Vallejo and I

(Based on a real dream)

The poet sits opposite me. He has that stern face I always see in his photos, with features that seem sculpted with an incompetent ax. At this point I do not remember if he shakes my hand or if he greets me with a trivial phrase. But I do not forget that he seats crossing her legs and looks at me with the sharp eye of a chieftain.

"I come from a meeting with Neruda, he said. It was intense." I say nothing. I merely observe his dark and old jacket; I stretch my arm and drink a glass of something that apparently is water. Then, the shock: "I want you to hear what I recently wrote."

It’s too good to be true. Cesar Vallejo is just a couple of meters from me, and he wants to read me some unpublished verses. But I’m too proud even in dreams , I guess that, because I hide my surprise as he pulls out a yellowish piece of paper from his pocket. 

Now he reads. With all the metaphysical air in the world, César Vallejo reads "A man is looking at a woman …" and I immodestly say "I know that verse,” and he replies" No, I just write it." I try to prove otherwise and I recite with him the whole stanza ( "a man is looking at a woman, / is looking immediately / with your sumptuous bad ground / and look at both hands / and tomb two breasts / and The two men move "), but everything is meaningless, because Vallejo ignores me and continues engrossed in the pastern.

He whistles the ¨s¨, as befits those born in Santiago de Chuco. " Carpentier did the same with the r" I say, and he alludes, I do not know why, to a Marxist quotation. Daring, I ask him for Georgette. "I do not know who she is," he replies. I feel I’ve been dodged, that he mocks and provokes me: "Actually, I dislike your prose. Not even Paco Yunque escapes from this "… He ignores me protected in his long straight hair covered with gel.

I do not remember what happened after he referred to Robert Desnos and Tristan Tzara. I do not know what he said on them, although I know that he said something. B ut I remember that at some point I recited Espergesia; I stated the most sublime poetry of Spanish language, unsurpassed by Quevedo, Borges and Machado, were all in ¨Los Heraldos Negros¨ (The Black Heralds), and I also recognized I envy his poem ¨Bordas de Hielo .¨

That is a corny poem, said he. "It’s the best corny poem of literature," I replied. After that (or was it before?) I felt I saw him smile, and I took advantage to tell two of my poems. Two poems of which only a couple of lines survive in my mind: "Your name is the shadow of my name / It duplicates mine, or almost, but never reverses it ".

That picture is clear in my mind: Vallejo gently celebrated me and found my verses had some similarities with someone´s called Velar Jolasec that I falsely told I knew who he was. "That Polish was unsurpassed, “he said. "Yes, the Poles are colossal," I added.

From that moment my dream is blurred, and I presume I woke up soon. Or, who knows, maybe it was immediately. Perhaps all happened in a few seconds, or maybe lasted all night. But the true, reliable, or terrible thing is that now I write with Vallejo before my eyes, intact and rigorous, as indigenous ghosta with his legs crossed.



Subscribe to our newsletters to be aware of the most relevant articles published on OnCuba.




Breaking News



Opinión Gráfica