowledged, but before I could mutter anything about my wonderings of the political criticisms to his government and his reactions to it, someone yelled out a question about drug use in Cuba. Fidel’s reply—a 45-minute soliloquy packed with historical data and elucidation of contemporary difficulties in Cuban drug control—overwhelmed me. It was not the content, but its lengthiness. My ADHD tendencies kicked in and I became distracted and hyperactive. Mostly, I wanted to forget about my full bladder. I moved around impatiently, not paying complete attention to the reply. After all, I was recording it on audio and was certain that the transcripts of the conference would become available the following day. Maribel increasingly became annoyed at my fidgeting. When I finally did the unthinkable—dropping my pen—she angrily reprimanded me: “Please, show some respect.”

I showed respect for as long as I remembered that I was supposed to show respect, which is never enough time when carrying an ADHD condition with a full bladder. Although I should have been thinking that by that time it was permissible to go to the bathroom, I mainly worried about the fact of having lost the privileged location I had to photograph Fidel from the comfort of my seat. At the podium, he was well beyond the reach of my camera for a decent shot. Concerned about this, I lost the opportunity to ask my question when he finally completed the first reply. Before growing inpatient with what I expected to be an even lengthier second response, I left my seat in search of a better place to take my pictures. Maribel looked at me disapprovingly. I pointed to the official photographer, who was freely moving around the place, but Maribel frowned. “It’s OK,” I said. “Nothing will happen.” She looked away.

I found a vacant place in front of the podium. Carefully reclining the seat in order to prevent any noise and distraction, I sat for a few moments pretending to listen and then started shooting. Seconds later, I ran out of film, causing the camera to activate the self-rewind mechanism. I embraced it to shield the noise, which worked well with the audience, except with Maribel, who fired a lacerating look. My sense of remorse lasted enough to take my digital video camera out of the bag. With a digital zoom, it proved to be a better option than my film camera. I took several shots and, in a state of complete flow, I got up in search of a better angle. The reclining seat sprung up and the pounding noise startled the audience. Fidel turned to me without stopping his speech. I began to sweat. We made eye contact for a few seconds and, just as he scantily acknowledged me with the interruption, he easily disregarded me when turning away to continue his speech. I remained frozen in place, nevertheless, thinking about the best option to get out of the embarrassing situation, which I was certain Maribel would never forgive. Ultimately, I decided that there would be no better moment to finally go to the bathroom. On my way out, I heard a few recriminating comments. Maribel’s scorching eyes followed me all the way, but I refused to acknowledge her wrath.

Three hours later, when Fidel decided to stop, a third of the audience was all over him, pleading for a handshake. I was hoping to take a more decent photograph, but this never materialized. On his way out, Fidel acknowledged my presence again, looked at my camera, lifted his arms with a childish demeanor, and smiled.

If there is a recording out there of the event, more than anything, this is the moment I would have liked Córtazar to have written about.