Hamlet

by Carlos Martínez Rivas

Hamlet

a monologue

                    I

    What a worry.
It’s Saturday.
I’ve nothing to drink.
It’s not a plan or a vow or a promise.
Far from it.

It’s force of circumstance.
Necessity.

I have to show up at the Ministry,
in good shape, with a normal pulse.
Fill out forms. Make an application.
Deal calmly with bureaucratic insolence.

                     II

    Flaubert to his friend Le Poittevin, in Croisset:
“I wonder, what other people can be busy with
who aren’t busy with literature.
It intrigues me . . . ”

And I wonder,
what do people who don’t drink do on Saturdays?

What will I do this Saturday with nothing to drink?

                     III

    I’ve got this letter.
Airmail / urgent.

But I’m hanging on to it.
It means a trip to the Post Office.

If I go and post it this early
what will I do after that?

Translated from Threnody for Joaquin Pasos & other poems
by Roger Hickin