Adiós, Casilda!

(Gymnopédies at the window)

In the shade the trees
look like sleeping cats.

The other apartments, lights
on or off, look like sleeping cats.

Even the passing plane
looks like a sleeping cat.

(Erik Satie’s piano
sounded just like Casilda’s pawsteps)

Somewhere, far from my house

I know that Casilda is falling asleep,
because it’s getting dark as she starts dreaming
that we fall asleep and our heads touch,
like two different-sized stones,
made soft by moss.

Fall poem

I have a window in my new room
as long as the wall, and it’s October.
I’m not with Casilda, but tonight
I can almost make do with the moon.

Wanderer fantasia 

It’ll be so hot without you in the summer
Pescado Rabioso

On top of the black of the Schubert record I found a Casilda-hair:
whitish yellow coffee yellow
and coffee again: to see her was to see autumn
all year long, moving elegant through the room
or asleep on a couch.
When there was music, she liked to walk by the record player,
stop it for a second with her paw
or put her nose close up, as if the record were a flower
when it spins. Mornings like this one
we’d spend stretched out, listening
to Erik Satie, Pescado Rabioso, or just our breathing
(hers lightened up the world).
That’s the closest I’ve been to satori.

For Casilda
(Frank O’Hara, Remixed)

I can believe that another world exists
in which we sit
and you fall asleep on my lap
while I read Tu Fu poems
and the Fairy Protectress of Cats
smiles at us from the moon.
Or really, should we disappear?
This is not the same house we lived in together,
three years, almost. The night will go out;
the moon will go empty.

Upon seeing a butterfly and thinking of Casilda

I see her in every shade of yellow
I can’t describe

drying in an herb
on the ground, in time
with the passing of the day.

“Don’t give up hope
if you don’t find me soon.
If I’m not in one place,
look for me in another:
I’ll be waiting for you”

& the passing breeze
almost has me crying.

On the other side of the senses there are invisible kittens

Petting Palinuro
I remembered Panchito
who died this spring of a tumor
(I didn’t want to ask where):

I also remembered that thing some people say,
that cats cure cancer,
or any general malaise,
that in some way they prefer to get sick and die themselves,
in your place
(and that’s why they’re so beautiful)

All in all, Panchito is dead
and Casilda disappeared
one November weekend.
The kittens who lived with me
while I was living in Barranca del Muerto
are invisible now.

Almost all my cats are now invisible,

which seems to explain why it is that this break,
I’m just lying on the couch with Palinuro
—break your heart until it opens.

Casilda Palmer

That’s it for the stranger, with whom, late
at night, you would return in endless chatter.
Cesar Vallejo

Note: One or two weeks after Casilda’s disappearance I went to a friend’s (Sabina’s) birthday party. For some reason (or unreason) I had a couple of revelations about Casilda at that party. They were not linear revelations, nor, as such, discursive ones. This text is a kind of net or thing I made to attempt a return to those visions. The only way I found of codifying the mystery was to use the vocabulary and mythology of Twin Peaks. 


At that party, a friend told me about a dream she had
of Casilda: she saw her calm and safe,
eating in a house that looked a lot like
Dougie Jones’ and Jeany-E’s (just like Fabian Casas
with his mom, I can only visit Casilda in dreams).
That same friend, a month before (the first days of
November) had read my tarot and predicted
that it would all be fucked: a week later,
the object of my affections got herself a boyfriend
(and didn’t care to kiss me anymore) and two weeks
later, I lost Casilda. So I saw that Diana
Is a Log-Lady, or a giantess, who learned to read
the cards while she slept (just like Tibetan monks,
see: dream yoga).


Close your eyes and contemplate reality; open
them and contemplate the dream:
I no longer see Casilda in the dream, but in reality
I do: when I close my eyes and see nothing:
only blackness and dancing lights (which don’t
exist): Close your eyes and contemplate reality; open
them and contemplate the dream:
deep in my heart, the forest in which my love walks
is whispering.


I take advantage of dreaming to search for Casilda.
I go dark on any street (by the visible and invisible
paths of the city) and walk alone
until I disappear: then I wake. I’d like it
if Agent Cooper would help me find her:
Kyle MacLachlan, if you’re reading this and you’ve
had strange dreams of a mysterious kitten—
Contact me!


It is happening again: Casilda had already disappeared
forever once, in the summer of 2010: except that it was Agnes, not her:
but the pain is the same. Pain, the experience that makes us one with all creatures:
Our main similarity with the creator is that we’re invisible: body, face,
hands, etc. are the visible schema we’re wrapped up in: a sign that hides
the person hidden in us: Casilda and
Agnes were a double spirit, like twins,
or the Lovers card. That time, too,
I could do nothing. It is happening again.
Often I’ve gotten lost by the sea,
the same way I get lost in the hearts of some children.


There was a moment at that party
where there was a light in the doorway of the apartment
And David Lynch came in to hug me: I’m so sorry,
he said while everyone went on dancing.


We lived in a room behind the curtains
where there was always music in the air: Casilda’s
favorite was Erik Satie’s Gymnopédies.


Before, when a cat would get lost,
they would shout its name (so it would come back
or just to talk to it) into a bowl
or a little jar: domestic,
magical channels, for magical and
domestic beings: early this morning I went
to the kitchen for a bowl (blue pewter)
and I spoke with Casilda in the dark.


In bed Casilda slept with her back to my desk
(or on the box of dirty laundry at the foot of my desk) while I wrote
or watched her sleep. I miss writing near her. When
we lived together, her sleep
drew poems in and later I would just sense them
and write them down: the revelation of the invisible
via the visible. The weekend I lost Casilda, Major Briggs
disappeared too (I was rewatching the beginning of Twin Peaks)
and before disappearing, he told Agent Cooper: “there are more
things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy” and
asked also if he’d heard of the White Lodge. Three days after losing
Casilda, I read that quote in Hamlet (Act I, end of
Scene V): there are more things in heaven
and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
A message from Casilda? When two events
that seem isolated happen at the same time,
they are related (fate connects us
in mysterious ways)
Is she also in the White Lodge? Is Major Briggs hugging
her, right now? Reality is like a jumbled poem
(it might not be more than that), like some of David Lynch’s movies
(or like the mind).


I bought a record, the soundtrack of the last
season of Twin Peaks. All the songs are good,
except I love how you love me, that was the only one
on the B-side: as if it had to come from very far away (in time
or space) to reach me. It’s the only song with
emphasis: I love how your eyes close / whenever you kiss me /
and when I’m away from you / I love how you miss me: as if
Casilda were singing every word from the dream world. I love
the way you treat me tenderly / but Darling,
most of all / I love how you love me: you’re beautiful
like a flower, but the clouds drive us apart.


The Roadhouse is one of the subconsciouses of
Twin Peaks, where Audrey Horne dances and from where
Casilda sends her messages: we communicate
in scenery, by music: as if Lynch (sleepwalking or by accident)
were Casilda’s messenger.


After 2006 Lynch stopped making movies
and devoted himself to meditation (he’s even got
a foundation for its promotion and everything). Lynch
is one of those people who think the world would be better
if we all meditated. He also says
that by meditating you perceive more profound levels
of reality, on which there exists only a subatomic
sea of love. Maybe in one of his meditations
he saw me at Sabina’s party, sad over losing Casilda. Maybe
his brain tuned in to the unified field, where the visible
and invisible are created: there are more things in heaven
and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy:
we’re like the dreamer who dreams
and then lives inside the dream, but (as asks
Monica Bellucci) who is the dreamer?


Maybe Bob is just another kind of evil demon
(the kind Descartes warned us about).


There are worse things than losing your cat,
such as: that they murder your only
daughter. Such as: them raping and murdering
your only daughter, and that it’s your fault!
Something worse can always happen—what
does that mean though? Does it mean anything?


Will we see each other again in 25 years? Am I
in the Black Lodge? (In a room with red curtains,
with Annie and the good Coop?) Has my
eternity died? Am I keeping watch over it? 


Agent Cooper travels on the night
of February 23rd, 1989: he wants to stop
Laura Palmer from going to a cabin with
Leo Johnson, Jacques Renault, Ronette
Pulaski (and a third man, who nobody
expects): before Laura enters
death, Agent Cooper takes her hand
and guides her through the woods—
he’s almost made it! But there’s a noise
from behind: Cooper turns: there’s just a scream
the wind, the night (Cooper is alone):
now Laura Palmer inhabits the darkness. I’d like to return
to a November night and stop Casilda
from boarding a truck, but it would be useless:
I’d hear some noise, turn, be left alone in the street. That’s
the reason, dear Captain, for my extreme melancholy.


In another chapter Agent Cooper arrives at a house where he thinks Laura Palmer lives. Everything points to us being in another layer of wakefulness (another layer of sleep). Cooper knocks at the door and a woman (who, Cooper thinks, could be Laura Palmer if Laura Palmer could have aged) opens it: Cooper asks the woman if she is (or knows) Laura Palmer, she says no, but that going to Twin Peaks with the FBI can save her life in this moment. There’s a corpse seated on the sofa in her living room but Cooper refrains from asking about the matter. They travel all day and get to Twin Peaks at sundown. The streets are empty. They head to the house where Laura Palmer lived, but the lady who should be Laura Palmer doesn’t recognize the place. They knock at the door and the old couple who open it say they’ve never heard of the Palmer family (as if the three seasons and movie didn’t exist). So Coop and the lady who ought to be Laura Palmer walk back to the car, visibly confused. Cooper stops in the middle of the street and asks: what year is this? The lady can’t answer, but watches the windows of the house: as if behind them, something invisible were watching. She screams like the time her father murdered her and then the screen goes black. It seems Cooper couldn’t save her. That lady was not Laura Palmer. I am not myself; my house is no longer my house.


Iván Palacios Ocaña

Iván Palacios Ocaña (Oaxaca, 1992) is the author of Cosas inútiles y otros poemas ("Useless things and other poems") and winner of the National Autonomous University of Mexico's (UNAM) Young Poetry Prize for 2018. His work has appeared on and in Punto de partida.

Noah Mazer

Noah Mazer (b. 1997, New York City) writes and translates poetry in Mexico City. His translations appear at and in HOMINTERN. He can be reached at

Cosas inútiles y otras poemas. Copyright (c) Iván Palacios Ocaña, 2018. English translation copyright (c) Noah Mazer, 2020.