To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oliverio Girondo: Three Poems from “In the Moremarrow” with commentary

Translated from Spanish by Molly Weigel


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


Guinea pig
livid fetus I say of the plateau
enpipes the air
and in uniplaint islates its puffy I from the telluric sphere

I high altitude guinea pig

Ugly mug
bitty bogeyman of all
but inorbital amazement
elbowed to the edge of its caries of nothing

With tedium and killed time I cogitabound exhume
livid tibias oboes libidos invertebrates idlings
remains perhaps of the dream of daydreaming sleep up late
followorlding I say

Beyond retracing the night without a star custodian
grows in sure relief the intimate return to a quiescent thirst
but though it forgets the muddy agonized beast of burden
its most wasted lodger fades my signal
and I can’t find my key

Sipid adult hollow craving its own echo
perchance overhung by invisible thermic hypertense threads
on my much hair and over-the-edge pit
flutters the silence of my wide crow hat
though I’m alive

I think
By such a minimal spider also hung from the invisible
in the abject time of why where when
with translucent mobile gris-gris of the twinkling of an eye
and steadiness of pendulum
so solitarily accompanied
and friend of night

Not the other or the other
nor the same in the other or in the other
the other
not the other
not her

Between the rest of the remainder
and my progeny of zeros on the left
solely the solitude
of this homeland of nobody nobody
keeps me company

I wanted it all in my maw
wanted more and more
now hungry pariah all alone
vain ravening remains and so on

Steppe-ing I follow
the bands of dunes
my camel yawns
open in my sand


The palpable the morbid
the conch bold bed the sodregs
the taut deep probes the ebbs waves of the flesh
its nubile contractile pistils
and its annexed nests
the fervid languiforms innumerable subsubornings of touch
its naked blue must
each lode
each vein of blood’s echo’s dream
somniloquent nights of high celestial croaking that animaplunge us vertigo
how much it sticks without coasts to the flow the pulse to the red cosmogone
its emptied faces
and its channels
even biting the earth
terra incognita notorious pickaxe eyes for sore sight the bony the impacts of
awe of more slack
any being on the sore spot
the gifts given gone where orbits sobs of euphoria fog among themselves
whichever vigil attentively veiled expected skeleton spouse
daft barren wake
the microchance of germ motive encounter
already fugitive thens
selfsearching for free
the fantaseeds
even ingesting the earth
any porous way
the sole wide well of the pit immersed inside
sectarian thirst for thirst finite embraces
each mouth
therefore the sum
such stubborn love
hightide loving the brimming lovepandemic totem sprout of love of love breaking out
the pockmark
new gorgon love medium olavacobraniagara erect entire swoon
that ululululululates and arpeggiosipiderscratches the ego breath core
even exhaling the earth
with its trine astroids its species and names multiflames mires and excrecredences
its lassos buzzards love nests of complex incests among loose bones currents without
its neighboring corpses of memory
its light of naked crop
its axillas of nap
and its gyre in dough not less less than other related cogyrators
even the feeble weaning
even the neuter untempting
even dying her

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1891, Oliverio Girondo … belonged to the Argentine ultraist vanguard, which also included Jorge Luis Borges and for which he wrote the manifesto. … [The poems presented here] are from En la masmédula (In the Moremarrow) [1954], which culminates Girondo’s career of poetic engagement with the vanguard; his lifelong rejection of academic authority and search for new forms of poetic articulation find their last and best expression here. With this last volume, according to Trinidad Barrera, Girondo puts a period to the Latin American modernism begun in the 1920s, of which he was a central figure, and provides a model and a jumping off point for contemporary Latin American poetry’s concern with the nature of referentiality. … Like Vallejo’s Trilce and Huidobro’s Altazor, with which it is frequently compared, In the Moremarrow forges from the Spanish language a new poetic language with its own psychic vocabulary and syntax, constituting a journey into the uncharted space of whatever “more” the marrow of language may or may not hold. … With seemingly unlimited combinatory properties and multivalence, Girondo’s language, or “pure impure mix” … communicates desire and disgust, moves fluidly between ironic distance and unguarded sadness or wonder at the limits and possibilities of signification. According to Argentine poet and critic Enrique Molina, each line of En la masmédula is “a verbal galaxy,” an alchemy of the word in which “the language is rushing into a state of eruption.” Traveling widely in Europe for a large part of his life, Girondo died in Buenos Aires in 1967. [M.W.]


Alan WJ Selfe said...

I agree he mentions "what a nothing i play" simular to philosophey "just a drop in the ocean" "what key" locked gates on life's path, "what mask" refering to those who mask their true intentions.
comment on my poems if u wish there is 2 on there

Phanero Noemikon said...

this is a really interesing post. thank you.

Alan WJ Selfe said...

poetry is a passion of mine it would be appreciated if u commented on some of the poems on my blog please i would like the feedback

Alan WJ Selfe said...

"Not the other or the other
nor the same in the other or in the other
the other
not the other
not her" this i find very interesting verse, expressing lonlyness, since in his mind noone is on his wavlength, he cannot find someone to understand the deepness of his soul - I feel is the message. Alot of creative thinkers including myself oftern feel this. yet he seems so deep into his lonlyness - how sad

Bridal shower thank you phrases said...

Great posting. Love your poems.
Thanks for sharing.

Henry Lawson Poems said...

Wonderful fluid poems that burst to life.