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Oier Guillan Bermudez > Extracts


Dry Clocks | 2005-2006

(Texts taken from the Erloju Lehorrak collection)

If the butterfly knew what it is
to remember,
perhaps it would not commit suicide
for the sake of beauty

The appearance of hospitals is frightening
All the windows are the same
a face appears at each window

The rockets are cold
time has been stripped bare of
wood shavings


Women in the old quarter
throw breadcrumbs to the ground
to bring rain

Is there any way of switching off shadows?
of nailing shadows onto words?
of killing them with words?

How could I reach
a memory
as if it were the first time?

The past speaks to me like a broken shadow
dispersing bits of shadow among memories,
I’ve spent my life

preparing detours to
black and unspecific future memory
often forgetting the present

Photos tell us the present has not always
been in colour

Going into grandpa’s room
I chance upon his photo album
I always fall in love with
the world’s forgetfulness
how neat
-with each photo dated and everything-
how straight
-all that is needed is to add the time to the specification of place-
how transparently
does death prepare
the past!

They say it’s easier
to tell a child
where it is going
rather than
where it has come from

Is there a heavier burden
that remains caught in a child’s body
than the burden of the adult?

when does a child stop being
an adult?

One moonless night you will be cremated
and instead of you
will appear
cigarette ends consumed by moments


She has recalled
stories lived throughout the years

with a single caress she has filled


Like me you are forgotten
from here to a portion of the world

I am the witness of what
my memories

As the years go by
the body kills

The human body tires of being a human being
just as time tires of being the present
everything past turns rotten
and the moment arrives when the body
is past rather than present
flesh accumulated on the bones
nails of love from the fingers of the deserted eyes

is a sandcastle
in a fridge


Write to remember? To be remembered? To forget memories?


is a collage
of feelings opinions fears scars seconds
shortcomings dreams utopias doubts damp clothes

No one knows who the trees
are greeting
when they are blown
by the wind

Coffee cup dregs tell us
there are landscapes
that are unknown to us in art


as when someone prolongs the time to light a cigarette
the energy to shake
the branches of the trees with one’s breath

is the memory of oblivion

I lack my mind
when it was capable of mindlessly throwing itself in seconds

but even more I lack
the gasping of it that I should have had at this age
The way starts
once the maps have been lost

the melancholy of ideas
time and people that awakened the will to live
hides a person
who is not
totally desperate

I no longer fear the night
ghosts come by day and in the shower


The shepherd of the black flock
is madness
until the black flock
defines madness


All journeys
are a return

For those who drowned on the Senegalese vessel “Le Joola”

Death could have been the most utopian democracy
but that isn’t true, either:

death is not the same for everyone

The lost anchors of the world are
the sea’s roots


For the Basque brigade members who have been in Iraq

All is lost only when the chance to be amazed is lost

Dust is
the humility
of abandoned libraries

The city does not recount the lives of its inhabitants
nor a book those of its readers
nor a cemetery those of the dead
but the other way round

At times
the present
is a moment
that is about to arrive


All desire for independence
is the way between two dependencies:
the dream that starts
with birth and ends with death

The writer is the castaway
due to the support of silence

Closed eyes on the pillow
set the skin on fire


Now I take more into account
struggles that have not been lost
rather than those won

The future
is the bitter land
that spreads in the shadow of memory,
it is the refuge of hope
in the opposite direction of the present


It is night in lips
on street corners and
in the curves of the body
that only hands can see

Can one count a person’s gazes
or is it always the same gaze?

Commitment is similar
to happiness
solitude is similar
to freedom
youth is similar
to beauty

but deep down
all are mere plagiarisms

On occasions oblivion
resembles forgiveness


Together with scars on the skin
there are also scars of the day
of people
of moments
of caresses

second chances are like dreams
on summer nights

Hope that is of glass
is not always transparent


It’s the attempt to summarize in a single caress
all the world’s bodies
(as if all roads led to the present)

when love clothes pictures in colour
it’s the most beautiful way
of seeing it undressing

Someone hung
pencils pens and paintbrushes
like clothes
in the sun

I’ve always loved
the days
the hours
the frozen moments
following grand events
because they are like parentheses
in the wakes of memories
delectable cracks
for internalising emotions


The voices of retired mermaids recorded on vinyl
the gramophone needle tattooing melodies on the skin
drunk bees on the old discs

Like the heavy eye
transformed by hand
you have removed
–with the cautiousness
of the one who would like to understand skin’s memory–
the breath hanging from the lips that admire the night
until it becomes a mill


As if compelled to live
we were born in bed
with the mistrust
of those who live beside extinct volcanoes
counting goads as frozen fingers
to miss the seconds
and start counting the hours

Hang clothes dampened by sweat
from the branches of autumn trees
as if they were the echoes of silent moments,
the mute flags of passion

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