Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Juan Manuel Roca

THE HYPOTHESES OF NO ONE

It could be the wind.
The blank page. It could be.
It could be the one who’s coming
Washed away by the rain.
Now I recall a sightless man
One sweet Freiburg afternoon.
He moved alone through the snow
With a beatific smile
And stick white as the snowflakes.
He walked close by not seeing me:
I was his No One,
A ghost in this luminous realm.
It might happen that we are
The blind of No One.
No One might perhaps be the wind
Beating open windows without musical strains
To make us speak in the language of dreams.
It could be the one who left
Forever a coat abandoned
On a hanger in the café,
A coat like a banner of emptiness
That disappears one day, like its owner.
It could be the one that never was,
The one that will never be,
The one who tired of having been.
Maybe in the land of the disappeared,
The only apparition that we call a ghost,
Is the one that sets a-rattle
The stairs in the night
Or knocks over a frying pan in the kitchen,
The one who moves around the cutlery
Which we then fail to find,
The thief of distant places.
He could be the traveller of himself,
The nomad of his own person.
He’s worked at jobs and the timing’s been wrong:
He trails papers in the deserted street,
Carrying newspapers out of date
Across the city from side to side,
Bringing to the centre an extramural tang,
Ripping up the posters of yesterday’s films,
He makes the trains leave
By ringing only one bell.
It could be the wind.
The blank page. It could be.

LAS HIPÓTESIS DE NADIE

LAS HIPÓTESIS DE NADIE

Puede ser el viento.
La página en blanco. Puede ser.
Puede ser el que viene
Borrado por la lluvia.
Ahora recuerdo a un hombre ciego
Una dulce tarde de Friburgo.
Iba solo por la nieve
Con una sonrisa de beatitud
Y un bastón tan blanco como los copos.
Cruzó a mi lado sin verme:
Yo era su Nadie,
Un fantasma en ese reino luminoso.
Puede ocurrir que seamos
Los ciegos de Nadie.
Nadie acaso sea el viento
Que abre las ventanas con golpes sin acordes
Para hacernos hablar en la lengua del sueño.
Puede ser quien dejó
Para siempre un abrigo abandonado
En la percha del café,
Un abrigo como bandera del vacío
Que desaparece un día, como su dueño.
Puede ser el que nunca fue,
El que nunca será,
El que se cansó de haber sido.
Quizá sea en el país de los desaparecidos
El único aparecido que llamamos fantasma,
El que pone a traquear
Las escaleras en la noche
O tumba una sartén en la cocina,
El que cambia de sitio a los cubiertos
Que no logramos encontrar,
El ladrón de lejanías.
Puede ser el viajero de sí,
El nómada de sí mismo.
Ha ejercido oficios a destiempo:
Arrastra papeles en la calle solitaria,
Lleva diarios atrasados
De un extremo a otro de la ciudad,
Trae un olor de extramuros a su centro,
Rasga los carteles del cine de ayer,
Hace partir los trenes
Con sólo sonar una campana.
Puede ser el viento.
La página en blanco. Puede ser.
Close

THE HYPOTHESES OF NO ONE

It could be the wind.
The blank page. It could be.
It could be the one who’s coming
Washed away by the rain.
Now I recall a sightless man
One sweet Freiburg afternoon.
He moved alone through the snow
With a beatific smile
And stick white as the snowflakes.
He walked close by not seeing me:
I was his No One,
A ghost in this luminous realm.
It might happen that we are
The blind of No One.
No One might perhaps be the wind
Beating open windows without musical strains
To make us speak in the language of dreams.
It could be the one who left
Forever a coat abandoned
On a hanger in the café,
A coat like a banner of emptiness
That disappears one day, like its owner.
It could be the one that never was,
The one that will never be,
The one who tired of having been.
Maybe in the land of the disappeared,
The only apparition that we call a ghost,
Is the one that sets a-rattle
The stairs in the night
Or knocks over a frying pan in the kitchen,
The one who moves around the cutlery
Which we then fail to find,
The thief of distant places.
He could be the traveller of himself,
The nomad of his own person.
He’s worked at jobs and the timing’s been wrong:
He trails papers in the deserted street,
Carrying newspapers out of date
Across the city from side to side,
Bringing to the centre an extramural tang,
Ripping up the posters of yesterday’s films,
He makes the trains leave
By ringing only one bell.
It could be the wind.
The blank page. It could be.

THE HYPOTHESES OF NO ONE

It could be the wind.
The blank page. It could be.
It could be the one who’s coming
Washed away by the rain.
Now I recall a sightless man
One sweet Freiburg afternoon.
He moved alone through the snow
With a beatific smile
And stick white as the snowflakes.
He walked close by not seeing me:
I was his No One,
A ghost in this luminous realm.
It might happen that we are
The blind of No One.
No One might perhaps be the wind
Beating open windows without musical strains
To make us speak in the language of dreams.
It could be the one who left
Forever a coat abandoned
On a hanger in the café,
A coat like a banner of emptiness
That disappears one day, like its owner.
It could be the one that never was,
The one that will never be,
The one who tired of having been.
Maybe in the land of the disappeared,
The only apparition that we call a ghost,
Is the one that sets a-rattle
The stairs in the night
Or knocks over a frying pan in the kitchen,
The one who moves around the cutlery
Which we then fail to find,
The thief of distant places.
He could be the traveller of himself,
The nomad of his own person.
He’s worked at jobs and the timing’s been wrong:
He trails papers in the deserted street,
Carrying newspapers out of date
Across the city from side to side,
Bringing to the centre an extramural tang,
Ripping up the posters of yesterday’s films,
He makes the trains leave
By ringing only one bell.
It could be the wind.
The blank page. It could be.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère