ON THE SCRIBE by Juan Diego Tamayo


As I write, I write myself. I am the one who has spent endless hours with the night ink, committing men’s memories to paper each day. I have written on the desert and every period is a grain of the same. Letters on the sea have been liquid and every word is anguish when it concerns oblivion. Sometimes I am the distant sign that judges. Other times, the letter that extols love. Almost never the one talking about what is just. In me are all the alphabets and I have tried complex calligraphies brought to me from unknown peoples hour upon hour. I have written in blood about gory battles. I have celebrated the triumph of death. I have celebrated the consecration of life with the sap of trees. I am the stellar sign. The sign of so many times that I am lost in it. I have written epistles of pain, of rejection, of sentences. Most times my hand shakes. At some moments my hand enjoys what I write and I feel as if I were caressed by a lost dove. I have brought order to obtuse thoughts. I have reordered the stars and their movements. I have attended the assembly where men conspire against others for power. Death also dictates its judgements to me. I am the celebrant of ancient alphabets in this half-lit room. Only the candelabra keeps me company and with its light I write a better horizon for the future generations. I write now, possessed by the syllables, I write on the stone of sacrifice. Hence the writing. The letter that accompanies me polishes my blood as if it were a diamond. I write with blood, with the same I have seen shed, like rivers of ink, in battles, with the same blood I have wrenched from the mauve sunset, I shall use the same blood to add the full stop to these folios on which I write my life.

© 2008, Juan Diego Tamayo © Translation: 2009, Nicolás Suescún Poem of the Week: http://colombia.poetryinternationalweb.org/piw_cms/cms/cms_module/index.php?obj_id=15032 Juan Diego Tamayo page: http://colombia.poetryinternationalweb.org/piw_cms/cms/cms_module/index.php?obj_id=15021