Yesterday I was reading the paper and was sur- prised (and somewhat flattered) to see myself quoted in Pedro Aparicio's weekly article. He was discussing J. Soto's new collection of poetry and quoted the review I wrote for El Mundo. In any case, he seemed to like my description of one of the book's qualities as an espejismo vital. When I wrote that I new exactly what I was referring to and precisely what I meant to say. But a few minutes after reading Pedro's article I fund myself thinking in English. It occurred to me that I would be at a loss to express that same concept in English. A lively mirage? It doesn't sound right at all. I guess I could use a good bit of circumlocution and describe what I meant, but that wouldn't do very well. Just one little example of why translating one brief poem can take so darn long. (And this example doesn't even take into account all the attention that must be given to questions of rhythm, sometimes of rhyme and meter, metaphor, etc.) Do I think differently in Spanish than in English? No doubt there are some differences, since we think verbally. So when I'm thinking in Spanish I'm drawing on the Spanish dictionary in my brain, in many ways poorer than my English dictionary, but in some ways richer. And going back and forth, that is, drawing on both dictionaries simultaneously, is not as easy as it may seem. I do that some, of course, but it's a process that slows down my thinking and can often be an unwelcome interference. (OK, another off the cuff gloss of that expression: organic self-deceptions/revelations; not that it sounds much better, but to some degree it gets at what I was referring to: the poet's unavoidable tendency to express feelings and desires that he knows are partially artifice, yet are rhetorically necessary steps on the path to his poetic truth.) Perhaps the photo does a better job of exemplifying how a creative fiction can suggest a profound truth. This bronze in the center of Malaga is a homage to Rafael Pérez Estrada and it's based on one of his wonderful ink drawings. This imaginative hybrid ("Ave quiromántica") suggests many things; among them, peace, liberty, and friendship. So I guess looking for me in two different languages is fun. But maybe, after all is said and done, certain qualities of silence will turn out to be the most fruitful path.