10 03 2010

Please see Flickr movie at: FLAGMORRO, originally uploaded by orlandoluispardolazo.


7 03 2010


Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Of Pippa Medias Largas, alias Carrot Head, whose official name according to her was Pillalota Provisionia Gaberdina Dandelonia Efraisona Mediaslargas, I remember a scene in the classroom.

The teacher draws a picture in which we see a beautiful island, colored green and surrounded by a blue sea. Suspended over the tropical island is printed the letter i.

How strange!,” cries Pippa, flustered by this vowel which looks like a little line over which a fly has released something. And immediately she wonders, maliciously, what do islands have to do with what flies release?

It reads (in bad Cuban): the orphan girl of Christine Nöstlinger and Efraín Mediaslargas is questioning the relationship between our island and shit.

Stockadecuba. Feces fatherlands. Putrid country. Communal Services Pipe. Sewer fermentation. I’m not the one saying it. Everyone can verify it for themselves: my citation is literally pure children’s literature (if not the author’s, it’s the fault of the translation).

Cuba falling so much into pieces that today the most profitable poetic politics would be, without a doubt, a parody of that also nearly childlike: Cuba, what the fuck is Cuba, whoever offends her loves her even more…

Thomas Bernhard, a stateless compatriot of poor Pippa, will then applaud like crazy. Or maybe he would be frustrated in his grave with no historic cloth for a flag. Because the truth is that our caca Cuba lacks cannibal writers. The Cuban American fictions are high art no matter how much they wallow in the ruins of the kingdom. Pedro Juan Gutiérrezhas become a publishable type even within the map of the island. With Reinaldo Arenas dead and buried (in my area the young people leaf through him without interest), Juan Abreau barely opens half a dozen cans of beer and soon leaves to warm up in a Barcelona gym. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pyranees, the miracle of Zoé doesn’t stop much more either now.

It’s a real tragedy. Cuban literature is losing its Fecal Golden Age, without a single author daring to dirty their hands. Nor their brains.

And I’m not referring to the big indecent word. Neither of the angry “cojones” or the formidable phrase “what the fuck is the matter here.”  I am referring to, luckily, a person who steps out of the ordinary of all the national histories that have transformed the Cuban author into a State puppet. Ecstatic. A being needing an audience (that accomplice of the consensus) where success is assumed as the means of everything. An intellectual freak who no longer aspires to the power of their own voice, but only to be a spokesperson for power (whether it be the dictatorship of the market or of the workers).

I see the years and the texts come and go. I age. I am tired of doing nothing. I don’t even believe in the inutility of virtue. I read lyrical literature about disaster. Lots of magisterial works, thought of from the future. But more, without doubt, the grand reactionary Cuban novel does not appear. I don’t see any counter-revolutionary incorrections in any scene. The dialogues exile any attempt at delirium. The depictions are real. The characters appear as characters. Everything legible, everything univocal, everything pathetic, almost professional.  It makes you want to take a frame in which you can see precious island, painted green and surrounded by blue sea, hanging over a fly’s excrement.

I’m not the one saying it. Sadly, since the past century Pippalota Provisionia Gaberdina Dandelonia Efraisona Mediaslargas has the damn patent or at least the damn copyright.

Translated by: Raul G.


6 03 2010

Please click here to watch the video.

PALO Y PELOTA, originally uploaded by orlandoluispardolazo.


6 03 2010


4 03 2010

Link Here to Slide Show in Flickr


3 03 2010


Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Last week I saw Durán. Durán getting out of an articulated Chinese bus. Route P1 or P4. On Infanta, in front of the Multiplex Cinema, at the aviary stop. A flush of late night midweek cold. While the city makes up a curfew and hundreds of people occupy Havana in civilian dress.

Durán. Older than the Physics Faculty. More dignified than its architecture always half restored. And crazier and more faithful than the rest of its cloister of professors as well. Technician or Engineer or Graduate or Doctor o perhaps Corporal Durán. It just came over me.

With his shabby republican suit. With the Sicilian jaw of a handsome well-built guy, although hunchbacked by the weight of so many decades and classrooms. Shaved, or almost, as ordered by God or Enthalpos. Super-octogenarian I suppose. With odor. Limping or almost. With a will of radioactive isotope and still with a certain twinkle in his Newtonian glance.

Durán: A Caguairian whose bones of noble atoms almost resist termites; a battler of optical and mechanical laboratories, with his little cloth bag overflowing with free leftovers from the post-proletarian dining room of the 21st century socialipsista Cuban.

Durán still carries on. And delirious, perhaps.

I remember him in 1991 and 1992. At the height of the Special Period. Among students and professors expelled from the University because of more or less idiotic questions of official ideology. Shouting something a bit vulgar when no one seemed to understand. I even remember I came up with some stupid joke about his appearance and Durán somehow noticed. But he said nothing at the time. Stoicly or scholasticly or stochasticly he let it pass. But later he asked me some basic questions that my worthless biochemical logic failed to solve.

I learned with that lesson from Durán. With all my apparent “cool” and the explosiveness of my twenties, even succeeding in some future position, I would be just a kid as long as I didn’t learn to humbly respect those who know how to think.

Soon another 20 years will have passed: a second life since then. Durán looks much more impoverished today, about to be done, but I’m sur his soul still still vibrates much more strongly than mine.

And so I wanted to tell this story here. To thank him for his soldier’s gift of dirty lab coats in laboratories of shabby half missing equipment. To apologize, although I know that from his point of view it is not necessary. To tell him, publicly that an occasional student of his still admires him, and wishes him a slightly less prickly fate for his days. To prepare myself mentally to leave, this famous or ignored writer, within 20 or 40 years stumbling onto Cuban post-revolutionary buses, perhaps in the rags of the same clothes with swing that I am wearing today.

Carry on, Durán. Don’t fail me now. I knew you when I was an imbecile, healthy and happy. For that I am going to take your courage or your armor until the end of my idling in this city: inhospitable hostel whose arid arithmetic is nothing more than a shoddy experimental error.