Borrowed Time: An AIDS memoir

I first read Borrowed Time, with that jacket, yes, in the late summer of 1996. My first and only term at SDSU which is to this day, I feel, my true Alma mater. Such was the impact of it that one April the 8th of a 2015 I decided to buy it again in digital form far fetched notion indeed from the days I curled up to the book in paper format in the corridors of SDSU that 96. The memories it brings, yes, they last. So I bought it again. Only to finish it again in February 2016. The math says 22 months to read. So I took my time. Loads more than what it took in 1996. Why? What happened? There is a pain so deep which transpires time as the very breath I take now, it feels here and now. Though I fail to recollect my exact emotions when I first read the book I can recollect being taken by it in a way palpable today as then. Suffice to say, Mr. Monette weaved a tale that drew on the past as well as the now and the future which entangles one to this day. So am repetitive, only because I went against the grain towards my own myself, I do not reread for the most part. Yet I did for this volume. It is not easy to describe the aforementioned. What is it that makes a person reread a book? Take good old Virgina Woolf. She suggested to read a book ‘several’ times. But for the sake of memory? To relive? So I did it. I feel like when I got off the metro Piazza del Popolo in Rome, confronted with a past only I know because I knew where I was since I had been there before and I could imagine its world anew. A past I built on bits and pieces; facts and sheer fantasy. So I walked it alone. Admiring its beauty. Although I was more critical of Monette this time. The emotional fluctuations of the passage of time as he went through the pangs of pain and love for his dear Roger.

A reading of Monette is a delight because this is a good wordsmith. Not to mention that he weaves a series of interrelated events with the emotional load which tends to obligue one to side with the narrator on the injustices suffered by those who ended up guinea pigs for the conservative agenda of the Reagen years which linger on to this very day like a bad fart. Again, the second reading made me see a different Monette though, perhaps because so much time has passed by and am more cynical than when I was younger and more prone to the references to Greek and Roman history alluded in the text, stretched out like a thin silk line to the present, ah, yes, what imagination doesn’t fall for that? Yet the emotional decrying seems so exaggerated at times, viewed from what we now know with what we knew then, it is easy to lay blame on Paul.

Over and out.

Church of Spies The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitler

I ought to add a category for books read on my Kindle Amazon owns though I pay for it almost everyday. So I read Church of Spies – The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitler. By a dude named Mark Riebling. A lad with a many credentials. He is not your neighborhood comadre so his research seems to be legit. Regardless, the e-book read on a Kindle Amazon, was done over a period of time. Purchased the 2nd of Oct. 2015 and done with it January 2017 suffice to say, no ordinary read. 15 months. It took its time which presented a sort of reading contrary and against the flow of the day or thinking which encourages to read much and fast. I loved this method. Not that I never wanted to rip off the tonsils of my nagging little voice making me feel all guilty about letting the read sink in as the days turned into weeks and week into months. That thing has a life of its own and it ain’t little for wielding such power might I add.

Suffice to say it was a good read because I had the time to think about it as I perused the digital text at leisure. There is something about getting back to an unfinished book that allows for deeper reflection and this certainly did it. AS the reviews say it better than I do it tends to offer quite an intriguing recount of how Germans wanted to rid themselves of Hitler with the sanction and approval of the Holy See. Catholic Germans off course. Am sure a lot of the stuff that is retold in told in the book with the utmost enthralling details are fairly well researched but I imagine the sources had to be carefully authenticated. I mean, The Holy See in the WWII is not free of sin. No matter how well intentioned the characters portrayed in the book are explained with their actions and deeds to do away with Hitler. Although it is interesting to read somebody tried to do something to stop the Nazi crimes despite the hinders that that society presented at the time of the horrible episode of Germany. Just as interesting was to read how average people communicated with the Holy See as well as to get a glimpse of the mechanics of power during Nazi occupation of Rome.

All in all, the book was a juicy one for its intricate details of the cat and mouse entrapment that espionage is all about though this is no ordinary espionage since it was wartime. Good work.

The calender

I am surprised by the passing of time.

Not that it has changed. Just my perception of it. That has changed. I wonder if that is how water feels as it traverses rivers and seas or stagnating in puddles. Though it befuddles me to no end. Here I am, end of February, and it feels as if new year’s eve was yesterday. You mean the Chinese year? jested a friend of mine at work. How did we get here?

Then I saw the office calender. It’s one of those that are red, with namesakes and long which lends itself to quick jots as one plans whatever. January 2017. A whole bundle there in a table in one of coworkers office which serves as a nerve center for employees like me who drop in occasionally for diverse info. I was left astounded by it. Usually I pick up those before they are current in the year, 2 months managed to pass before that. What the?

Am sure time is no faster than 30 years ago or 50 or a 100. But my perception of it surely has changed. You’d think I don’t care for its passing anymore and that its yoke is no more, yet as it slaps me in the face as it does today it presents a crisis of existence of sorts. One tends to question its rapid passing in term of positive and negatives.

秋霜 Qiūshuāng

In my bathroom mirror there are a couple of white hairs clinging to its surface. They bring my existence to a head as I am reminded of my autumn frost as the Chinese are wont to say. I find them peculiarly interesting in a way they make me pause my life to realize the fact that am getting old. Some things are halting. I stare at the hairs from the throne as I do my business. Two white hairs, not apart from each other, reflecting each other on the surface of the mirror. They are reminders of my hair plucking. As my family taught me to do. The very purpose is about vanity, not appearing old, yet here this too, whose very presence alter the habit or act, are there to show me the inevitable, I am getting older. The flakes of the autumn frost are coming.

dire

Streets of N. This autumn 2016.
The weather is fine, here in N.
As I was about to walk & cross the cobblestone street to step unto the sidewalk
in the narrow stretch of public terrain & a public road
in the heart of the Swedish highlands
I scanned my surroundings
ready to saunter as if
I was in Beijing
when
a young couple caught my eye
they had right of way
I laid eyes on them
swiftly
pretending I hadn’t seen them
until the opportunity
to
fix my sight at them in leisure as they strolled by me
presented itself
so as not to interrupt the flow of the everyday so to say
it was a matter of seconds in which life bestows a lifetime far away the reach of fabric of time
the young lass looking straight ahead and the lad pushing a baby carriage, with a baby in it
I assume
that missed my observation since I can’t recall it
I did get to look at what seemed to be a couple though
dead intent to where they where headed on wards
as the weather doesn’t permit cheery attitudes
their faces were stern
who knows what was going on to be honest but it did ring a dire bell in me
as I delved into their passing by
I remembered my onus as a young person
still reeling from youth
stepping unto adulthood of responsibility
how bitter it was to suddenly not be part of what I was
I reflected upon my current status
hoped to heavens the young couple faired better
and went about as usual

Orar por el mal

I asked God
if he could take a a second to pardon
Satan
Evil
that Love
conquer
over Hate
So that Evil’s restlessness
come to a rest
so that we may live in peace
then I feared
Evil
Satan itself
fear for daring to pray for its soul
i imagined its wrath
I imagined a million specters
haunting me to stop
asking for its sins
feeling God’s reassurance
I desisted a microsecond
(you know how it is when one gets into those qualms)
God is absolute
I doubted inwards
shaking my head
at the binary
that accosts us
Oh Captain my Captain
shall rise
one day
I saw Star Trek
that Roddenberry utopia
soothe my ens
as I stepped onto some autumn leaves on my way
as the hours ticked
after hauling demons criss crossed my existence as I walked on the pavement fearing sudden death
I
went back
to the daily cocoon
the unforgiving routine

Tipuloidea


espanta
ver
su tamaño

tan tranquila
aguardando
tiempo

quisiere
usar
la aspiradora

el instinto
desechar
fealdad

ganas
dan
ese momento

al mismo
tiempo que
le asalta

preocupación
a uno

¿qué comerá?

y
albricias
como un cruel Haiku

desacralizo


A las 19:36 del 25 de Agosto latitud 57
La bocina de uno de las bocinas negras asentadas en mi escritorio
resplandecieron
el atardecer del sol
haciéndome entrecerrar los ojos
en seña de force
majeure
quizá
æ
El viento soplaba
porque
le vi
hacer presencia
en la pared
pues
se dibujaba
en mi pared un reflejo de luces entre la oscuridad del atardecer y el último destello del ocaso de hoy
y ahí, el sol, la sombra y el viento
vivían, respiraban y jugaban con mi imaginación.
œ
mientras
mi cuerpo
sentía
el paso del tiempo correr
sin detenerse a oler las rosas

Über den Wellen
camino
sin trazo
ya que más da

Anexo jkb34: La familia de Carlos

Antecedentes generales

Habremos de notar que Carlos es de Baja California y en los regionalismos que caracterizan a Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos eso significa que Carlos es norteño. A los norteños mexicanos les gustan los corridos y mucho se ha escrito de ello a tal punto que algunos legisladores del PRIAN con aires moralizantes quisieron prohibir corridos. Pero se toparon con el Himno Nacional. Carlos, por ende, se pone sentimental cuando tocan ‘La Banda’.

Anotación: Habrá de notarse que Carlos se siente huérfano y esto le aflige su proceder. Se siente como el último de su línea y al juzgar por su familia parece que nadie más sobrevivirá este linaje cuyo apellido es ________________.  Carlos nota con congoja que ninguno de los hijos de los hermanos o sobrinos y los hijos de Carlos parece tener intención de procrear o pueden la oportunidad de procrearse.

En guinda, Carlos se siente malcomprendido ‘en tantos niveles‘. Habrá que comprender el nivel de tensión que Carlos lleva por su cuerpo. Y es que es de familia pequeña. Rodeado de familias políticas extensas, que él y sus más próximos tengan un futuro incierto le causa tensión extrema al ver la familia política extenderse y la suya disminuirse o diluirse.

A la familia de Doña J nos tocó eso, quizá un último aire de vida que nos otorgó con su sacrificio.

Al anotar el anexo, la única hija de Doña J está totalmente entregada a la vida de su marido o la familia política. No quiere saber nada del linaje de Doña J. Ergo, La sangre de Doña J, mientras ha logrado lo suyo, no tiene la fuerza de honrarla como lo debería de ser a la vieja usanza o ya hizo lo suyo, punto de discusión. Y es que la sangre de Doña J sigue su curso.

Antecedentes

Carlos tomaba tequila todos los días por estos días. Recordaba lo que había dicho con cierto tono de nostalgia al explicar porqué tomaba. Doña J no era sangre, y adoptar no significa continuación en este caso, sino una extensión más.

Tomar le permitía una cierta libertad de poder comportarse normalmente. Tomar le aplacaba la turbulencia de emociones que giraban como tornados dentro de su ente. Tomar le permitía desechar el bagaje del día.

Evaluación

La descomposición química de Carlos está en pos de deterioro, tiene alterada su mente y su tren de pensamiento presenta fracturas incomprensibles.

Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty‑Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/de/I_dream_of_jeanne_eden_hagman.JPGRead on Amazon Kindle Voyage device with firmware 5.8.1

Great Britain by Jonathan Cape an Imprint av Vintage Publishing (2015) Penguin Random house

Epub ISBN: 9781473523289 Version 1.0

As is customary, the sellers want to sell. Such is the case with Salman Rushdie. This author’s prominence resides in an era all to itself, he is the poster child of the Terrorism Era we currently live.  He is a pre & a post poster child of Islam and how Islam is viewed in the West. For good or worst, he is a hated object by Islamic fanatics. Have you ever read the Satanic Verses? Well, if you’re lucky, you’ve at least heard of them. A parteaguas as one would say in Spanish, the Satanic Verses rose to fame because it offended a reader who could wield power and as such layed a bounty on the offense it arose and the author of the offense as well. Thus the Rushdie saga begins. He became a western darling because a regime who diametrically positioned itself against the West found the above-mentioned book a terrible sacrilege to the religion of the aforementioned power wielder. I ran to the newsstand to see the fuzz about the book, the hoopla always gets one, but the masses got there first. But I never read said book. Tedious, one thought, yet, the powers to be delighted in the idea that said book caused an ire in an alien society in a new world. Hence Salman’s prominence, he pissed off the wrong people by writing a book. Fair enough.

I too was swept by said charm the western darling suddenly found, albeit, one hopes, unwillingly and yet I have to this day finished but the one book due to a suggestion my girlfriend proposed. Mutual ideas what not. Lest the reader is amiss I am not a fan of SR. I find his pedestal out of place. He is yet to gain a place in my bookshelf. I’ve read some of his works and I find his books obtuse. Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty‑Eight Nights is no different.

Allow us to expound:

To begin, the reception wasn’t that hot. At the Guardian they treat him like a God, a demigod wouldn’t deserve the detail in the review. SR belongs to a literature elite whose position in the end serves only the present and its interests thereby. He is where he is because it serves a purpose in this synchronic time of ours. He is exulted beyond the pale solely because he has rep.

Having said that, the language does have merit. I for one am impressed by the heavy use of nouns which bear the brunt of the story. Nouns carry a history because they are all male. The names and the phony names whose last names redirect to Indian artists or other historical figures can pass by unnoticed to the untrained eye. The lot of Asian Minor and Persia appear and reappear in a host of vessels as well as a cameo appearance to SR father enters the frey in which the verbose magic-realism lit appears. The fact that SR allows for the proper nouns to carry the story brought upon a host of questions which lead me to Perry Link, the Sino linguistic writer of An anatomy of Chinese. Link makes the case that Western languages are heavily nominalized, that is, noun heavy as nouns direct path. As opposed to a language which relies on verbs to direct path. Such is the case in this book. Nouns are carriers. Miss one and you are lost.

As to the tale. First of all, is it any good? The lit elite jests in the newspapers they pay to push the story to entice the reader, they praise it as a chip of the ol’ block, that is, they love it! But does it cut mustard with the average joe? Its disadvantages are its verbosity. SR rambles on and on sparing no coma, period or semicolon as if colons or hyphens were munitions to use at will. For the love of God, show that man a little Hemingway. show me a short sentence please! Not here, they are the tales of some nights if I remember right.

One can’t shake the feeling that SR wants to get back to the Mullahs of Iran. After all, the book is about pre-Islamic forces loose upon our earth. An anathema to the Persian republic which rejects its past as an offense to Allah. Are there the any good bits to salvage from the reading? Plenty, but one has to dig deep for it and therein lies its fault.