17 Abstracts of a Notebook’s Entries / Polina Martínez Shviétsova

KILL WORMS  Artist: El Sexto
KILL WORMS Artist: El Sexto


Double-nationality hybridity. Survivors without context or ontology. Tepid waters between the fire of being and the ice of nothingness. Poetry’s infinite foam in the middle of the desert. Pamyla, protagonist.


I’m riding in an old American truck and I wonder, “What will I feel after I make love?”

We’re headed toward central Hershey. Not the one in Pennsylvania, but rather the twin brother built here, the Camilo Cienfuegos. I’m carrying my notebook along with my backpack-home, which today doesn’t weigh so heavily. I’m granting myself a day to think less and try to be a normal person. Though I can’t help but wonder, “What will I feel after I make love?”

I’m riding in an old Russian truck and I don’t wonder anything anymore.

All around me, the great patriotic march of June 13: The people cry out in support of a constitutional reform. The pain is plain and honest. The isolation, the poetry of my little fantastic tales which I try to work out but can’t tell right, the delirium: All of it put down in this notebook, pale testimony to the adventures of a Slavic girl on an island of frozen fire, where I gather up the remains of its dead nature with bovine mushrooms.

The world tastes like recycled plastic and I’m a fried patty of sun, cruxified on the purity which leads to forgetting, annunciation of death. It can’t be easy to shout about virtues when the pot keeps turning the soya mince into steam. And without any money. None. Not a damn cent. Where did I put my shawl with Arabic scrawling soaked in Eau de Cannabis?

I believe it was Cortázar who spoke of a “poetics of sponges and chameleons.” I put that down. Sponge: Figure of minute and fragmentary porosity, of an interstitial nature. Chameleon: Figure of confusion, caosmos, and otherness dating back to unknown ages. Of a medieval nature.


“Hey, Vlady! Finally catching you awake.”

“Stop fussing around and get in, Pamyla.”

A cassette of Slavic music: Zolotoe koltso. And everything was in a wonderful heap, circles of gold and clouds of green pyramidal smoke.

“Hey, weren’t you saying you didn’t like the name Brandy as a person in my stories? Well, I’m thinking I’ll change it up for Whiskey instead, how’s that?”

“Nah, homie, I can’t get down with Whiskey either. Make me Vodka, it’s stronger and not so hard on the pieschien.”

“You sure about that? Whiskey’s the best.”

“Shit, you can get vodka up to 99 proof. In Russia the peasants used to make it out of rotten potatoes, and they’d get loaded off of it to pick faster and ferment more of it again.”

Da, da. They drink to eat and eat to drink. Alright, Vlady, I got you. I’ll make you Vodka in all the stories I’m going to write.”

“You should make me Stepan Razin, the rebel, instead. Or the soldier Suvorov. Or general Kutuzov. Or Vlasov. Homie, what you know about any of them?


Translated by David Iaconangelo

The publication of this story is part of Sampsonia Way Magazine’s “CUBAN NEWRRATIVE: e-MERGING LITERATURE FROM GENERATION ZERO” project, in collaboration with Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, and a collection of authors writing from Cuba. You can read this story in Spanish here, and other stories from the project, here.