Neither the heart cut by a piece of glass in a wasteland of thorns nor the atrocious waters seen in the corners of certain houses, waters like eyelids and eyes can capture your waist in my hands when my heart lifts its oaks towards your unbreakable thread of snow.
Nocturnal sugar, spirit of the crowns, ransomed human blood, your kisses send into exile and a stroke of water, with remnants of the sea, neats on the silences that wait for you surrounding the worn chairs, wearing out doors.
Nights with bright spindles, divided, material, nothing but voice, nothing but naked every day.
Over your breasts of motionless current, over your legs of firmness and water, over the permanence and the pride of your naked hair I want to be, my love, now that the tears are thrown into the raucous baskets where they accumulate, I want to be, my love, alone with a syllable of mangled silver, alone with a tip of your breast of snow.
Day-colored wine, night-colored wine, wine with purple feet or wine with topaz blood, wine, starry child of earth, wine, smooth as a golden sword, soft as lascivious velvet, wine, spiral-seashelled and full of wonder, amorous, marine; never has one goblet contained you, one song, one man, you are choral, gregarious, at the least, you must be shared. At times you feed on mortal memories; your wave carries us from tomb to tomb, stonecutter of icy sepulchers, and we weep transitory tears; your glorious spring dress is different, blood rises through the shoots, wind incites the day, nothing is left of your immutable soul. Wine stirs the spring, happiness bursts through the earth like a plant, walls crumble, and rocky cliffs, chasms close, as song is born. A jug of wine, and thou beside me in the wilderness, sang the ancient poet. Let the wine pitcher add to the kiss of love its own.
My darling, suddenly the line of your hip becomes the brimming curve of the wine goblet, your breast is the grape cluster, your nipples are the grapes, the gleam of spirits lights your hair, and your navel is a chaste seal stamped on the vessel of your belly, your love an inexhaustible cascade of wine, light that illuminates my senses, the earthly splendor of life.
But you are more than love, the fiery kiss, the heat of fire, more than the wine of life; you are the community of man, translucency, chorus of discipline, abundance of flowers. I like on the table, when we’re speaking, the light of a bottle of intelligent wine. Drink it, and remember in every drop of gold, in every topaz glass, in every purple ladle, that autumn labored to fill the vessel with wine; and in the ritual of his office, let the simple man remember to think of the soil and of his duty, to propagate the canticle of the wine.
When I close a book I open life. I hear faltering cries among harbours. Copper ignots slide down sand-pits to Tocopilla. Night time. Among the islands our ocean throbs with fish, touches the feet, the thighs, the chalk ribs of my country. The whole of night clings to its shores, by dawn it wakes up singing as if it had excited a guitar.
The ocean’s surge is calling. The wind calls me and Rodriguez calls, and Jose Antonio— I got a telegram from the “Mine” Union and the one I love (whose name I won’t let out) expects me in Bucalemu.
No book has been able to wrap me in paper, to fill me up with typography, with heavenly imprints or was ever able to bind my eyes, I come out of books to people orchards with the hoarse family of my song, to work the burning metals or to eat smoked beef by mountain firesides. I love adventurous books, books of forest or snow, depth or sky but hate the spider book in which thought has laid poisonous wires to trap the juvenile and circling fly. Book, let me go. I won’t go clothed in volumes, I don’t come out of collected works, my poems have not eaten poems— they devour exciting happenings, feed on rough weather, and dig their food out of earth and men. I’m on my way with dust in my shoes free of mythology: send books back to their shelves, I’m going down into the streets. I learned about life from life itself, love I learned in a single kiss and could teach no one anything except that I have lived with something in common among men, when fighting with them, when saying all their say in my song.
“The mob is man voluntarily descending to the nature of the beast. Its fit hour of activity is night. Its actions are insane like its whole constitution. It persecutes a principle; it would whip a right; it would tar and feather justice, by inflicting fire and outrage upon the houses and persons of those who have these. It resembles the prank of boys, who run with fire-engines to put out the ruddy aurora streaming to the stars.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson
“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life more nearly; to come down off this feather-bed of civilization, and find the globe granite underfoot.”—Robert Louis Stevenson
Sadness, scarab with seven crippled feet, spiderweb egg, scramble-brained rat, bitch’s skeleton: No entry here. Don’t come in. Go away. Go back south with your umbrella, go back north with your serpent’s teeth. A poet lives here. No sadness may cross this threshold. Through these windows comes the breath of the world, fresh red roses, flags embroidered with the victories of the people. No. No entry. Flap your bat’s wings, I will trample the feathers that fall from your mantle, I will sweep the bits and pieces of your carcass to the four corners of the wind, I will wring your neck, I will stitch your eyelids shut, I will sew your shroud, sadness, and bury your rodent bones beneath the springtime of an apple tree.