Thursday, February 16, 2006

THE MAN FROM CARTHAGE

Sergio Badilla Castillo

The crowd with spontaneous anxiety fossilizes itself in this anchorage
I came here to hide myself like an old elephant
looking for a place to die
the city I've always loved as if it was my woman.
Although she distanced herself for more than 30 years .
The overseer makes fun of the globetrotter’s return
despicable gawky still with his European mind
with phlegmatic manners of a English gentleman
overwhelmed by secret enemies:
It is old Strindberg walking in Karlavägen under the snow
or perhaps myself at noon in the coastal promenade,
wandering around aimlessly to recover the lost tracks
on the pavement.
Mathematical confusions explain my ominous years.
I remain perplex when an imprudent lady consults about my
mother’s health and then I think I’m still transcendent
behind all the skylights and inner doors.
The exile /at heart/ was more a lack of affection than expatriation
and perhaps not what I expect from this return.
The light of a lamppost partly obstructs / my eyes’ obstinate
glance with sincere restlessness. The sea is there and escapes in the horizon of the prospect of my gaze
August Strindberg /decayed and bearded/ has returned to Stockholm
He reads a volume /at the blue tower of Drottninggatan/ about a solitary man in front of the sea in Carthage.

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