Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín

The burning question

 

 

By Fernando Rendón


The tissue of an inenarrable dream, a web of worlds like an organism of mirrors reflecting the void of light, full of the nostalgia of the not being while always being.

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Every day coming to one’s own rendezvous to make progress in the unknown way. Our (actually “their” world) is perceived as derelict, flooded, in trembling and fear – still we shall be free, and so we do not suffer.

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Return to the extreme loneliness that no longer hurts, in which we struggle alone, breathe alone, only love. We must manage like that, lonely, like you and I, in the spiritual thrust that one of these centuries will triumph without objection.

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Loving, struggling in detachment, peaceful in the plenitude of the solar solstice or of the bluest spring’s night, of the desire we conjure for the self- and all-dispossessed.

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A net is wanted to catch someone who goes, leaving her small daughter. She must be caught, lured towards the net, pulled towards the sweet and plural heart of existence that is calling her back. Don’t go, sister of the world’s desire, come back to us, you belong to us, you are part of the dew.

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The stranger in a family. The missed one. The strange unsociable one. He alone not participating in the general enthusiasm. He who did not take the side of derailed society on its small or formidable scale. Who did not live his infrequent love on scale, like those dwelling in the archipelagos of tedium. Who committed to himself, clashing against his mirrorless specificity, his languageless demand, his not-at-all-fair, irreparable, useless promise.

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But he doesn’t feel pain of the world, we don’t inherit the affliction. How lucky to go with respect and gratitude for everything we have lived. We can be happy in spite of all. How difficult and fair it has been, all we have lived through without rancor. How much love in the human construction, how beautiful the creative desire, most human, that has sought to change each being against the edge of the threatening shadow issuing from the human underworld.

And, at the same time, how much hatred from the devastating underworld, who in league with time and dust has sworn to demolish inebriating hope.

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We knew that all that was sensed was probable, that what was dreamed would come to be, for the universe is flexible enough to be shaped by feverish hands, and it is possible to knead a city. To caress a world that transcends the brutal estrangement, the torment of the fierce endless war, this ceaseless storm, my son. It will be achieved. Bliss takes long to come, but we will live it more intensely than loss, which doesn’t exist.

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Supposing that you lose what you consider to be lost when you die, this awareness of having lived and the fleeting posthumous memory of having succumbed despite all efforts, there still remains the invincible earth and we in her ultimate womb, a part of her –in the most indestructible way–: shall we not sing death’s defeat? Well, you are the whole warm earth spinning before the family of planets, and a fatal hand will have snatched the sun from us in vain.

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It was all beautiful. Thousands listening to the whole of June, living and redimensioning the space where only poetry dwells, lawless and kingless in its secret thickness, the voice of all earth, earth of hardship and of glory of this human species in contradiction against existence in the way towards a future that tarries, that will tarry.

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We were afraid, but we shall conquer fear. We must arrive where we hope to. Death waits on the other side, transformed into a huge mouth. Sweet love shall be devoured. And what of it. All the human work shall be gobbled up: the millenary pyramids, the magnificent vessels and showy palaces, the lost civilizations and those found again by surprising archaeologists. And what of it. We have done our thing. To be firm and decisive in the face of catastrophe. (During the interregnum, a hummingbird who ignored our history drank sunflower pollen and was happy in his ephemeral fascinating flight).

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Attachment on the way to rootlessness made us suffer, and I don’t take back my words. We suffered within sight of the panicking brother, on the day after his new certainty. Or the girlfriend jailed by authoritarian unlove in a prison near the sea. The second brother hopelessly mad. Friends wrinkled by the incomprehension of all, exhausted when the dark began. The mad sister submerged into the mystery of her alienated life. Or that beloved who never recognized us. One’s own daughter, without desire, owned by struggle, clumsily forgotten of all trust, waiting for nothing or nobody, because no future was in the city of blood and gunpowder, the terrible poisonous valley governed by the cannon industrialists, the reddened ravine of the world where there are sculpted the faces of those disappearing in daylight, because of the kings, now slime of the first earth, without the clarity that didn’t come in the slightest.

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Thus, in this common grave you travel through unawares, there has lain since forever the emperor beside his wife, queen of worms all of her, between “his repellence” the pope and the miserliest banker of human cycles, there too is the entrepreneur of wars, next to the sages of the mortal science of human ruin. Here too lies the porn star of pop, and his excellence on the other side, full of chains and medals in the mausoleum of sheer gold. They all compete, even after death, for a smoke name. The powerful, the important and famous, those who played at history with hellish poker, the loathsome and most recognizable in the deceitful history they meted out relentlessly, in newspapers as yellowish as their yellow teeth, now that they can no longer see the dentist under the earth. Those whom revolutions could never vanquish, and who vanquished us all century after century, were in turn vanquished by someone or something more famous than them: death.

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Do not worry then, brothers under the sun after this new deluge, do not throw yourselves en masse under the horses’ hooves. Death will triumph over those who have temporarily triumphed over us. Let us celebrate it. Let us learn from ardent patience. The day is with us. Time rewards us with an unexpected show. Their world, not ours, breaks. Their fortunes fade. Attention.

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We have no one to talk to. That is why we write, soul. We have enthusiastically prepared, during endless days, the provisions for the road, the wine for the meetings, the ambrosia of the drunken dialogue with my friends, unfinished and always ending with the question. And we expect the answer for the next meeting. Leaving cheerfully, the question still burned without an answer. The question was never crushed. But everyone had to go!

When we next saw each other, the question was dead. And no one seemed shaken by oblivion. There were no more questions, or world, or brotherhood.

To wage war anew, then, for the existence of the sole necessary question.

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In spite of all we insist on seeing each other, on celebrating the ecstatic beings of a future we shall not reach, the luminous descendants we shall never embrace, and there continues the round of wine and salmon, the toast for the revolution of the spirit that will flash through every stone, every night, like a moonbeam.

And it persists, this wait that beats like a single heart, it lives, the question that presses hard on the edge of insomnia, the eternal issue: when shall we reach the dawn to embrace liberty and beauty?

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A world network of voices, a choir of suns sprouting from the heart of the geranium, the eclosion of music-hatched desire, fighting against the earth clod, the rough stone, while hail beats upon us in the early morning of rebel times.

Being through being. Not knowing through knowing. Dying through living among the elements of disintegration, forever finding and inhaling the obdurate, unbreakable atmosphere. The hangman did not leave us breathless. The heart was more generous, and imagination erased the borders of the place of imprisonment into which it was attempted to turn the world. Now comes the era of the mushrooms and of the imperceptible beings of rebirth, in the name of love that has nowhere to live, that struggles, calls out and resists.

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January 25th, 2011

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