Friday, June 26, 2009


What is it in human skin that renders it so attractive? What possible meaning can we give to the creases in each others faces?
I remember feeling skins so rough I could barely believe it was human: hands all roughened from hard work, from burns and skin conditions. I also remember skins so soft and subtle they seemed almost nonhuman. The skin of a woman so white I called her my cloud. What do we give when we caress? What do we set in motion in the others' skin when we touch them?
A simple touch can be understood and misunderstood in so many ways, specially nowadays. We refuse to touch, we are afraid to touch: too many things involved in a simple handshake, or two kisses, like the french, or a hug, like the latinos. And, after all, what do they say about us? How does that really define us?
If I go now and put a hand on your shoulder, will you shake it? If I come from behind and tickle you, will you think I'm flirting with you?
The skin reacts without us wanting it. Our skin is so sensitive and alive that sweats, breaths, excretes -how gross is that! -and of course, we don't touch ourselves. That would be sinful.
Thirty layers of skin, separate them, look each and every one of them through a microscope and I bet you won't have a clue about why is that we shiver when we come in contact with some people, and not with others.
Of course, there is the chemistry thing: we are little more than a bundle of chemical substances and bones, nervous system, but over all, we are skin.
Skin someone: peel them off that skin.
Xipe Totec, an Aztec deity related to life-death cycles, but also to war; he flayed himself to feed his people: the ultimate sacrifice, feed your beloved ones with your own being; but pay attention, it was not his entrails, it was not his heart,, not his limbs, his liver: it was his skin: the biggest part of oneself.
Skin tells us where we end and the rest of the world starts; it protects us, and shows some of what we are: the more skin we show, the more unprotected we feel; and yet, who could argue that the moment we feel more safe, more separated from the world and close to ourselves is the moment when we shed your clothes, that other -more modern- skin and give ourselves to another body, to another skin?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bow Valley Glacier

(pic by Jonathan S Green)
The sheer loneliness of snow. A big wide mouth, almost like a dead planet. Almost the moon. Do you dare come and meet me here? Will you join me in the depths of myself?
Loneliness and cold. Rain. One bird, one squirrel; both hungry and fighting over a squirmy spider with telescopic eyes. Do you see them? They are all having a party inside of my head. And I want to scream. Let the snow fall over my head.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lake Moraine, tracks on the snow

Above your head, the mountains scream their guts to you; and if you listen carefully, they will also whisper into your ear sweet and sinister words, like your own personal murderer luring you with a nice bonfire and marshmallows.

Picture taken by Olivier Stalon

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


To lose or to get lost?
What is worse?
Let's say: you walk in the woods for a while and suddenly you have no idea where you are, the sun is going down slowly. You know this because of the angle of the light. And the color. The color of light is really important; that much you have gathered. Orange is bad, yellow is good. Gray and blue are absolutely out of the question, because then you are really, really lost. You calm yourself down, after all, you only walked one hour before you felt lost; and then, the thought strikes you: you're not lost, you only feel lost, which is quite different. You listen carefully: every sound is now distinctive, you can almost hear every bird around you, and the sound of the river, which is not, like most books say, a 'flow', but more like a whoosh, a gush, a swash, definitely, that is NOT a flow.
Then, the birds, the countless birds that up till now you didn't even notice: there are sparrows, robins, ravens, maybe an eagle? They chirp and hum. You know that noise coming from below is nothing more than a bunch of big black hard working ants. Their big strong jaws braking and severing the leaves on the floor.
And even now you can identify every single noise and sound coming from every possible direction you can think of: nothing reliable, nothing known, nothing familiar, not one throat coughing, not one sensitive nose twitching in front of a wild flower. Not the rustle of tired feet coming from atop the mountain. And then, only then, you know that you are lost.

Or is it worse to lose? Is it worse to pat your own ass looking for your wallet, knowing every hard evidence that you exist in the civilized world is lost? Even better (worse) to pat your chest, looking for that feeling you just had, moments ago, that so familiar feeling of warmth and confidence, and bright futures and theylivedhappilyeverafter sensation. Then, just like when you feel lost, you try to calm yourself down; you are thinking, I just feel that I lost it, it must be here somewhere, I just turned my head for a moment. But then, the more you dig in your kernel, the more you dissect and tear apart your intestines, your own guts, the more convinced you are that it is gone, forever, maybe.

It is just so easy to lose yourself in the woods, you say to yourself, while climbing a rock towards what appears to be a road, even though you know you could be wrong.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Oslo Solo

For Maren and Jeremy -thanks for sharing your music.

There is water, and there is water.
There is water casting a shadow over water.
There is water over the top of the mountain, and there is water beneath the mountain as well.

A little bird pecks the ice: a single Gray Jay -Perisoreus Canadiensis- jabbing his head, cracking the ice, drinking a solid body of sweet, luscious, frozen water.

The shadow that solid water casts over the liquid one under it; and then: the shadow that clouds cast over the frozen lake.

Blue, but also green, with hints of reddish brown and the neverending white water refusing to melt into the blue lake. Like a virgin keeping her own mountain for her first man, her wedding night. But we all know those tracks over her bright slant are not new: they have been there for a while. And they will never disappear, so our virgin cries, her tears come rolling down the mountain, and become shadows of water over water.

Because there is water, but then there is also water: the saliva of a sax player traveling fast and urgently towards the opening at the end of the squirmy tunnel, the turns and the openings, the keys.

There is, also, the sweat from the round buttocks of a piano player, moving, squirming, too, her pelvis bones rubbing the bench. Her white dress climbing over her legs, her young legs open and tense. And there will be water.

Monday, June 01, 2009


Siempre que viajo lamento que mis finanzas me impidan comprarle a la gente que quiero TODO lo que veo. Al mismo tiempo, esto obliga a ponerse creativos y buscar cosas representativas del lugar, cuya imagen, cuyo tacto, comunique la experiencia del viaje y, al mismo tiempo, sirva como testigo de que no olvido a mis amigos, ni sus voces, ni sus rostros.
Frente a mi, en el alfeizar de la ventana que aluza mi escritorio, a medio camino de mi percepción visual entre la computadora y el cielo canadiense recortado por Mount Sulphur, hay dos objetos: una piedra recogida a orillas del Lago Moraine, cuya forma y consistencia parecen las de una punta de lanza, y una pelota de beisbol encontrada en medio del bosque.
La piedra, por supuesto, la recogí con A en mente, con quien comparto la aficion por las rocas y los objetos pequeños. Sé que la mirará largamente, y se hará las mismas preguntas no formuladas que yo. Al agacharme a recogerla, vi que, en la otra ribera del lago, había varios pares de huellas inindentificables a esa distancia: me quedé largo rato mirándolas, sin pensar en nada más que en la voz de A, explicando claramente a qué animal pertenecen, y por qué razón.
El segundo objeto lo llevaré a casa, e imagino a Alice Cooper cuando conozca una pelota que sea más pequeña que ella: suele jugar con pelotas de plastico que la rebasan en altura. La pelota va y viene por el jardín, Alice Cooper dará marometas en el aire y sobre el pasto, chocando de vez en cuando con los árboles, y siendo agredida por hormigas, escarabajos, y de vez en cuando, la lluvia la mojará. Ella se quejará amargamente, sin copmrender de dónde viene la lluvia, antes de mirar a Mercutio, quien la observará fastidiado.
Aunque, de momento, los objetos están quietos, e inanimados.