Tag Archives: Homage to Borges

Brief Notes on a Suicide Foretold

When you wave goodbye to the World,

for the last time,

don’t tell them that you’ll never be back;

It only makes the world sad

to hear such things,makes it feel

sadder than it already is;

So when you do wave goodbye,

goodbye, goodbye, forever and anon,

don’t tell them anything except

that you’re looking forward to some

time away and having a great time,

and that you’ll write.

A Mexican Interlude

The town,
its labyrinthine streets
unthreaded,
shrouded in cordite
machine-gunned bodies
drape over the fountain,
their sangre lending
a certain hyperbole
to an otherwise
lacklustre afternoon;
The guns’ kinetic burlesque
unrehearsed and inevitable,
exhausted their lives
of possibility;
leaving them mime artists
now without animation,
residue of others’
ulterior motives,
counters spent in
an inexplicable game
where primeval forces
rigorously determine
the fate of unfortunates
and the market price
of certain produce.

Ciudad desierta ( Deserted City )

Mythic streets evaporate at dawn,

leaving only complacent memory

to recall imperfectly those scraps

and oddities of ephemera that

defy rational explanation;

a pristine franked letter posted

in Huddersfield 1841;several ornate

glass marbles that were a birthday

present to some Rhineland princeling;

the signature of Thomas Alva Edison

on a page awkwardly torn from a

Hotel register omitting its name,

the building itself demolished long ago;

a skeletal frame of a Penny Farthing

half buried amid the inconsequential

detritus of the communal refuse tip;

a yellowing poster of a once well known

brand of cough syrup,the discernible lines

of a now defunct city tram route;

And somewhere,the presence of an

inveterate aesthete and poet of civic

renown struggling to evoke a nostalgia

amongst those who had not read Borges

nor knew of his blindness.

The Statue

The city of Concepcion,

its physical parameters circum-

scribed by conjectural development,

its identity arrived at through

an intricate labyrinth of

historically determined steps;

At its heart the dominant

Plaza of the Conquistadors

abutted by an inspiring

Madre de Dios Cathedral,

lending a certain gravitas to

an otherwise lacklustre civic space;

And in the Plaza’s geometric centre,

a benignly neglected equestrian

statue of Concepcion’s Founder,

the breastplated and intensely proud

The Duke Juan Aguila-Alvarez;

the barely legible inscription

at the base of ” A.D.1543 ”

obscured by an injudicious

accretion of plentiful guano

nourishing for agrarian soil,

but not for civic masonry.

Inconsequential

Inconsequential – I'll be adding this to Poems on the Phone at www.destinypoets.co.uk in the next 24 hrs.

Posted by Louis Kasatkin on Monday, 28 May 2018

Of all the city’s streets
there is one
the name of which
he cannot now recall,
the street where he encountered
that languid mulatta beauty,
her cornflower dress
the emblem of summer;
the taste of her,
the taste of wine
spices and licorice:
hidden amongst his life’s ephemera
is a humid verandah evening
lit by a glimmering radio dial,
its lyrical stream wrapping
the cloying air with
a faded era and style,
of Ella Fitzgerald,Ray Charles and Sinatra
to which he swayed and lost himself
with her in the taste of wine,
spices and licorice,
and in the morning
he was found
on that street
the name of which
he never knew

Maria Alvarez :Scenes from an Undistinguished Life

Maria Alvarez embroidered her
life with meticulous detail,
consistent in her affectations
she accumulated the outward
appearance of savoir-faire;
her aspirations,unfulfilled
and unfulfillable,lent their
careless trajectory to her life;
whenever vicissitudes threatened,
a laconic smile and something
of hubris at the corner of the mouth
would sustain her amid the disillusionment;
such was the order of her life
until the careless trajectory
of a point three-two bullet
bisected her spouse’s slumbering frame,
setting her free from the borrowed melancholy
in which she had sought refuge
from joy,uncertainty and herself.

Maria Alvarez : ( The Spanish version )

(Translated by Marlena Abadcastello of
the Cervantes Institute,Manchester)

Maria Alvarez bordo su vida
con cuidadosas puntadas;
constante en su afectacion
acummulo la aparencia
externa del savoir-faire;
sus aspiraciones nunca cumplidas
y sin poder cumplirse,prestaron
una trayectoria indiferente a su vida;
cuando la amenazaban vicisitudes.
Una sonrise laconica y algo de
orgullo en el recoveco de su boca
la sostenian en medio de toda su desilusion:
asi transcurria su vida
hasta que la trayectoria indiferente
de una punto tres du dos balas
disecciono en dos su cuerpo durmiente de esposa,
liberandola de su melancolia prestada
en la cual habia buscado refugio
de la alegria,inseguridad y de si misma.

 

Encounter with a Stranger

The Stranger with the shabby overcoat
and hangdog expression asked me
if I could spare him a few reminiscences,
I replied that the change in my pockets
changes with the changing tide,
though I could offer him
some reflections instead;

The Stranger sat back in his chair
ordered himself another absinthe
and began whistling some nameless tune
while he waited for his drink to arrive;

” If all our pain and sorrow
only came on the morrow
would we set the alarm late
or not at all?
taking the chance that
vicissitudes had all
somehow passed us by
while we were fast asleep.”

” And were we to store all
our tears shed in our lives,
how big would the bottle have to be?
Could we claim back some pennies
if we returned it empty? ”

The Stranger glanced askance
at his watch where time had
stopped years ago,
he wondered aloud where
the waiter might’ve got to
with his drink?

” If we don’t feel the suffering of others,
how will we know if we have blood in our veins? ”

The Stranger got up,
bid me adieu;
after he’d left
I saw in the mirror that
there was no longer a reflection there
of me.

Notes on a Meditation

On a bench in a park

in a distant corner of a city

a solitary figure sits

lost in a labyrinth of memories;

Thoughts traverse the long distances

between the days each one in turn

a palimpsest of the one before;

Perhaps if he recites the special words

in their correct order three times

quickly with his eyes shut,

then he’ll hear again the sounds of,

a harbour,

the keening and crying of gulls,

children playing in the sand;

Perhaps if he can make any word

mean anything at any given time

to anyone then he’ll see again,

the colour of summer parasols

twirling in rhythm to familiar

melodies from the bandstand;

a solitary figure sits in a park

on a bench in a distant corner of

a city lost in the memories of a labyrinth.

A Nocturne & Several Impossibilites

Of all the rooms in your parents’ house,

there is now one which

you’ll never enter again,

nor see within those

mementoes that once

signified your childhood;

There are now some days hidden from you,

that can no longer be retrieved

by searching for them in your diary;

And in the early hours of morning,

the words to a melody

that haunts your thoughts,

are now lost beyond recall

forever.

An Empty Evening & Other Concerns

Of all your books in the library,
there is now one that
you’ll never read again,
nor reacquaint yourself with
the travails of its hero on whom
you copied your life
as a palimpsest;
Of all the faces
outside in the crowded plaza,
there is now one that
you’ll never see again,
either in the bright day time
nor in the evening as once
upon an enchanted one
when you first saw her;
There is amongst all of the
labyrinthine streets of the city
one you’ll never traverse again
that once led you into that wider world;
And in the morning to come,
your mirror will be expecting you,
in vain.