AW posted a poem translated into English from Spanish. Only this past weekend I was purging my stationery (part of my decluttering effort). I have tons of it. Not that I’ve kept every letter and card ever given to me, but, still, I do have a lot. I am hoping I will get a new scanner for Christmas. Right now, I have a horrible scanner that requires the document to be top fed. It is horrible I tell you. Because, depending on the size of the item being scanned, it will go off track. Only a picture or whatever the size of a piece of paper does well. Anything else, forget it. Also, for some reason, and yes, I have cleaned it more than once; a vertical line runs down the final copy of the item scanned. The bottom line is, I need (okay want) a scanner that allows the documents (or photos or what have you) to be positioned on the glass. When I was in school I was allowed to used the publicity department’s scanner once. Oh, it was Heaven I tell you. I was able to lay out all of the things I wanted scanned, then crop and size, and then load it on my portable drive (I cannot think of the real name for that thing right now).
Anyway, when I get my new scanner, I shall scan every single piece of correspondence I have ever gotten, yes this includes love letters and all other personal baggage that for some reason I’ve held on to.
While I was sorting through I started looking for a final letter that a boyfriend from high school sent me in 1995. I don’t recall getting rid of it, but I think I did. From 1979 to 1995 we had an on again off again relationship (if you can call it that). And to my horror, I discovered that his mother, HIS MOTHER was rattling all over town that I would not leave her son alone, that his marriage was in shambles because of me! When I heard the news I was just like, “Ain’t this something.” At first, I was going to let it die down but then I started getting calls from people I had not heard from since 1981 talking about how I needed to leave that man alone. Okay to be fair, I was not exactly innocent regarding messing with her son. If I was inclined to fool with him, I did. However, (and this is a big gigantic however) I never went out and found him. Regardless of where I was in the world, he would find me. So I was quite insulted by the accusation that I would not stop chasing him down, or I would not leave him alone. Germany, Turkey, The Swiss Alps, California, North Carolina, South Dakota, supposedly I always searched and found him! As if (If I were in any those places already, I already had an agenda that did not include him. Him being there too was sheer coincidence or his design). For me, he was simply a gap that filled periods of ennui. Nothing more. Nevertheless, the scuttlebutt was out there and I was not pleased, this period being a time when I actually worried about what others said and/or thought about me. Of course those days are gone now. So to shut the mother up once and for all, to reveal to her how it had been her son chasing me all over the globe instead of the other way around, I copied all of his letters, telegrams (yes, can you believe it, telegrams! LOL), cards, etc, and even paid a notary to certify that they were true copies, and I sent them to her, —signature receipt. That was the last I heard from her big mouth. Needless to say, it was he who was telling his mommy that I was doing the chasing, not him. I am sure he knew mommy would understand how hard it is for a big boy to refuse a woman’s magic.
Are you still with me? If not, I completely understand, I often take issue when others ramble as well. So in the decluttering process I came across a few pages of Spanish poems with English translations that was sent to me by my then lover (not that momma’s boy from above in case my writing has confused you), but a man many years my senior. It is postmarked 13 May 1988. I was in military basic training at the time (boot camp). He wrote often enough, but I suppose he sent these poems out of laziness (it is easier to rip a few pages from a book than to write a letter) or he was actually feeling melancholy from missing me. LMAO! Yes, the thought of that is now hilarious. Although I am sure I found it sweet at the time. Oh, and what kind of brute just rips pages from a book? I guess that was his savage gesture denoting the intensity of his love for me. When I do get that scanner, I shall scan everything I have and start a new blog. No explanation following a letter or card, just the evidence right there, my life an open book for all to point and gawk, thus, I shall achieve pure Maturity. Because it will be there for all the world to see and judge, and I will not coil one bit. Anyway, here is one of those poems. (Thanks AW for making me remember it. I have no shame, but am truly delighted right now with diversion).
Fable of the Mermaid and the Drunks
by Pablo Neruda
All these fellows were there inside
when she entered, utterly naked.
They had been drinking, and began to spit at her.
Recently come from the river, she understood nothing.
She was a mermaid who had lost her way.
The taunts flowed over her glistening flesh.
Obscenities drenched her golden breasts.
A stanger to tears, she did not weep.
A stranger to clothes, she did not dress.
They pocked her with cigarette ends and with burnt corks,
and rolled on the tavern floor in raucous laughter.
She did not speak, since speech was unknown to her.
Her eyes were the colour of faraway love,
her arms were matching topazes.
Her lips moved soundlessly in coral light,
and ultimately, she left by that door.
Hardly had she entered the river than she was cleansed,
gleaming once more like a white stone in the rain;
and without a backward look, she swam once more,
swam towards nothingness, swam to her dying.