VISIONS FROM THE FRAME – Roberto García de Mesa

In 2008 Roberto García de Mesa published a fascinating book of “microcuentos” or “flash-fiction,” titled Visiones desde el marco (Idea) [1]. The eighteen brief texts point to new territory in the trajectory of his narrative. As he is largely known as a poet & playwrite, García de Mesa has ventured a type of narration that attempts the greatest amount of brevity as possible while at once questioning the effectiveness of its own principle device. In Visions from the Frame, as in much of García de Mesa’s poetic and dramatic writing, we again are met with a perspective from the place that marks the brief intermediate space, between the real and unreal, between the gesture and the movement that gives meaning to transition. Copies of the book can be obtained here. And I encourage you to visit García de Mesa’s blog, Los espacios intermedios.


The Politician

Say what they will, a politician will always be bisexual. Can’t be gay, or lesbian, or heterosexual. One cannot be a candidate without knowing the sacred art of political Karmasutra.

El político

Digan lo que digan, un político siempre será bisexual. No puede ser ni gay, ni lesbiana, ni heterosexual. Un candidato deja de serlo cuando desconoce el sagrado arte del Karmasutra político.

— | — | — | — | —


There is a moment in people’s lives that might not have existed. That moment tends to be forgotten. To tell the truth, no one remembers. They even say that they weren’t there when it happened. They don’t even know what I’m talking about. Even.


Hay un momento en la vida de las personas que pudo no haber existido. Ese momento suele olvidarse. A decir verdad, nadie se acuerda. Incluso comentan que no estuvieron allí cuando sucedió. Incluso no saben de lo que hablo. Incluso.

— | — | — | — | —


His father had taught him to play football. He had joined a political party. But on that field there was no ball. Shortly thereafter, he would learn that there weren’t any rules either and that as soon as he had taken home the national cup, the rest of the players would end up disqualifying him for having won.


Su padre le había enseñado a jugar al fútbol. Él se había afiliado a un partido político [2]. Pero en aquel campo no había pelota. Comprendería, poco tiempo después, que tampoco habría reglas y que tan pronto obtuviera la copa nacional los demás jugadores acabarían descalificándolo por haber triunfado.

— | — | — | — | —


As he left his house and closed the door, he realized that his gestures were not coinciding with the habitual sounds, that they were not in sync. After a few minutes passed, he managed to listen to the creaking of the door to his house, closing on another street, while he observed the bustle of the plaza in silence from inside a taxi. Someone was talking to him, and he could listen to him right then, but rather, afterward. For this reason he began to believe that he was hearing voices. He also realized that his work place no longer existed…. And that, in reality, he had gotten lost because he could not find his way home.


Al salir de su casa y cerrar la puerta se percató de que sus gestos no coincidían con los sonidos habituales, de que no estaban sincronizados. Después de transcurrir unos minutos, consiguió escuchar el crujido de la puerta de su casa cerrándose en otra calle, mientras observaba en silencio, dentro de un taxi, el tránsito de la plaza. Alguien le hablaba y no podía escucharle en el mismo momento, sino después. Por eso empezó a creer que oía voces. Se percató también de que su lugar de trabajo ya no existía… Y de que, en realidad, se había perdido porque no encontraba el camino de regreso a casa.

[1] The title of the book, Visiones desde el marco, could be rendered a few different ways. As I have it, “visions from the frame,” I am basing the image on one meaning of “marco,” which can refer to the frame of a painting. In this sense, the expression is not of the artist looking at the work, but of the work looking at the viewer. However, the title could also be translated as “visions from the mark” where “mark” might be taken as measurement, and this would be in line with the theme of intermediary spaces which the poet is so fond of.
[2] García de Mesa plays off the double-meaning of the word “partido,” a political party and also a game.
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