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Euskal Idazleen Elkartea

Castillo Suarez García > Extracts


2004 Spam poemak | Elkar

That of the beginning

Smell of poetry.
Smell of regret.

That of the end

When we got to the pub
after dinner
one Saturday night
I shut myself in the loo and began crying:
shut in the loo, shut in pain.
My friends spoke to me politely
but I noticed their discomfort,
as if I posed a risk for disturbing their tranquillity.

I have yet to feel at ease with
Santiago's taxi drivers,
I have yet to tell them
we are brought to cities
always by our wish to forget.

There is no hunger in cities
for there is no lunch hour.

I confess I used to avoid cities.
It's difficult to park.
They grow and grow,
we constantly move out of our rented flats.
"Moving?" asks the taxi driver.

There are those whose luggage is full of suffering.

I've never been on holiday with friends,
at the most we would dine out on Saturdays.
As I had strange reasons to decline
I soon got a reputation for being odd.
And why deny it.

I've found it hard to reach Santiago,
to empty out the wardrobe and prepare the air freshener,
it's hard not to show institutional sadness
in the way that the grieving mother continues to show it
for my lost brother.

I realised at once I was upsetting mother
whenever I called her:
"It's expensive phoning from Chile at this time of day".
My friends weren't very pleased, either.
It seems I make them feel
that there has been no change in their lives.
The poor things think I'll be asking for details:
but that is the purpose of newspaper news,
barmen's conversations,
the straightness of Santiago's avenues.

Calling you would be giving in.

I remember our father.
He seems to be looking into infinity;
he has a blank look
whenever he's not talking about hunting.
Yet I see nothing
whenever I scan the skies.

I now realise
you were trying to avoid answering my words,
you thought they posed a risk for your professionalism.
I now realise
I was too daring
when I arrived on my first day at work
with a new personality.

I think your wish to be alone
has much to do with living on the town's remotest farm,
indeed, going out to have coffee with someone
requires a special effort.

I have come here
to get you out of my system.
Traces of you
will grow from day to day,
I am loath to recognise
I would not be able
to live long through you.

When we were students
Mother would drive to the station on Fridays.
My brother got the train in Salamanca
and I in Burgos.
He always sat in the last carriage
and saved a place for me.
We exchanged few words
preferring to read magazines.

I need an excuse
to love
you more
even from a distance.

23 hours after arriving in town
I wake with the lights on
with a tremendous urge to organise everything:
I empty the cases on the bed,
I want to change the sheets but can't.

I wanted to be cruel
to the girl next to me on the plane;
she mentioned three times
she was a graphic designer
as if she was job searching.

Whenever I went out
I would sit at the table beside the pub door
as if waiting for someone.

Notices offering
a place to live
accumulate on walls.
Silence reigns in the bedroom.
You hear the noise of the neighbour above,
a child's crying,
the refuse truck.

What I like are
the minutes before important moments,
your messages left on the answer phone,
getting into the pool at one end and out at the other.

Lies are soft,
they can be moulded at will.

The city can kill you in many ways
before you cross it from one side to the other,
especially if you believe the words of the songs.

I never eat
the food the previous tenant
leaves in the fridge,
I can't find the hot water mains inlet,
I can't understand what the washing machine buttons mean.
I'm wondering whether to give anyone
my new phone number.
I wanted to bring important phrases in my suitcase.
I drift
as if wanting to remember a dream,
as if wanting to create new needs.

Cities are the origin of all evils.
That is why they
resemble each other
more and more.
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