Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sorry Neruda

Would you rather name your international airport after some unknown military asshole, or would you rather name it after a Nobel prize winning world renowned poet?

Well, apparently Chile's right prefers the former. Today Chile's Congress voted down a proposal from 2004 to rename Santiago's international airport after the one and only Pablo Neruda. Ok, so I know that as representatives of the right you can't vote to rename the airport after a communist priest. But I mean, COME ON, this is THE Pablo Neruda we're talking about.

Anyway, sorry Neruda. But maladjusted is still with you and in your honor I'll deviate slightly from our usual content to provide our dear readers with my favorite poem of yours:

Walking Around

From: ‘Residencia en la tierra II’

It so happens I’m tired of being a man.

It so happens I enter clothes shops and movie-houses,

withered, impenetrable, like a swan made of felt

sailing the water of ashes and origins.

The smell of a hairdresser’s has me crying and wailing.

I only want release from being stone or wool.

I only want not to see gardens and businesses,

merchandise, spectacles, lifts.

It so happens I’m tired of my feet and toenails,

my hair and my shadow.

It so happens I’m tired of being a man.

Still it would be a pleasure

to scare a lawyer with a severed lily

or deal death to a nun with a poke in the ear.

It would be good

to go through the streets with an emerald knife

and shout out till I died of cold.

I don’t want to go on being just a root in the shadows,

vacillating, extended, shivering with dream,

down in the damp bowels of earth,

absorbing it, thinking it, eating it every day.

I don’t want to be so much misfortune,

I don’t want to go on as a root or a tomb,

a subterranean tunnel, just a cellar of death,

frozen, dying in pain.

This is why, Monday, the day, is burning like petrol,

when it sees me arrive with my prison features,

and it screeches going by like a scorched tire

and its footsteps tread hot with blood towards night.

And it drives me to certain street corners, certain damp houses,

towards hospitals where skeletons leap from the window,

to certain cobbler’s shops stinking of vinegar,

to alleyways awful as abysses.

There are sulphur-coloured birds and repulsive intestines,

hanging from doorways of houses I hate,

there are lost dentures in coffee pots

there are mirrors

that ought to have cried out from horror and shame,

there are umbrellas everywhere, poisons and navels.

I pass by calmly, with eyes and shoes,

with anger, oblivion,

pass by, cross through offices, orthopaedic stores,

and yards where clothes hang down from wires:

underpants, towels, and shirts, that cry

slow guilty tears.

No comments:

Post a Comment