Con la muda m de la madre.
Poniendo a un lado el sesgo crematístico que los mercaderes quieren otorgarle a todo evento, fecha, gesto o acto, felicitemos a toda madre al recordar que, en múltiples lenguas, la palabra madre comienza con una “m” y que nuestras bocas toman la forma de un útero para gestar la palabra que las nombra. Porque con la muda “m” que las nombra, comienza el musitar que luego prorrumpe en sonido, palabra, vida y creación.
Academic Discourse at Havana
Canaries in the morning, orchestras
in the afternoon, balloons at night. That is
a difference, at least, from nightingales,
Jehovah and the great sea-worm. The air
is not so elemental nor the earth
so near. But the sustenance of the wilderness
does not sustain us in the metropoles.
Life is an old casino in a park.
The bills of the swans are flat upon the ground.
A most desolate wind has chilled Rouge-Fatima
and a grand decadence settles down like cold.
The swans...Before the bills of the swans fell flat
upon the ground, and before the chronicle
of affected homage foxed so many books,
they warded the blank waters of the lakes
and island canopies which were entailed
to that casino. Long before the rain
swept through its boarded windows and the leaves
filled its encrusted fountains, they arrayed
the twilights of the mythy goober khan.
The centuries of excellence to be
rose out of promise and became the sooth
of trombones floating in the trees. The toil
of thought evoked a peace eccentric to
the eye and tinkling to the ear. Gruff drums
could beat, yet not alarm the populace.
The indolent progressions of the swans
made earth come right; a peanut parody
for peanut people. And serener myth
conceiving from its perfect plenitude,
lusty as June, more fruitful than the weeks
of ripest summer, always lingering
to touch again the hottest bloom, to strike
once more the longest resonance, to cap
the clearest woman with apt weed, to mount
the thickest man on thickest stallion-back,
this urgent, competent, serener myth
passed like a circus. Politic man ordained
imagination as the fateful sin.
Grandmother and her basketful of pears
must be the crux for our compendia.
That's world enough, and more, if one includes
her daughters to the peached and ivory wench
for whom the towers are built. The burgher's breast,
and not a delicate ether star-impaled,
must be the place for prodigy, unless
prodigious things are tricks. The world is not
the bauble of the sleepless nor a word
that should import a universal pith
to Cuba. Jot these milky matters down.
They nourish Jupiters. Their casual pap
will drop like sweetness in the empty nights
when too great rhapsody is left annulled
and liquorish prayer provokes new sweats: so, so:
life is an old casino in a wood.
Is the function of the poet here mere sound,
subtler than the ornatest prophecy,
to stuff the ear? It causes him to make
his infinite repetition and alloys
of pick of ebon, pick of halcyon.
It weights him with nice logic for the prim.
As part of nature he is part of us.
His rarities are ours: may they be fit
and reconcile us to ourselves in those
true reconcilings, dark, pacific words,
and the adroiter harmonies of their fall.
Close the cantina. Hood the chandelier.
The moonlight is not yellow but a white
that silences the ever-faithful town.
How pale and how possessed a night it is,
how full of exhalations of the sea...
All this is older than its oldest hymn,
has no more meaning than tomorrow's bread.
But let the poet on his balcony
speak and the sleepers in their sleep shall move,
waken, and watch the moonlight on their floors.
This may be benediction, sepulcher,
and epitaph. It may, however, be
an incantation that the moon defines
by mere example opulently clear.
And the old casino likewise may define
an infinite incantation of our selves
in the grand decadence of the perished swans.