With shadows I draw worlds, I scatter worlds with shadows. I hear the light beat on the other side. — Octavio Paz, from “This Side,” The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz: 1957-1987, trans. Eliot Weinberger (New Directions, 1987)
In the dimly lit room I had a brief glimpse of bliss: sight of your naked body like a god reclining. That was all. Quite unaware you got up to get your clothes just naturally while I shuddered like the earth split open by lightning. — Daisy Zamora, “Vision of Your Body,” UniVerse: Nicaragua.
Pantoum The first time I touch a man in lust I remember this: pleasure isn’t something you should give away so easily. Everything I know about loving a man comes second hand; my mother shares with my sister in the next room, I listen. Pleasure isn’t something you should give away so easily, I collect… Continue reading Juan Luis Guzmán
Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. ― Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude. (Harper; 1st edition June 24, 2003) Originally published June 1st 1967.
But what is memory if not the language of feeling, a dictionary of faces and days and smells which repeat themselves like the verbs and adjectives in a speech, sneaking in behind the thing itself, into the pure present, making us sad or teaching us vicariously… — Julio Cortázar, Hopscotch. (Pantheon; 1st Pantheon pbk. ed… Continue reading Julio Cortázar
The poem is a variation on the old theme of Narcissus, although there is no allusion to it in the text. And it is not only the consciousness that contemplates itself in its empty, transparent water ( both mirror and eye at the same time, as in the Valery poem ) : nothingness, which imitates… Continue reading Octavio Paz
Forgetting is like a great alchemy free of secrets, limpid, transforming everything to the present. In the end it makes our lives into this visible and tangible thing we hold in our hands, with no folds left hidden in the past. — César Aira, The Seamstress and the Wind. (New Directions June 30, 2011) Originally… Continue reading César Aira