words by César López
To start with the magic of the space this creator searches and achieves in order to organize his world is the constant impression that offers the journey around the poetic texts of Jesús Lara Sotelo and this way it allows to feel, from the very first lines, the absolute certainty of full immersion in that “fire of growing island” that characterizes his multiple work in any environment he approaches.
The creator does not deny his sense of reality, whether it is in the tangible daily things as it is in the evasive nature of the dreams this author qualifies with an early lyricism of “Goyaesque crime” and perhaps from that same instant he flies, musically speaking—in Verdi’s style in Nabucco and Va, pensiero—certain of the meeting, because the poet declares his postulate of “going from suffering to light”. And during that dramatic path he does not scorn any surprise, even if it’s minimum or magnificent. Everything becomes an indispensable and vital adventure because for him it is also evident that “the spilt blood does not glorify” and he feels compelled to make of the reader more than an accomplice of his own contemplation. Fire, nightmares and affection prepare the appearance of Love in all its extension and possibilities. The erotic force of the creature who knows to be a “maker” in his search is undeniable in Domos Magicvs.
The presence of the woman, her body, the reception and the feeling of fullness in pleasure allows the sexual inclusion of a united poem in its diversity, since Love as a theme itself does not abandon the poetic group ever, though sometimes it finds something hidden, exposed beyond the prime of certain genital and intense moments and beyond the doubt that can feed and sustain the Maker’s faith, who is not afraid of discovering fear amidst bad dreams and passions, even the fear to fear itself.
The fear can come from one of Jose Marti’s verses:
“I am honest, and I am afraid!”
Maybe that’s why the poet can honestly confess: “It is hard not to be able to love”.
However, this book is a work of Love in all its contradictory space and it represents and proves the diverse and varied origin of the author’s creative sensibility.
Painter, ceramist, sculptor, engraver and of course, poet, he coordinates the magic of his world where line, color and space—always with a rhythm where the exterior is joined to the intimate—move his imagination until feeling upright and indescribable inside.
He goes from one side of the spectrum to the other, like a rose or a delicious garden, for the readers to decide their own choices, leaving nothing—or almost nothing—to frivolity but being absolute sure of the importance of chance in all of their Lezama’s coincidences.
Lara, just like his plastic work, shows in POETRY the fluctuations and touches of different aesthetics and tones. This projection and this dual or multiple effects are not new in Cuban culture. We have a line of painters who write and writers who paint. Juana Borrero, Regino Boti, Carlos Enríquez, Arístides Fernández, Julio Girona, Marcelo Pogolotti, Loló Soldevilla, Raúl Martínez… the list starts with two poets and the proximity in time lead once again to a poetry linked to Plastic Arts: Samuel Feijoo, Fayad Jamís, Pedro de Oraá, Severo Sarduy…
After this fast and possibly incomplete count, tradition and rupture lead once again to Jesús Lara Sotelo, who gives himself over in his poetry book, but not as a creator, but as the Maker he has always been.
He can go from the dark to the luminous and bright side. Dazzling. The pure trait he shows in any affirmative verse facing its opposite or investigatory nature: “I am a nonconformist”.
A rebelliousness of the deep understanding of his circumstance and of his own self extended to the creatures of his environment keeps him in time and space. It holds him to his word.
In that way, his own way, he expresses the human range of its author in this book that holds with authentic insistence its obliged condition like the creature of an island, more committed to the world, with its open differences in time and space. The word.
Drizzle turns into rain. The stimulus of difficult things turns understandable the complicated world the poet enjoys and suffers with his constant effort of being in his place. Living. And other poems will come. As someone said in elevated prose: “other voices, other areas”.
Everything makes it being lulled by the dream but it is always present the enthusiasm of called spaces. The world is, from his island, all fire, though it can be seen subtly that perfection does not exist, not event in the nation or miscegenation and fusion that are also discretely present in this book. Getting over hatred and false borders, he warns us in one moment just like when the eroticism of collisions appears: “never ever give for granted limbo if blood does not tarnish on it”.
The whole book allows a tour around the commitment and risk of accepting or refusing, but always with the certain enjoyment of knowing a work that assumes the great variety of sources and origins. His beautiful and secure path on line and color.
The faces that were in canvas, cardboard, wood, metal, soft sculpture and gleaming ceramics were left there to get here, to verse where fire sparks in the sunset of mystery.
Nicolas Guillen with the image of rhythm and person; Alicia Alonso as the constant breath of memory; Jose Lezama Lima presiding over; Dulce Maria Loynaz, a memorable and recalling company; Leo Brouwer in the strings and the group; Jesús Ortega next to him; Victor Pellegrin never abandoning his guitar; Frank Fernandez in the piano; Isaac and Noel Nicola, the great family united; Sarah Gonzalez emerging in her singing; Pancho Amat with steps of melodious intonation; Emiliano Salvador with his own knowledge and nearby latitudes, and the unforgettable and great Pablo Milanes and Silvio Rodriguez. And there will more and others.
Men of letters, music and visual arts are the names that were present in his creative studio and which are now hidden but they still exist; the poet will stay true to his truth and his world one way or the other, but at the same time he will repeat as he has until now: “Sometimes I was not as happy as I was down”.
Havana, May 2013.