POEM TO MY SOBRENADA
my sobretoto is my best friend
we drink wine to consecrate the vineyards
we get drunk,
we share love with women.
my sobretoto is sensual and seductive.
in prison, it is my mattress
in brothels, it is my shelter
with my hands sunk in my pockets
it has saved me from the shipwreck of cheap kisses.
in winter i have defended myself from the rain
and in the summer it was a bright shadow.
my sobretoto is a voluptuous incitement to laziness,
heat, heroism, love, winter.
in moments of danger, like a detective, it bids me ‘pass’
and gives me the respectable air of a great lord of the underworld.
my body gets lost in my sobretoto when i am persecuted,
in good times of parliament it speaks for me:
it has been a beautiful apology
for shirking serious historical responsibilities.
my sobretoto is sometimes the bed of love
in the unpopulated places of the city
it has the hidden taste of forbidden sin.
my sobretoto is a great honor.
it has more history than a magic carpet.
i consecrate it as the privileged receptacle
where some women have stretched out their spines
facing the sun or the night.
my sobretoto is a witness of tenderness and terror.
it has been caressed by the suffocating hands of a woman
it has been torn by daggers of hatred.
my sobretoto has tobacco burns
and traces of murderous gunshots
and suspicious marks of red lips.
i have pawned it for 8 pesos in times of trouble
my sobretoto is saturated with animal sweat
has residues of blood stains and oil …
when it doesn’t rain and it’s hot i take my sobretoto off
and i sink in the dark and wet night
or i sink in the day full of sun, dry.
my sobretoto is human and ugly
and keeps every sunday in its pockets
IT SHOULD NOT BE A PRIVILEGE
FOR THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND
BUT A REALITY FOR ALL
is not a word that closes;
it is a word that opens
what it contains,
It’s the shovel
that sinks seeds
deep in the ground.
It is the investment fund
the world will be born
that will save from exile
the damned of the Earth.
plus one hand
is not two hands
they are joined hands
join your hands
to our hands
so that the world
is not in a few hands
but in all hands
When one yields in one’s soul
one ceases to be;
To be like the masses
is to give in, is to cease to be.
is the most insufferable solitude,
It is incommunication of souls
that withers the flesh
The reality of the universe
Don’t kill any being
neither innocent nor monster
every animal is yourself
in evolution of being
May your example
be a guide
on that lonely path
today only Hope
and a handful of
heroic walkers pass;
those who have
discovered the value
of Life, of Liberty
of that infinite mine
of possibilities that we
are just beginning
to discover in ourselves
Gonzalo Arango Arias (1931-1976, b Antioquia, Colombia) was a Colombian writer, poet, and journalist who led a modern literary and cultural movement known as Nadaismo, inspired by surrealism, French existentialism, beat generation, and dadaism, in the late 1950s. A man of large contrasts and contradictions, from open atheism to an intense spirituality, he was a strong critic of the society of his time, jailed for his contrarian manifestoes, and abandoned Nadaism to his successors in the 1970s. By 1976, Arango was planning to move to London, but before he could emigrate, he died in a car accident.