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martes, 21 de mayo de 2019

I Love Dick - Chris Kraus

The sun warms my hand as I hold the book
And I feel the soft movement of the train under my seat, my back bounces a bit, I'm floating.
I have found my calm here
I have found my blue
In this city in which my mind overflows with ideas but I can only stay seated and read
Because I have to commute
So I stay on the train and enjoy a moment for myself, something that I have lacked for a long time in a place where nothing happened just hours flew by me and I couldn't find a second to observe my surroundings.
In here I breathe, I stop, I change directions and run, I mark days in my calendar I move forward to my big mountain, I adapt my working spaces and read paragraph after paragraph with a pen in my hand because every word read, every view from the window, every sound from outside, urges me to write.

viernes, 12 de abril de 2019

Just Kids - Patti Smith

Naida came to visit us at home in Crystal Palace. She brought with her a bag full of belongings that I had commanded her to keep while I was away. It was longer than what we thought and I was not expecting to get back any of my books that I gave her, but here she was, excited to see me reuniting with them. I opened the bag and took the items carelessly but still acknowledging the fact that I was seeing them for the first time in a very long time. I did not recognize all of them as if I had forgotten some, and not all of the books that I've given her were in the bag because Naida has been moving houses numerous times in the past 4 years so she has been leaving some items behind. (fair enough).
I was particularly happy to see one book there. It was a first edition of Just Kids by Patti Smith that I found second hand in Paris. I had used it as a diary during my first months in London in 2013. In it, I wrote about my feelings in the midst of an abusive relationship. My plans on how I was going to fix both our lives and my first impressions of London. Some passages I remember by heart. I put the books down and we had a long chat, as we use to do. After she left I let Lucas watch some TV and I properly met with my books again. I sat down and open each one of them. I noticed Camera Solo by Patti Smith might belong to her, I don't remember owning it and it has a postcard inside that reads: "Naida, happy birthday form the 5 of us upstairs".
I went through all the pages of Robert Mapplethorpe's "Polaroids". I got it as a gift on my first birthday in London. Then with a heavy heart, I decided to open Just Kids and read through some of those memories. I remembered the first page, scribbled in black pencil all around the title until the very edges of the 4 sides of the page. The pencil started very sharp at the beginning, leaving a very fine mark under every word, but it kept on going softer and softer until the last words written. I turned the hardcover and opened the book. Around the title: nothing, white, blank.
The book was immaculate.
I looked through the next pages, and I noticed the book looked new.

I think maybe Naida lost the book and wanted to replace it. I am here now and it feels almost natural that those words are gone. That I can not even go back after them. London has shown me in this first month back, that there's a part of me that never left and a very new one. I feel out of place sometimes, and others I feel like home as I had never left, as those perfect days in which all struggles seemed worth it and all my life seemed like an adventure. There is this chapter that is over. A chapter I can no longer revisit. And it's ok. Through letters to Naida I have healed, and she is now the medium to show me, with an object I can hold in my hands, that I can see with my eyes: It's over. There is nothing left of this pain. There is nothing left but the memories that can help me move forward.
So I found also poems that I thought lost. I wrote them during the happiest days of my life.

Oh I love you
Mardou would walk barefoot
through the streets of Tangier
And she would hear the prayers
at night
with tears in her black dark-as-the-night eyes
I love you
As I think of them lovers
He would wait for her
through winter and summer
He would miss her tears
And write letters about time
Mardou barefoot
through the streets of San Francisco
Hot evenings as holy as devotion
No matter where we are
is love
what keeps us writing
and the world turns
and silence might feel threatening
but someone else is
out there
also loving
as much as Jack loved barefoot Mardou


*The Beat Book, writings from the Beat Generation, with hundreds of highlighted paragraphs and notes on the margins. I tore that book down. I took it to pubs after work and wrote in the middle of a page:

"half angry - half drunk
half poem - half page
half Allen - half myself"

I confessed: "I will cover your empty spaces with the bluest ink my silver pen can deliver. I love you till the edge of the page and back".

I could cry but I'm so blessed.

jueves, 14 de marzo de 2019

I Love Dick - Chris Kraus

With 3 coins in my pocket, I walk towards the cafe for an hour of privacy, an hour of work. I stop at the charity shop and go through all of the coats, I imagine wearing some of them on a rainy day like this, would this one be warm enough? would it cover my wrists? I feel cold when the wind touches my wrists. Then I go through the bookshelf. All 50p and 1 pound books. I pick one up, as I've read about it somewhere. "I love Dick" a feminist novel that dares you to read it on the bus. I pay the woman at the counter with one coin, and put the book in my tote bag. I continue my journey to the cafe thinking what can I afford with my other 2 coins, cause I need to sit down for a while, and work, and be alone.
I don't know what a macchiato is but it's the only thing I can afford from the board.
And here I am, sending a message to my self with the free wifi from Nero.

<3 little days, little mornings, little words, I love little London.

jueves, 3 de enero de 2019

lunes, 19 de noviembre de 2018

Memories of a Beatnik - Diane Di Prima

So I opened the book and (as I had read one just recently, that didn't belong to me) thought: "this one. I'm gonna mark it all over. A book to mark it all")
I noticed on the first page, an underlined paragraph, from a previous time that I started the book.

"Or, as my eleven-year-old daughter recently said to me, remembering the early years of her childhood: I really miss those old days. They were hard, but they were beautiful."

So yes, I do think / I still think that the moments in which you open books are completely and utterly perfect.

Un Mundo Feliz - Aldous Huxley

Letter to Naida:

I'm trying to write a bit every day, and also read. Just finished reading a Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Oh so inspiring and challenging, such a philosophical science fiction tale. I love when writers analyze humanity. We are so weak yet beautiful.

It's such bad weather here, thunderstorms and floods everywhere. At least mornings smell like rain, and that's nice.

domingo, 21 de octubre de 2018

Devotion - Patti Smith

Letter to Naida

Hey N.

I just finished reading Devotion. I found it disturbing for a bit, until the end of the fictional story, as I thought Patti was genuinely romanticising a relationship between a 16 year old girl and a 30 year old man. "Not everything is beautiful you know?" I kept saying in my head while I read those sexual encounters described in such a poetic manner. But yet her writing is otherworldly, honestly. She is such a great writer and she gets better and better... which is incredible.

She got me on the last pages, as she always does, she has this way of ending paragraphs, chapters, lines, that is enchanting. At the end of everything she does, it leaves you with the sense that she was creating something beautiful all along. Like "this is where she was going, and damn it is beautiful".

While I was reading the last pages I was breastfeeding Lucas and started crying. Lucas noticed and touched my tears with his hands. I feel so related to how she describes the urge of writing. How after every inspiring experience you are so drawn to sit in your working desk and create something your own. It seems to me that every work of art that crossed my way was there to make me create something.

She says literally "that is the decisive power of a singular work: a call to action."

I saw my self every time I read a book, I tried to do it with a notebook right next to me, so that I could close the book at any point and write down the thoughts that that reading brought to my mind. You might see it on the books I left at your house, scribblings on the sides, from rimes when I didn't have my notebook with me.

I think it's incredible how she turn that anecdote about being able to see Camus's manuscript into a perfect illustration, demonstration, explanation? of how it feels to be a writer. 

I'm going to watch a horror movie with Frank.

Love S.