Images of the City
In the sky there is nobody asleep. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is asleep.
The creatures of the moon sniff and prowl about their cabins.
The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream,
and the man who rushes out with his spirit broken will meet on the
the unbelievable alligator quiet beneath the tender protest of the
Nobody is asleep on earth. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is asleep.
In a graveyard far off there is a corpse
who has moaned for three years
because of a dry countryside on his knee;
and that boy they buried this morning cried so much
it was necessary to call out the dogs to keep him quiet.
Life is not a dream. Careful! Careful! Careful!
We fall down the stairs in order to eat the moist earth
or we climb to the knife edge of the snow with the voices of the dead
But forgetfulness does not exist, dreams do not exist;
flesh exists. Kisses tie our mouths
in a thicket of new veins,
and whoever his pain pains will feel that pain forever
and whoever is afraid of death will carry it on his shoulders.
the horses will live in the saloons
and the enraged ants
will throw themselves on the yellow skies that take refuge in the
eyes of cows.
we will watch the preserved butterflies rise from the dead
and still walking through a country of gray sponges and silent boats
we will watch our ring flash and roses spring from our tongue.
Careful! Be careful! Be careful!
The men who still have marks of the claw and the thunderstorm,
and that boy who cries because he has never heard of the invention
of the bridge,
or that dead man who possesses now only his head and a shoe,
we must carry them to the wall where the iguanas and the snakes
where the bear’s teeth are waiting,
where the mummified hand of the boy is waiting,
and the hair of the camel stands on end with a violent blue shudder.
Nobody is sleeping in the sky. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is sleeping.
If someone does close his eyes,
a whip, boys, a whip!
Let there be a landscape of open eyes
and bitter wounds on fire.
No one is sleeping in this world. No one, no one.
I have said it before.
No one is sleeping.
But if someone grows too much moss on his temples during the
open the stage trapdoors so he can see in the moonlight
the lying goblets, and the poison, and the skull of the theaters…Federico Garcia Lorca..“The City That Does Not Sleep”
“The entire poem is a paradox. We all know that we do sleep, and we all know that dreams do exist. The paradox lies in the fact that we perceive them to exist, but all we know is what we have experienced.
Who knows whether the real world is truly the real world? We could be living the dream, and experiencing real life when we dream. Thus, we are not even completely certain of what dreams are. Hence, even though we experience them, who is to say that they really, truly exist?
The struggle of the journey of life is a major theme in this poem.. The images portray the intense struggle and pain that everyone must endure in order to continue on the life cycle and pass the time, which are both unavoidable and inextricable parts of life…
We never die because we are ever continuing along the path of the cycle of life, reliving the cycle over and over, attempting to find a deeper meaning to life. This is also emphasized by the reincarnation of the butterfly.
Careful! Careful! Careful! warns the reader that life is not going to be an easy journey, and that sometimes sacrifice is necessary in order to attain a true happiness..
Our burdens are felt by everyone; we all share each others pain. Thus, the pain in the world is a collective fate because we all share in its weight. The fear of death will always be carried, because one never dies..Excerpt of a critical review on Elite Skills…
The painting came about after reading the poem and gazing from a window on the city….there is a river below and the light through the buildings emit a nightmarish quality as if the entire place were on fire…at night the city changes, in the fog buildings become ghostly forms…one wonders who is behind all those windows…are they also looking out and thinking the same thing?..Janis
Abstract in Watercolour on Arches Not Paper…View Large…