(the business of living)
Carlos Egaña is one of Venezuela’s most prominent poets. Like many other poets of his generation he mainly publishes his poetry online. Internet has become a second home since traditional media are dominated by the state and because publishers have become more careful as to what they print. Here we publish a recent poem by Egaña.
Cesare pavese in memoriam
there is an image that brings fear to my footsteps and mocks my attempts to concentrate in class: you, beneath me, cradling my neck in your hands and drawing me in towards your heavy breath. you can’t stand being far from me; but distance is a kind of torture when our eyes meet. my gruff-voiced girl, will there ever come a day when circumstances unbind me from your smile?
the teacher quotes: “there are no paradises other than lost paradises”. and my sight fades once more. in a city that is too hot, the dark night i yearn for echoes in my dorsal spine. asking you is embarrassing, so i ask borges: is there any way back to eden?
the story of my misfortune is the story of poetry. we start from a memory, treasured like a cigarette, cancerous like a cigarette. then on to obsession. to tragedy. to the reckless exhalation of smoke which stains the page with ashy verses.
we’re martyrs, us writers: the nakedness we won’t ourselves feel will be our readers’ solace.
we’re martyrs. but oh how i would love to abandon my pen, swallow all the ink, and be left with just the music of your hips.