Poem from Pastoral; or, the Inquisition of Memories (Memories walk around dressed as old men.)

translated by Tess O’Dwyer

Memories walk around dressed as old men. But they’re not old. They’re
hypocrites and gossipers. I love gossip. But I hate memories and sorrows. I
like the he told me and I told him and we fell in love and rode off into the
sunset and lived happily ever after. I like the sun and the beach. I like
sidewalks. And soup and beets. I like men and women. And I like
mountains and seas. I like fire and water. I like trashy movies and novels. I
like tackiness and gossip. Most of all, I like to forget everything. Especially
memories. I am forgetfulness. And nothingness. I am joy, well-being, and
happiness. I am laughter, gossip, and pantomime. I am the idiot and the
prince. I am the grain of rice and the bean. I am the chickpea and the
casserole. I am the red apple. And salt and pepper. I am the shepherd of
life. I am the shepherd of memories, which I love despite everything.
Affirming is everything I love and everything I hate. Affirming. And living.
And denying. Affirming everything.

Giannina Braschi, El imperio de los sueños, 1988. Translation Tess O’Dwyer, 20201