• CHEMOTHERAPY

    There is only one thing more depressing
    than a hospital
    and it's not a cemetery
    but a bus full of people
    on the regular line to the hospital.
    Those people, each with his x-ray under his arm
    in an envelope, gaze
    lost
    in a deep pool that neither you nor I will ever be able to see.
    The cradle-smile of a six-year-old in chemotherapy
    rends the heart.
    Old people holding their x-rays to the light of the window,
    ‘look: it's that white spot there', they proclaim
    joyfully,
    and especially those two women you hear talking
    over Nine Inch Nails on your walkman,
    words
    that struggle to scale the cliff of yesterday's tears.
    ‘You'll see', I tell my husband,
    ‘you'll see what walks we'll take, the two of us,
    when they bring us the wheelchair.
    They'll call us Coyote and Roadrunner, Ishmael'.
    Coyote and Roadrunner.
    I shiver when I hear that,
    and then the brave woman adds that the paralysis
    has extended to his left hand or maybe to the right.
    Each one with his x-ray under his arm,
    his quota of cancer, his
    abandonment, his glass
    eye or his orthopedic glove.
    If that doesn't rend the heart
    let them incinerate us until the air becomes an axe.
    Ishmael awaits our breath.
    We can imagine it:
    Ishmael, a person still but perhaps with little time,
    playing chess on top of the Scottish blanket
    that covers his knees,
    sometimes sighing, sometimes smiling,
    a person still, Ishmael,
    life but not still.
    ‘Coyote and Roadrunner, pray as hard as you can.
    You'll see
    how things are when they bring us the wheelchair'.... more »

  • DEBTS

    According to the doctors, you lack calcium in your bones
    and what they've just told you
    sounds like an old person's disease.
    ‘An old person's disease and a woman's disease', whispers
    your conscience
    beside your left ear.
    A woman's disease, that's a laugh. To tell the truth,
    you wouldn't mind at all
    coming back as a woman in your next life:
    any transformation is a convoluted way
    of gaining power, if you manage to retain
    a shred of memory of who you were before. But old?
    It's time you started to accept it.
    Everything is a matter of time or
    lack of time.
    You put on a record a friend gave you
    when you turned fifteen;
    you can't bear that music for even five minutes.
    Someone knocks on the door, a starving person,
    ‘You owe me for February'.
    This may be the lament of a poor wretch
    who finds death before his time
    in a second celestial request.
    February, the cruelest month.
    An answer for the landlord comes to mind,
    ‘for religious reasons, would you mind
    if we forgot about February, and I'll owe you
    for two Marches instead'.
    But you keep quiet.
    The frame of the open door barely keeps you on your feet.
    ‘You owe me for February', you hear again.

    You feel it, yes indeed,
    the leech in your bones
    now has a name:
    February.... more »

  • ENE DIARIOAK ETA IZKIRIATURIK AURKITU DITUDANAK

    Ogia, lagunak, ardoa. Hurrenkera horretan. Frankenstein doktoreak sortutako munstroak esaten dituen lehen hiru hitzak.

    *

    Hainbeste borroka, katramila, sesio; hainbeste literatura eta hainbeste harrokeria, azkenean, bueltan-bueltan gauza guztietan pentsalari greziarrei arrazoia emateko. Edo are okerrago dena: zure gurasoei.

    *

    Ume irlandar lealistak errana, handitzean zer izan nahi ote duen galdetu diotenean: "Preso ohia".

    *

    Felt, Arthur Millerrek sortutako pertsonaiak esana: "Aukeratu beharra dago: gizakia fidel izan dakioke bere buruari edo fidel izan dakieke gainerakoei. Gainerakoei fidel eta norbere buruari fidel izatea, hori ezinezkoa da".

    *

    Emazteak senarrari: "Gu biotako bat hilko balitz, ni Parisera joango nintzateke bizitzera". (Sigmund Freuden txisterik gustukoena)

    *

    Garraio publikoetan galdutako beste egun bat: zail egiten zait idazlea ala garai batean komertzio biajante esaten zitzaion hori ote naizen bereiztea gaur bezalako egunetan. Idazle hitza ere biajante hitza bezain sasoiz kanpokoa eta iraungia ote den susmoa gero eta errotuago nire baitan. Egin leku predikatzaile berriei.

    *

    Ez erortzea da eraikinen berezko joera (J.R. Amondarain).

    *

    Esperientzia da lortzen duzuna, nahi duzuna lortzen ez duzunean (Ratab Manzil).

    *

    Seme-alabak gerraren jarraipena dira, beste bitarteko batzuekin.

    *

    Xake-taulan falta den piezarik garrantzitsuena: bufoia.

    *

    Zure fedea meharra eta hauskorra dela diozu. Baina zer fede ez da mehar eta hauskor? Mehar eta hauskor ez den fedeari beste izen bat eman behar genioke: xalotasuna, ameskeria, diziplina.
    *

    Jainkoak inkontzienteei laguntzen die. Tamalez, haiek ez dira enteratzen.... more »

  • FLEXIBLE TIME

    Time goes more slowly in a foreign city;
    therefore escapes, therefore inadequate airline companies, therefore jetlag
    - or that sudden captivating unpleasant odor -
    therefore the tendency to read maps upside down.

    Time goes more slowly in strange houses;
    therefore hotels, therefore visits, a fascination with waiting rooms;
    therefore the insatiable desire
    to tell ambulances from fire trucks in the swift wail of a siren.

    Time goes more slowly in unknown bodies;
    therefore the search for lovers that spring from new delays;
    therefore wounds, because time goes more slowly over wounds.

    Because pain is the false promise of a false eternity.

    All explorations,
    undertaken with military caps or wrapped in bearskin,
    on horseback, in the mountains, in the open air or by sea,
    heroic or daily strolls
    - Scott, Shackleton, Captain Duvoisin -
    are they but pathetic attempts to stop the clock,
    to bet against time?

    Because time always goes slower as snow is removed
    or as the machete clears brambles in the jungle.

    But on familiar roads the hours fly by.

    This is the price you pay: time goes slowest when you are lost.

    Slower on a cliff than on the flatlands.
    Slower in the forest than on a safe path.

    The rambler always looks to the forest, to the mist there.
    He would like to lose time in the forest
    but not lose himself in time or
    not be lost by time, perhaps.

    It has been said:
    no one has yet conquered flexible time.
    Mere links in the chain of time are we,
    bearing children in the forest and telling
    children's stories
    lost there.

    Because time always passes more slowly
    on unfamiliar paths.... more »

  • KIMIOTERAPIA

    Ospitale bat baino deprimenteagoa
    guza bakarra dago
    eta ez da hilerri bat
    baizik eta ospitalera doan linea erregularreko
    autobus bat jendez betea.
    Jende hori nork bere radiografia besapean duela
    sobre batean begirada ez zu eta ez ni
    ikustera ailega ez gaitezkeen putzu sakon batean
    galdurik
    hunkigarria da kimioterapia eman dioten
    sei urteko haurraren sehaska irribarrea
    agureak radiografiak leihoko argitara lerratzen
    «begira: horko puntu zuri hori da» aldarrikatuz
    alegera
    eta batez ere bi emakume horiek hizketan
    Nine Inch Nails zure walkmaneko musikari gailenduz
    atzoko malkoaren amildegia gainditu nahi duten
    hitzak entzutea
    «ikusiko duzu», esaten diot nik nire senarrari
    «ikusiko duzu gurpildun aulkia ekartzen dugunean
    ze paseo emango ditugun biok
    Korrekaminos eta Koiotea deituko digute, Ismael».
    Korrekaminos eta Koiotea
    zirrara bat sentitzen dut hori entzutean
    eta gero paralisia ezker eskura edo eskuinekora
    hedatu zaion zehaztuko du emakume adoretsuak.
    Bakoitzak bere radiografia besapean
    bere minbizi kuota bere
    abandonua bere kristalezko
    begia edo bere 96 graduko gibela
    hori hunkigarria ez bada
    intzinera gaitzatela haizea aizkora bihurtu arte
    gure arnasaren zain dago Ismael
    imajina dezakegu oraindik
    pertsona baina denbora gutxirako agian Ismael
    xakera jolasten hankak estaltzen dizkion
    manta eskoziarraren gainean
    batzuetan hasperen eta beste batzuetan irribarre
    egiten duen bitartean pertsona oraindik Ismael
    biziduna ezen ez marrazki
    «Korrekaminos eta Koiote, argi ibili
    ikusiko duzue
    gurpildun aulkia ekartzen digutenean».... more »

  • LOST THINGS, FOUND HOPES

    For Nietzsche, hope was the beginning of loss.

    But we can be even more radical:
    the beginning of anything is the beginning of loss.

    We all lose, but some lose more slowly
    than others.

    ‘How's it going?' we ask mercilessly.

    ‘Slowly', we answer, without really knowing.

    Losing slowly is what we call winning.

    But I, who do not love losing, love to lose myself in the forest.

    Especially in forests
    of music and breath,
    skin and bark.... more »

  • MALGUA DENBORA

    Motelago doa denbora atzerriko hirietan;
    horregatik ihesak, horregatik aire konpainia eskasak, horregatik jet laga
    -edo ezustean liluratu zaituen usain ezatsegin hori-;
    horregatik planoei buruzbehera begiratzeko joera.

    Motelago doa denbora ezezagunen etxeetan;
    horregatik hotelak, horregatik bisitak, itxaron-gelekiko gogo hori;
    horregatik kaleko sirena hotsen abiadan anbulantziak su-hiltzaileetatik
    bereizteko grina asegaitza.

    Motelago doalako denbora gorputz arrotzetan;
    horregatik zain egon beharra ekarriko duten maitaleen xerka;
    horregatik zauriak, motelago doalako denbora zaurien gainean.

    Mina eternitate faltsu baten promesa faltsua delako.

    Esplorazio guztiak,
    kepiak buruan edo hartza-larrua soinean egindakoak,
    zaldiz, mendiz, airez edo itsasoz egindako espedizio guztiak,
    heroikoak eta eguneroko ostera txikiak
    -Scott, Shackleton, Duvoisin kapitaina-,
    erlojua geratzeko,
    denborari trabes egiteko ahalegin xaloak ote ziren?

    Motelago baitoa denbora beti elurra apartatu edo
    aihotzarekin oihanean sasia garbitzen zabiltzanean.

    Bide ezagunetan, aldiz, azkarrago pasatzen dira orduak.

    Hori da ordaina: galduta zaudenean doala motelen denbora.

    Amildegian motelago lautadan baino.
    Basoan motelago xenda seguruan baino.

    Xendan dagoenak, basora begiratzen du beti, bertan laino.
    Basoan nahi luke galdu denbora,
    bera denboran ez galtzeko eta
    denborak ez alferrik galtzeko bera, akaso.

    Esanda doa:
    inork ez du egundo denbora malgu hori errenditu.
    Katedun erlojuetan katebegi huts gu,
    basoan umeak egin eta basoan galtzen diren umeen
    ipuinak egiten
    jarraitzen dugu.

    Motelago igarotzen delako denbora beti
    bide ezezagunetatik goazenean.... more »

  • OBJEKTU GALDUAK, ESPERANTZA AURKITUAK

    Nietzscherentzat, esperantza zen derrotaren hasiera.

    Baina izan gintezke erradikalago ere:
    gauza guztien hasiera bera da derrotaren hasiera.

    Guztiok gara galtzaile, soilik batzuek beste batzuek baino
    polikiago galtzen dutela.

    "Zer moduz zabiltza?", galdetzen dugu, dohakabe.

    "Poliki", erantzuten dugu, jakin gabe.

    Irabaztea esaten diogu, nonbait, poliki galtzeari.

    Baina nik, galtzea maite ez dudan honek, biziki maite dut galtzea basoan.

    Batez ere galtzea azala eta musika,
    eta arnasa eta larrua
    darien basoetan.... more »

  • PEOPLE I TELEPHONE

    There are people you once adored and
    that you now call only on their birthday.
    People you call to fume about work and ask for favors.
    A fool from the department who calls you
    to measure your failure: ‘not I, but he... never'
    There are people you call only when your wife has left you
    (and who call you only when their husband has left them).
    There are people you wouldn't call so much if they were closer.
    There are people you call to demand an explanation,
    who call you to scold.
    There are people who call once every four years
    who warm your spirit and make you feel
    they are with you, cheek to cheek, soul to soul.
    There are calls that are desert mirages,
    failed advertising: would you be interested in, you've won a.
    There are people - ‘I'll call you right back' -
    who always have someone more important on the other line,
    and then they don't call back.
    There are people you call so you won't have to buy them a whiskey
    and then the call costs more than the drink.
    There are people you can't call, because they're mad at you,
    or they're in jail, or they've forgotten you, or they're dead; it's a drag.
    There are people who all too clearly pick their nose
    while they talk to you.
    There are people who never answer the phone
    but who are always there counting the rings in a dark room,
    or who, champagne in hand,
    swallow a grape with each ring.
    There are people who never call you
    because they know someone else might answer.
    There are people who call you to get together,
    and people whose way of getting together
    is talking on the phone.
    There are those who call you every month on the thirteenth,
    with a trace of esoteric melancholy perhaps.
    Those you call to confirm what you already know.
    Those you call to contradict you.
    Those you start to call but never remember
    the last digit of their number.

    And then there are those like you,
    people I call only rarely:
    to call a truce perhaps, or break one,
    or when it's snowing outside
    just to say, ‘now what?'
    or ‘is it snowing there too?'
    and you say, ‘yes, it is'.... more »

  • PEOPLE WHO WORK ON ROOFTOPS

    They are people you don't recognize
    even though they're in your address book.
    All those names and numbers that are strange to you
    even though you try to remember them.

    People who work on rooftops will never admit it,
    but they know
    the sky is not blue,
    they can hear the murmur of flags with samurai stars
    when they face into the wind.
    People who work on rooftops, these people know
    true vertigo.
    People who work on rooftops could not
    work at a nightclub or within the walls of a café.
    The gesture they make
    when they suspect a loose shingle suggests
    they might have been teachers
    of a hesitant tango
    in another life not so long ago.

    People who work on rooftops avoid rush hour
    and mobs,
    as if crowds and buses and the smell of leukemia and the words too much
    weighed too much,
    might press the world down through cracks in the mud.
    People who work on rooftops do not trust
    even the empty streets at five in the morning,
    and the rare times they alight,
    before they leave the sidewalk and step on the crosswalk,
    they first test it with one foot,
    test the hardness of the asphalt,
    fearing that this frozen river
    might crack beneath their feet.... more »

  • SCRAPS FROM MY DIARIES AND NOTEBOOKS

    Bread, friends, wine. In that order. The first three words of Frankenstein's monster.

    *

    So much fighting, so many squabbles, so many quarrels; so much literature and so much arrogance, round and round about everything; in the end, the Greek thinkers were right. Or worse: your parents.

    *

    A loyalist Irish child, when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up: ‘A former prisoner'.

    *

    Felt, one of Arthur Miller's characters: ‘A man can be faithful to himself or to other people - but not to both'.

    *

    Wife to husband: ‘If one of us dies, I'll go live in Paris'. (Sigmund Freud's favorite joke).

    *

    Another day wasted on public transportation: it's hard for me to tell on days like today if I am a writer or what they used to call a traveling salesman. The suspicion has taken root in my mind that the word writer is as outdated and obsolete as the word traveling. Make way for new predicates.

    *

    The natural inclination of buildings is to not fall down (J.R. Amondarain).

    *

    Experience is what you get, when you don't get what you want (Ratab Manzil).

    *

    Sons and daughters are the continuation of war by other means.

    *

    The most important piece not on the chess board: the jester.

    *

    Your faith is limited and fragile, you say. But what faith is not limited and fragile? A faith that is not limited and fragile we would call by another name: naïveté, illusion, discipline.

    *

    God helps the unconscious. Unfortunately, they don't know it.... more »

  • TEILATUETAN LAN EGITEN DUEN JENDEA

    Zure agendan egonagatik sekula
    ezagutu ez duzun jende hori da.
    Gogoratzen saiatu arren arrotzak zaizkizun
    izen eta zenbaki horiek guztiak.

    Teilatuetan lan egiten duen jendeak ez dizu sekula aitortuko
    baina badaki
    zerua ez dela urdina
    samuraien izarekin egindako banderen zurrumurrua bereizten badaki
    haizearen menera dagoenean.
    Teilatuetan lan egiten duen jendeak, jende horrek du
    benetako bertigoa.
    Teilatuetan lan egiten duen jendeak ezingo luke
    gau-club batean edo kafetxe bateko hormen artean lan egin.
    Teilaren bat aske egon daitekeen susmoa dutenean
    trazatu keinuak adierazten duen eran,
    teilatuetan lan egiten duen jendea tango zalantzatien
    irakasle izan zen
    ez hain aspaldiko bizitza batean.

    Teilatuetan lan egiten duen jendeak presa-orduak eta jende pilaketak
    saihesten ditu
    jendetzak eta autobusek eta leuzemiaren usainak eta gehiegi hitzak
    mundua bere buztinezko artesietatik
    amilarazteko arriskua balego bezala.
    Teilatuetan lan egiten duen jendea ez da fido
    goizeko bostetan kale hutsez ere,
    eta teilatuetatik jaisten den apurretan
    espaloia utziz errepideko zebrabidea zapaldu aurretik
    oin bakar batez ziurtatzen du lehenbizi
    asfaltuaren gogortasuna, zer gerta ere,
    oinen pean ibai izoztu bat
    hondoratuko zaion beldurrez.... more »

  • TELEFONOZ DEITZEN DIODAN JENDEA

    Badago garai batean asko maitatu eta orain
    urtebetetze egunean soilik deitzen diozun jendea.
    Lan kontuak haizatu eta mesede eske deitzen diozuna.
    Fakultateko inozoren bat, zure frakasoaren tenperatura berritzeko
    hots egiten dizuna: "ni ez, baina bera… inoiz ez".
    Badago emazteak utzi zaituenean soilik deitzen diozun jendea
    (senarrak utzi duenean soilik deitzen dizuna, bestalde).
    Badago gertuago balego hainbeste deituko ez zeniokeenik.
    Badago kontu hartzeko deitzen diozun jendea,
    kargu hartzeko hots egiten dizuna.
    Badago lau urtean behin deitu arren, masailez masail
    eta arimaz arima izpiritua epeldu eta zurekin dagoela
    sentiarazten dizun jendea.
    Badaude basamortuko ispilukeria diren deiak,
    komertzial zapuztuak; le interesaría si, le ha tocado un.
    Badago jendea, "deituko diat nik berehala".
    beti norbait garrantzitsuagoa duena beste adarrean,
    -eta gero ez du deitzen-.
    Badago jendea, hari whisky bat ez ordaintzeagatik deitu
    eta azkenean deia tragoa bera baino garestiago ordainarazten dizuna.
    Badago deitu ezin diozun jendea, haserre dagoelako zurekin,
    edo kartzelan, edo zutaz ahaztuta, edo hilik; faena bat.
    Badago zurekin hitz egiten duen bitartean
    sudurzuloa haztatzen duela gehiegi nabaritzen zaionik.
    Badago jendea sekula telefonorik hartu ez
    baina beti hor dagoena txirrin-hotsak zenbatzen gela ilunean,
    -edo, xanpaina kopa eskuan,
    mahats ale bana irensten txirrin-hots bakoitzeko-.
    Badago jendea ez dizuna deitzen,
    badakielako beste norbaitek hartuko duela agian;
    badago jendea geratzeko deitzen dizuna
    eta badago bere geratzeko modua
    telefonoz mintzatzea bera dena.
    Badago hilaren hamahiruan deitzen dizuna beti,
    malenkonia esoteriko apur batez, beharbada.
    Dakizuna berresteko deitzen diozuna.
    Kontra egin diezazun deitzen diozuna.
    Edo markatzen hasi eta bere telefonoaren azken zenbakia
    jada inoiz gogoan ez duzuna.

    Eta gero dago, zu bezala,
    oso bakanetan deitzen diodan jendea:
    adibidez su-eten bat eman, edo apurtu,
    edota elurra ari duenean kanpoan,
    esateko: "eta orain zer?",
    edo, "elurra ari din hor ere?",
    eta zuk: "bai, ari dik".... more »

  • ZORRAK

    Medikuen arabera, kaltzioa falta zaizu hezurretan
    eta zaharren gaixotasuna irizten diozu
    azaldu berri dizutenari.
    «Zaharrena eta emakumeena» arduratu da zehazteaz
    ezker belarriaren parean bizi zaizun
    kontzientzia.
    Emakumearenak grazia egiten dizu, egia esan
    ez litzaizuke batere axola izango
    hurrengo bizitza batean emakume jaiotzea:
    boterea izateko era bihurri bat da
    aldakuntza oro, aurrez zinenaren memoria zati bat
    gordetzen jakinez gero. Baina zahartzearena?
    Hori ere onartzen hasteko sasoian zaude.
    Dena denbora kontua da edo denbora
    faltarena.
    Hamabost urte bete zenituenean lagun batek
    oparitutako diskoa jarri duzu tokatan;
    bost minutu ere ezin duzu jasan
    musika hori. Atean jo dute, gosekilen bat,
    «Otsaila zor didazu»
    esaldi hori, heriotza denborak baino lehen
    topatu duen gizajoren baten kexua dateke
    bigarren instantzia zerutar batean.
    Otsaila, hilabeterik krudelena.
    Bururatu zaizu erantzun bat ugazabarentzat,
    «arrazoi erlijiosoak medio, axola al zaizu otsailaz
    ahaztuko bagina, bi martxo
    zor izango nizkizuke hartara».
    Isilik geratzen zara hala ere
    ate irekiak nekez eusten zaitu, «Otsaila zor didazu»
    entzun duzu berriro.

    Senti zenezake, bai horixe,
    Otsaila
    badu ja bere izena
    zure hezurretan bizi den izainak.... more »