Chapter 7. The gap
(He told me–The Peach)
I have thought about the story of language
and I know it was a tale of adoration.
Nussnacker, he told me, The Nutcracker.
He talks about a philosopher, an old man.
An old man types, types this, seated at the table,
a banquet table so immensely long the far end is lost in the fog…a grand piano?
He is writing something he remembers. Something: exactly what.
The problem comes from farther back than the deixis: it’s not that you can never reach the instant,
because in fact you can reach it, but only once. Like this, the same way bees lose their stinger
when they sting, the man with his finger pointing at a door. But that isn’t important. What’s
important is that repetition isn’t possible.
I dream about having one hand—he says—completely surrounded by fingers like a crab, a star or
a compass rose with several index fingers and a heart. A hand that turns like a weathervane. A
noumenal hand. But I have a hand that is nettled by reality. A peach, for example, a knob, a door
He says his past doesn’t exist, that he has tried everything. That he has tried “methods.” But not
even that. The-Flower-On-The-Chain-Non-Stop-Show. There, he tried it. He even went in there.
He remembers the sound of ice in the glass, but not that it could be repeated. Then the triangular
pubis, like a point broken off a star, or an arrow that is always pointing toward hell. He
remembers getting off the metro. Mind the gap, please, mind
The crack between language and its adoration.
He only remembers “the fundamental question”: what he whispered when he started to get
dressed. He told her, If I die, “this” may not have happened. And she replied, You are wrong:
snow melts but it is white. Only those who lose their origin can die. You can undo a knot but not
its soul, which is like smoke. You can undo a knot but not its function. You can close a door, but
doing so you cannot assume it will never open again: you can close the act of having opened the
door in an exact moment on a specific day, but not the door. If a door opens it is open forever.
The rain can disappear but not the possibility that someone looks at the desert with a silver mask.
She told him this and he got on the metro.
Please, please, keep clear, do not obstruct the doors.
Do not abstract the doors.
A flower grows out of the door in spring. In summer, the flower is fruit on the handle. In autumn,
the handle is too ripe for you to turn in your hand. In winter doors don’t have handles and can’t
Do not abstract the doors.
He told me, Nussnacker, the Nutcracker (we called him this because he broke walnuts in the cup
of his neck).
Nussnacker says the old man no longer goes out. He no longer goes to The-Flower-On-The-Chain-
He says that when he needs something he drops a bag tied to a cord over the balcony, a strange
kite that hangs by gravity, old age, a zeppelin tea bag.
He also says he writes nonstop:
I was a man like any other walking down the street but my shadow was that of a skydiver.
I was an average man but my story was a tale of adoration.
Translated by Curtis Bauer
“Chapter 7. The gap” is from La Adoración [The Adoration] (DVD Ediciones, 2011).
You can read and listen to the poem in the original Spanish here.