Alone num sítio sem poesia nenhuma. Gosh, that's a dismal place, in 40 degrees heat. But it's not the heat that hurts me most, it is a vague sensation of being poor, suddenly impoverished. The discomfort of this is surprising. Usually I enjoy being poor, living among simple people in the medinah of any Moroccan city, wearing clothes I intend to throw away at the end of my adventure. But here there is something else, it is an impoverishment that cuts down frozen into one's heart, in spite of the 40 degrees, not the fanciful poverty of an intellectual traveller. This poverty is of such a kind that no amount of money can solve it. It is possible, by the way, that poverty doesn't depend on money, at least not in such a linear way we usually presume. There are people and peoples in the world that possess very little in pecuniary value, and yet are not poor. And there are people and peoples and places doomed to lack and impoverishment and transitoriness.
On Sunday, I went to the Calouste Gulbenkian museum in hope of alleviating it somehow, but strangely, confronted with the privacy of this collection, I stayed with an obsessive thought in my head: this guy lived in a hotel in Lisbon. Kind of homeless, rhyming with my own homelessness.
Yes, he lived here in Ritz, that's what I believe, even if I need to discover more about the biography of my Armenian patron. With his Rembrandt and his Turner, I presume? Is it like this? One may possess a Rembrandt and a Turner and no wall to hang it on? Be as it may, Lisbon is a place of homelessness, of precarious existence, of quartos alugados. If it has any poetry, it is a poetry of a dire and dismal kind.
I don't know if this stay is a beginning of a new stage in my intellectual career, or a moment of touching the bottom, cutting down to the strictest necessity. Of realising what the strictest necessity is.
I miss Amsterdam, and I miss my home in Kraków much more than expected; I miss sedentariness, even the sedentariness of a Moroccan city. Perhaps this feeling marks the gate of the Desert.