readings: Oliverio Girondo

YOU CAN JOIN YOUR HANDS

The people say:
Dust,
Celestial,
Sepulchral,
and are left calm,
mollified,
satisfied.

But listen to this cricket,
to the soft rain of night,
of a lunatic existence.

Now is the time for it to sing.
Now
and not tomorrow.
Right now.
Here.
At our side…
as if there were nowhere else it could.

Do you understand?
Me neither.
I don’t understand a thing.

It’s not just your hands that are pure miracle.
A misstep,
a lost thought,
and you might have been a fly,
lettuce,
a crocodile.

And then…
that star.
Don’t ask.
Mystery!

The silence.
Your hair.

And the passion,
the acquiescence
of the undivided cosmos,
it took to make your pores,
that nettle,
that rock.

You can join your hands.
Amputate your braids.

In the meantime I’ll turn three somersaults.

.   .   .

From The Persuasion of Days (1942)

.   .   .

The poem can be read in Spanish here (not formatted).
Girondo’s drawings & biography, plus more translations,
can be found on his robust official website.
(copyright statement, etc.)