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The Automatons' House ( Ethel Barja)



your beats dream the creature

and shape the noise

in Morse code.

The mind without a vestige

of absence wouldn’t do anything.

The fingers need to hold the air

to reorganize the bones.

The oven

and its melancholy of clay 

would bring the fire

and the automatons

would awake.


you didn’t realize

behind each perfect circle

remains the stain

you cannot remove.

For several days

I’ve not been able

to leave this red room

as if I inhabit a powerful question

the poem’s desire.


Small entrance

a doll’s eye sleeps on the mud.

The broken wings

of the mechanical birds

perforate the page.

They come thirsty

to the well of my breast.

To kiss the half that you know

is to asphyxiate the trace

of the other half.

I shape each name,


the restless hive.

What do they do together?

What would they do dismembered?



Why does matter

circulate in pieces

and cavities spread all over?

Dark knots

in the flea market.

I still don’t know

how to eat with

the dead’s fork.                                                                            

This street is a moving ground

were misery melts each minute:

one coin, two coins,

three shouting coins,

your metal feet,

the sidewalk concrete,

and the abstract?

(not yet, the flesh surrounds it,

kills it).

We walk on the blue back

of the spasm,

on the vibrating shadows

of deafness.

The Automatons' House: About Us
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