First published in Spanish and English in Jan van de Pavert and Juan Muñoz, Amsterdam Maatschappij, Arti et Amicitiae [cat. exh.]
A metallic object
whose form disowns the word
which names it
which lives in the centre like a scar
and will break this melancholy respite.
An object of cruelty arises
to display it (like a clasp knife
you need two hands to open)
even though its going to deliver us up
so that —suddenly— you recognize your death.
But if all things possess edges
how can you distinguish the void
when even it has contours.
When also, at times
it seems that we ourselves
are the ones who are going to sell ourselves, hand ourselves over.
Those who attend us
methodical, with hardly any light
tactile our death.
A hard object
like a hammer, attentive
to the trigger’s signal
to recognize this room
when the curtains catch fire
burning and flowing like a river.
That object does not know its form
but I know it has even more terrible nights
and has tentacles like streets
one after the other
where beyond the last appears
and endless corner
An object placed in the centre
with the muezzin’s song
with the care of someone walking in the Botanical Gardens
abandoned to the generosity of words.
When among the avenues of eucalyptuses
the midday dwindles in front of the pasteboards
an we read, badly, the word
and beneath, its origin.
An object all of the centre
with steely feet sunk into the ground
with the certainty that it won’t fall
from the shoulders
An object in the deepest centre
to appear from this low abdomen
like the trembling after a blow.
A vertiginous object
at the end of an endless street
like a phrase which suddenly emerges
like a coin on the pavement:
What´s the point of things?
What replies to things?
or What precedes things?
or What causes things?
A phrase discovered randomly on the pavement
just as doors have their echo in the hinge
What directs us towards things?
What suffers with things?
An object interposed
between the air and its void
between the clasp knife and its blade
between the vowels and the consonants
between things and their origin.
A basic metallic object
against these walls without beginning
to be able to possess this earth.
But if ultimately there is no time
to create that whole object
in whose centre hate lives
then truly we will have been unjust
to our craft.
But if, on an invertebrate morning
taking anger from the bed
to the washbasin,
from the naked body
to the cold recognition,
from the face to its name,
if between departing and arriving
we recognise its voice in the distance
then, when travelling
this earth will be ours.
If we don’t find
as others have found
as Herberto Helder found a stone
on its side
as if it were dead.
At the end of the street, a square.
To be found in this city when the lights go out
and it is assaulted by statues
Which climb down from their pedestals.
In a square solemnised by a childish game
where the lips of the youths are parted.
A city crossed by inner passages
and stones hidden in the palm of the hand.
A metallic object or at least
a stone in a silent square
of balconies with curtains burning
in expectation of quick rains, like crosses.
A bloodless object like that stone
and this square
with women´s faces like hinges
above those turning and turning
and inside, among it all, the statues
on horseback, the statues looking
in front of them, into the light
of an illusion´s delay.
If we don´t create that metallic object
When will be able to possess the earth.