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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Wanderers

So Illinois hasn't been working out very well for my husband and me. It's not much of a surprise anymore. We're taking positive steps to better our situation, but when I think we might have to move (again) and when I'm tired of the waiting, I listen to this song. My translation here is perhaps rudimentary, but anyone who's done any wandering should have a good sense of what this is about.

The Wanderers by Manolo García (from Los días intactos, 2011)


I am my own inner slave
who staunches his wounds by biting his fists.
I am a previous stranger,
a tightrope walker who unleashes false skies.

And today
when this uncontrolled fire devastates all thought,
today, when I am a prisoner of my desires,
I’m far from wanting to be the stoic I once was.


There will be a place for the wanderers,
there will be time to wander.
Today I think about the song of the emigrant,
of the residual tourist.

Now that the pumping of my blood
is getting strangely discouraged,
today I think about the song of the emigrant,
of the trapped people who struggle in their exile,
of the people who run.

A city full of amazed people,
that would be me, asking for help.
Asking for help, with an outstretched hand,
looking for plenitude, that elusive animal.

A rudimentary destination of bone and orange light,
that would be me. A pitcher in space who needs
clamps and roots is who I would be today.

And today, when an uncontrolled fire
devastates all thought,
today, when I’m a prisoner and desire you,
I’m far from wanting to be the stoic I once was.

There will be a place for the wanderers,
there will be time to wander.
Today I think about the song of the emigrant,
of the emotional traveler.

Now, when I’m grounded and a dilettante,
the planking is curving,
today, I think about the song of the emigrant.
Of infuriated people in search of wonders,
of the people who run.


And it’s not about love or misunderstandings.
Not about lost years.
Not even longing for the brilliance inherent in life.
Today only I want to win this round against impatience
and the apathy that brings a desolate grimace.