The Parade Ends

Before Night Falls is an extraordinary film with a brilliant soundtrack. Based on the autobiography of Cuban poet and novelist Reinaldo Arenas, the film features one of his poems set to music and read by Javier Bardem. Here’s a translation, with the original in Spanish below.

The Parade Ends – Reynaldo Arenas
———————————-
Passing through the exploding streets,
since the pipes are ready to give out
passing around the buildings, we need to dodge,
since they are falling onto us,
between the hostile faces scrutinizing and sentencing us,
between the closed establishments,
closed markets,
closed movie theaters,
closed parks,
closed cafés.
Exhibiting already dusty signs (justifications) occasionally,
Closed for reforms,
Closed for reparation.
What kind of reparation?
When will this alleged reparation, alleged reform end?
When at least
will it begin?
Closed… closed… closed…
everything closed…
I arrive and open the innumerable locks, run up the improvised stairwell.
There she is waiting for me.
I discover her, remove the canvas and contemplate her dusty and cold
dimensions.
I get rid of the dust and caress her.
With the slightest brushes from my palms, I clean her back, her base, her
sides.
I feel desperate, happy, at her side, before her,
I run my hands over her keys, and rapidly, everything is set in motion.
The ta ta, the jingling, the music starts, little by little, already much
faster,
now, at the greatest velocity.
Walls, trees, streets,
cathedrals, faces and beaches,
cells, mini-cells,
giant cells,
starry night, naked
feet, pine groves, clouds
hundreds, thousands,
a million parrots
piano stools and a vine.
Everything shows up, everything arrives, everyone comes.
The walls expand, the ceiling disappears and, naturally, you float,
you float, float ripped apart, swept along,
elevated,
taken, transported, eternalized,
saved, for the sake of, and
for this miniscule and constant cadence,
for this music,
for this incessant jingling.

Paseos por las calles que revientan,
pues las cañerías ya no dan más
por entre edificios que hay que esquivar,
pues se nos vienen encima,
por entre hoscos rostros que nos escrutan y sentencian,
por entre establecimientos cerrados,
mercados cerrados,
cines cerrados,
parques cerrados,
cafeterías cerradas.
Exhibiendo a veces carteles (justificaciones) ya polvorientos,
Cerrado por reformas,
cerrado por reparación.
¿Qué tipo de reparación?
¿Cuándo termina dicha reparación, dicha reforma?
¿Cuándo, por lo menos,
empezará?
Cerrado…cerrado…cerrado…
todo cerrado…
Llego, abro los innumerables candados, subo corriendo la improvisada escalera.
Ahí está, ella, aguardándome.
La descubro, retiro la lona y contemplo sus polvorientas y frías dimensiones.
Le quito el polvo y vuelvo a pasarle la mano.
Con pequeñas palmadas limpio su lomo, su base, sus costados.
Me siento, desesperado, feliz, a su lado, frente a ella,
paso las manos por su teclado, y, rápidamente, todo se pone en marcha.
El ta ta, el tintineo, la música comienza, poco a poco, ya más rápido
ahora, a toda velocidad.
Paredes, árboles, calles,
catedrales, rostros y playas,
celdas, mini celdas,
grandes celdas,
noche estrellada, pies
desnudos, pinares, nubes,
centenares, miles,
un millón de cotorras
taburetes y una enredadera.
Todo acude, todo llega, todos vienen.
Los muros se ensanchan, el techo desaparece y, naturalmente, flotas,
flotas, flotas arrancado, arrastrado,
elevado,
llevado, transportado, eternizado,
salvado, en aras, y,
por esa minúscula y constante cadencia,
por esa música,
por ese ta ta incesante.

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The Parade Ends

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