<= 2006.08.10

2006.08.15 =>

I walked down Unter den Linden to Alexanderplatz, because the word "Alexanderplatz" had caught me in its gravitational field, and discovered an inferno of broken ground and steam shovels ringed by expensive glass-fronted shops, as if someone had decided to do the world a favor and take Palo Alto to pieces.

Having won, after much effort, enough Spanish to travel around Latin America without feeling like an utter ass, it is demoralizing to find myself kicked down the stairs with another language—every time someone behind a counter speaks to me in English, I feel like I’ve failed a test. (A test I haven’t really studied for, of course.) I have enough German to read signs, and awkwardly order food, and offend people every time I ask for the check, because it seems you aren’t supposed to do that here; which raises the question of how Germans get out of restaurants. And I can read the poetry and philosophy that I’ve been buying, more or less. But what’s been in my head for the last two days is actually a Lorca poem I found in a book of “Spanische Lyrik” (one of the tiny Reclams, orange for bilingual):

Canción

Por las ramas del laurel
van dos palomas oscuras.
La una era el sol,
la otra la luna.
Vecinitas, les dije,
¿dónde está mi sepultura?
En mi cola, dijo el sol.
En mi garganta, dijo la luna.
Y yo que estaba caminando
con la tierra a la cintura
vi dos águilas de mármol
y una muchacha desnuda.
La una era la otra
y la muchacha era ninguna.
Aguilitas, les dije,
¿dónde está mi sepultura?
En mi cola, dijo el sol.
En mi garganta, dijo la luna.
Por las ramas del cerezo
vi dos palomas desnudas,
la una era la otra
y las dos eran ninguna.

 

I walked down Unter den Linden to Alexanderplatz, because the word "Alexanderplatz" had caught me in its gravitational field, and discovered an inferno of broken ground and steam shovels ringed by expensive glass-fronted shops, as if someone had decided to do the world a favor and take Palo Alto to pieces.

Having won, after much effort, enough Spanish to travel around Latin America without feeling like an utter ass, it is demoralizing to find myself kicked down the stairs with another language—every time someone behind a counter speaks to me in English, I feel like I’ve failed a test. (A test I haven’t really studied for, of course.) I have enough German to read signs, and awkwardly order food, and offend people every time I ask for the check, because it seems you aren’t supposed to do that here; which raises the question of how Germans get out of restaurants. And I can read the poetry and philosophy that I’ve been buying, more or less. But what’s been in my head for the last two days is actually a Lorca poem I found in a book of “Spanische Lyrik” (one of the tiny Reclams, orange for bilingual):

Canción

Por las ramas del laurel
van dos palomas oscuras.
La una era el sol,
la otra la luna.
Vecinitas, les dije,
¡dónde está mi sepultura?
En mi cola, dijo el sol.
En mi garganta, dijo la luna.
Y yo que estaba caminando
con la tierra a la cintura
vi dos águilas de mármol
y una muchacha desnuda.
La una era la otra
y la muchacha era ninguna.
Aguilitas, les dije,
¡dónde está mi sepultura?
En mi cola, dijo el sol.
En mi garganta, dijo la luna.
Por las ramas del cerezo
vi dos palomas desnudas,
la una era la otra
y las dos eran ninguna.

 

<= 2006.08.10

2006.08.15 =>

up (2006.08)

The Warm South
The Roof Rat Review