El tótem / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Totem

     I had lost a year in ceremonies with the king of an occult country. The sagacious courtiers would annul my solicitude and suffer the venting of my protest with a neutral smile.

     I would procure to intimidate them with the name of my sovereign and emphatically describe the infinite resources of his armada. They thought they were safe in the precincts of their mountains.

     I would entertain the uneasiness critiquing the family statute. I would take pleasure in dealing with the infantile women and happy children and would discover the effects of a childhood that relied on capturing the quick present. A passage in verse, the first matter entrusted to memory, written on a silk sash, would insist in a picturesque manner on successive reality.

     I have never seen such solicitude for the simple creatures of nature. The children would reveal an indulgent spirit in their familiarity with the cicadas and butterflies gathered, throughout the night, in a wicker cage and they would entertain themselves with the pirouettes and whirlpools of some fish of ephemeral substance, circulating in an obsidian aquarium.

     A courtesan, a species of seneschal, visited me once with the message that the inconveniences of my embassy had been overcome. I had to witness, before my return and as a sign of friendship, a party intended to reconcile me to the genius defenders of the territory. The courtesan walked off after adjusting his authoritarian fan on my shoulder.

     The party was limited to reciting in front of a unicorn fallow deer, symbol of happiness, painted on a scarlet canvas, a few hymns of abolished signification. Some bald priests kept printing a similar sound on their brass tambourines.

     One of the officiants renounced the long dress and the unpleasant instrument with the purpose of facilitating my exit. He governed my rustic raft for an entire day, lever in hand, depending on the course of a tumultuous river.

     The unicorn fallow deer, sign of a happy omen, was seen over the peak of an extinguished volcano.

El cielo de esmalte (1929)

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }

No comments: