library portland


Childhood memories can be scarce for some of us. Most of my memories are the memories of my sister telling stories of our past. I mostly have memories of her telling me a memory that I ought to have. However, one original self-generated memory of my own, from the past, is the library, the neighborhood library. My first achievement of distinction was the receipt my first library card.

It was an unnerving experience, my initial journey up the imposing steps of our neighborhood library. Those concrete steps lead to a grand entrance, an entrance which was guarded by concrete columns of a faux Doric styling.

I believe the scale, of its exterior and its interior, to be exaggerated on my part because of my then diminutive status. However, there was no exaggeration about the contents of its interior which were timeless. The furnishings were finely crafted fittings, wooden and weighty, and of course row upon row of very tall bookcases filled with meticulously housed books. It was a place of sublime gravity.


In the present, my adoration and frequent attendance-ness, stems from my expectation of a serene public place that is devoted to reading, writing, and thinking.



                                      cuando cierro un libro que abro la vida .. pablo neruda


no one knows the true price of a book without first opening to it ..  

nadie conoce el verdadero precio de un libro sin la primera apertura de la misma ..


there is a ceaseless hunger for words the speaking of words .. the exploration  

hay un hambre incesante de palabras el hablar de las palabras .. la exploración 


books are the containers of worship, in more than one language, residing in temples – our libraries  

los libros son los contenedores de culto, en más de un idioma, que residen en los templos – nuestras bibliotecas


the plan, in the plans of a city – there is a place for books  

el plan, en los planes de una ciudad – hay un lugar para los libros


and who would draw a sky without cloud forms or a civic site with no thought of books?  

y que dibujaría un cielo sin forma una nube o un sitio cívica sin pensar en los libros?


and is it not the duty of each new nation to find its own tongue, its dictionary, its books?  

y ¿no es el deber de cada nueva nación para encontrar su propia lengua, su diccionario, sus libros?


the tonality of books, a quality of voice, relies on time, place, & intonation  

la tonalidad de libros, una calidad de la voz, se basa en el tiempo, lugar, y entonación


the texture of words, a measure of gravity, is a matter of context & density  

la textura de las palabras, una medida de la gravedad, es una cuestión de contexto y densidad


and is it not our duty, the both of us, to embrace the vitality of words, to open ourselves to it?  

y ¿no es nuestro deber, nosotros dos, para abrazar la vitalidad de las palabras, abrirnos a las palabras?


 (from the poetry manuscript: a b c & d) (©2014)
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