negative return

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Negative Return
Karen Wild Díaz

i

grant me an afternoon sadness
turn, tiny wheel of ardor, turn!

ii

the lost look of sadness
synecdoche of a love returning

iii

torrid fist straight to the chest
when it arrived in the stomach
opened itself into ten fleshy petals
and held me back

iv

i had a watery prairie
modest pool
of calming dark rings, rain-damp hair
moving slowly
to doze aware
of the tornado

v

fierce warmth enormous eyes
pure expressive faces
all mortgaged realism
concentration of thought
assimilated to swarm
…wander into familiar
walls

vi

nothing as predictable today as the body:
with warm compresses, with gentle caresses
my breasts draw near the fire
test the embrace in the silence
of this stiff ruggedness you will make defoliate me
I return: dressed
by your fingers

vii

all was revealed that evening
an order never existed
swirling like a sea
feigned a drowning
suddenly stopped on the surface
we saw at last the bodies
but we were going:
profile, back, end of the album.

stiff sparrows pile up on the balcony
and i will not place them in a crate
to carry them away

 

Translation

negativo del regreso

i

dame tristeza a la tarde
gira, diminuta rueda de ardor, gira!

ii

la mirada perdida de la tristeza
sinécdoque del amor que vuelve

iii

puño tórrido en la boca al pecho
cuando llegó al estómago
se abrió en diez carnosos pétalos
y me contuvo

iv

tuve llanura acuosa
modesto estanque
de serena ojera, cabello llovido
movimiento lento
donde dormitar consciente
del tornado

v

tibieza feroz ojos enormes
rostros de expresivo puro
todo realismo hipotecado
concentración de pensamiento
asimilado a enjambre
..deambulé contra paredes
reconocidas

vi

nada tan predecible hoy como el cuerpo:
con tibias compresas, con caricias dóciles
acerca mi pecho a la lumbre
prueba abrazar en silencio
de esta rígida rugosidad harás que me deshoje
regreso: desde tus dedos
vestida

vii

todo se supo a la tarde
nunca existió consigna
arremolinado como un mar
se simuló un ahogo
de pronto detenido en superficie
vimos al fin los cadáveres
pero nos estábamos yendo:
perfil, espalda, fin del álbum.

se apilan en el balcón gorriones tiesos
y no quiero meterlos al cajón
llevarlos fuera

A World Beyond Telecommute: The Digital Wanderer

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Location-free living and working. That’s the dream for a lot of people. For a long time I thought my dream was just to be able to work mostly from home – and that works for me since I live somewhere that’s like a dream in terms of just feeling contentment oozing from every pore almost every minute of every day. Idyllic countryside with a few modern comforts in the peaceful respite of Sweden. But the urge to pack up and spend a few months in Uruguay or spending a year in Australia … or Turkey… or wherever… that’s tempting to lifelong nomads like myself. I feel content and rooted, but the wanderlust never quite leaves.

I have written a lot and frequently about employers being flexible enough to allow employees to work from home. By extension, what’s the difference if you are “at home” or on the road – staying for long stretches in different places? Granted, it can be difficult if you have a regular, full-time job and need to liaise with people on a daily basis (and thus must have a guaranteed stable internet connection). But more and more, this is becoming a moot point.

I am not alone in my feeling that this lifestyle is possible. There are in fact a lot of people out there doing it – living it – and writing about it, giving the rest of us inspiration and/or envy on the way. But they are living proof that this lifestyle is possible and sustainable. The infrastructure to support this lifestyle is a bit ad hoc still but as more people choose to live with this flexibility, the supporting structures making it possible will improve.

Some online resources for budding/curious potential digital nomads:

Digital Nomads

Digital Nomad Podcast

Digital Nomad Life

And my favorite: Never Ending Voyage

Let go of the fear – just go! Loads of barriers prevent us from choosing to break free of the 9-to-5 life, but there is another way.

Geographer” – Sydney Wayser

Seahawks + Dodging Deer = Another Commute

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This morning/middle of the night made for an awful commute. During the first third of the drive, the roads were clear, but every kilometer or so, I encountered big groups of deer playing in the road. I must have seen 100 deer in about 100 kilometers. I also saw a rabbit, which I have never seen around here, and two foxes. This winter, strangely, has been mostly devoid of moose. It occurred to me that my driving amounted to little more than dodging deer, which would not be a bad name for a video game. I got to use the whole road, just as the Seattle-based 1990s comedy sketch show, Almost Live encouraged Ballard drivers to do. You pay taxes on the whole thing – randomly weave all over the road!

On the second third of the road, most of it was covered with ice that had been covered over by snow. So many cars were off the road and so many tow trucks were pulling the cars out. The whole thing made me not only not want to drive but made me think seriously about the merits of living somewhere warmer – Hawai’i once more? Australia (perhaps much too warm)? Uruguay?

Thanks to the middle-of-night driving, I did not get to see my Seattle Seahawks win against the San Francisco 49s in their playoff game. It sounds like the Seahawks did not play at their best in the first half, so I know I would just have been getting angry and sick watching it anyway. By the time I was done driving the first two-thirds of the seemingly interminable three-hour commute and stopped off at a petrol station in Uddevalla, the Seahawks had claimed their place in the Super Bowl (versus the Denver Broncos). All kinds of mentions of it are going around the internet already – but it seems funny that the two places in the entire US to pass laws making recreational marijuana legal are the two places that send their football teams to the Super Bowl.

Random Gum: Halloween and Year-End Music Mixes

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