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Jèssica Pujol Duran, translated from the Spanish by the poet

The Barista’s Cycle

Now receive word that your goddess has fucked off.
Subjugate the remnants of your promise into anger at your staff.

Verity Spott, Click Away Close Door Say


After the tube opens its doors
After the shopping centre opens its doors
After opening the shutters and typing a code that opens the doors to my workday
With suitable shoes, my name on the label,
             I access my position, turn on the machines,
             represent the choreography of gestures:

Across the corridor a cardboard goat advertises the cheese section
An ungulated jump, like the ones that detach stones from the Mediterranean crags,
             over tables, pastries and teacups
             is what separates me from lunch
My supervisor, to the right, tries to compensate with strict gesticulation the strict secondary role
of the franchise:

he  slaps  my  hand
the milk doesn’t have foam
I twist my tongue outwards, frankly, Ernest,

enter  text

I ascend through the elliptical path of the shopping centre,
             flaming like a summer bush on fire,
             hoping, mad, on the verge of giving the change
             at the till I step back down
             the escalators
             with my immense udder
             I nurse this threadlike order
             of entering and exiting
A mixture of foam and ash
sprinkles the yellow stones


I turn the frother on
             for every latte on the surface
             with small wrist vibrations
             I draw up a heart,
             for every chance that you turn up from the counter corner
             I perceive
             a new imaginary
             around |him| il bel viso i begli occhi i capei d’oro accelerate the hours of my contract
             although you are not the excuse for this
             this is not a caprice

I was late, we bumped into each other in the underground and you blocked my way
             what brand of bleach do you use?
I don’t have time to do my tax return
             and if I slip, how will it be
             with the insurance?
             (dirty teared cloths
             glossed lips
             wash the cloths wash the hands outline the lips)

I move stealthily, impassible Durga, a utensil in each hand
I run my eyes over the syrups,
             my fingertips on the labels:
             apricot, almond, strawberry,
             vanilla, hazelnut, banana
             viscosity flows

I remember all its names
and lick their borders

My supervisor slaps my hand when I don’t bend the milk jar in the milk frother enough to
texturize it at 60
             I support the weight of the cup on the plate
             with the teaspoon, the sugar,
             the kindliness of the biscotti

my body is cold and comes from the future

Not any telling works: power outflanks,
The habit of abuse is in the signifier,
The search for your voice in other people’s timbre,
             I try my luck with a different tense:

An altered trip, a damaged vocabulary
             And all newness out of sight on the synaptic panel which lit up
                                                                 through trial and error
                                                                 through trial and error
                                                                 through trial and error

                                                                                                                          twisting and turning


before stumbling against the underbrush, we danced intersubjective dances on the pinnace, Alice,
     your face in my sea a tear,
             the incorporated language didn’t have a body
but here’s all wrong,
             I eat too much
             Or not enough,
             Now, I tremble imagining myself:
                         Chattering about the weather with the clients,
                         Chattering about the weekly rota with my colleagues,
                         Chattering about the angle of the milk-jar in the frother with my supervisor,
             My new chatty language
             Doesn’t identify with my old container
             And I tremble
             In the relation

To lose distance for an informative lie
             is an instance
to lose distance for a toxic murmur
             is an instance
to lose distance for a syrupy memory of your abuse
             is an instance
             is an instance
             another instance

             of the tremor

My movements interrupted by reflection /
             reflection interrupted by its transcendence /
             the idea goes back to fulfilment /
             the coffee stain to the scald /
             the scald to touching /
we are not
at all

In each reverberation we rinse off some consciousness
this is my working day
Di-di, how long until he comes?
             we hum together how long will it be? How long?
             the journey of the hands is time-consuming, my productivity locked into the prison of
this imaginary, bleach and syrup, a chain of concepts
Laura, how long?
The bubbles on the chilled surface exhale liquid air,
             Our smiles are superimposed like stamps on a loyalty card,
             The centrings that join our milky vaults are colloquial
I turn the handle, go-go,
             Our evaporated dance,
             We hum along
             Up to the payslip
             Though the echoing aisle



The bodies of the workers move without touching each other over the pavement that gathers
our death cells like prickly rolling tumbleweeds
This is the Western of custom
             Here syrups, cookies and pastries are branded-flavoured
             Coffee is free trade
             Milk doesn’t have lactose

The voyage is lonely,
             I yawn as I sweep,
             Who cares if I finish now, comrade,
             We are being gobbled down
             By the futility of our shifts
I look for a job in the classifieds /
             In three days of training, you learn the basic skills


             I am communicative, I went to school, I am available in three languages


The reinvention of oneself /
We eat the stale sandwiches

Before the tube closes its doors
Before the shopping centre closes its doors
We have switched off the coffee machine
We have washed the filters, the steam wand
We have dusted off the wooden chairs and tables
We have turned on the dishwasher
We have replaced the milk bottles in the fridge, the syrups on the shelves, the cookies in the
glass jars, the cakes in the display window, the biscotti in the drawer
We have moved away the products that were out of date
We have emptied the till
We have turned off the shop lights
We have closed the doors
We have put down the shutters

Let’s go together
To the staff room,
Undo ourselves in the lockers,
Name, footwear, aegis,
And step down to the tube
Me inhaling, you exhaling
The smoke of a roll to end up on the sofa
Where the circadian periplus
Of the baristas ends

The uniform without tag is drying hung up in the bedroom,
The leftovers from dinner are drying on the plate,
The laundry holds the air in a plastic bag,
Question, how long?

The enveloping field grows
             With the impression of the not-named
             in and outs in the warehouse
             Physiological translations
             A fox crosses the street with a sandwich wrapper
             Let’s try another tense, test that doesn’t end
             The relation
             In the dream

An altered journey
             A change of tack in direction to oneself
             A more adapted version
             To the circumnavigation that frames our horizon
             A parable
             That no
             No return ahead
             As she was
             ¿how was she?
             How will she come back as she was?
             I don’t know, Marcel
             I can’t remember
There were four points that needed changing in order to become as she should be:
             Mainly, I remember now,
             THESE were the points:
I analysed them while I was enumerating them and I agree with myself, I nod to myself, a change
     was necessary was inevitable another subject I would dare to say
             Formerly playing on stranded vessels by the beach, she should present herself on a
gleaming boat at her return she should be like
             THIS from now on and until future change


(familiar jubilation, the shutter opens)

It is 6 am

This is not a caprice




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