Category Archives: January – March – 2013

Daniel King

St Teresa of Avila

 

The seven-roomed clear castle

My vision’s castle of the soul

Appears to be of diamond

But I suspect its crystal

Is really frozen Holy Water.

And I have spent hours contemplating water

Water as cold as convent stones beneath my discalced feet

Spent brief hours thinking of bright water flowing

Like two long lines of words

From the Two Fountains –

Especially the continuously bubbling one-source fountain:

God.

The water of that fountain never scatters into droplets

That freeze and spiral into hell

Like dying snowflakes –

Snowflakes that in my other vision

Are souls torn apart by rainbows

Of seven dark colours.

I pray my mother Beatriz never bowed her head

Beneath such rainbows

I pray the Counter-Reformation

Can assuage all souls

And I hope with all my words that I am not contradicting myself

For they are the expression of my thoughts

From the Beloved.

May others shape them like my perfect seven-roomed castle –

 

And though its walls are now foreshortened quartz

They still leave clear foundations in my mind;

The efflorescing crystal still exhorts

My soul and souls alive today to find

If it is like those others have defined.

And likest is vnto that heavenly towre

That God hath built for his own blessed bowre.

 

Álvaro Fierro

Why the Gold Passes Away

I don’t recall
why the gold passes away,

in what seesawing of the water it swoons

when the translucency pulls it down

from its airborne channels

and it lapses in a shiver,

 

why it decides to fade away

until the following light

without letting even this plea

past my lovesick lips,

 

why it abandons its ages,

its reasons

and sets off to beneath the surface

of the attentive gaze

 

just as if it desired to store up its glories

in ancient coffers

that everyone who has looked upon them

leaves at the doors of the inexpressible,

 

why it dreams in its tombs,

why it doesn’t stop resounding

when the painter finishes the canvas.

 

Translations (2013) Steve Cranfield and Claudio Tedesco from The Glance in the Water (La mirada en el agua) (2013)

Alvaro Fierro SLQ

Cortázar y varios modelos para a(r)mar/ Cortázar and various model kits

Claudio Tedesco

Checkerboard layout: read here city grid. Final Exam, the city, its streets. Hopscotch, another city, other streets, the metro, galleries and passages. A storyline walking, travelling. Time stops between metro stations. The tube. Itineraries. La Maga and Rocamadour. Coincidences. The Jardin des Plantes. The cemetery at Montparnasse. Cronopio.

Spanish Law of the Indies: conquerors had no idea of how to establish a city. How do you do it? DIY. This magical book will reveal everything to you, a grid, a square, the town hall, the fort and the cathedral. One hundred metres by one hundred. Corners and right angles. Kit. A Model Kit. Buenos Aires, Colonia, Montevideo, Santiago, Quito, Caracas, Bogotá, La Habana… ad infinitum.

Itineraries

When I was five or six my mother used to take me with her on the bus to another neighbourhood to buy shoes for herself. The problem was that I got travel sick easily and the whole journey was a nightmare. I just wanted to throw up. My mother managed to keep me distracted and would read to me the name of the streets and make me count the garden gnomes. Yes, those little terracotta gnomes painted in garish colours were poking out from the terraces and balconies we passed by. The trick worked. Sometimes. Sometimes not, and then she had to ask the driver to stop at the first corner or I would vomit all over the place …

Years later when I was in the final year of primary school we went to live in another neighbourhood, but I carried on going to the same school in my old quarter. That is, I had to take a bus every morning, a bus that crossed unknown boundaries, territories that slowly became part of myself. I was not dizzy anymore but I still followed unconsciously the ritual of reading one by one the names of the streets that we were crossing, the first names to enter my own private city map. Indelible.

City Grid

It’s been 17 years since I slept in you but I dream of you. Your checkerboard plan. Your streets. In my dreams everything gets distorted, bigger, smaller. You are a mirage. You were. I recall something that might have existed, that was, that lived. Frozen in time. Inside me you never grew up, you never changed.

But other grids appeared in my life. The one I have now is just an adoptive one, a step-grid, a hostile foster-grid. You are not mine. You belong to others. I never dream of you. Your streets still seem alien to me. Even after all this time. I don’t love you. My heart belongs to another. You are not by election but by destiny. I’ll set myself up to dream of Avenida Corrientes on the corner with Paraná on a Saturday night. Is it possible? Which Saturday? The one in my memory.

Sometimes when I wake up I am able to say: I dreamt this. An avenue going down to the river, my own and personal street map.

Coincidences

We live near Rivadavia Park which has a second hand book fair on Sundays. I used to go there to sell old books and magazines I had read. One day my cousin gave me a pile of books she wanted to get rid of. I had a look at the covers and there was one that struck me: one with a map of Paris in black and white. I started to read it. I got hooked. At the beginning I didn’t understand the title. Why ‘62’? What ‘model’? A ‘kit’? What for? Answers came with time. Now it just seems strange that I started reading a book by its sequel and remained so connected visually to its storyline. I read without stopping. That’s a lie. Sometimes I made it last longer so it would never come to an end. ´Never’ does not exist. Never came one morning when I finished reading it and I felt sad and empty and almost at the same time I heard on TV that Julio Cortázar had just died in Paris.

Years and many Cortázars later, I am in Madrid rummaging among second-hand books of a stall in the Retiro Park when I bump into a book of his that I feel I have to buy. Another selection of short stories. Even when I have already read them all.

Leaving the park I start to read the inside cover, the biography: ‘Died in Paris, 12 February 1984’.

Today is the 12th of February 1997.

claudio