Yesterday after finishing with work I went to a book presen- tation at the new FNAC store. Juvenal was presenting Manuel Alcántara's most recent anthology. I got there late, but in time to listen to Alcántara reflect on his life (he's 80) then read some poems. Nothing really special about the event itself, which was very well attended, but it was nice to be able to say hello to Manolo. (Speaking of older-young-at-heart poets, Pablo was in town last week and we were able to have lunch together; as always, a wonderful gathering.) Last night I also had the opportunity to meet Manuel Pimentel, a former government minister who decided to engage his interest in poetry a few years ago, after he left the government; he was there as the publisher of the anthology. Last year I translated twelve of Alcantara's sonnets. Here's one of my favorites, which the poet recited last night:

I search for myself in time badly spent
and in calendars whose pages are old,
but the scent of my soul has gone cold,
and the old man I knew he up and went.
The one I was just a one time event?
I want news of myself, news to unfold
the layers of myself, these words of gold
to relieve oblivion, my one lament.
The small adventure of this boat that sails
blue seas and feels the force of big strong gales:
yet no mermaid with any answer sings.
My wine and questions are in the same cup.
Pains and doubts. Everything piles up.
And God's answer is to not say a thing.

We're all searching. The Red Sox too. They just got beat badly again. The lost autumn of Big Papi? He's got one more chance to find it. They all do. I hope today isn't my last chance. I don't think it will be. (First I've got to figure out the 'it' I'm supposed to be looking for; actually this life as search idea isn't really my cup of tea. I just keep rooting for extra innings, endless, infinite extra innings. And it's softball, none of this three strikes and you're out nonsense. Damn, with those rules I'd have been gone long, long ago.) We had a funny family meeting last night: Asun and I here in Malaga video talking to Alma and Cristina, who were rather comically seated in one of the little campus information booths where Alma sometimes works, and Daniela in Madrid participating via speaker phone. A couple of times we had to stop so Alma could give directions to campus visitors. And at times there were several conversations going on at once: travel plans, help with homework, just catching up, boyfriends, etc. Today's word is: Discombobulated. (In the photo, Manuel Alcántara.)

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