Tropes

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 130th birthday.

Oliverio Girondo
Argentine
1891 – 1967

I play
I play pores
cables
keys
coves I play
on subjects of nerves
wharves
weavings that play upon me
scars
cinders
tropical bowels I play
only only
undertows
hangovers
heavy breathing
I play and moreplay
and nothing

Prefigures of absence
inconsistent tropes
what a you
what a what
what a flute
what loot
what hollows
what masks
what empty lonely reaches
what a yes what a no
what a yesno fate putting me out of tune
what reflexes reflect
what deeps
what wizard material
what keys
what nocturnal ingredients
what frozen shutters that do not open
what a nothing I play
wholely

Little Ode to Melancholy

We present this work in honor of the 25th anniversary of the poet’s death.

07-31 Molinari
Ricardo Molinari
Argentine
1898 – 1996

 

Over the wide cold leaves of time you arrive, stained
by the fleeting sun of the rainy seasons on the plains.
You come lukewarm in color and shivering, and my heart
feels the bliss, holds it, from a word
unspoken, and the murmuring steps on the grass cover
the ennui, the glow,
of an essence withheld, drowned and remote.
You gather a robe around you—proper, singular—,
folding it around you
around you, curved to fit the bone.
How much of the soul, what depths of the soul you want
to enter you, to touch you lightly in passing! Yes:
even as air
enters the mouth, claustral and flaring.
You go with the ocean tides and the watery brilliance of
the slow, final skies, which go
veiled toward the south where the great red bustard flies
and nests, and the night
turns back and calls full of anguish under the flowering
darknesses,
nostalgic and scattered.

Minimal Miniseries of Marksmanship

In honor of Argentine Independence Day, we present this work by one of Argentina’s finest contemporary poets.

07-09 Neuman
Andrés Neuman
Argentine
b. 1977

 

This insect is the hero
of some resistance movement.
He wheels around
my enemy hand
and dodges every attempt
to interrupt his slight digressions.

As I’m not capable, I admire him instead.
Does admiration
combat this impotence
or confirm it?
Is my compassion the fruit
of missing the mark?

The insect leaves me
his autograph on the air
with the faint buzz of epigrams.

Elvira’s Song

07-06 Echeverria
Esteban Echeverria
Argentine
1805 – 1851

 

Did a tender bush grow
On the banks of a gentle river,
And its dark branches
Very proud he spread;
But in the bitter winter
The river rose like a torrent,
And in its tumid stream
The tender bush led.

Reflecting snow and scarlet,
She was born garrida and pompous
In the desert a rose,
Gala del prado and love;
But he launched with insane fury
His breath inflamed the wind,
And it took away in a moment
Its vain pomp and freshness.

So everything lasts well…
So sweet loves,
Like the lush flowers,
They fade in their dawn;
And in the uncertain sway
From fickle fortune,
Born and dies in an instant
The hope of love.

In a Hotel Room

06-29 Monvel
Maria Monvel
Argentine
1899 – 1936

 

In a small hotel room, pretty, unknown:
–blue horizons, green lights–,
we entered it together, entranced and flustered
by the impossible fire that we’d conquered.

He kissed me on the mouth, and I surrendered
my fragile body, sweet, desirous & swooning…
Oh inexplicable repose after what had happened!
Oh ineffable delight after what had been suffered!

I didn’t feel shame for my naked body.
Happiness drowned me with a rough hand
and the crystal of my eyes was clouded from tears,

while he on his knees, with furtive kisses,
embraced the ivory of my sensitive feet
with the most ardent fire of his saintly mouth.

Interiors

In honor of the Argentine holiday, National Flag Day, we present this work by one of the country’s most representative poets.

06-20 Bignozzi
Juana Bignozzi
Argentine
1937 – 2015

 

lost the first sense of solidarity
lost horizontal solidarity
neighbor friend corner grocer
in private no one recounts his life story these days
where now are those Renaissance kitchens
the houses of the Carpathians
there will be no museum for our interiors
like a fundamentalist veil some women have salvaged
a universe conquered by my grandmothers
children flora men in permanent distraction or
literary fantasies
while grand women
water patio plants

Sonnet

In honor of May Revolution Day, we present this work by one of Argentina’s most innovative poets.

05-25 Bernardez
Francisco Luis Bernárdez
Argentine
1900 – 1978

 

To regain what was lost
I had to first lose what I had
to accomplish a goal
I had to endure pain

If in order to be in love
it was necessary to have been hurt
I have then suffered enough
I have then shed my share of tears

Because after all, I have realized
that we don’t enjoy it as much
until after we have suffered first

Because after all, I have understood
that the tree has blossomed
from beneath its roots.

Teresa the Idiot

Cecilia Vicuña
Chilean
b. 1948

 

In reality my loves
are the strange box of a Polish doll
The blonde’s eyes appearing
fixed to her hips long after midnight
the garret always singular to loosen
a massive mane
across her back, its strands
thick and fine draping
her otter-like chin
Deliberately she’d peer out from the wall
and nothing could be seen but the shadow of  her breasts
hidden beneath marmots of  hair
And lovely was her skin’s radiance
at that unusual hour
Her waist’s digressions
easily discerned
as bees through grass
the window neither open nor closed
What I saw, yellow like crystal,
rose from sleepy thighs
amassed in unseemly tourniquets
Everything before me, a pale shimmer
of  hairs fanning delicately
to reveal the pink or green skin I no longer know
of  hips a million centimeters
from my gaze.

Of Encounters and Places

In honor of Malvinas Day, we present this work by one of Argentina’s great modern poets.

Elizabeth Azcona Cranwell
Argentine
1933 – 2004

 

A request from the sun. Its understanding of this difference
the label that speaks among things
lamp or star keeping watch over the area that separates us
and lets us illuminate ourselves with the color of distance.

Again I take from the air the slight awareness
that hides the balance of a flower.
Nevertheless we have watched the same bird
we have seized its import, its situation at night
and the place our hearts dominate is the same.

If I must go down through other times
I will have this embrace tied to my memory
like a stone from the sea or a rupture of algae.
They are the night’s circuits where we have held each other
or the uncertain manners of a morning in flight.

Then distance has already stopped digging into the soul
the astrolabe is intent on encountered water
although the smoke of the forest announces nostalgia
that can devour the heart of a blackbird.

The trees carve on wood the name of the earth
like twin flames we have purchased the air for growing
to save with our laughter another corner of the world.

It may be everything that happens is the food of a distant life
silently teaching the language of water
giving love its place
among the confusion of birds.

Nuptial Song

We present this work in honor of the Argentine holiday, Dia de la Memoria.

Susana Thénon
Argentine
1935 – 1991

 

i got married
i got married to myself
i said yes
a yes that took years to arrive
years of unspeakable suffering
crying with the rain
locking myself up in my room
because i—the great love of my existence—
was not calling myself up
was not writing to myself
was not visiting myself
and sometimes
when i dared call myself
to say: hello, am i OK?
I would deny myself

i even managed to write my name in a list of bores
i did not really want to join
because they babbled too much
because they’d not leave me alone
because they’d fence me in
because i could not stand them

at the end I did not even pretend
when I needed myself

i intimated to myself
nicely
that i was fed up

and once i stopped calling myself
and stopped calling myself

and so much time went by that I missed myself
so i said
how long has it been since my last call?
ages
must have been ages
and i called myself up and i answered and could not believe it
because even if it seems incredible
i had not healed
i had only shed blood

then i told myself: hello, is it me?
it’s me, i told myself, and added:
such a long time no see
me from myself myself from me

do i want to come home?

yes, i said

and we got together again
peacefully

i felt good together with myself
just like me
i felt good together with myself
and so
from one day to the next
i got married and i got married
and am together
and not even death can separate me