Pablo Neruda
With these moody negations
I said goodbye to the mirrors
and gave up my profession:
better a blind man in a corner
singing songs to the world
without setting eyes on a soul,
if part of me is so like the others!

Nevertheless I kept trying:
how to look back at myself
to wherever it is I sat blinded
when my total condition was dark?
There was nothing to show for my singing
in a blind rabble of singers:
but the harsher the street sounds became,
the sweeter I seemed to myself

Condemned to self-love,
I lived the exterior life of a hypocrite
hiding the depths of love
my defects had brought down on my head.
I keep on being happy,
disclosing to nobody
my ambiguous malady:
the grief I endure for self-love,
who was never so loved in return.


Con tantas tristes negativas
me despedí de los espejos
y abandoné mi profesiòn:
quise ser ciego en una esquina
y cantar para todo el mundo
sin ver a nadie porque todos
se me parecían un poco.

Pero buscaba mientras tanto
còmo mirarme hacia detrás,
hacia donde estaba sin ojos
y era oscura mi condiciòn.
No saqué nada con cantar
como un Ciego ücl populadlo;
mientras más amarga la calle
me parecía yo más dulce.

Condenado a quererme tanto
me hice un hipòcrita exterior
ocultando el amor profundo
que me causaban mis defectos.
Y así sigo siendo feliz
sin que jamas se entere nadie
de mi enfermedad insondable:
de lo que sufrí por amarme
sin ser, tal vez, correspondido.

Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

“cloudburst, sultry and dense”


Memory works in strange ways. In one brief moment, an act is intense, organic and erotic. And like a “cloudburst, sultry and dense”, it dissipates in the mind, shedding density (and importance) to fade to almost nothing. It is only when the atmospheric pressure again changes that the mind wanders to stores of memory to find that moment again in the ever-expanding archive of moments.

Pablo Neruda
Because no words suffice for this cry
it lives as a blood-colored syllable.

And circles a ring of desire
like a cloudburst, sultry and dense:
red sulphate of quicklime, a secret sun
opening and closing the genital doors.


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Photo by Kamal J on Unsplash

drunk as drunk on turpentine


Drunk as drunk
Pablo Neruda
Drunk as drunk on turpentine
From your open kisses,
Your wet body wedged
Between my wet body and the strake
Of our boat that is made of flowers,
Feasted, we guide it – our fingers
Like tallows adorned with yellow metal –
Over the sky’s hot rim,
The day’s last breath in our sails.

Pinned by the sun between solstice
And equinox, drowsy and tangled together
We drifted for months and woke
With the bitter taste of land on our lips,
Eyelids all sticky, and we longed for lime
And the sound of a rope
Lowering a bucket down its well. Then,
We came by night to the Fortunate Isles,
And lay like fish
Under the net of our kisses.

Borracho como ebrio de trementina
De tus besos abiertos,
Su cuerpo mojado encajado
Entre mi cuerpo mojado y la traca
De nuestro barco que se hace de las flores,
Festejado, nos guían – nuestros dedos
Como sebos adornadas con metal amarillo –
Durante borde caliente del cielo,
Último aliento del día en nuestras velas.
Fijado por el sol entre el solsticio
Y equinoccio, somnolencia y enredados juntos
Nos dejamos llevar por meses y nos despertamos
Con el sabor amargo de la tierra en los labios,
Párpados todo pegajoso, y anhelábamos cal
Y el sonido de una cuerda
La reducción de un cubo por su bien. Entonces,
Llegamos por la noche a las Islas Afortunadas,
Y poner a pescado
Debajo de la red de nuestros besos

Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash

Blue skies & laughing cries


“Knew’st thou one month would take thy life away,
Thou’dst weep; but laugh, should it not last a day.”
-Robert Herrick

Laughter is an elixir, and once I have some, I crave more – I would not go so far as to say I am out on the prowl looking for it. It’s like love – if you’re looking, you’re going to come up empty. But those moments when something strikes you as so funny that you are unable to breathe because you’re laughing so hard… well, those moments are rare. And coveted.

Three days in a row I got completely unexpected, five-minute, cannot-catch-my-breath, cannot-stop-laughing, projectile-tears-flying-from-my-eyes crack-ups. I neared actual hyperventilation. Laughing this hard comes with considerable discomfort, really, but discomfort that is well worth it.

Your Laughter
-Pablo Neruda
Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.

Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.

My love, in the darkest
hour your laughter
opens, and if suddenly
you see my blood staining
the stones of the street,
laugh, because your laughter
will be for my hands
like a fresh sword.

Next to the sea in the autumn,
your laughter must raise
its foamy cascade,
and in the spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing country.

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
light, spring,
but never your laughter
for I would die.