by Carlos Martínez Rivas
What a worry.
I’ve nothing to drink.
It’s not a plan or a vow or a promise.
Far from it.
It’s force of circumstance.
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.
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?
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