Poema Favorito del dia: (Pequeño poema infinito) by Federíco Garcia Lorca

Little Infinite Poem (esp. version below)

To take the wrong road
is to arrive at the snow
and arriving at the snow
is to graze for several centuries on the grass of cemeteries.

To take the wrong road
is to arrive at the woman,
the woman who doesn’t fear the light,
the woman who kills two roosters in a second,
the light that doesn’t fear the roosters
and roosters that don’t know how to sing across the snow.

But if the snow chooses the wrong heart,
the South Wind may arrive
and as the air pays no heed to groans
we’ll have to graze again on the grass of cemeteries.

I saw two saddened, waxen ears of wheat
that buried a landscape of volcanoes
and I saw two mad boys
weeping as they pressed the pupils in a murderer’s eyes.

But two has never been a number
because it is anguish and its shadow
it’s the guitar where love is driven to despair
it’s the proof of an infinity not its own
and it’s the walls of the dead
and the punishment of the new, unending resurrection.

The dead hate the number two,
but the number two lulls women to sleep,
and as woman fears the light,
light trembles before the roosters
and as roosters know only how to fly across the snow,
we’ll have to graze on the grass of cemeteries forever.

[trans. Paul Archer]

[esp]

Equivocar el camino
es llegar a la nieve
y llegar a la nieve
es pacer durante veinte siglos las hierbas de los cementerios.

Equivocar el camino
es llegar a la mujer,
la mujer que no teme la luz,
la mujer que no teme a los gallos
y los gallos que no saben cantar sobre la nieve.

Pero si la nieve se equivoca de corazón
puede llegar el viento Austro
y como el aire no hace caso de los gemidos
tendremos que pacer otra vez las hierbas de los cementerios.

Yo vi dos dolorosas espigas de cera
que enterraban un paisaje de volcanes
y vi dos niños locos que empujaban llorando las pupilas de un asesino.

Pero el dos no ha sido nunca un número
porque es una angustia y su sombra,
porque es la guitarra donde el amor se desespera,
porque es la demostración de otro infinito que no es suyo
y es las murallas del muerto
y el castigo de la nueva resurrección sin finales.

Los muertos odian el número dos,
pero el número dos adormece a las mujeres
y como la mujer teme la luz
la luz tiembla delante de los gallos
y los gallos sólo saben votar sobre la nieve
tendremos que pacer sin descanso las hierbas de los cementerios.

 

Sonder

IMG_8842

Through each pair of eyes
Past the cascade of gleaning follicles
The carefully selected articles of clothing,
There is a brain
which thinks things.

Continually processing and updating
Whirring and buzzing
Observing and noticing
Mutely.

Bound to a bank of memories
Crafted by the happenings of life
Drizzled together in separate ways
Like chocolates with different fillings, flavours,
And decorations.

We fail to believe that we are not unique
For we cannot know the extent of our individuality
But such diversity
Is bound
To intersect-
Eventually.

A million conclusions of the same sight
Is made on a judgement
Preconceived or freshly made
Wading in the equally deep pool of human thought
That is a precious place of solitude.

I’d be a fool to say that I am one,
Of the 7.5 billion people who roam the Earth
I have to say
We are linked by our capability to breathe and feel
Seeking relationships
To synchronise
With someone who views through the similar lenses
Or with someone to change what we thought we had known.

I used to think sadness was just sadness
Until a friend said,
“Perhaps you’re just thinking too deeply, though.”
“At least, that’s how I recognise it to survive.”

I refuse to believe
People aren’t thinking
The same things
That I have been thinking
All my life,

How the way someone sings in public
is brave rather than strange,
Or the silent guilt of rejecting a beggar

How each person is a caricature stored in the mind
Like a character in a beloved novel.

How certain strangers have an energy about them
That draws you in
Yet that kind of social interaction
Would be weird
And misconstrued.

How someone’s sad face
Could just be their neutral expression
Or something stressful just happened
And they can’t talk to anyone
Alone in transit.

How the prejudices that shouldn’t exist
Still very much affect your thoughts and reactions
“Everyone’s a little bit racist”
And we can’t seem to help it.

I ponder and sonder
And overthink
And plan every situation that cannot be planned
Taking comfort knowing that I am, in fact
Another grain of sand.

Every moment is another unrealised scenario
We, all lotharios of fate
Want to bake our cake
And eat it too.

I give strangers names
Assign meaning to their guise
I put them in plays
That keep me up at night,
I lose track of myself
Of what is real and what is fiction
Restricted by conditions
I seem to be put in.

I suppose I can feel
what is ultimately true:

This is the way things are.
This is how you do you.
This is the matter-of-fact acceptance.
They’re all just triggers to let imagination ring…

I hope I think this way
Until the day I die.
As much as I feel quite discontent
At least I feel like
I’ve lived
A million lives.

Nube (cloud) trans. Ilkaandescente

[english]

Sweet Morpheus greeted me
On the grand patch of risen grass.

I lie down for a nap
Feeling vitality seeping through the dew
Which kisses the blades
Every morning and night.

The cirrocumulus and their kind
Casually flocking in the sky
I see the shapes in their crevices-
Reminiscent of something playful.

I put my ear against the earth
Not really listening,
Flecks of soil graze my face
Like a massive comb
Grooming softly
With tickling sensation.

Suddenly,
A crackle heard from the distance.

A dynamite? A firework?
A flash of lightening aimed specific?
I do not know.

I do not know.

I throw my hands towards the clouds
Soliciting them to take me away,
Lift me up to join their somnambulism
Above the ground
Detached
Like sleep paralysis.

From up here,
Everything seems nice
Because it is not vivid
Nor intimate enough
For concrete judgement.
This makes it easy to romanticise.

Reality is surreal
Surreal is happening,
Set me down in my nest on a plane of human existence
I’ll sleep through the evening
Through the noon
And the screaming
I’ll imagine
It’s something I don’t have the power
To stop.

I’ll pretend
It’s the music
That powers the rain.

I’ll escape with the stratus
Dreaming
I was in a position
To make a difference.

[español]

Dulce Morfeo me ha acogido
Sobre el enorme terrazzo de césped naciente
Me tiendo para una siesta
Sintiendo la vida filtrarse a través del rocío
Que besa cada brizna
Mañana y noche.

El cirrocúmulo y sus hermanas
Flotan despreocupados en el cielo
Veo en las sombras en sus lomos
Alegrías infantiles evocadas

Pongo mi oreja contra la tierra
Sin escuchar realmente
El sol adorna mi rostro moteado
Como un extenso cepillo
Que acaricia suave
Con deseo de cosquillas

Repentino,
Un crujido se oye en la distancia

Dinamita? Fuegos de artificios?
Un resplandor de relámpago predestinado?
No lo sé

No lo sé

Lanzo mis manos en pos de las nubes
Pidiéndoles que me lleven
Que me alcen para unirme a su sonambulismo
sin tocar el suelo
Indiferentes
Como en una parálisis del sueño

De allí arriba
Cada cosa parece hermosa
Porque no es tan vívida
No lo bastante íntima
Para un juicio concreto
Y es fácil el romanticismo

Es la realidad surrealista
Y lo surreal sucede
Sentada en mi nido sobre la llana existencia humana
Dormiré a través de la mañana
A lo largo del mediodía
Y del grito
Imaginaré algo que no tenga el poder
de parar

Fingiré que
Es la música
Lo que impulsa la lluvia

Escaparé de mi cielo al espacio en el firmamento
Soñando
Estoy en el lugar
Preciso para marcar la diferencia

Favourite Poem of the Day: I Wrote A Good Omelet by Nikki Giovanni

I wrote a good omelet…and ate
a hot poem… after loving you
Buttoned my car…and drove my
coat home…in the rain…
after loving you
I goed on red…and stopped on
green…floating somewhere in between…
being here and being there…
after loving you
I rolled my bed…turned down
my hair…slightly
confused but…I don’t care…
Laid out my teeth…and gargled my
gown…then I stood
…and laid me down…
To sleep…
after loving you

Poem of the Day: Oatmeal by Galway Kinnell

I eat oatmeal for breakfast.
I make it on the hot plate and put skimmed milk on it.
I eat it alone.
I am aware it is not good to eat oatmeal alone.

Its consistency is such that is better for your mental health if somebody eats it with you.
That is why I often think up an imaginary companion to have breakfast with.
Possibly it is even worse to eat oatmeal with an imaginary companion.
Nevertheless, yesterday morning, I ate my oatmeal porridge, as he called it with John Keats. Keats said I was absolutely right to invite him:
due to its glutinous texture, gluey lumpishness, hint of slime, and unsual willingness to disintigrate, oatmeal should not be eaten alone.
He said that in his opinion, however, it is perfectly OK to eat it with an imaginary companion, and that he himself had enjoyed memorable porridges with Edmund Spenser and John Milton.

Even if eating oatmeal with an imaginary companion is not as wholesome as Keats claims, still, you can learn something from it.
Yesterday morning, for instance, Keats told me about writing the “Ode to a Nightingale.”
He had a heck of a time finishing it those were his words “Oi ‘ad a ‘eck of a toime,” he said, more or less, speaking through his porridge.
He wrote it quickly, on scraps of paper, which he then stuck in his pocket,
but when he got home he couldn’t figure out the order of the stanzas, and he and a friend spread the papers on a table, and they made some sense of them, but he isn’t sure to this day if they got it right.
An entire stanza may have slipped into the lining of his jacket through a hole in his pocket.

He still wonders about the occasional sense of drift between stanzas, and the way here and there a line will go into the configuration of a Moslem at prayer, then raise itself up and peer about, and then lay \ itself down slightly off the mark, causing the poem to move forward with a reckless, shining wobble.
He said someone told him that later in life Wordsworth heard about the scraps of paper on the table, and tried shuffling some stanzas of his own, but only made matters worse.

I would not have known any of this but for my reluctance to eat oatmeal alone.
When breakfast was over, John recited “To Autumn.”
He recited it slowly, with much feeling, and he articulated the words lovingly, and his odd accent sounded sweet.
He didn’t offer the story of writing “To Autumn,” I doubt if there is much of one.

But he did say the sight of a just-harvested oat field go thim started on it, and two of the lines, “For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cells” and “Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours,” came to him while eating oatmeal alone.
I can see him drawing a spoon through the stuff, gazing into the glimmering furrows, muttering.

Maybe there is no sublime; only the shining of the amnion’s tatters.
For supper tonight I am going to have a baked potato left over from lunch.
I am aware that a leftover baked potato is damp, slippery, and simultaneaously gummy and crumbly, and therefore I’m going to invite Patrick Kavanagh to join me.

Sentimentality Hour: A Rant on Expectations

I apologise first for my Grumpusness. 

When one thinks of the word “expectation”, it is usually accompanied by “disappointment”, for it has always been the case: you only set yourself up for disappointment if you expect anything.

It is a time where “living in the moment” is idealised. Feeling the natural flow of things is now a novelty that few are able to truly embrace if they find themselves in an urban setting. Perhaps we are settling for mediocrity as a source of contentment, for the randomness of life has never been more apparent with the technology introduced in the 21st century.

From this I merely mean that the potential for weird shit to happen is now tripled, because we have access to people in a thousand different ways. Coincidence has never been more apparent, and planning has never been more effective. But I find that amongst the individuals I spend time with, there is an importance to not expect anything, which I find utterly absurd.

As human beings, are we not prone to have a vision of what the outcomes of a situation are like? Should we not hold standards to the kind of conduct we want around us? I have never demanded outrageous things from anyone, but I suppose I am also naive in the way that I want the goodness of people to prove to me that humanity is, at least, redemptive, or that you know yourself enough to identify what you want and crave. Yet I find people afraid to live in the past and the future, even though reflection in these times are what make for meaning in my life. Why else is there such an importance to learn about history or innovation? The present is merely a brief second of living until it joins the multitude of happenstance that will be amongst distorted memories. Everything is a reaction, so why should we hold such importance to such an idea?

I grow weary of these people, who say that they “live in the moment.” If you truly lived in the moment, there would be no strategies. You would bounce around the walls of life as randomly as a pinball. You wouldn’t follow a schedule, and you’re probably somewhat privileged for not having to think things through. Frugality is a strategy that has to be employed by some people. You think ahead for the future of your own wellbeing and that of your family’s. I suppose to enjoy something for “the moment” would be not recognising that you’re having a “moment” to begin with. For that “moment” is defined after some thought. Surely, thinking “ah man I’m loving this moment” isn’t very “momenty” for someone to admit. Those “moments” without having been expressed or recorded, will be lost in the vague apparitions that eventually become romanticised or partly forgotten.

It is true that people regret not appreciating their time because they lived too much in planning, but this is not to say that one should disregard it. Are you scared of the future? The future is fearless if you have direction and expectation. Sure, the possibility of those plans to fall through have everything to do with the circumstance you arrive in, but shouldn’t having “thought things through” bring some security. The true fear that people associate with the future is the fear of failure. You can also expect that things will not turn out the way you want them to, but I hardly think that’s justification to not expect anything at all.

Shouldn’t we feel that we deserve some kind of decent treatment as fellow human beings? Does it not make one sad to know that we live in a time where not expecting anything is the best way to approach a situation? Why are we all meant to let each other down? Why are we surprised by kind gestures and grateful for an ounce of positivity? Should we completely disregard our human nature which automatically makes expectations?

I expect there will be no answer to this, for to think about expectations would not be “living in the moment,” and I remain eternally frustrated about the topic.