domingo, 12 de junho de 2011

It Takes Two to Tango

Here´s a work in progress which is giving me a bit
of a hard time, since initially it was supposed to be
funny, and now seems to have ended up more on the melancholy or
reflexive side. ( I wish, though, that it had come out more
humorous, because I swear that would better
reflect my state of spirit on these matters, these days...)

It Takes Two to Tango

Avenida 18 de julio
y suave la entrada del invierno
en Montevideo

we take in the evening
you, chain smoking in the crisp air
me, unbuttoning the grey wool jacket,
the unexpected warmth of the season
and around us, the plaza, the couples

sliding so ever-so gently
to the long, sweet chords
such perfect synchrony
if only through the tender beats of
the evening, as long as the dance goes on.

Stubborn girl, crazy boy.
It could be that everyone finds their rhythm,
or their moment – to samba or salsa,
to dance the waltz or rock n’ roll
and i think if i could master the movements
i´d choose forró -
which like the tango must be danced
in pairs, but is quicker and makes you laugh
at the parting, or losing the beat

yet tonight in Montevideo
there is music floating around us
with a penchant for tragedy
and they tell us, this is a city
of the old, and a grandfather
pulls his granddaughter gently by the hand
and like me she cannot
master the beat and the steps
as time spills messily around us,
as if that were the formula - a life
unfolding always in pairs, a language
of complicity or duplicity,
in which i am only falsely fluent.

what grabs you more?
is it tragic or comic,
together, apart?
the dancing ends early here,
but there is still Malena, singing
into the night of this city of old.

my choice, perhaps, should be
the pampas,
solitary ride under moonlit dome
or moving with the throngs,
just one more in a galloping herd
where if i lose the rhythm,
fall out of synch, don´t
deliver the goods
no one will notice:
no cruel duels,
no emptied side of the
bed or the closet,
and we can just go on with our lives
under the stars
of this planet
of billions

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