Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Chus Pato

This journey starts with a letter I never managed to write

This journey starts with a letter I never managed to write. My shadow waited for some pharaoh to emerge from stone and expected to agree on a dialogue with you. In all, no directive from History would reach me, I’d already be on the far side of the abyss, as abstraction and difference

and return again and again to the figure of the muselmann in the camps

to that double exclusion, from the animal and from the logos

it’s a gaze without borders

even though the body cedes to death, it resists when reason is exhausted

it means that the heart must weigh the same as—or a bit less than—the plume of Osiris

*

at night, the pallor and relief of the white clover flower or trifolium repens make the fields visible, perforate the fields.

Of this scene, I’ll just tell you:
in the vestibule, wide and bright after the renovations, I introduced María, Ana, Marta and Iria to Paco; the women walked toward us from the toilets. For a moment it was like the photo of my mother and her friends in 1952: they were intelligence and beauty and the possibility or impossibility of reproduction of the species. They appeared again to me, fleetingly, eternal.

Deze reis begint met een brief die ik nooit heb geschreven

Deze reis begint met een brief die ik nooit heb geschreven. Mijn schaduw wachtte op het moment dat zich in de steen een of andere farao zou incarneren en vertrouwde erop begrip te vinden voor een dialoog met jou. Al met al zou geen enkele richtlijn van de Geschiedenis mij kunnen bereiken, ik zou inmiddels aan de andere kant van het ravijn staan, als abstractie en afwijking
 
en telkens keerde ik terug naar de figuur van de muzelman in de concentratiekampen
 
naar de dubbele uitsluiting, die van het dier en die van het woord
 
het is een blik zonder grenzen
 
alhoewel het lichaam zwicht voor de dood, verzet het zich wanneer de ratio uitgeput is
 
en dat betekent dat het hart even zwaar moet zijn als de veer van Osiris – of iets lichter
 
*
 
’s nachts lichten de velden op door de bleekheid en het reliëf van de Trifolium repens of de witte of gewone klaver, het is als trepanatie van de velden
 
Ik zal u vertellen over deze scène
in de hal, die ruim en blinkend is na de verbouwing, stelde ik Maria, Ana, Marta en Iria aan Paco voor; de vrouwen kwamen vanuit de toiletten recht op ons af lopen. Heel even waren zij als de foto van mijn moeder en haar vriendinnen uit 1952: ze waren de intelligentie en de schoonheid en de mogelijkheid of de onmogelijkheid tot vermenigvuldiging van de soort. Ik zag hen vluchten in hun herhaling, voor eeuwig.

Este percorrido comeza cunha carta que nunca cheguei a escribir. A miña sombra agardaba que desde a pedra algún faraón se encarnase e confiaba encontrar entendemento para un diálogo contigo. Con todo ningunha directriz da Historia podería chegar onda min, estaría xa da outra beira do abismo, como abstracción e diferenza

e volvía unha e outra vez sobre a figura do musulmán nos campos

sobre esa exclusión dobre, a do animal e a exclusión do logos

é unha mirada sen marxes

aínda que o corpo cede ante a morte, resiste cando a razón se esgota

significa que o corazón debe ser equivalente en peso—ou máis lixeiro—á pluma de Osiris

*

na noite, a causa do seu brancor e relevo, a flor do trifolium repens ou trevo común fai visíbeis os campos, é trépano para os campos.

Direiche desta escena
no recibidor, amplo e brillante, logo das reformas, presenteille a María, Ana, Marta e Iria a Paco; elas avanzaban cara a nós desde os servizos. Por un intre foron como a fotografía no ano 52 da miña nai e as súas amigas: eran a intelixencia e a beleza e a posibilidade ou imposibilidade de reprodución na especie. Vinas, fuxindo na súa repetición, eternas
Close

This journey starts with a letter I never managed to write

This journey starts with a letter I never managed to write. My shadow waited for some pharaoh to emerge from stone and expected to agree on a dialogue with you. In all, no directive from History would reach me, I’d already be on the far side of the abyss, as abstraction and difference

and return again and again to the figure of the muselmann in the camps

to that double exclusion, from the animal and from the logos

it’s a gaze without borders

even though the body cedes to death, it resists when reason is exhausted

it means that the heart must weigh the same as—or a bit less than—the plume of Osiris

*

at night, the pallor and relief of the white clover flower or trifolium repens make the fields visible, perforate the fields.

Of this scene, I’ll just tell you:
in the vestibule, wide and bright after the renovations, I introduced María, Ana, Marta and Iria to Paco; the women walked toward us from the toilets. For a moment it was like the photo of my mother and her friends in 1952: they were intelligence and beauty and the possibility or impossibility of reproduction of the species. They appeared again to me, fleetingly, eternal.

This journey starts with a letter I never managed to write

This journey starts with a letter I never managed to write. My shadow waited for some pharaoh to emerge from stone and expected to agree on a dialogue with you. In all, no directive from History would reach me, I’d already be on the far side of the abyss, as abstraction and difference

and return again and again to the figure of the muselmann in the camps

to that double exclusion, from the animal and from the logos

it’s a gaze without borders

even though the body cedes to death, it resists when reason is exhausted

it means that the heart must weigh the same as—or a bit less than—the plume of Osiris

*

at night, the pallor and relief of the white clover flower or trifolium repens make the fields visible, perforate the fields.

Of this scene, I’ll just tell you:
in the vestibule, wide and bright after the renovations, I introduced María, Ana, Marta and Iria to Paco; the women walked toward us from the toilets. For a moment it was like the photo of my mother and her friends in 1952: they were intelligence and beauty and the possibility or impossibility of reproduction of the species. They appeared again to me, fleetingly, eternal.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère