Monday, 27 December 2010

Stone Wall

Stoic faces staring back
On the side of a mountain wall,
Like Jesus' face, clearly showing
Upon the ancient shroud of Turin

Frowning faces staring back, joking,
Pensive, judging, hunting for cracks;
Maybe your polished exterior is flawed,
Maybe that's why they stare at you in awe,
And why they'll never look away
Watching through you throughout the days,

Until slowly, suddenly you look, understand
That they're only the imaginings of a sad man,
Just scars on a surface of stone and sand.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Desert winds

Travelling for days, I still can't conceive my goal;
Desert sands press their way through my soul,
Outer forces veer me off track.
I try to move forward, but only go back.
If I drop my foot, it sifts
-------------------------through the
If I push with my body, winds just turn me around.

I force my way through putrid weather,
My hands in front of me, together,
And the only sound I hear is wind
Blazing its shrill tune through my head
As if I were a seashell and it a kid,
Hearing music through something long dead.

As millions of specks, yellow, red, black, gold,
Hack through the air, I start to erode.
Each memory takes a small part of me,
Grinding me down, never setting me free,
Until I'm not lost, yet not wanting to be found,
Now I'm but a piece of dust, slowly sinking to the ground.

Monday, 8 November 2010


Badump! Badump! Badump!

A little red bird screams its silent song.
Someone once took great care in sheltering it from the outside world,
Building a cage of bone, and twine, and gold,
Quite austere, but wonderful for a stranger to behold,

Yet the bird shrieks all day long,
Pressing its neck through gilded bars, so far as to dig into its flesh;
There's food for ages, but you can see its ribs through its chest.

It hasn't thought of resting its hoarse voice,
Of accepting its prison temporarily, as if it had a choice,
And letting its wounds heal, gathering up strength,
To then wreck its odious home with a thousand pecks.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

A walk

Today, I decided to take advantage of my university's geographical location and i headed to the beach after class this morning. When I reached the sand, I took off my shoes and socks, and felt the grains between my toes, not really silky smooth but with little rocks and imperfections. So I walked diagonally to the seashore, and proceeded to stroll between the raging waves and the wall of sand that had been created by erosion recently, because it hadn't been there in the summer; maybe it's a seasonal thing.
The sights were perfect. On one side, the city, on the other, waves so big they could engulf you if you dove in. The water was white and turbulent, frothing with foam, and the wind pulled my shoelaces and hair to the side, but I just let it sway... One of my baggy sweater's sleeves hung low, past my dangling hand, and the other was pulled up, as I held my notebooks and ipod, which connected back to my head. The music and sound of beach waves created the perfect high, and the water caressed my toes. I stopped to roll up my pant legs, to get in a little deeper, and now it felt like I was in the water with the big waves.
I followed the shoreline until I got to the moors, which are made of big rocks with asphalt and gravel on top; I jumped the fence and walked down one, as painful as stepping on pebbles is barefoot. On my side, a man had caught a huge fish, he screamed at a partner in another moor, then smiled and said hello. I went to the edge, standing as far as I could. Looking down, the rocks on the edge look like dice that have been tossed mercilessly by a cruel god. If you stare into the horizon, it's like looking into every single of the places you've lived... In my case, I imagined the beaches of Latakya in Syria, and the fishing club in Buenos Aires that my brother once was a part of. Even if the places aren't really in the direction you're staring at, looking into the sea feels like you're looking straight at your origins. Columbus is pointing that way, though, into the Mediterranean. I wonder why that is.
The waves crashed upon the dice and occasionally a light spray of saltwater would land on my face and body. It was rhythmical. The sea is so soothing, even when it's rough. In the sky, clouds danced this way and that, but the sun kept on shining. I made my way into the city, only looking back to put on my sneakers and take off my sweater.
Si quieres un amigo, ¡Domestícame!
- ¿Qué hay que hacer? -- dijo el principito.
-- Hay que ser paciente-- respondio el zorro--. Te sentarás al principio un poco lejos de mí, así, en la hierba. Te miraré de reojo y no dirás nada. La palabra es fuente de malentendidos. Pero cada dia, podrás sentarte un poquito más cerca...

Sunday, 3 October 2010


As I walk, I count the steps I take,
I listen to the sounds they make
On the pavement of the street
Step one, Step two, say my two feet,

And I like to look back,
Think of all the things I used to do
The days I walked the city through,

But one thing that I have found
Is that no matter how lovely the sound
Of long-gone paces on the street,
(Step one, Step two, that lively beat)

When you stop to listen, it's done,
And memories won't take you back,
'Cause time walks on a one-way track...
Caminaba por la orilla del mar, un atardecer,
Y sentí la brisa marina disolviendome la piel.
La mudé y la mudé, y en nada me quedé...

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Sunset, Sunrise

On a dimming, dull afternoon, the sun
Makes its way through tall, grey-green trees,
Setting slow and soft, with no rush;
Night then soaks through the atmosphere,

And the world becomes black, silver and blue
of unlit earth, mother moon, and the stars;
The crickets chirp for hours on end,
Until the moon starts to descend,

And amidst the buzzing hubbub of bees,
Of flittering flies and low circling leaves,
Long yellow rays of travelling light
Shoot down the dark with fearless might,

Through drops of dew lying on resting plants,
Waking ripples of water in a pond,
And setting a black sky ablaze
'To violet, red and orange haze.

I've spent the previous hour or so writing this, to destress and avoid thinking that tomorrow I start college. I'm so nervous, and definitely starting off on the wrong foot, because I forgot to attend the first two classes of catalan (come on, they were before classes officially start, they caught me by surprise/ I would not have attended the first one had I known, because I had a big exam) and very possibly this could mean that I no longer have a spot reserved in said class.
This in turn means that, since at least half my classes are in catalan, and I do not speak it well (or at all, for that matter, I just sort of understand it), I could find myself completely lost for the first trimester or so.
I'm hoping I can sort this out tomorrow and attend catalan that very afternoon.
Also, I'm really excited for starting, but scared shitless at the same time. My reasons are:
2- Well, that is it. There's also the fact that I'm going to be lost in a sea of people who do not know my name, and will be forced to step out of my shell and start talking to strangers so I can make friends. But I will have friends in time, and I'm hoping that, since everyone's in the same situation, they'll talk to me first, haha.
I'm really looking forward to meeting new people of different backgrounds. Also, the campus is by the beach, which is such an amazing thing. Smoking is prohibited, which I find strange because all the other unis have the teachers smoking with the students. However, I don't mind it at all, though the first thing you stumbled upon when entering the UPF site was this big scary sign warning you about smoking on uni turf.
It's strange, everybody else has already started, and I'm the last to go. Just give me my blindfold and a cigarette, and set me against the wall already. Haha. But I'm as ready as I'll ever be.
It's taken me a long time to actually think about this but there are aspects of school I will miss.
Well, first of all, I finally have to face I'm not a kid anymore (yep, I realised I'm an adult a year too late), and that I'm getting old and withering and soon I shall die. Hahha well, I do want to grow old. And you can die anytime, anywhere, it's all just a matter of chance.
Then there's the speaking in English. I'll miss just chatting in English with whoever in the hallways-- now it's only Catalan, and Spanish if I'm lucky. Plus, walking around the city with English-speaking friends made me feel really cool / slightly douchey at times haha. But being able to pull out the cellphone and call some foreigner to impress a pretty girl on the metro was a great ace up my sleeve. I guess I can still get away with this, on occasions.

Ah, another scary thought that lurks in the depths of my mind is this one: if, by a stroke of luck, I get invited out this weekend (it's a catalan holiday, we have friday off and everybody goes out all night that night), I have to decline, because I'll be in Madrid. This means a prossible loss of said friendship, because I'll look like someone who tends not to accept proposals to go out (which might sort of be true haha) which means that any friendships I make this week will be null and void next week, which then means that I will have to omit this week from friendship-building and will have to start, from scratch, next week.
Though I doubt I'll have friends for some time. I hope I meet someone magical, with whom I just click, and everything is energetic and electric. Like in On the Road.
Had not had one of these rants in a long time. Feels strange to write in English (but I guess it is good practice, since I won't be doing so in class anymore), but it feels good to say anything I want on this page. I'm like a girl with a diary, ha. (or, like Don Draper with a diary, ha haa.)
I hope all goes well tomorrow. If it doesn't, I at least hope it's a big, whacky, embarassing anecdote that I can laugh at this upcoming afternoon.
Oh, and I hope catalan classes work out... (I pray)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Amichai : My People Are Alive

by Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

When we were young, cicadas buzzing in a nearby tree,
We'd go out to play at early dawn, just you and me,
Frolic between blades of grass, swaying, greys and silvery hues,
Until the sun rose, turning the world into orange-red glass,
And the stars set softly into the earth behind us, blue.

At dusk one night, they took you away. Who would I have, to play in the fields?
Years later, under the sweltering sun, (Zzzzz -- piercing my eardrums)
They found you, among others, in an earthy pit. Brought you home in a car,
And I watched you return to the soil (Still, there you are).

I remember the long-ago fun, when I was a child;
But who'd want to play in the fields, knowing the secrets of the ground?
I once loved my old thoughts in this vast landscape,
But cicadas beat my feelings into a haze;
Corpses line our memories, pillaged and raped.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

The Sea at Night

The Sun's crawled down, under the Sea,
And night creatures come into sight,
Creeping out from behind rocks and stones,
Taking time to cool their bones
--Now that harsh heat's turned cold night.

Let's take a swim, jump into the Sea,
With its freckles of reflections of Stars,
Where white waves break the hint of a Moon
Into silvery, satin scars.
Let's go for a swim, so, so far,

'Cause the Sun will come very soon,
And we don't have much time to dive in,
Under a blanket of sad, gloomy night,
Now, while the lighting's still dim,
Now, while the timing's still right.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Black and white shadows move in and out,
Up and about a movie screen,
Celuloid dreams of stories past
Of rebels and gentlemen and beauty queens.

Images of stars project from the grave;
You dance, you laugh for us again and again,
You tell us your stories, and we all want to know--
We listen so quietly, admiring the picture show.

The scenes we observe,
It's strange to think,
Happened once, maybe 50 years ago,
Were played a million times more,
Watched by children and housewives and men sipping drinks
And trannies and grannies all over the globe.

And yet the seasons change, things disappear
Everyday people and things we hold dear
Vanish, colours fading,
Our memories will fail us,
Then we shall die too,
Others will forget us;

But then we see you,
From at least 50 years ago,
Your youth withers so slow, so slow
You've all grown old- or died-

But again and again we repeat, rewind
You're all so young and talented, in our minds,
But it's not only the acting,
It's that amazing feat you've managed:

Time is unkind, but I think you've done well,
Avoiding what I think is Hell.
Forever and ever, we'll all see
You and love you, your memory.

Though we all disappear
Sooner or later, now or in years,
You've clasped on to existence,
Reaching out for eternity.

In years to come, when society's moved on,
With robots and rockets and people on the moon,
Somebody will look back and remember you,
Observing how people lived, such a long time ago...

And a feeling will spark, a bond with all of us,
The anonymous.
We watched you too.

Lens focus, a close-up of your face
Expressions so slight and full of grace.
The lights are bright, we watch tonight
A black-and-white motion-picture, tribute to the human race.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

From Here to Eternity

A: I never knew it could be like this! Nobody ever kissed me the way you do.

B: Nobody?

A: No, nobody.

B: Not even one? Out of all the men you've been kissed by?

A: [giggling] Now that'd take some figuring. How many men do you think there've been?

B: I wouldn't know. Can't you give me a rough estimate?

A: Not without an adding machine. Do you have the adding machine with you?

B: I forgot to bring it.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

I will be sitting in church,
Between saintly statues and pews,
And thoughts will prowl in my head,
Getting closer, closer to you.

You can do nothing to stop them,
But succumb to my every whim;
I'll let all my passions run free
While we both hum along to hymns.

I'll let all my secrets run wild
And nobody will ever know
That in the church I once smiled,
Thinking of fictional sins.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

My trusty camera and cap, film photos to come soon

Saturday, 5 June 2010

by Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

Today I was given my wings,
I bat them like soft eyelashes.
They shine, they're such beautiful things;
They glow like little girls' sashes.

They are just a caleidoscope,
Refracting golden rays of light;
Shimmering in the day,
And glowing in the night.

The Sun moves its way through my wings;
Translucent, the purest of things,
And though I won't have them for long,
Short love doesn't mean it's less strong,

So, I see nothing quite as grand
As posing gently on my stand,
Trying to look as glad as I can,
Liking the feel of my wingspan.

The birds, through the forest they sing
Of my newfound, iridescent wings.
Their voice, oh the Joy it does bring,
For once, I do feel like a King,

So I start to voice along,
Joining in with their happy song,
And I muster all my might,
Jumping up and taking flight.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

by Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

Dive into a sea of blue,
Deeper, let it grow dark.
Deeper, let the water surround you,
Deeper, deeper, let it soak you through.

Dive, away from the light.
In your brain, nitrogen sparks,
Until it becomes dark as night.
Further, further, lose your eyesight.

It isn’t frightening.

More like a blanket,
Wrapped around you by your Mom,
The woman whose hair you would comb,
The woman who held you in her womb;

Bubbles morph, up and away,
But there you stay,
Like a sinking stone,
Lying alone in a green and black zone…

Swim far down,
And when you can’t take it anymore,
Come back;

See sunlight erupt.
Let your inert body
Lap it all up.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

There I was, walking down the street;
Shuffling by, I moved my two feet--
Making a sound, a simple beat,
Soft music, a wonderful treat.

I passed the park, our eyes did meet.
Yours, so big, so blue, and so sweet,
Dazzled me-- I had to retreat,
And by your side, I did take a


Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Fallen Idol

by Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

Last time you went out the door,
I screamed, I cried, I groveled,
I threw myself on the floor;

Now I've torn down all my walls
Push me, shove me, or beat me,
Bite me, I won't move at all.

I once called you in my prayers-
But I've built me a new Home-
So scurry back to your filthy lair.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Let's get physical

I find it preposterous that we are conditioned to believe in the superiority of a world of ideas, and how the physical world lacks value. Immediately, we judge a woman who marries a rich man so she can have objects. She is a gold-digger, and while this might be true, it is also true that morality is subjective, so who says she's doing something bad? Maybe the old man knows this, and just wants his wife for physical reasons. If this is the case, then both people are benefitted, and nobody gets hurt-- what makes it wrong?
Yet our society judges, because we have been taught that love is the ideal, mostly from the Bible (referring to Christian societies). However, we find ourselves in a greatly secularised culture, where right and wrong are not as clearly defined as in the good ol' days, and each citizen has a right to implement his/her own moral compass.
If we can use our own compasses for morality, or for the generation of ideas, or basically anything, just because it is within our rights, why should we assume that ideas are more important than the physical world around us? This was once a justificaton, used by medieval philosophers/priests, of the importance of the immortal spirit over our transitionary stay on earth; if we behaved well, we would gain access to heaven (See for example, San Agustin- my philosophy class is in Spanish, but I guess this must be Saint Augustine?).
However, now the numbers of people that believe in heaven, or in an inmortal spirit, dwindle. The spiritual has no logical superiority to the physical. In fact, the physical is our reality*, and ideas remain only in our heads, more subjective than ever. Is it that wrong for a person to have hedonistic values? I suppose not. Yet I cannot help to consider a person like Paris Hilton**, who may not have thought once in her life, to be shallow.
Herein lies my dilemma: though I do not feel the body is superior to the mind, I am having a hard time justifying this.

*Though it is true that we each filter it in our own way, and nobody has the same experience.

**Actually, I sometimes think Paris Hilton has just created a scandalous character through which she gains lots of money, which would require a pretty advanced mind, in my opinion. However, she is the ideal dumb blonde, so I use her as an example.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

by Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

A spirit fondles the sand,
During the funeral of a dame
That died by the hands
Of an ocean untamed.

Blood froths on the seashore,
On this date of her death.
Her vengeance, to kill more;
To take others' last breaths.

She does unto others
What happened to her;
Insipid, she smothers-
Revenge of an oiltanker.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Together we were kids

by Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

Soon we will have to say Goodbye.
I try to buy time, but words wilt away;
I feel a funny feeling in the corner of my eye,
Remembering the good old days.

It tickles my nose, and I try,
And try to stop my lids from puffing up.
I blink repeatedly, yet I
Reap no rewards-- Down my face, teardrops drop.

So I sit and wonder why,
What happened to all these years?
Thinking of childhood friends, I cry.
Don't watch my face flooding with tears.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Waiting, on the Edge

by Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

As a child I was scared of Growing Up,
But the days flew by and things just changed.
Now there's no choice, time's up,
My heart throbs, hiperactive, life's rearranged.

During those Spanish Summers by the pool
When bats would swoop in to drink at night,
I'd live, far from routine and school
I'd dive into the deep end, without fright;

Now I find myself staring down at a deep sea
On a diving board, and time's at its end.
I do not have a choice, so I count to three:
I know I must try, I must try to descend

And jump, without the excuse of being a kid
For any mistakes that I may commit.
Now I walk the plank, and soon I shall dive
Into the vast empty space that will be my life.

Friday, 26 March 2010


Childhood in the Middle East
And then a flight across the World
And then to Europe's West,
Experiences to be posessed
But Cardinal confusion
Exponentially increased.

Inhabitant of many places,
Native of none.

Unique snowflakes,
And all that Shit.
Diamonds in the rough
-Mothered by pressure-
Just Cheap carbon atoms,

Travelling the World
Absorbing black soot,
It marches through my veins,
And plots its route
Osmoting, expanding,
Tainting what were
Supposedly My Roots.

The wandering thrust upon me
My parents' desire to roam
Forged my Identity
But slaughtered my notions of Home.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


by Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

He always remembers his first true love-
Poisoned by snake, on her white wedding day-
Once he stormed through hell, to bring her above,
And thus, carry on, without further delay.

So he went down to Hell, where fire is black,
And pacted with the fiery God of beneath:
If he trusted her, without looking back
To the sad husband, her life he’d bequeath.

She followed him, almost reaching the light,
But he looked back when she shouted his Name.
As was accorded, She vanished from sight;
Temptation and he were only to blame.

Beasts now listen to grief of monsters past,
Sad strokes of his lire give her life, at last.

(attempt at a sonnet)

Saturday, 13 March 2010

by Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

We observe the countryside,
On our six-foot concrete pedestal,
On top of a hill
Which we climbed and climbed.

We climbed and climbed,
Through fields of Grain and Seed,
Up a makeshift ladder
Of iron bars, and now We enjoy

Endless expanses bathed in Sun
And the Earth covered with sun
A spectacular, Andalusian view;

And White clouds flit by,
Across the horizon,
Swimming like fish
In the Sea that's the Sky.

Together We'll eat
And watch the world quietly
So far away.
Over there, the Spanish Country.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Canción del Anciano

de Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

Dice en su cartel de cartón,
Garabateado con permanente:
"No quiero monedas, quiero cambio"
Pero quien no cambia es la gente.

Extiende su mano, arrugada,
Grita con dignidad perdida,
Observa con cara ausente,
¿Acaso os falta comida?

--La felicidad no conoce
Sus mejillas hundidas.

No conoce la sonrisa,
No conoce la esperanza,
Solo conoce las miradas que ignoran de su vida,
Que lo atraviesan-- es un Fantasma.

El frio lo traspasa
Y Nunca curan sus heridas.

El rostro de un Anciano, demacrado,
Te ruega por una moneda;
Mientras todos pasan a su lado
Ahí, pobre, Él se queda.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Winter Crisis

by Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

The last cries of Winter
Resound through the night.
Though her spell shall splinter,
She employs all her might.

She freezes the streets,
Buries forests in snow,
But Sun shines--
In a tree, a leaf starts to grow-

It buds and unravels,
Pushing snow away,
And so we meet
That sliver of Hope,

That says "Soon,
We shall rise to our feet,"
While we await that glorious day.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Veranos en el cortijo

Nada me ha marcado tanto como lo hicieron mis veranos de mi juventud, en Bárcena, la finca familiar, que eran eternos hasta que un día acababan, y que eran etereos, una dimensión completamente distinta a la vida en Siria. Ahí, yo era un niño español, cada día era completamente libre, podía ir lo más lejos posible y no encontraría rastros de colegio ni de problemas ni de nada, solo podía llegar a la verja que nos separaba de los toros por un lado, y una carretera si siguiese por el otro. Siempre serán un sueño.
En los veranos de mi juventud, tostándonos bajo el sol andaluz, los primos y un labrador, Samba, ahora vieja y ciega, emprendíamos viajes hacia el punto geodésico, en la colina más alta de las tierras de Bárcena, cerca de Morón de la Frontera.
Saldríamos por el jardín de la casa de la abuela, pasando por al lado del pino gigante que nos daba sombra y piñones para recoger, ya fuese en tierra o buceando en la piscina; los piñones buenos se hundían. Los malos eran los que flotaban junto a los bichos muertos y las agujas del pino. La piscina era grande, y al llegar siempre estaba vacía. Un año, hubo ratas, que se ahogaron al llenar la piscina. Ahí aprendí nadar. De noche, los murcielagos se lanzarían hacia el agua, bebiendo del cloro. De vez en cuando nos bañabamos a medianoche, encendiendo un foco, pero el frio y el miedo nos hacían durar muy poco en el agua nocturna.
Bajabamos a los olivares, llenos de arena, y caminabamos entre las filas de olivos. Cruzabamos lo que en invierno era un riachuelo, que ahora era solo tierra seca y agrietada, con plantas largas que crecían alrededor.
Muchas veces eran plantas de regaliz, que se podían cortar y chupar- un sustituto a las chucherias que no se encontraban en nuestras caminatas. Otras veces, eran plantas con frutos verdes ovalados, que, golpeados de cierta manera, se defendían echando un dinámico chorro de agua. También había cesped largo, y cañas de bambú, que no sé de dónde provenian. Esta, junto a los olivos y girasoles, era la flora del lugar.
En el sitio donde crecían tres "bosques" de cañas construíamos pueblos, cuya moneda y comida siempre eran los piñones. Cada primo desempeñaba un papel en el pueblo-una vez, en un día ventoso, fui cura- y una vez todos los habitantes del pueblo fuimos piratas. A Gabriel, el que cuidaba de los olivos, no le hacía mucha gracia que construyeramos, porque luego las cañas bloqueaban el paso de su tractor.
Al pasar los bosques de cañas, seguíamos paralelos al riachuelo seco- donde en el invierno habitaban ranas, serpientes y tortugas- y llegabamos a un sendero. A la distancia, se veían los tres pinos, que por lo visto habían estado enfermos por años, y otra finca, no Bárcena. Adelante nuestro, crecían millares de girasoles, y la tierra se alzaba en una colina que culminaba con el punto geodésico.
El punto geodésico no era ninguna maravilla de la arquitectura. Más bien era una estructura de hormigón armado con unas grapas de hierro que servían de escalera. Tengo entendido que marcaba un grado de latitud y altitud, o algo así. Subiendo sus dos metros de altura, te podías sentar y admirar la infinitud de los olivos que se extendían hasta el horizonte.
Lejos se veía Bárcena, donde estaban mis padres, los abuelos y los tíos, y aún más lejos estaba Morón (no lo recuerdo en mi mapa mental de la zona). Ya el resto del mundo era impensable-- Sevilla, España, Europa, Siria, Damasco, todo existía en una realidad alternativa, que era pecado recordar hasta el día que se volvía hacia la ciudad, para tomar el avión que nos llevaría a Madrid, donde nos esperaba otro avión hacia el Medio Oriente.
Pasado un rato, despues de comer nuestros bocadillos de nocilla y tomarnos nuestros batidos, alzados por encima del mundo y lejos de todo, volveríamos a bajar la estructura de hormigón para volver hacia el cortijo. Esta vez, entrabamos por la puerta delantera, una puerta de madera verde, de dos metros de ancho y cuatro de alto, pasando primero por los naranjos y limones del patio delantero, donde de día, recogíamos limones para hacer limonada y vendersela a nuestros familiares por un euro facil. De noche, ahí jugabamos al escondite. Eso podíamos hacer después de la excursión a lo alto de la colina.
"Un, dos, tres, PIES." Se salvaba uno de quedarla, se salvaba otro, álguien hacia de comodín y así se elegía al que tendría que buscar a los demás. Mientras ese contaba, los otros corrían a desaparecer detrás de macetas, dentro de arbustos o subidos a la copa de un naranjo. Si álguien te seguía, lo echabas; regía la ley del más fuerte.
Cuando nos llamaba la abuela, el abuelo, o mamá, o papá, o algún tío, entrabamos, bajo un arco que tenía una virgen en la pared, y una farola negra colgando del techo, rodeada de polillas revoloteando. Correteaban a tus alrededores las sombras alargadas de lagartijas, que se podían atrapar, mientras no las agarraras de la cola, que ellas desprendían con facilidad. Entonces nos encontrabamos en el patio central, con un pozo de agua en el medio, y las casas a los lados, que tenían ventanas largas y andaluzas, con persianas verdes, y jazmines y enredaderas con flores rojas en las paredes.
Muchas veces, al atardecer, se podían recoger los jazmines cerrados. Estos se abrían de noche, y el olor ahuyentaba a los mosquitos. Dentro de las plantas de jazmín y las enredaderas se oían trinar a miles de pájaros, gorriones, y si la sacudías, o le pegabas un pelotazo, salían todos en vuelo.
El cielo veraniego era espléndido, y, aunque las puestas de sol eran increibles, cuando más lo disfrutaba era en las noches que salíamos a ver las estrellas. Entonces, con las mellis, las primas segundas con las que jugaba de chico, (no se si ellas disfrutaban, porque yo era bastante mas pequeño que ellas, y podría haber sido una plasta), y con María, hija de Gabriel y Mari, saldríamos en pijama, después de cenar, a tirarnos sobre la piedra con forma de medialuna que había cerca del arbol donde de día hacíamos casas con piedras y mantas por paredes y muebles. Un año, mientras construíamos, se nos acercó una cabra extraviada, y la llevamos hacia el patio del cortijo. Otro, me encontré un escarabajo pelotero dentro de un "florero" de nuestra cabaña -- un ladrillo con flores metidas en los huecos-- y se convirtió en mi mascota.
Alli, en la piedra, cerca del arbol, tirados en la noche, el mundo se hacía pequeño. Solo se veía la oscuridad negra y las estrellas, y se oía solo nuestras voces y las de los grillos. Jugaríamos a identificar constelaciones: las tres marías, las osas mayor y menor, el cazador; y el silencio se apoderaría de nosotros. Me hablaban solo los sonidos nocturnos, y la infinitud del cosmos se desplegaba frente a mis ojos, sentía que caía.
Solo así podía ver que teniendo los problemas que tuviera (tenía miedo a crecer), durara el verano lo poco que duraba, y aunque terminase todo, el universo seguía, y aunque yo no era nada, a la vez lo era todo; el universo era la suma de todas las cosas individuales que cabían en él. Por más que el momento pasara, siempre seguía. Alli arriba, nada cambiaba, y eso me daba la certeza de que sí existe un Dios, y este es el flujo del universo mismo, las expansiones y contracciones que lo impulsan. Aunque llegase Agosto, aunque tuviese que volver, aunque algún día me tuviese que mudar, que crecer, aunque, sin saberlo conscientemente, algún día no tendría Barcena, y no volvería cada verano con mis primos, todos pequeños, todo seguiría ahí, en el universo y en mi memoria.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Sha la la la la la la

'Cause down the shore everything's all right,
You and your baby on a Saturday night,
You know all my dreams come true
When i'm walking down the street with you

-Bruce Springsteen, Jersey Girl

Monday, 15 February 2010

de Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

Sentado aquí, en el lecho de mi muerte,
Observando el inmenso mar,
Con un pasaje intransferible, no retornable,
Miro un cadaver por crear.

El barquero nos llama a bordo,
¿Adonde vamos? - Decido preguntar -
¿Podría haber elegido otro destino?
Responde él: Los destinos se forjan al andar,

Este es un barco con rumbo desconocido;
Su tripulación, lista está
Para enfrentarse al vacío,
Asi que, ¡Desplegad las velas, las anclas, izad!

Entonces zarpamos, decididos
A enfrentarnos a lo desconocido,
Pues todo lo conocido de este mundo
No desaparecerá.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

"I'll sing to you of silver swans,
of kingdoms and carillons.
I'll sing of bodies intertwined
underneath an innocent sky."


Friday, 12 February 2010

by Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

The Syrian trees are speckled with apples,
And you see shades of green and white;
Through the leaves
Spills yellow light.

You feel Impressionist,
Under the eaves
Of a train station flooded with light
Reflected in paint;

Hall through hall,
You see the mottled colours prance
Of a Pissarro or Dancing Degas,
Monet or Manet or Cezanne,

And then Toulouse-Lautrec shows you the night
Of cabaret and caricatures
Composed of lines and light,

And now you are back in an orchard,
Travelling in a car, misplaced,
And the sun shines, through the leaves of trees,
And dances on your face.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Timetravel :)

Camwhoreing at grandma's

With papá at the beach

Still camwhoreing

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Me preguntan quién me ha influenciado en la vida

de Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

Me preguntan quién me ha influenciado en la vida,
Y que lo encuadre para que todo el mundo lo vea,
Esperando que deletree cuatro personas que me han querido,
Pero creo que influencia todo conocido-
Toda familia que te cuida en su seno, todo extraño
Que una puerta un día te haya abierto, todo amigo
Que te quiera, quería o que alguna vez hayas querido,
Hasta esa persona que conociste en sueño-
Y quíen sabe, quizás quepa, pero que yo sepa,
Por mi vida ha pasado demasiada gente que yo quiero.

(Para mi half-page en yearbook)

Sunday, 7 February 2010

On the Wings of Winged Victory

by Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

The Goddess Nike watches over us
As we stomp our way through town
On the Wings of winged victory;
See the lights flash above us?

Our path leaves a trace in the concrete,
A yarn that is tracing our steps,
Yet none of these steps we'll repeat,
And soon we'll wonder
How far we had leapt.

Well, to make it this far is a gargantuan feat--
The sparkling drinks, the shining smiles
Are all rendered at Our feet--
We've travelled for miles;

So let us Sing, let us Dance, let us Play,
Let us think ourselves Gods on the street--
For tonight we shall sleep in defeat
And return to inescapable day.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


by Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

I like to Feel my protruding sternum
Feel my deformed chest
Repeat and retract
All I’ve said,
Admire the spot
On my finger, purple,
Where Mother
Slammed a car door
When I was little and ran
‘Til I felt no more;

I like to run my hands
Over the hard jags
On my canines,
Where Iron used to be,
Chipping any Nails
That try to remove them,
And then I remember
That chipped tooth,
From Middle School,
Which broke once
Until we realized it had no fix,
And just removed
It, and some forgot
But it is different.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Mother, Sister, Lover, Friend, Angel, Devil, Earth, Home.

de Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

Tantaliza la memoria y seduce la razón,
Se Desviste frente a los sentidos
Y da por vencido mi bravo corazón
Una Mujer que no he conocido;

Muévese por los confines de mi mente,
Pisotea mis neuronas con fervor
Mujer de caricias inocentes, intrascendentes,
Mujer que se llama Amor.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

A hand removing excess skin,
Peeling at the layers,
Ripping at the callous skin I've been in.

Tin can ribbed and oxidised
Melting ice in solid glass
Discarded chopsticks, books in a mass;

A dusty machine spotted with dirt
Playdough, and a dirty shirt
A broken sock - a peeping toe;

All this today I had to throw,
Order, pack and clear,
Put in a box, make disappear.

I threw most of my life away-
Yet today I discovered
That it was barely worth much, anyway.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

En el país de los minaretes

En el País de los Minaretes
de Felipe Alvarez de Toledo

Mi infancia son recuerdos de un jardín de gatos-tigre
Que paseaban por paredes coronadas con cristales
Acechando tortugas y caminando libres
Entre hojas de pasto alto, por los secos matorrales.

Hace tiempo que vimos a las tortugas desaparecer
En el gran país de minaretes y mujeres veladas,
De cantos de Allah ou acbar al anochecer
Y en el mes sagrado, cañonazos al aire, al alba.

Pero cada año aparecen huevos en ese jardín,
Y los gatos miran atentos a su viejo enemigo
Salir y llegar a un mundo impenetrable,
Donde hace tiempo, unos niños habían crecido.


Mi infancia son recuerdos de un patio de Sevilla
y un huerto claro donde madura el limonero;
mi juventud, veinte años en tierra de Castilla;
mi historia, algunos casos que recordar no quiero.
-Antonio Machado, Retrato

Monday, 4 January 2010