- Venal Sins Man
The slender academician in a long cotton dress and flowing eyes calls for volunteers to sit in the lobby and tell her laptop the oral contortions of home,
the felt concept, the actual shed, the childhood winnowed from textbooks on trauma. He’ll make it up, he figures, as he sits dodging onerous drowsy bellhops
and ill-hatted tourists, for this project is important enough for a grant. The very notion of region will be framed, subtexted and glossed. He confesses, I don’t have a home.
O no, her dimming wrinkled eyelids say, another one who bungee-corded into Beckett River. And why not, little one? her silence asks,
her arm right-angled to the table behind the screen that screens them from each other below the nose ridge. The man asks himself these questions all the time,
puts them in bubbles above nice people’s heads. I have an epic sense of life, he sombers forth. Which means? Doesn’t know right off. Well, he blurts, like Aeneas in love
with horizons that are worth the trouble, even if he will never harvest the rewards. Americans have lost that, he says, weapon of exile in hand. Is this thing on? No, she says. [End Page 8]
Ricardo Pau-Llosa’s last four poetry books are from Carnegie Mellon U Press, his latest being Parable Hunter. In fall 2010 the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame exhibited Parallel Currents: Highlights of the Ricardo Pau-Llosa Collection of Latin American Art and published a book-length catalogue. More at www.pau-llosa.com.