Pessimism of Understanding, Optimism of Attention
steps down from its center
like an oil stain.
while it feigns snatching
its fingers count digressions.
Is to touch to have faith?
I attend to that shoe
that almost frees itself
from a young woman’s heel,
to the deaf-mute debates
on the TV in the back,
to the impatient tics of the light
and, just every so often,
to the time I have left.
Altarpiece with Common Girl
She seeks not to epitomize
nor is her back mythic.
But the punctuation of the hanging foot
while she reads I-don’t-know-which novelist,
the tenuous stammering of sandals,
the fingers hurt
by having said yes,
her exact way of taking a seat
her parenthetic stillness,
the shining, let’s say, of an altarpiece
around her unkempt head,
the hairs that are an opinion,
the studious bags under her eyes
the possible myopia that condenses
her field of interest,
the drop in noise when you watch her,
her weight that is an emphasis,
the time she turns over in her hands.
All of this has brought us together
in this accidental crossing,
in this little matter of us.
Minimal Miniseries of Marksmanship
This insect is the hero
of some resistance movement.
He wheels around
my enemy hand
and dodges every attempt
to interrupt his slight digressions.
As I’m not capable, I admire him instead.
combat this impotence
or confirm it?
Is my compassion the fruit
of missing the mark?
The insect leaves me
his autograph on the air
with the faint buzz of epigrams.
Desert with Baseball Cap
This infinite has no need of you,
orogeny is human:
two forces tearing each other apart.
The spiritual is this indifference
with which time is left to do its work.
The landscape moves,
art of itself.
The rhythm of the rock.
The unisonous wind.
The antecedent cavern.
And a blue baseball cap on the dune.
Poems from Vivir de oído [Living by ear] (La Bella Varsovia, 2018)
Translated by Arthur Malcolm Dixon