Computer Evening

I am sitting in the evening's hallways, alone across the universe, late. Don't throw away certain newspaper articles, you might use them later on the blog or in the notebook. A coffee with milk is part of the routine, as is the chatter in my eyes and ears. It could just as well be a computerless evening.

Just finished reading a great essay by Nicolás Cabral, called "Razones de un apátrida":

"13. Después de todo, me pregunto si este desarraigo esencial, esa carencia de raíces, no será, en el fondo, una manera perversa de ser cordobés, de ser argentino."

The same could go for being a venezolano at this moment in "history."


Also, I've been reading fantastic poems by Mark in his chapbook 29 Cheeseburgers (Pressed Wafer, 2004):

"Whenever anyone looks at the painting,
their eyes mist
with tears she saw a man
in a black hat a chapeau walk
out of the painting one night
& into the other wall."

There's "magic" and brilliant lines & phrases throughout these poems.


What is written first by the sun through the afternoon shades, a silouhette of winter branches in our eyeglasses. The "we" is a fiction and we use it for that exact reason. To amplify and shroud the city, day and night. I was disappointed that Squeeze didn't reunite, since their Singles remains one of the best cassettes I've ever owned.

The Jacqueline Goldberg translations will be up on Monday sometime. As it happens, she was one of the many writers to add her name to the open letter to the Cuban Minister of Culture. Her work has never been explicitly "political." But that is a difficult word for poets to use sometimes. Since the political is arguably present in all of our daily actions and thoughts. Whether we choose to ignore this fact or to face it in whatever way we can. It surely doesn't mean writing "political poems." Very few poets can do that successfully. Even a poet as intelligent as Auden couldn't quite write a political poem. Sometimes however, "political" posts or statements are necessary. I would feel like a coward and a fool if I didn't say something about political events in Venezuela.

The question arises of course, as to how many political situations we choose to address. For instance, what should be said about this reckless empire emerging under W's foolish guidance? Or, on a more local level, what can one say about the racist traditions and habits of a city such as Boston?

The poem can be an escape, at times. I think of it as an avenue, a method for facilitating vision through language and the image. I don't know much most times. My own method is intuitive and perilous. Particularly, because so much is left unsaid. Whether the silence is chosen or imposed.


I look forward to reading Los detectives salvajes tonight and/or tomorrow. Some novels are so brilliant they seem to inhabit our lives while we read them. Bolaño's multiple narrators emphasize the diasporic realities of Latin America at this moment. How many of us have left or will leave our countries? To return sporadically or never. Creating a wound that only grows with time, never healing.

What is that process between being a latinoamericano and being a Latino here in the U.S. Whether we are born here or there, the fact of marginalization is going to be a daily repetition. Of course, Latinos "come in all colors," yes. But my own experience here in the U.S. (which is also "my" country) has been a continuous education in the existence of white supremacy as a system with firm roots. Obviously, this doesn't mean all "white" Americans are racist. Just that, as a nation, the United States has not rid itself of its fundamental rejection of blackness and brownness.

Any doubts about this should be addressed by watching Chris Eyre's second film, the magnificent Skins (2002). The question remains then: what about race? Du Bois was correct when he wrote, in The Souls of Black Folk (1903): "...the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line." The problem continues unabated.

And what about poetry? She's very beautiful at times. At others, useless.

No comments: