from Riddance

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 70th birthday.

10-09 Negroni
Maria Negroni
b. 1951


Am I that woman in the dance
raising inexperience like light
addressing herself like a feather
to her most elusive whereness?
Strange flower growing soft
out of the frame of language
trying on sandals and flinging
into writing unscathed by writing.

Winding the body’s lexicon
it hit me in the takeaway
shown my treasure in nothing
I wavered: submit or escape
it’s a question of what is lost
in the beat of a voluptuous skirt
what battle is evaded what dire
endearing enemy abandoned.

Strange as if lit from within
with the indicative expounding
from neckline to poem curve
I learned to conjugate affairs
but for what if the nitty-gritty
of nothing like eternity
consisted in leaving me naked
doubtlessly an odd privilege.

What if time were lawless?
Where do you keep what wasn’t?
They go on like this and that
you never know what kills you
and January sun and you just came
just like a breath and worked me
to confine my body’s surrounds
to the exacting beauty of lack.

And I who’d thought to interject
geography as flamboyant sun
retrace my past in slip-ups
sweet-talking myself tough
and even pin on you a trinket
clinched knees sissy feet
which you’ll interpret as expertise
but is just a pretense for hurt.

If together where the belly bends
if I contracted and opened for you
if something like a sky disclosed
to what encloses inside blue
if you drew me so disposed
if I existed where you lost me
if a spasm and other orphandoms
if imperfection is a gift.

Contrary to the clock hands
too long in two voices unreleased
you walk me through my legs
to tumult with no predicate
while I angle for the occasional
avails of female cunning
tattooing the flipside of language
digits an animal won’t give up.

Night is a house to wander
with Spanish moss poison
I mean, to look for looseness
beyond your foremost failure
maybe that was the attraction
out of all you gave me and got
how you tossed me into boleos
heart antsy the secret clear.


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

Oliverio Girondo
1891 – 1967

I play
I play pores
coves I play
on subjects of nerves
weavings that play upon me
tropical bowels I play
only only
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

Little Ode to Melancholy

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

07-31 Molinari
Ricardo Molinari
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
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
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
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
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.


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
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


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

05-25 Bernardez
Francisco Luis Bernárdez
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
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.