across a boundless place

boundless_place

One day I took a look and there was a place. In that black density a lace began to arrange memory like a bow around every name that I remember, back then, throwing outside, out there, like small smooth stones. I craved to eat the clouds in the mud of my imagination; I was a child in rags (how many clouds had transpired) before I learnt a world was a word capable of eclipsing all the things of the world. So I craved to forget every flavor of sound to rediscover suddenly the purple of music under the noon of my eye. (Always I’ve been making things so real and why is there only an ugly street, this very instant). I remember softening the sky and making a drum in unison with horizon. I won’t claim here that I’ve invented the universe just because I’ve made giant centuries sleep in my mad silence. I’ve only borrowed infant atoms of late. Perhaps I’ve always been alone preexisting like a submarine below the surface of time. I’ve been waiting like a peculiar magnet unnoticed in the abyss. Perhaps this here is not an ugly street but a vein carrying the fatality of the dream to a new pulsation. Perhaps this reverie is not a quick line scrawled on another page of earth. I see now that the poet has started to unearth his own visions beneath the thirst of trees. I see him proudly unintelligible against all the violence of thought. I see now that the poet still craves the flesh of the clouds and has made brightness a bridge across a boundless place.

Contemporary Poetry

The Character – A short monologic play

The Character – A short monologic play

the_character_play

Characters:
Pablo
Wife
The Character
The character’s colleague

A café in Copenhagen. 1pm on a Thursday. Pablo sits 
on a vintage sofa next to his wife. Across them sit 
a pair of colleagues that discuss, in a profound tone, 
the “science of marketing”.

[The Character gets up, apologizes to his colleague for taking up two hours of her time. Begins to put on his coat and scarf on.]

Pablo: [addressing his wife] What a character, that guy.

The Character: What did you just say?

Pablo: [impassive] That you’re quite a character.

The Character: What the hell is the problem with you?

Pablo: What? Me? What are you talking about? What do you know about my world, my conception of the world, my inner drama, my subjective constructs? Do you have any idea what I mean by the word ‘character’ and could you have suspected that I see the world as a stage where we are all characters that pretend to be this or that, and some of us are better at it, and some are portraying so bizarrely absurd roles, that they deserve being pointed out and addressed as “one-of-a-kind characters”? I am conscious that saying out loud, “what a character” may connote a derogatory sense to the word. I am aware that we pretend to be immersed in a kind of social nebula, where things appear the same to all members of the community. But I’m sorry to say, that is not the case, we don’t all share the same monotonous perceptual paradigm and I’ll keep calling you and everybody else characters, yes characters in…

[The Character and colleague exit café]

Pablo: … in the absurd drama of the earth.

The End.

schematization

thin echo of fiction

You now
must know
what it is to crave a glass of water
or to sip a kiss;
to be so reckless as to flood
the heart because it is a crater of chalk
and you’re tired of its empty dusty frame.

I don’t remember what
kind of day it was.
Full of sun with
musky winds, dark with
impalpable clouds, perhaps
flat and drunk in sapphire.

I don’t care what kind of day
it was; a day to forget like all
the rest had I not begun to count
the breaths I’ve taken in despair.

I began stooping like an imbecile twig
that bends with every paddle of the wind
as if an essence had broken into milliard
tiny mirrors on the sidewalk, and I had
to count and sew them back into a remembrance.

I plead for the pallid crust of light that envelopes me
like a bulky perfume to melt into a song of shadow
or even for a single mindless mote of dust
to land catastrophically on me and pierce
this ferrous mold, I want to watch my holy skin
fall away and leave a naked and unwashed soul
standing erect like a pagan odalisque.

But don’t show her mercy, kick her out
of this world drama, let her run barefoot
back to her incomprehensible origin.

It could have been a year ago, while getting on
a bus that I conceived of grabbing silence
by its throat and squeezing out a peep;
I had been so innocently prone to believing
that the world was a gigantic bird suffocating
me with its kaleidoscopic feathers but
now I feel at home because suffering
sets as a sun behind the panorama of knowledge
and even if it is reborn every day I dream
at night of being a thin echo of fiction.

Amen.

 

 

 

Contemporary Poetry

I saw a sun today

Sky Poetry

I saw a sun today
it was like a specter
belonging to unsolvable fiction,
it had a wide abyss
as a mouth
made of the purest light;
the naked trees
as deadly as knives
daggers defending the earth
from the intrusion of the sky,
it was worship
in the eyes, veiled by sight, bathed in perception,
drenched in mind;
it was like my whole life
was meant to be scorched
by this sun
and I would fail at everything
hereafter
except this rhapsody of
surrender.

 

 

 

 

nihilistic poetry

finality

Finality Poetry

 finality
run by a strength
gathering in every bouquet of fire
that my lungs take in
in the crushed earth of my heart
with the noisy smoke of the blood
running stronger still
digesting the night as the sweetest charcoal
drunk with fire, hot demise
swimming in the lurid steam of desire
making love under the encroaching moon of suffering
the hand sloughing the disease of touch
the temptation to feel,
my goodness,
the strength that has gathered
spewing boulders as wild bullets of despair
impossible to even begin telling
about the layers and the failed anchors,
such force
is a miracle of the body
an outcome of the rocks and veins
a mistake of the mind;

finally
nothing can be revoked

 

poetry blog

time’s the renegade

Time_Clouds_ Modern Poetry

The century skipped a beat
you, me and them
now dance in the criminal perplexity of death
I don’t want to state the obvious
but you are so obvious
my brain feels like the word: bacteria
almost an etcetera but never like a cafeteria
time hopped onto future’s back and left me back there
with the orphan past
I said, the century missed a beat
now we sleep listening to the lullaby of underwater winds
things broke
but chaos is a wonderful planetmaid
in the last days of last decade
I held my feet up high, pretending to be a bat
that could sleep and digest while clutching the sky
she loved to watch things grow – she was a true prophet
is it a sin father to make life a pillow and all events fiction
since the century ran over us without saying goodbye
can I sleep for the rest of this
illusion?

 

nihilistic poetry

From A to B…

A:  (clasping hands in triumphal display) And that’s how it will all end…

B:  (in pensive mood) All theory is interpretive. All facts are theory-laden. There is no pure objective world out there that we can measure and explain. The act of measuring itself is a creative process. We define reality as we go along. After a while, our own creations become idols, so that a law of physics is merely a cognitive habit. What is interesting to see is that every age in history has presumed possession of Absolute Truth. What will be revealing is that meta-narratives are relative to the epoch’s climate, ideals, unconscious motives, and so forth. Today’s theory will become tomorrow’s mythology.

A:  (visibly offended) My god!

B:  (smiling and sympathetic) But I’m likely to be wrong…

The lost dreams of a lost man…

painting_pablo_saborio_dreams_lost_

 

Abandon, ever so vague

a name entirely unpronounceable

a thought, utterly worthless

      then a feeling without  face

 a touch without my skin

              I’m too old to restart this engine

I must move on, abandon

       what once was light now is shadow

           what was once purpose is now fiction

there is a pure moment

        (nothing else)

                no matter what I think

it’s not my call to make

               there is only a pure moment

(nothing else)

              I might pretend to stir this vessel

but it’s really not my doing

there is apparently something ancient

               something beyond measure

I don’t sense it, life is cold as cement

The waves are coming down on me

        I can only laugh

 sometimes I feel like expanding indefinitely

           but a cage made of ribs

keeps my insides in their place

The next step is here… it’s too late

     to look back.

 

 

 

 

 

Modern Poetry

A man in San José

  (photo by Ryan Moss)

 

 

It may appear imprudent that a story that takes place in a Spanish-speaking city should be told in English. First, and partly, because the English-speaking readers will have a hard time grasping the culture in which the story takes place. Secondly, and conversely, those that can relate to the story are few since the story is narrated in a foreign language. But I will remind the indulgent reader that my situation is a hopeless conundrum. English-speakers constantly visit San José but do not have enough time in the city to experience its routine and tradition. Anglophone foreigners might have come to live permanently in Costa Rica but it is highly likely they have stayed outside the capital due to its ordinariness and its dangerous crime. Likewise those that were unwittingly born in this country have avoided the city because of its pollution, recklessness and delinquency. Finally, those that have actually managed to live in the heart of San José year after year are unlikely candidates to enter this blog and squander a few minutes to the reflections of an (Anglo-phony!) Costa Rican.  I have therefore taken the liberty to entertain only a few at the risk that much of what will be said will be lost in the abysmal gap between dissimilar cultures. Also, it may not be superfluous to add that the message will apply to Anglophone first-world citizens and the English-speaking high-class citizens of Costa Rica, which so eagerly emulate the ideals of foreign societies. 

It is common to step down from the bus and abruptly wake up from your daydreaming as you enter the rowdy streets of San José. Those inevitable reveries that take place while you sit silently on an old American school bus come to an end when the smoke, heat and noise startle you back into reality. The images of the outer world that were streaming like invisible currents in the fabric of your mind become concrete and your attention is no longer floating in careless thoughts. Your vision is attracted to the large enchiladas on your right, the kiosk man selling newspapers and mangos at the corner, the pretty girl with a low-cut skirt, the taxi honking at that young woman, the bus almost crashing into the sidewalk, a big dog followed by three smaller dogs. Your head turns to and fro unless you are already too numb to notice the riot of any ordinary day. Your pace accelerates as you cross the street when the pedestrian light is red or slow down as you inspect the imitation sunglasses in every third store. People cross by you as they speak on the phone, scold their children or speak to themselves in a sometimes delusional manner. The stores’ windows have merchandise in every conceivable quality with prices tags in bold colorful numbers: ¢5,000 for a tank top, ¢800 for lipstick, ¢13500 for wide legged jeans, ¢250 for a pair of earrings, ¢18000 for a new toaster oven. Small cantina bars have brown and white beads-on-a-string hanging from the entrance, palm trees are easily spotted at street corners and if you venture a bit outside the crowded pedestrian streets you may even find trees ripe with mangos, bananas or jocotes. You get on an inner city bus that costs ¢100. When you pay make sure you don’t stand in between the electronic bars that count how many passengers get on and off (a rather recent feature), and then, quietly take your seat and distract yourself with the view of the sidewalks. It was on this Sabana-Cementerio bus that I saw for a quadrillion time the old bespectacled man that takes notes on his clipboard.

He has been working for the bus company for 37 years, out of those he has been in the same position, every weekday, for 35 years; keeping track of how many buses pass by his position, how many passengers were on the bus at each particular time, and making sure the money the bus driver has matches with registered passenger count of the day. It seems the electronic bars are not foolproof, and a good pair of scrupulous eyes is still warranted.  I have seen him so many times I was bound to ask him one day about his job, but as it is common in our country to tattle once we engage in a conversation, I ended up knowing much more than I initially wanted to inquire.   

It may seem strange that a man of sound judgment would choose to work in the same unchallenging job for 35 years. Not unless, we could argue, it was very high paying. But the truth is that a salary of under $325 a month is not very much. Our modern avaricious conscience would rebel against this inhumanity; but our initial repulsion might subdue with what I will now tell. 

It has been the fortune of many of us to never have dealt with the misfortune of poverty. Even if some of us have endured the hardship of unemployment, most of us, I venture to say, have always had enough food on our tables. In this country many have to strive for a decent meal every day and sometimes circumstances are not in favor of poor families that battle just to survive. Our protagonist grew in a similar condition. His mother had to support his whole family because his father had become blind from an accident at a construction site after some deadly chemicals had fallen on his face. Her mother worked in middleclass homes as a maid and on weekends sold knitted sweaters at a street corner in San José. Having four brothers and a sister, they had a very harsh time growing up. One brother ran away when he was twelve, the remaining three had to drop school to help their mother earn a living. Our friend never reached beyond third grade. It was clear from his expression that his early years were tremendously hard, yet I could perceive a certain satisfaction in his eyes. I assume he is now proud that they survived those tumultuous years.   

As a young adult he carried out many different kinds of jobs. He didn’t go too much into detail but he had enough to live on and support his family until the unavoidable crossed his path. He had gone out one night to a salsa/merengue club. Never having a radio or TV at home he grew up unfamiliar with the dexterous moves of Latin dance although he enjoyed greatly listening to the music. (He jiggled his rusty hips, I laughed). He would envy every corrongo male that would sweep women by their dance abilities. That night he was drinking a cold Tropical, a new beer that had just been released in the market by Cuban entrepreneurs, although he hardly had the habit of drinking beer. Eased by the alcohol, he ventured to take out a girl to dance. If it wasn’t for those beers, I would have never asked Yelena out for a dance– he commented. Not very romantic, I know. There’s a common misperception that we Latinos are all desperate romantics. They got married next year and started raising a family. His wife’s father had been working as an administrative director in a bus company and the rest seems logical. 

I didn’t dare to ask him why he settled for that simple position. True, it’s a higher position than being a bus driver but also very monotonous. However, when I was just about to bid him goodbye, in an unusual expansion of lucidity, he reflects on his humble circumstances and pronounces thoughts that have answered my tacit doubts: 

 “No puedo culpar mi familia, mi cultura, mi sociedad, mi país, ni la civilización mundial actual. Mi vida fue la consecuencia de una sencilla decisión: vivir sin la ambición de conocer otros continentes o poseer una abundancia de posesiones. Yo viví así y declaro sin arrepentimiento mi total conformidad con la rutina y singular angostura de mi vida. Me conformo con ser el señor que trabajó 35 años en la misma parada de bus, repitiendo la misma labor día tras día, arruga tras arruga, sin la ambición de buscar algo más que tener la comida en mi hogar mientras veía mis hijos crecer.” 

This can be roughly translated thus: 

I cannot blame my family, my culture, my society, my country, or this modern civilization. My life was the consequence of a simple decision: living without the ambition of knowing other continents or having great material wealth. I lived this way and I affirm without regret my complete conformity with my routine and singularly narrow lifestyle. I’m comfortable being that man that worked for 35 years at the same bus stop, repeating the same activity day after day, wrinkle after wrinkle, without having the ambition to look beyond the meal of each day while I saw my children grow up. 

The end.

A Modern Hero

A modern hero
Hero-1

We can watch him quietly chewing his dinner. His gaze is imperturbable and his thoughts invariably these:

The nothingness that exists in all forms, and the nothingness that is yet to be born.

The modern hero awaits (and this waiting period is interminable) for a fatal threat. This threat is anticipated throughout the cycles of the clock. It is always approaching, never disappearing.

What can he do?

Nothing. Resisting the menace of existence is a futile and wearisome illusion. He will initially find himself in hypertension, guarded against an invisible enemy. Since there is no defence against his opponent, rebellion would represent a defeating madness. Acceptance must be learned and practiced. However, salvation is not achieved solely by the acceptance of one’s own precarious situation. He has no escape, he must sacrifice a distracted and unexamined life in order to become bearer of a strange suffering.  He will be the hated antagonist of any unfounded human optimism.

For what?

To cure himself of a malady that is not only his own but also a dormant illness that all conscious beings carry within.

What relieves him?

From the perspective of the world he has secluded himself in an abstract and spurious discourse; from the perspective of his own condition he has renounced his faith in a world of form and substance, he has lost trust in the socially approved states of consciousness. He lives in a mythological world, albeit, his myth has not yet been written nor can it be.  He is dispersed in a flux of perception that not necessarily implies an objective external world. His experience cannot be communicated, it does not have the logical structure of a normal human situation.

Is there a light at the end of his tunnel?

From the standpoint of the all-too-human, suicide may appear as the last desperate, but effective, act of liberation, but this won’t be his course. He has selected an ambitious journey: The transmutation of consciousness. An intuition convinces him that the reality we live in is only one of many possible creations; and in the sober creation of less restricted states of consciousness he will achieve his ultimate objective: inner peace.