††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††RAFAEL CADENAS




I who have never had a trade
who have felt weak facing every competitor
who lost the best titles for life
who barely arrive somewhere and already want to leave
          (believing that moving is a solution)
who have been denied in anticipation and ridiculed by
          the most able
who lean against the walls so I wonít completely collapse
who am a target of laughter even for myself
who thought my father was eternal
who have been humiliated by professors of literature
who one day asked how I could help and the answer was a
          loud laugh
who will never be able to start a home, nor be brilliant, nor
          triumph in life
who have been abandoned by many people because I barely
who am ashamed of acts I havenít committed
who have needed little incentive to start running down
          the street
who have lost a center I never had
who have become the laughing stock of so many people for
          living in limbo
who never found anyone who would put up with me
who was omitted in favor of people more miserable than me
who will spend my whole life like this and who next year
          will be mocked many more times for my ridiculous
who am tired of receiving advice from others more lethargic
          than me (ďYouíre so slow, get with it, wake upĒ)
who will never be able to travel to India
who have received favors without giving anything in return
who traverse the city from one end to another like a feather
who let myself be pulled along by others
who have no personality and donít want to have one
who muffle my rebellion all day
who haven't joined the guerrillas
who havenít done anything for my people
who donít belong to the FALN and all these things and others
          whose enumeration would be interminable make me
who cannot escape my prison
who have been dismissed everywhere for being useless
who actually havenít been able to get married or go to Paris
          or have a serene day
who refuse to acknowledge facts
who always drool on my story
who am an imbecile and more than an imbecile from birth
who lost the thread of the discourse being executed within me
          and I havenít been able to find it
who donít cry when I feel the desire to do so
who arrive late to everything
who have been ruined by so many marches and
who desire perfect immobility and impeccable speed
who am not what I am nor what I am not
who despite everything maintain a satanic pride even if
          at certain hours Iíve been humble to the point of
          bringing myself to the level of stones
who have lived in the same circle for fifteen years
who thought I was predestined for something beyond
          the everyday and have achieved nothing
who will never wear a tie
who canít find my body
who have perceived my falsehood in lightning flashes and
          havenít been able to topple myself, sweep away
          everything and create my indolence, my flotation,
          my wandering a new freshness, and obstinately
          commit suicide within armís reach
I will get up off the ground even more ridiculous to keep
          mocking others and myself until the day of final








I have burned the formulas. I stopped performing exorcisms. My legacy, the ancient power, remains distant. Bonfireís breath in my nostrils, my disintegrated language, the still-humid shadow of a dilemma.

Another life proceeds in darkness like a vein of water.

The entire displacement has existed in order to exile me, to live within another articulation.



Dawn papers. They always refer to the adopted homeland, the one I have given myself. Papers piled up as though for ceremony.

Sacrifice to an ebony god.



Those invariable writings.


I always return to the same language. Leather haunted by an animal. A fugitive, though present like an ancestorís life. Weaving over weaving, loveís dead tongue, a fire which has made me an addict of an insinuating cult.



The dawn does not return my final amulet. An old man signals from a beach. I try to return to the springs, but I donít know the road.



My shadow enters.

It brings a serpent, a buffalo, a woman, a house, a pier.

The intoxication of savage copper.

Advance, advance.



Overpowers what I observe.

Begins to mark here and there, everything.

Then escapes to join the animal.


Lost like a bird amid leaves.



Memory embarks in search of escaped things. Possessions belonging less to their owner than to air. What a wooden chest wants to protect was not born for words. I am the only one who labors to steal it from the eyes.


What tongue will bring forth the treasures without touching them?

In the depths a sick king watches my departure.

I hand him a box with an anxious ruby.



I proceed, making way through the roughness, toward the spot where my future portrait is kept.



A remote fire sustains me. I borrow from its red aura.

Hallway toward incandescence, you deny installments.



Vegetable orgy.

A naked woman lies beneath the rain.


Textures where an absence watches itself.


Guide me, aromatic cave.



Traces never recovered.


Suddenly, a graze. The universe of the skin. The thread lost on the journey.

I am bathed by what lives, by what dies.

Each day is the first day, each night the first night and myself, I am also the first resident.



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