Sonya's so good that all the guys pick on her, so the evening's narrative goes. I've heard she wears yellow t-shirts each time to match her hair. Last time her tennis shoes got so dusty that she had to throw them out because there was no way on earth that they could be white again. Trunks shrink like deflated accor- dions, like melodramatic arguments after they've met face to face with someone's indifference. A baby cries and pouts while her mother is trying to scoop more Velveta on to her nacho. The father is strung out on something, someone in back of us says. A teenager with severe acne turns around and fires a dart full of cavities into my gaze. We give in to the pleasure of destruction for the sheer sake of waste. What inside, the collision, the jerk on the nape that makes the driver wonder whether this one's it. Swallow me dust while the crowd cheers and claps its French fries away into the space between a nearby neon and the floodlights gathering an army of many sized moths.
Mónica de la Torre
Not to search for meaning, but to reedify a gesture, an intent. As a translator, one grows attached to originals. Seldom are choices so purposeful. At midday, the translator meets with the poet at a café at the intersection where for decades whores and cross-dressers have lined up at night for passers-by to peruse. Not a monologue, but an implied conversation. The translator's response is delayed. The translator asks, the poet answers unrestrictedly. Someone watches the hand movements that punctuate the flow of an incomprehensible dialogue. They're speaking about the poet's disillusionment with Freud. One after another, vivid descriptions of the poet's dreams begin to pour out of his mouth. There's no signal of irony in his voice. Nor a hint of astonishment, nor a suggestion of hidden meanings, rather a belief in the detritus theory. "Se me aparece un gato fosforescente. Lo sostengo en mis brazos sabiendo que no volveré a ser el mismo." "Estoy en una fiesta. De pronto veo que el diablo está sentado frente a mí. Viste de negro, lleva una barba puntiaguda y un tridente en la mano izquierda. Es tan amable que nadie se da cuenta de que no es un invitado como los otros." "Anuncian en el radio que Octavio Paz leerá su poema más reciente: 'Vaca . . . vaca . . . vaca . . . vaca . . . vaca . . . vaca . . . vaca . . .'" "Entro a un laboratorio y percibo aromas inusitados. Aún los recuerdo." The translator knows that nothing the poet has ever said or written reveals as much about him as the expression on his face when he was asked to pose for a picture. He greets posterity with a devilish grin. To the translator's delight, he's forced to repeat the gesture at least three or four times. The camera has no film.