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Una vez tuve un novio que escuchaba Loquero y El Otro Yo. Me presto “Club De Solos” y lamente tener que devolvérselo cuando cortamos. En esa época todavía era difícil conseguir discos y no me gustaba ir a Moron. Hurlingham no tenia nada mas que Divididos y unas bandas de reggae insoportables.

Mis canciones preferidas eran “Ghost In The F.O.R.A” y “Frio”, aunque no sabia que era la F.O.R.A ni me importaba quien salia en el Si!. El suplemento Si! siempre me parecio una mierda y en cuanto pude hable con gente que no lo leia. Las bandas buenas venian de la colección privada de la hermana mayor de alguien, una chica inalcanzable que se vestia con ropa comprada en la Quinta Avenida e iba a bailar a los sótanos del microcentro. Una vez fuimos a la misma fiesta y por un momento me sentí cool en vez de fea, adolescente y triste.

Un par de años mas tarde aprendí a tocar “Ghost In The F.O.R.A”, pero ya no escuchaba Loquero. Tenia unos cds de Velvet Underground copiados en CD-R mezclados con canciones sueltas de Nick Drake. Una mañana volví de un recital y la voz de Lou Reed me pareció éxtasis, quizá porque estaba drogada y semi despierta o quizá porque sus letras siempre tuvieron para mi una cualidad profética y algo street punk, como volver a casa en tren y escuchar un relato conciso y perfecto sobre el ruido del vagón sobre las vías.

Me acuerdo que una vez dije que cuando Lou Reed muriese yo me iba a morir tambien. Lou Reed murió y no me mate, porque el día que recibí la noticia me pareció que el había muerto de viejo y eso tenia sentido, y yo tenia por delante un par de décadas y podía pedir Metal Machine Music en vinilo y leer las reseñas borrachas de Lester Bangs que probablemente lo amaba (todos estaban enamorados de Lou Reed) y se moria de celos al mismo tiempo. El verdadero amor tiene algo de todo eso, un poco de ebriedad, ruido y un desfasaje de nuestra propia identidad en la que por momentos quisiéramos ser el otro. Y todo eso esta en los discos de Lou Reed. Los discos de Nico tienen un estatus casi religioso y, como ella, parecen hechos de hielo. Me encanta Nico. Hay un bootleg de ella en la catedral de Notre Dame en 1974. Ya no lamento haberme perdido eventos ocurridos antes de que naciera pero ese es uno de los recitales en los que me hubiese gustado estar.

En esos años andaba con un chico que vivía mitad de la semana en Belgrano y mitad en Hurlingham. Tocaba la guitarra durante horas y horas y horas, en su cuarto, en la calle, y en el living del departamento en Belgrano. Era un lugar muy bonito sobre Juramento, frente a Barrancas, con una cocina llena de sol y un piano alemán. El era horrible y no habia terminado la escuela, era una rata con mucho talento para la música y las mentiras. Tenia una foto de el, sentado en el sillón de pana verde de mi casa de Hurlingham, vestido con ropa de feria americana, mirando al techo, pero probablemente la haya perdido en alguna mudanza. Le mostré mis CD-R de Velvet Underground y Nick Drake y el me canto la letra de Dandy Rock Club al oído durante un viaje en el 63. Se rio durante la parte de “te invitare a tomar la del Dandy Rock Club” pero yo no entendí el guiño, recién había terminado la secundaria y solo había fumado porro. El y sus amigos iban a bailar a El Dorado y “estudiaban” en Tecson. Todos me parecían una alucinación y vivían en las habitaciones mas altas o mas bajas de las casas de sus padres. El cargaba su guitarra y yo cargaba mis libros de Semiología y cuando visitábamos a sus amigos para tocar música o buscar comida las madres nos miraban con lastima y un poco de asco, como todos los padres que esperaban que sus hijos no fueran vagos pseudo escritores y músicos.

En ese tiempo $100 era mucha plata, y en el departamento de Belgrano había una pila de billetes escondidos de los que el robaba para ir a un hotel a tocar la guitarra y tomar cerveza. Todos le hablaban de Sonic Youth pero el no tenia una colección de discos, solo partituras de Bach y Beethoven. Sus canciones eran originales y rabiosas y como el, ya tampoco están en este mundo. No creo que nadie mas que su hija tenga una grabacion de el, y pensé ahora en las veces en las que me llamo a 665-1310 para tocar canciones al teléfono.

Yo tenia una banda con otras chicas de Hurlingham. Ensayábamos en un garage. Yo era muy mala cantando, igual que hoy, pero cantaba igual y era un poco creída. Escribia poesia todo el tiempo y después de ensayar escuchábamos cassettes de The Cure, Fun People y Current 93. El mejor cassette era uno con una etiqueta que decía “Chicas Indias”. Creo que me lo prestaron y lo perdí y nunca supe quienes eran y de donde venían las Chicas Indias. Todas las chicas de mi banda, y sus amigas, odiaban al chico de Belgrano. Una vez hicimos una fiesta y hubo un momento muy incomodo en el que el estaba sentado solo en la escalera y yo con el, intentando reconciliar el mundo de las chicas con el suyo, pero no, hasta los otros chicos lo odiaban. El definitivamente era muy creído y hablaba demasiado. Y siempre quería tocar sus canciones para todos. Era uno de esos! No podía callarse, no era bueno en publico.

La banda con las chicas duro otro año hasta que empece a tocar con otros chicos que escuchaban Beat Happening o algo así. Nada duraba. Ni los chicos ni el colegio ni las bandas, pero los discos si. Conocí a Marcelo y Daniela de Mujercitas Terror y una tarde en su departamento de Constitución me preguntaron si conocía a Roy Orbison y Leonard Cohen. Daniela me mostró sus diarios, todos apilados ocupaban toda la cama. Marcelo dijo algo sobre Roy Orbison y Daniela se ofendió un poco, y yo pensé que Marcelo no tenia razón y estaba haciendo una broma extraña, una broma de mentira hecha para ofender, esas son las mejores bromas y sobretodo si son sobre músicos. Como decir que Bob Dylan es malo o que grabar a Leonard Cohen en Songs From a Room debe ser aburridisimo. Marcelo no dijo ninguna de esas cosas pero si dijo algo de Roy Orbison, y lo dijo a propósito. Mujercitas Terror fue para mi como escuchar a Velvet Underground pero mas cerca, porque Velvet Underground estaba en NYC y Mujercitas en Buenos Aires.

Todos estabamos en Buenos Aires. Todos escuchábamos discos y escribiamos sobre eso, todos dejábamos y empezábamos cosas y nadie tenia plata. Ir a ver bandas en el IMPA o en Chacabuco era emocionante. El viaje, sentarse en la calle y no saber que hacer despues. Cuando lo demas fallaba te dabas cuenta que los Stones eran lo mas y cuando pasabas un mes entero escuchando Aftermath y Flowers descubrías The Fall. Ahora tengo canciones miás, y son importantes, creo, para mi, me gustaría que sean así para otros como lo son para mi las de todas las bandas que escuche mientras viajaba en tren.

To My Dear Friend Victoria Sélavy

To my dear friend Victoria Sélavy:
Its been one year without you.

August 7th, 2014

My youth ended when you left us.

I am listening to Pearls Before Swine, at home in Northeast DC. Our cat rests in the table, over a book titled “Ghosts” I bought for a lover I haven't seen in two weeks. Cat hair gets stuck to the black cover which I clean with tape, neatly, every night I think I might see him.

I always enjoyed writing about lovers, see, just as much as we seemed to have fun talking about them. It is 'nice' to document romance, as if these were fairy tales for adults filled with lust and disappointment (I have trouble spelling “disappointment” both in paper and in real life).

I haven’t been writing poetry lately, if not writing at all. That is, not counting the songs. I guess I should call that writing too. When there's nothing to write I feel profoundly sad and bored. I sit and wait until the next one hits me. I watch movies and take long walks, go to Lincoln Park in Capitol Hill and walk in circles, and remember a park in Buenos Aires in which I used to do the same thing, and this land and that land come together and, to my surprise, it means nothing.

This land took my marriage, the other took my innocence, and I don’t see myself recovering that anytime soon. But there might be a lesson to the void and in days like these, plagued by routine, dread, fear and records, I sense freedom awaits, like a hand carved catacomb hidden somewhere between Chinatown and Mt. Pleasant.

I voluntarily left my family and friends to come to the US to be spiritually beaten up and robbed of a bunch of things I truly loved; you were one of them. And as of to-day, I wake up almost every morning to think “This, again?”, and a fucked up choir of sorts echoes “again, again, again”, I reach out to grab a book from my bookshelf to not understand any of it, grateful nonetheless that someone took time before me to write (and you have to add some decor to this word in particular, if you're reading this out loud, or to yourself, its WRITE, wwrrittee...)

“I'm going to rat on everybody and split this dead whistle stop planet wide open -I'm clean for once with the nova heat – Like a clean fall out.”

That is William S. Burroughs in The Soft Machine, and I wonder if you had the time to read Naked Lunch. One of the few truly intelligent boyfriends I had made a really good impression of Burroughs reading Naked Lunch out loud. It went something like:

“Nnn-aked.......................................................... Lunch. Chapter 1.”


As of this present day I do know he was truly intelligent, not only because he owned a drum set encrusted with mother of pearl, but because before I left BA we went to the movies, had beer, talked about music and did not go over the terrible things we did to each other except to ask for forgiveness.

And believe me, not everyone will extend you that type of courtesy.

But the time for writing letters comes to an end, and my only advice -my inability to write a goodbye is a clear indicator of how much I miss you- is, rip off the part of the dress you don’t like, don't forget to sing, cut or grow all your hair how you please, pay your debts, and above all, don't ever forget who you are.

Ever.

Still friends,
still heartbroken.

Nenet

No hay fama en el exilio.

Tarde, en cama
escucho el ruido
del colectivo X2

sobre el pavimento
en la avenida

Una alarma
de auto ulula
en la esquina
de Orren
y Morse.

No hay fama
en el exilio;

tuve que acallar
las voces de
la muerte
y el éxito

para
dar nuevamente

con la poesía.

February 27, 2014


La Povertà




















"...Francis of Assisi, the founder of the mendicant orders who, as a youngster at a ball, where the daughters of all the notabilities were sitting together, was asked: "Now Francis, will you not soon make your choice from these beauties?" and who replied: "I have made a far more beautiful choice!" "Whom?" "La povertà (poverty)": whereupon he abandoned every thing shortly afterwards and wandered through the land as a mendicant."

I remembered now what I forgot to mention when you visited earlier. KC invited me to teach again, and liked my class proposal:

"Doom & Gloom: A Brief History of Pessimism".

I also found a painting I like, its Leo Tolstoy barefoot, dressed as a peasant. Thinking about pessimism reminded me of the times I studied philosophy with a neighbor. He would talk about Bertrand Russell and curse Hegel; I was only trying to get through Plato and Aristotle. I enjoyed talking about Philosophy a great deal, I was attending catholic school... but I never showed up for the exam. I think finding new ways of learning, and studying, to not neglect the intellect, is a good thing. Maybe there will be a time in which I'll be able to cease my wandering and devote time to the Iliad, The Magic Mountain and Ulysses.

For a moment, I thought I would like to be regarded as a philosopher. But I do not foresee that happening anytime soon. Maybe it is the product of going through so many Wikipedia entries, maybe it is because in the life of prominent thinkers there is room for great beauty... and contradiction.

Reading made me ask myself -and the muses- why pessimists could commit to the search of beauty. Isn't this an interesting paradox? Id like to know more about this.

I enjoyed your visit. I got lost in looking outside the window, at the snow falling. I think the snow made my speech turn somewhat vague.

Good-night.

To The Library At Book Hill Park

Whenever I go
to the library
at Book Hill Park
There is -always-
a white girl
with a MacBook
and Starbucks coffee
studying
as a totem
of a new
assisted culture
of bills and school
and learning
& I want to be
like Giacomo Leopardi
with a bended spine
Reading "We Have
Only This Life
To Live"
Right?
True. 

La Niña Mas Pequeña del Mundo


   (Daniela Zahra - "Las niñas juegan en el jardín")


La Niña Mas Pequeña del Mundo
Por Nenet

Lejos de Buenos Aires, en una cama con sábanas de jersey con estampa de osos, lobos y ciervos, una chica descansa luego de un agotador día de trabajo. En la dimensión del sueño, en la que el buen dormir puede concurrir en pesadilla, la chica es testigo de un cuento.

En él, un hombrecito mitad enano y mitad niño ofrece a una niña un barrilete.La niña remonta el barrilete en un campo, ambos ríen. Como en muchos cuentos, el personaje posee algo de magia: El segundo regalo es un hermoso caballo de pelaje marrón y crin negra. Niña y caballo celebran su encuentro, el geniecillo y la durmiente observan satisfechos. Pero contra un cielo repentinamente rojo, dantesco, alguien dispara una flecha. El caballo herido causa la muerte de su jinete y, en su pena, se arrastra hacia su propio fin. El hombrecito, ahora maldito, golpea su cabeza antes de huir del pueblo.

La espectadora inconsciente descubre que ha sido testigo de un segmento titulado “Viaje a las Aventuras Hacia el Más Allá”: Un programa en donde las narraciones no necesariamente poseen un desenlace feliz, y la moral es cruel.

En los sueños existen campos en llamas, personajes de manos puntiagudas y melenas de oscuro cabello. En lo real, al despertar enredados en sábanas que de algún modo solían protegernos, quisiéramos recordar lo visto con mayor detalle; y seducidos por la imaginación, el placer del miedo y la posibilidad de presenciar algo mágico, recibir también obsequios de parte de espíritus contrahechos de talla liliputiense.

En “Cine Pájaro”, Daniela Zahra -artista y deidad musical de Mujercitas Terror- utiliza atroz e ingeniosamente lápiz y tinta para traer al ámbito de la lucidez ilustraciones de origen inusitado y espectral delicadeza.

La muestra puede verse desde el 21 de Febrero en Fiebre Galería (Av. Santa Fe 2729, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal).

Break-Up

   
(Nenet - "In excelsis" Fig II: Grievance)

Dear xxxxxxxx,

This is another story about the babes.

I met a guy four months ago via Craigslist, after answering his add, which included a song by The Cramps. He is 39. He was a soldier who now works for (...) in a job he hates. It is strange how life makes this peculiar turns, but I'm used to it now, or I want to believe I am.

We met one night at Church & State. I had a well mannered martini, and was all dressed in black -minus a camel color coat and Clarks-. He seemed modest, and he had either rye whiskey or scotch. While he talked, I peeked under the bar stool to see he was wearing leather boots. Leather boots, a brown shirt, glasses. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Bored expression. More lost than bored, as if he left a monastery just to come and meet me. I talked and smiled and had a second martini. He paid for everything -and I made a joke about him paying for everything-.

We said goodnight and wrote e-mails. He later would say that was the most fun he had in a long time. He later would say I was the most interesting person he met in DC. We spent Christmas together. I gave him a black shirt I bought thinking he would look really good in it. I was broke when I did, and didn't care. I knew someone broke his heart for sure, and I wanted to make up for that, because I'm a silly catholic and I believe in love.

One evening, we hung out at The Passenger after I went to Capital Fringe Festival to see a play about immortality, jelly fishes, genetic manipulation and death. I was nervous and chain smoked while I waited for him outside. I had an Old Fashioned and he might have had beer. He confessed he couldn't date me. I asked why. He made a pause, walked outside to smoke a cigarette, and came back to confess he was completely utterly depressed and doomed. He gave up on relationships. He was married for six years. He gave up on the thought of wanting kids, and a family, and someone beside him. He called out. He was merely living, waltzing by, silently knowing one day this would all end. One day, he wouldn't have to wake up to go to work, and brush his hair, and take the bus to Federal Triangle.

The thought of him brushing his hair -so short, blonde and groomed- was the detail that did it for me. I ignored everything he said and of course, fell in love, because why not, because that does it for me. I didn't have a choice, really. I just woke up one day and after that every move was a cornerstone that spun in our world, every secret was our secret, every street was there for us, and every twisted joke was the funniest sickest joke that made other sick jokes pale by comparison. I would like to think he laughed more often. We slept together. In the morning we would have the worse coffee you could possibly imagine, brewed in an empty kitchen in an apartment in northwest DC. And the ashtray was always full.

We talked about all things inappropriate, like Hitler, Fascism, ugliness, children, racism, war, pain and the future, and we made out in his couch. A month passed before we actually kissed. And when we did, it was an upside down kiss: A metaphor of all the upside down seances that would follow.

He never took me to see roller derby, whisked me away to Paris to act like American tourists on purpose, taught me German, followed through our Literature group or had a band called “German Death Ray”.

We broke up because he said he would break me up. He would drag me down along with whatever darkness he hauled along with him. But I’m not scared of the dark -though I was when I was a child- and it would take more than a man to break me.

I woke up and wrote a song. I woke up and wrote another song. I woke up and took a walk, drank a Bloody Mary and bought a book. The book he had and read for me, the book I can buy and read for myself because it takes more than a break up to stop life, to make it a still life, to be gone.

Because If I wallow in pain and misery, then he would be right, and I wouldn't be the kind of person I told him I was: The kind of person who's scared but not that scared, the kind of person who wouldn't let go of his hand when he went astray, the kind of person who would stick to the motherfucking end, because that’s love, and love is there when you feel real and when you don’t.

Last Sunday we had lunch together. It was almost three o clock. He viewed eating as a "food-mouth" equation. His kitchen was empty. The cabinets and fridge were empty. He came to my place and I cooked a mixture of pasta and veggies while narrating a made up cooking program in which I would listen to The Jesus & Mary Chain while trying to be 'upbeat'. His cooking program would be him cursing and smoking over the ingredients to end up ruining all dishes. He petted my roommates dog, then ate all the food in his plate. I talked about The Kinks and The Who and which of them I liked best, and how The Kinks seem to have 35 albums but I think only 5 are actually really good.

I know this is the worse timing, and I know you're gonna hate me for saying this -I confessed last Friday night-, but I love you, and if you could grasp %5 of what I'm saying, things could be so much easier.

I was looking in his eyes when I said this, and felt it multiplied by 1000, like a crazy laser beam of sacredness, of sheer humanity, pain and exhaustion; like an insane lyrical blessing I was passing on. I felt right. And I felt sad and defeated when, as I was saying this, he slowly closed his eyes and achingly stood up. He opened my bedroom door and walked away as I started crying in my bed, wrapped in my own long black skirt.

I woke up on Saturday morning and everything was strangely calm. Penn Camera gave me back a developed film that has the only photo of him I now hold.

Today I thought about joking about break ups, but I used to joke with him.
I guess now the jokes on us.

Poetry & Sodomie: Argentine Writers of the 20th Century

The author of this blog will be teaching a poetry class for Knowledge Commons DC on February 3rd, at 7 pm, on a location to be confirmed.

Join us for an evening of

words,
words,
words

History, oddities, and of course, south american poetry; an odd place between the streets of Buenos Aires, the holy cross and Europe.

Follow link to sign up, here.
(...) I am torn now between this, English and Spanish, like any immigrant would be between the acquired and the native language, and the paragraphs are coming out as undocumented orphans.
 

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