A Poem from Pastoral; or, the Inquisition of Memories (I make the affirmation.)

translated by Tess O’Dwyer

I make the affirmation. I make the exclamation. I am the inquisition of
memories. And I am bored by semicolons. I am bored by doubt. And above
all, by memory. I am bored by memories and have reached the top of the
world to burn them. My memories are in this book. Listen to me, ladies and
gentlemen. This is the funeral of memories. This is their cemetery. This is
their funeral service. I don’t adore them or respect them at all. They belong
to no one. They don’t belong to the grave. They don’t even belong to
memory. You’ve all seen red chimeras and black chimeras. And you’ve
seen drunkenness and banquets. And afterwards the hangover of memory
came and swept away life. Death is called memory. And so is time. And so
are the damned garbage collectors. I mean the shepherds of memory. And
memories are shadows. And memories are death. I am not a memory. I am
not an arsenal of epithets or metaphors. I am the star, and the star shines. I
am affirmation. And I do not want concepts. I do not want abstractions. No,
no, no, and no. I am not a semicolon. I want a new paragraph. I want to
end it all, once and for all. Without any regrets. Without memories.

Giannina Braschi, El imperio de los sueños, 1988. translation, Tess O’Dwyer, 2020