An intermission of food and poetry
Busy with a last minute trip to Southern California visiting friends, this post will just feature excerpts of poetry from Nicanor Parra’s collection of “Antipoems: New and Selected”, along with tasty edibles from my recent trip back to Taiwan. Impressed upon Parra’s work, his fellow Chilean countryman and my favorite author — Pablo Neruda — helped get this book of Antipoems first published in Argentina. After finishing Parra’s book of Antipoetry, along with memories stirred from watching Anthony Bourdain’s account of Taipei, I was prompted to make this unlikely combination of subjects the topic of this post. If you manage to watch the Taipei episode, it is true that the people are down-to-earth friendly (compared to other Asian countries). It is true Taipei is unpretentious. It is true that Taipei is an ugly city.
It is true Taiwan has good food.
And built my roller coaster.
Go up, if you feel like it.
It’s not my fault if you come down
Bleeding from your nose and mouth.
Since man’s life is nothing but a bit of action at a distance,
A bit of foam shining inside a glass;
Since trees are nothing but moving trees;
Nothing but chairs and tables in perpetual motion;
Since we ourselves are nothing but beings.
Strolling many years ago
Down a street taken over by acacias in bloom
I found out from a friend who knows everything
That you had just gotten married.
I told him that I really
Had nothing to do with it.
I never loved you
–You know that better than I do–
Yet each time the acacias bloom
–Can you believe it?–
I get the very same feeling I had
When they hit me point-blank
With the heartbreaking news
That you had married someone else.
And the traveler who looks over his shoulder
Runs the grave risk
That his shadow might not want to follow him.
The mistake we made was in thinking
that the earth belonged to us
when the fact of the matter is
we’re the ones who belong to the earth.
Before I go
I’m supposed to get a last wish:
burn this book
It’s not at all what I wanted to say
Though it was written in blood
It’s not what I wanted to say…..
Current read: “The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes