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Where Oblivion Dwells

In vast gardens where day never breaks;

Where I shall only be

The memory of a grave slab buried in nettles,

Upon which the wind forfeits its own insomnia.

Where my name surrenders

The body it identifies in the arms of centuries,

Where desire is no more.

There, in the mighty expanses where love, that dreadful angel,

Wouldn’t dig deep in my chest

Her wings made of steel,

Smiling, all ethereal grace, while the torment grows.

There, where the urge to

Have a kindred master ends,

Subduing one life to another

With no further horizon than two facing gazes.

There, where sorrow and bliss are but names,

Native azure and earth embracing memory;

Where I'll finally be set free unbeknownst even to myself,

Dissolved in mist and absence,

An absence, light as the skin of a child.

There, far away,

Where oblivion dwells.

Musical Instrument

If the Arab musician

Plucks the lute strings

With an eagle quill

To awaken the notes,

What hand plucks

With what bird's quill

The wound in you

That awakens the word?


¿Volver? Vuelva el que tenga,
Tras largos años, tras un largo viaje,
Cansancio del camino y la codicia
De su tierra, su casa, sus amigos,
Del amor que al regreso fiel le espere.

Mas, ¿tú? ¿Volver? Regresar no piensas,
Sino seguir libre adelante,
Disponible por siempre, mozo  o viejo,
Sin hijo que te busque, como a Ulises,
Sin Ítaca que aguarde y sin Penélope.

Sigue, sigue adelante y no regreses,
Fiel hasta el fin del camino y tu vida,
No eches de menos un destino más fácil,
Tus pies sobre la tierra antes no hollada,
Tus ojos frente a lo antes nunca visto.

Return? Return? A weak man,

after long years, after a long trip,

after being worn out from the road, craving

his country, his home, his friends,

a safe kind of love, that man will return.

But you? Return? Go back? No,

do not think of it, keep going forward,

stay alert whether you’re a kid or old,

you’re not Ulysses, no one’s looking for you,

there’s no Ithaca and there’s no Penelope.

So go on, go on, do not go back,

be faithful until the end,

do not wish for any easier destiny,

your feet will track the unknown,

and what’s ahead, you’ve never seen.


Your eyes are from where
The snow has not stained
The light and among the palms
The air's so bright
It is invisible.

Your desire is from where
The secret animal grace
Of glance and smile
Is allied
With bodies.

Your existence is from where
Thought perceives,
By the sand of friendly
Eternity in time.

Desolation of the Chimera

The whole day's heat, distilled

Into a suffocating vapor, the sand releases.

Against the deep blue background of the night

Like an impossible drizzle of water,

The frozen splendor of the stars

Is proudly aligned alongside the full moon

Which, from a great height, disdainfully illumines

The remains of beasts in a boneyard.

Jackals can be heard howling in the distance.

There is no water, palm frond, underbrush or pond.

In its full splendor the moon looks down

On the pitiful Chimera, its stone corroded,

In its desert. Its missing wings, like stumps;

Its breasts and claws mutilated by time;

The hollows where its vanished nose and hair

Once curled are now home

To the obscene birds feeding

On desolation, on death.

When moonlight touches

The Chimera, it seems to come alive with a sob,

A moan that rises not from the ruin

But from the centuries rooted inside it, immortally

Crying over not being able to die, as the forms

That man gives life to always die. Dying is hard,

But not being able to die, if everything dies,

Is perhaps harder still. The Chimera murmurs at the moon

And its voice is so sweet it eases its desolation.

"No victims, no lovers. Where did the people go?

They no longer believe in me, and the unanswerable riddles

I posed, like the Sphinx, my rival and sister,

No longer tempt them. The divine survives,

In all its protean forms, even though the gods die.

That's why this deathless desire is alive in me,

Though my form is wasted, though I'm less than a shade;

A desire to see humanity humbled

In fear before me, before my tempting indecipherable secret.

"Man is like an animal tamed

By the whip. But how beautiful; his strength and his beauty,

Oh gods, how captivating. There is delight in man;

When man is beautiful, how delightful he is.

Centuries have passed since man deserted

Me and disdainfully forgot my secrets.

And while a few still pay me some attention,

I find no enchantment among the poets,

As my secret scarcely tempts them and I see in them no beauty.

"Skinny, flaccid, balding, bespectacled,

Toothless. That's the physical aspect

Of my former servant; and his character

Looks the same. Even so, not many seek my secret now,

Since they find in woman their personal sad Chimera.

And it's just as well I'm forgotten, because anyone

Changing infants' diapers and wiping noses while he thinks

About some critic's praise or bad review

Has no time to pay me any attention.

"Can they really believe in being poets

If they no longer have the power, the madness

To believe in me and my secret?

Better for them an academic chair

Than barrenness, ruin and death,

The generous recompense I gave my victims,

Once I had possession of their souls,

When men and poets still preferred

A cruel mirage to bourgeois certainty.

"Clearly for me those times were different

When with a light heart I danced happily through the labyrinth

Where I lost so many and so many others I endowed

With my eternal madness: joyful imagination, dreams of the future,

Hopes of love, sunny voyages.

But the prudent ones, the cautious men, I strangled

With my powerful claws, since a grain of madness

Is the salt of life. Now that I've been and gone,

I don't have any more promises for man."

The moon's reflection sliding

Over the deaf sand of the desert

Leaves the Chimera stranded among shadows,

The captive music of its sweet voice quieted.

And as the sea pulls back the tide

Leaving the beach denuded of its magic,

The voice's spell, pulled back, leaves the desert

Even more unwelcoming, its dunes

Blind, dulled without the old mirage.

Mute, in darkness, the Chimera seems to have retreated

Into the ancestral night of primal Chaos;

But neither gods, nor men, nor their creations

Are ever nullified once they've been; they must exist

Until the bitter end, disappearing into the dust.

Immobile, sad, the noseless Chimera can smell

The freshness of dawn, dawn of another day

When death will not have pity on it,

But its desolate existence will continue.