The Altar boy (Translated by Steven Gómez)

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When the senility of Monsignor Alberto Jaramillo Loaiza had taken its toll, the old priest, head bishop of Medellín, became fascinated with an ape, an orangutan from Borneo.

The year was 1935. Monsignor was 62. He slept very little at night. He felt tired. Restless. His diet was frugal, and left him unsatisfied. The old priest swapped his readings from the Bible for the volumes of Pliny’s natural history and Virgil’s Eclogues. He fell asleep during services and complained about the cold all day. He had a sister and a cousin. He spent his days at the Metropolitan Cathedral, which came into operation four years ago. He felt a strange longing for the imperial grandeur of Rome. Continúa leyendo The Altar boy (Translated by Steven Gómez)

About my Father (Translated by Steven Gómez)

 

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That’s how the days went. I had nothing to wait around for, but I shared in the wait of the others as they stood by the sidewalk; inexplicably happy when they were called upon. Afterwards, knowing that there was no way anyone would notice me, I retraced my steps back home, slightly bewildered by their joy.

It was the cold season and, perhaps because of that, the days were short in Yelnia. My mother smoked over the stove, so placidly that she almost seemed to be dreaming. She sweetly opened her beautiful eyes, then slowly closed them; it was her way of saying hello. I left her to enjoy her cigarette, and went into the room where the kids were asleep, next to the man who became my father. I took off my shoes, gazed at the photo of my grandfather, and, shifting some legs aside, I laid down to sleep among the three of them.

Back then, clouds were ­–or seemed to be– white streaks on a chalkboard erased by a kid’s hand at the end of a school day. I’d stick my head out the window to watch the line of ragged-looking people that ran from the corner to the large municipal building. Every now and then, one of the men would recognize me from afar and wave, so I’d walk down and stand with him until he was allowed to enter the building, at which point I would wish him good luck and return home, from where I watched him drag along a worn-out sack that everyone else gazed at. Continúa leyendo About my Father (Translated by Steven Gómez)

Carlos Ciro habla acerca de “Toda la soledad que era mía”

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Carlos Ciro

“En el desierto hay infinitos caminos.

La sed es uno de ellos”

 

Recuerdo, con facilidad, la primera frase de Carlos Andrés Jaramillo que me fue dado leer: «Hemos abierto nuestra soledad». Se trataba del primer verso de uno de los poemas de su libro ‘Extinciones’ (Sílaba, 2014). Bastó para buscar el diálogo, para desplegar un camino.

Al conocerlo se percibe de inmediato. Carlos es, medularmente, un escritor. Continúa leyendo Carlos Ciro habla acerca de “Toda la soledad que era mía”

¡Ánimo, señor Lier!

a Jair Taborda

0005Tenía doce años, y al final de la Trierer Straße, en los suburbios de Berlín, quedaba la biblioteca del instituto dedicado a la memoria del gran filólogo alemán Mathias Werth. Era un sótano amplio y bien iluminado por la luz eléctrica. Tenía pequeñas ventanas que daban, por los costados, hacia afuera. Me gustaba pasar los domingos en ella. La biblioteca, aunque pequeña, tenía una exquisita colección de volúmenes. Y, desde que había empezado el avance de los rusos, recibía numerosos ejemplares evacuados de otras ciudades. Su aspecto se acercaba cada vez más al de un depósito de libros. Continúa leyendo ¡Ánimo, señor Lier!

La soledad del desierto

 

a Laura Osorio

 

Tuareg woman. Abalak, Niger - Kazuyoshi Nomachi

—Cuatro sonidos me acompañan: mi resuello. Los pasos en la arena. El viento en las dunas. Tu nombre en mi memoria.

De tal manera nos despoja el desierto, de tal manera es simple la vida. Intento no pensar. Aquí la soledad lo es todo.

  Avistamos a los nómadas a mitad del camino que lleva de Bilma hacia Agadez. Cerrando la hilera de camellos y hombres, iba un hombre atado por las manos. Iba con la cabeza descubierta y trataba de no quedarse atrás, para que los animales no le arrastraran. Iba cubierto de arena. Nunca hasta entonces, había comprendido la expresión —hecho de barro— Nunca hasta entonces pensé que Dios no nos había mezclado con agua, que el suyo había sido un soplo sobre un puñado de polvo. Continúa leyendo La soledad del desierto