Go into the study, I say, your slippers are at the ends of your beds; but the slippers, black with Chinese dragons on the tops where the toes go, are not there and none of us know where they have gone. It's like the crocodile letter opener, disappeared into a vacuum or black hole that can't, in any ordinary understanding of the world, exist. I, desgraciadamante, / el dolor crece en el mundo a cada rato, / crece a treinta minutos por secundo, paso a paso ... The tear of muscle in the lumbar region, on the left side, I mean, the hot wire that runs from humerus to radius, the exquisite burning of the styloid process. Tenosynovitis. RSI. OOS. We humans spend ninety percent of our time indoors, most of it sitting down somewhere or other. We are seldom naked and we don't know much about our bones. I want to be buried upright in the earth, at or near the place I was born, with a tree, perhaps a towai, planted over me. They use the bark for tanning hides, or they used to. We had a big one in our garden, it's not there any more, neither tree nor garden, and it's hard to see how I'd get back in time. A wormhole, perhaps. Down there with the slippers, the letter openers, the other lost things, flints and bones, the strange fungi that grow under Five Finger Trees ... Jamás tanto cariño doloroso, / jamás tan cerca arremetió lo lejos, / jamás el fuego nunca / jugó mejor su rol de frío muerto! I buy the kids new shoes, Ug boots with Bart Simpson on the sides for the younger one, Volleys for the older, who never wore his slippers anyway; he runs and leaps all the way home, admiring them, and doesn't take them off for hours. I put a deposit down on a new desk, this one I'm at is four centimetres lower than the recommended height, it's a table top with the legs sawn off, placed on a base from some other structure, I've held onto it for sentimental reasons only, how stupid is that? It belonged to a friend who has died, he matched the two ill-matched parts, sanded down the top and painted the base green, I repainted it black afterwards, I like sitting and writing where he sat and wrote or painted or perhaps supped on one of the many whiskeys he liked ... Pues de resultas / del dolor, hay algunos / que nacen, otros crecen, otros mueren, / y otros que nacen y no mueren, otros / que sin haber nacido, mueren, y otros / que no nacen ni mueren (son los más) ... we walk over to Leichhardt to buy books, in Berkelouw's the top ten places in the top ten are all filled by the same book, I won't say it's name, I haven't read any of them, in this I'm guided by my son who says they're no good, he's reading The Ranger's Apprentice series at breakneck speed. The other one likes Tin Tin, he chooses The Shooting Star, soon he'll have the complete set. They sit on a bench at Petersham railway station platform side by side reading. No steam train comes through, just a Millennium that doesn't stop and, much later, a Silver Passenger train that does. They won't let me cross the road to look at my new desk in the window of the second hand shop, they want to get home and continue reading while I make potatoes in their jackets for lunch ... Señor Ministro de Salud: ¿qué hacer? / !Ah! desgraciadamente, hombres humanos, / hay, hermanos, muchísimo que hacer.

quotations from: Los nueve monstruous by CÉSAR VALLEJO

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