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Insomnio

De fierro,
de encorvados tirantes de enorme fierro, tiene que ser la noche,
5para que no la revienten y la desfonden
las muchas cosas que mis abarrotados ojos han visto,
las duras cosas que insoportablemente la pueblan.

Mi cuerpo ha fatigado los niveles, las temperatures, las luces:


10en vagones de largo ferrocarril,
en un banquete de hombres que se aborrecen,
en el filo mellado de los suburbios,
en una quinta calurosa de estatuas húmedas,
en la noche replete donde abundan el caballo y el hombre.
15
El universo de esta noche tiene la vastedad
del olvido y la precisión de la fiebre.

En vano quiero distraerme del cuerpo


20y del desvelo de un espejo incesante
que lo prodiga y que lo acecha
y de la casa que repite sus patios
y del mundo que sigue hasta un despedazado arrabal
de callejones donde el viento se cansa y de barro torpe.
25
En vano espero
las desintegraciones y los símbolos que preceden al sueño.

Sigue la historia universal:


30los rumbos minuciosos de la muerte en las caries dentales,
la circulación de mi sangre y de los planetas.

(He odiado el agua crapulosa de un charco,


he aborrecido en el atardecer el canto del pájaro.)
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Las fatigadas leguas incesantes del suburbia del Sur,
leguas de pampa basurera y obscena, leguas de execración.
no se quieren ir del recuerdo.
Lotes anegadizos, ranchos en montón como perros, charcos de plata fétida:
40soy el aborrecible centinela de esas colocaciones inmóviles.

Alambre, terraplenes, papeles muertos, sobras de Buenos Aires.

Creo esta noche en la terrible inmortalidad:


45ningún hombre ha muerto en el tiempo, ninguna mujer, ningún muerto,
porque esta inevitable realidad de fierro y de barro
tiene que atravesar la indiferencia de cuantos estén dormidos o muertos
--aunque se oculten en la corrupción y en los siglos—
y condenarlos a vigilia espantosa.
50
Toscas nubes color borra de vino infamarán el cielo;
amanecerá en mis párpados apretados.

55Insomnia

From iron,
from crooked tyrants of enormous iron, it has to be the night,
as not to burst and give away
60the many things that my packed eyes have seen,
the hard things that unbearably fill them.

My body has tired of the heights, the temperatures, the lights:


in wagons on a long railroad,
65in a banquet of men who loathe each other,
in the jagged line of the suburbs,
in a steamy estate of wet statues,
in the night replete where horse and man abound.

70The universe of this night has the vastness


of forgetting and the precision of fever.

In vain I want to distract myself from my body


and from the wakefulness of an incessant mirror
75that lavishes and waits for it
and from the house that repeats its patios
and of the world that continues until a fragmented slum
of alleys where the wind tires and mud trips.

80In vain I await


the disintegration and the symbols that precede sleep.

Follow universal history:


the minute ways of death in dental cavities,
85the circulation of my blood and the planets.

(I have hated the dissipated water of a puddle,


I have loathed in the sunset the bird’s song.)

90The weary incessant leagues of Southern suburbia,


leagues of the garbage pampa and obscene leagues of execration.
they don’t want to go back to remember
low-lying lots, mountain ranches like dogs, puddles of fetid silver:
I am the [loathsome, detestable, hideous] sentry of these immovable investments.
95
Wire, embankments, dead roles, plenty of Buenos Aires.

I believe tonight in terrible immortality:


no man has died in time, no woman, no dead man,
100because this inevitable reality of iron and clay
has to cross the indifference of how many are sleeping or dead
--although they hide in the corruption and in the centuries—
and condemn them to horrific wakefulness.

105Rough clouds color erased from wine will slander the sky;
the sun will rise in my shut eyes.
Borges: Insomnia
110
Out of cast iron,
twisted tyrants of monstrous iron, only the night
does not burst and give away
the multitudes my full eyes have seen,
115the duration that fills them.

My body tires of the heights, the temperatures, the lights:


in railcars traveling a long track,
in a feast of loathsome men,
120in the jagged edge of the suburbs,
in a misty estate of slick statues,
in the night full of men on horseback.

Tonight’s universe is as vast


125as forgetting, as precise as fever.

In vain I coax myself out of my body


and out of the mirror’s constant wakefulness
that lavishes and dotes on me
130and out of the house with doubled terraces
and out of the world that goes on until a broken slum
of alleys where wind tires and mud settles.

In vain I await
135the dispersing symbols that lull me to sleep.

Follow the patterns of history:


death creeping in through holes in my teeth,
circulating blood and planets.
140
(I have detested murky pools of water,
I have loathed birdsong in the sunset.)

The unforgiving ties of Southern suburbia,


145ties to the trashed countryside and lewd ties of profanity.
they don’t want to return to
sunken lots, dirty mountain shacks, pools of stinking silver:
I am the stark sentry of this firm stance.

150Wire, walls, dead structures, so much of Buenos Aires.

Tonight I believe in gruesome immortality:


men do not die in time, no woman, no death,
because this fatal truth cast in iron and clay
155must calibrate the line between the sleeping and the dead
—though they hide in their corruption and their history—
and damn them to horrible lucidity.

Storm clouds’ wine-robbed shades slander the sky;


160sunrise floods my shut eyes.