Alfabeto de las actitudes / César Moro

Alphabet of Attitudes

Is absence not, for whoever loves, the most efficacious, the most indestructible, the most faithful of presences?
(Les plaisirs et les jours)


     A gypsy girl comes out of an old house, on Avenue Grau, through the open wicket in the big door, closed. The girl, barefoot, heads toward a straw hat, for a man, knocked over a few steps away, the top inverted, in front of the big door. The girl introduces her left foot in the hat. At that moment another girl comes along the street. The gypsy girl stretches her arms out to her and leans her left arm with familiarity on the girl’s shoulder. They remain like that, without speaking a word, for a moment. Then the girl who has arrived leaves smiling at the gypsy girl.

11th OF JANUARY OF 1936

     When I proceed to open the door of the place called “Museum” there is a man dressed in a blue work blazer in the clock tower of the hospital 十 十 十. He stands out distinctly over the sphere, his arms in a cross, fixing the clock’s dials. Seconds later, when I open the door, he quickly turns his head: several crows fly in the field of the sphere.

                214 ideographic signs
                or 2419 or more
                any story’s din
                climbs the tree from the other side climbs
                arrives from the far edge
                cleaning the clock’s hours
                the little instantaneous man.

JANUARY, 1953:

     It’s unexplainable that man tries to fill his solitude with noise: radio, television, modern architecture are abject, abominable. Journalism was already enough as an efficient mechanism of cretinization.
     While eternity is constituted by minimal vegetative variations and imperceptible atmospheric alterations shining under a forest of orange trees or cypresses.
     The first unbearable revelation of eternal life shone in a leg.
     I can speak about eternity better than the Pope.
     Every life reaches a crossroads in which torment reigns like a monstrous pullulation: pharisaism, philistinism, the mistaken intended similar opinions, the most nefarious assent that frank opposition, hatred against myth, the abandonment of all ideals drown, mark, crush and debase.
     That alternating of obsessive negative thinking with the obsessive pleasant memory is the torment of irrevocable lucidity.
     Guilt has no exit, relief, stillness, save in the momentous loss of lucidity.
     Man is alone with the sea amidst mankind.
     Impotence of desire. While man does not realize his desire the world disappears as reality to transform itself in a nightmare from the cradle to the sepulcher.
     Is there no rhythm that is not our own? Suddenly my veins branch out, grow and I live the world’s pulsing.
     I dreamed a car was taking me toward eternity. I was able to wake up and I didn’t want to know the hour.
     Scorpions guard the horrible subsoil of eternity.
     I wake up in the middle of the night and wait for the discrete call. But it’s the wind and nothing else.

First published by André Coyné in Cultura (Lima, No. 1, 1956).

{ César Moro, La tortuga ecuestre y otros textos, ed. Julio Ortega, Caracas: Monte Ávila Editores, 1976 }

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