Aflojar la espalda
Saturday, September 01, 2018
tarde – Mario Benedetti
lástima que no estés conmigo
miro el reloj y son las cuatro
la planilla y pienso diez minutos
las piernas como todas las tardes
así con los hombros para aflojar la espalda
doblo los dedos y les saco mentiras.
lástima que no estés conmigo
miro el reloj y son las cinco
una manija que calcula intereses
manos que saltan sobre cuarenta teclas
oído que escucha como ladra el teléfono
tipo que hace números y les saca verdades.
lástima que no estés conmigo
miro el reloj y son las seis.
acercarte de sorpresa
decirme "¿Qué tal?" y quedaríamos
la mancha roja de tus labios
Fulfilling My Years - Cumpleaños
Friday, August 31, 2018
|Gabriela, Richard & Olena at Richard Jeha Hair Company, August 31 2018|
Since I had a memory of being an individual I have hated my
In my boyhood it happened with birthday cakes I never liked
and an aggressively talented girl from my class who always broke the piñata,
pinned the tail on the donkey and won the bag races.
My favourite nephew Georgito O’Reilly (just a few months
younger than this guy) managed to terrorize my other friends and would break my
|Monica in lights|
Because of a mixup which my mother never explained to my
satisfaction I cannot prove that I was born on August 31st
because my birth certificate stipulates the event happened on April 18, 1943.
This mistake which my mother said was my father’s fault has been a blessing. I
never forget my Rosemary’s April 19 birthday.
|Georgito bottom row left. Monica below my father at the top.|
Part of the terror of my birthday is that in crossing all
those borders (nasty ones at that) I was told by my mother to answer what to me
was the incorrect date (and a lie) when asked when I was born by some bureaucratic official.
But a birthday, particularly when I think of the word in
Spanish “cumpleaños”, involves that word “cumplir” which means to fulfill. So
today I have fulfilled 76 years. That sounds pretty good in whatever official
language one may choose.
Because I get depressed on my birthday I follow my mother’s advice
on placating the melancholy. This is to buy a new pair of shoes (I have not ),
have a chocolate shake (I have not) and get a haircut. That I have, and the
picture here proves that.
She also always said to me when I was sad, “Sursum corda”
which is from the Latin Mass and it means “lift up your heart.” This I have
attempted to do without much success today.
Part of the issue is that I have two brand new metal flats
(purchased at Opus) in which I am going to slowly put in my tons of
photographs, matted and un-matted. There is a sort of sadness to realize how
many times I clicked the shutters of my cameras and how many of the people I
photographed will result in my Rosemary looking at the picture and asking me, “Is
Two days ago when we had our Casi-Casi put down (he was paralyzed
by a seizure in the middle of the night) after coming back from the vet (we
have to wait until Tuesday to pick up his ashes) she told me, “You must write your
obituary.” I would like to keep that
obituary short and it would read, “I don’t want a park bench in Cates Park with
my name on it."
A Vacuum, a Presence - Catness
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
|Casi- Casi & Lauren Stewart|
Vacuum is space devoid of matter. The word stems from the
Latin adjective vacuus for "vacant" or "void".
Soul: In many religious, philosophical, and mythological
traditions, there is a belief in the incorporeal essence of a living being
called the soul.
Soul or psyche (Ancient Greek: ψυχή psūkhḗ,
of ψύχειν psū́khein, "to breathe") are
the mental abilities of a living being: reason, character, feeling,
consciousness, memory, perception, thinking, etc.
Nature abhors a vacuum.
As soon as you open a vacuum air is sucked in. Rosemary
and I are in that stage where the presence of our now departed cat Casi-Casi is
noted in everything we do in our small Kits home. The two litter boxes are
empty. His (note that nobody who has owned a cat or a dog or any other pet will
ever used the prononoun “it”) cat dishes have been put away. We don’t need to
keep the deck sliding door open. When Rosemary takes out the old newspapers to
the back lane yellow bags, Casi does not follow her.
But most of all I think that I know my wife quite
intimately because we share a bed. I compare that with the fact that both of us
have shared a bed with Casi-Casi the 8 years we have had him (or better still
that he has been with us).
His presence is absent and that vacuum can only be
satisfied in what my past experience has told me that the cure for the grief of
a dead cat is a brand new one. This time around this cannot be as we are going
to Buenos Aires for some days for the opening of my show with Nora Patrich at
the Galería Vermeer.
That has made me think of the startling fact that it is
impossible to replace a dead mother, friend, relative. That cannot be because
of the uniqueness of the each human being. So why can cats be replaced by new
There is a universality, a lovely almost blandness of the personality (and they all have distinct ones) that a cat has. A cat oozes
(every cat oozes) that Platonic singularity that says, “I am a cat.” You cannot
put your finger exactly on what that is. Casi-Casi might have been more
forgiving about eating just about anything that was put in front of him (not
all cats can be like that) but he had some strange peculiarities like loving
the cheese I might bring to bed to eat as a snack before turning off the
lights. He could smell the cheese the moment I walked into the room.
Unlike humans, cats do not have elaborate funerals. Their
parting is quick and that emptiness is readily felt. The shock prevents tears
for a few days. But as soon as that inevitability of the cat gone sinks in,
The death of a cat is life’s preparation for our own
deaths. The death of my cat has made my Rosemary tell me the very day he was
put down at the vet’s, “Alex, you must write your obituary now.” I thought this
might have been a slip of the tongue and that she meant an obituary for the
cat. But that was not so.
Coming back from Argentina I am looking forward (and I am
sure that Rosemary is too) of going to the SPCA in the lookout for a mid-aged
cat. We like mid-aged cats because they force us (and the cat, too) to learn to
adapt to each other’s ways.
But the most exciting prospect is that the new cat we
choose will have some of Casi-Casi in him. What is that?
gato – Jorge Luís Borges
más silenciosos los espejos
furtiva el alba aventurera;
bajo la luna, esa pantera
es dado divisar de lejos.
indescifrable de un decreto
te buscamos vanamente;
remoto que el Ganges y el poniente,
la soledad, tuyo el secreto.
condesciende a la morosa
de mi mano. Has admitido,
esa eternidad que ya es olvido,
de la mano recelosa.
tiempo estás. Eres el dueño
ámbito cerrado como un sueño.
To a cat — Jorge Luís
Mirrors are not more silent
nor the creeping dawn more secretive;
in the moonlight, you are that panther
we catch sight of from afar.
By the inexplicable workings of a divine law,
we look for you in vain;
More remote, even, than the Ganges or the setting sun,
yours is the solitude, yours the secret.
Your haunch allows the lingering
caress of my hand. You have accepted,
since that long forgotten past,
the love of the distrustful hand.
You belong to another time. You are lord
of a place bounded like a dream.