Poems from the XUL group of Argentina

Translated by Molly Weigel

with comments by Ernesto Livon Grosman


XUL_04.01 and RIFT04.01 are copyright (c) 1995. See below for full notice. Click here for EPC HOTLIST


Brief note to a selection of poems in translation from the Argentine Magazine XUL by Ernesto Livon Grosman

Poems translated by Molly Weigel

Nestor Perlongher


Solitude of lamé:   of what shines
what laughs doesn't cry but rather barely the mask that laughs it
cried in the laughed
what attached to the steed, what fastened
to the hook
of the rope:
the écuyére:   horsetamer
who yokes plumes to her hair
pinned to what swings:   to what strings
          animals gilded
          to the hoops
          attached     to the rings
                    the fattest woman, the bearded lady:
                    the strongest:
                    the one caught
                              in the air
                              in delirium
in the bubble of delirium
                              the magician
                              in two parts:
that which cut in two disappears
and that which festooned with jack-knives
bleeds from the hear:   that which vibrates without a net, that which

in mirrors you cross galleries with handmirrors
     galleries, glassy, of glass and slime, vista
of "virile" virtuosity, a glassiness of rounded cape,
     or "caped": so,
because if in that abyss, or alley--he pushes down--the neck
     of the girl--
because if that fishneck, curved
     under that radiance, swims, mirror being born, jade and
     glass? he takes it, and in that crossing, of the lamé
radiance, I engrave: it cuts the circle, gives
     an "ending."  and if the shining
stroll is used, signals of green canvas
--for a green hanged man--, to go ahead, why not?
if that slipping, that hanging
and in the circle, of that fish-tale, a detail appears
     in "madder"? overtattooed in the decollete', dredges
the breast; of the one who brands: cut glass,
     luminous, infected sliver, whose sticking plaster, in the
alcohol of those gazes that gush, in the
     coolness of that glaze, or only the incense of that smoke
     the meat of the neck, marks the "small roads" of that
          gallows, as if that head, to rolll, by starched,
     stiff petticoats, took it scorched.  rhymed its
asperity of live furs, with that "brown" stole
          with which she
covered her shoulders? --hiding that hairiness and the
batrachian of that weakening, doesn't it lead
to the alligator's paws, stagnant, or arranged in a 
certain inertia? . . .
                    but that which scratches,
yes.  penetrates, and will not shut up.  not necessarily,
          [since already at the edge
     of those little swimming pools in Sarmiento,
          [there's a mother that's
     drowning, and another that's stripping naked, on the palier,
                    in front of some officials
it's that mother and that absence.  the scene, framed in
                    crystal, provides the radiance
of those paralytic spiders.  That one, and perhaps the other.
     in rolling, through those trembling passages, didn't
she suffer the discomfort of those stays, and the suffocation of
     those buttocks, the
weight of those tiaras, or pendants, or rings, already
     excessive? and that which is recharged, in that account,
isn't it an increase, the profusion
     of jewelled straps, or the anger
          of a candle that hangs? perhaps
     heavy with heat? of
          which heaven is he speaking? oh panromances, oh
          tarnished relics of coral, oh
               rhinestones in a rut of rhyming . . .



History, is it a language?
Does this language have to do with the language of history
or with the history of language/
where it stuttered/
Does it have to do with this verse?
living tongues licking dead tongues
tongues rotting like socks
tongues, lingering, fungous
this langauge of history/ which history?
if the long history of the tongue isn't taken as a story

They tell it
in a galley:

Miz Rudecinda
didn't the riding gear sprinkle her soul?
didn't the screamer bird scare itself?

(Melted gauchos, with their cow tongues, with their clubs
with their yokes and their silver coin belts
melted gaucho: he digs his spurs into the--melted--back
of the tongue, as if trapped in a rabbit warren

A few kilometers from San Clemente, in the Tuyú
is the tomb of Santos Vega, where the orcas come in
and the surfers in their grass skirts, on the crystal waves
Broken crystal, ornere orcas of history:  they go
to the harpponers with their hooks:  they go
where the deck-clearings cleave:  where, melted, the gaucho
takes out his jack-knife and disgraces himself:
it was history, that disgrace!
disgrace of lying in the Tuyuú, of a widespread lying
The cannibals in that crystal harassed by rude waves;
and you, in that lethargy of rigor mortis, don't you take it
               [lying down?
Take crystalline, plumed crests?

Susana Cerdá

Don't Return . . .


Oh, mo ther look ma
ma there's
more than we foresaw:
the cupboards full of 
the walls overloaded
with white
the beds so clear
the fabric so tightly stretched
Don't return the gaze

The words are in surplus
They're idle.


Right there fa ther
We won it
May it be sacred:   the SHOUT
Do you hear
how my ears
how the chains 
the harvest is a cloud
Hear The Sound
of locusts
--such darkenss!
but whatever happens
Their color is green.


Hear the sound
--broken the--
give equally
give your throne
to the nobleman

may they be united
see now:  "to the Noble of the South:

And the freemen answer
the Great:   "To die or
             We swear welcome."


Hey hear the adage
I've written you
It's rough draft
Don't return
it to final copy


into the Red hot fire of the blacksmith.
I'm still alive.

He picks among the irons
looking for his knife
to put it into the fire
to make it:   a dagger.

To break the broken chains
to see the ties leaking
the iron of this blood.
Ferrous blood
of iron, they say
the man was made
of iron.
He who branded the Red
Count his wounds.
He wandered
wandered lonely
at ease 
they say
in The Outskirts.


There were weapons and tools, between which, therefore,
They distinguished by usage.


We won it, father.
won it
or we will.

Hadding had 
If it has

How much it costs for the Splendor
to shine.

Jorge Lépre


    S             N             A     
    C             C             T
    A             E             E
    R             S             S
                  N             I
    E             T             N
    D             H             E  
    R             E             L    
    E             W             U  
    S             R             S   
    I             I             I      O 
    D      I      T      C      V      U       
    U      V             R      E      R  
    E      E      I      E      F      V  
    O      U      N      M      L      O   
    F      P      G      E      O      I   
    P      H             N      W      C  
    L      O      O      T      Y      E   
    A      R      F      A             G  
    I      I      T      L             N     
    N      A      H      B             A
    T      L      E      L             W  
    I      X      O             S     
    N             T             M      
    X             M             Y       
    D             E             M        
    I             N             E     
    S             S             M  
                  T             O    
    T             R             R  
    A             U             Y   



zesvisitationsimplyin      ectivemarkedje      rkoffdo  
gunioedipical)nlaconi      seofunxpectedm      ensesma  
cal?!)visionscongesti      chinationinunr      egulate 
onof humor'sdomitablec     dareas)gestist      ordinal 
armelizedretrosucces       ism)phenomenal      blockag 
sivenesstrimsdifficul      eflammablepani      cofmess  
tbirtharchfantasistco      agesparapathyp      ossessi  
condensation)iwaited/to    vesfrombeforea      ntipsyc  
dayshedidn'tcome)regu      hoticanssiolyti     cantide  
latorylilalfalfafatte      lusional)lobot      omyelec  
nsaffectionatealienis      trocrashclorpr      omazine
                           literarysupple      ments)p
                           atientpassiona      tedelir 
                           iumclownicalan      xietyfe
                           tishism)fashio      nscream
                           sparthenogenes      is)coll
                           apsibleornamen      tslaxat  
                           iveformfitteas      esbedla  
tswhispersreducinglev      myjellyarchiveb     oxestre 
itationominousfetusre      asureportablec      ellsoft  
executedsenterectedpe      helibidonightm      aregive  
ripheralobsessionpush      sprophylacticm      argins)  
pullfornicatingidio        shedrawsmusicf      romhisf  
lects!)ifuckedufrombe      luteanditrains      )toddle  
behindnnotbysurprise)sh    rizedhabitconf      irmingt  
einfernsherselfpassio      endentialbones      theword  
natedisposablesurreal      sconcretizefic      tiverea  
ismkittykittykittyhab      derinahorizono      fabrica  
ituationhotncoldincap      tedxpectations      pedestr 
acitateddisorientedeca     iansorgasme                            

Susana Poujol


he bites the apple   red    watery

with those little square child's fingernails

discouraged pianist

unexpected ruled leaves fall from him

          he leans far back

          more and more lost

          between his long dark hair

          very far

               the voice

                    what a bunch of whores

               it says

          and the voice   slips

                         between the pubic hairs

                         with my gentle persistent tongue

                    licking and licking

               at emptiness


--A mate, Pacheco.
Yes, my Brigadier.

--Ah. . .the country of apples . . .
The water flows sweetly here . . . everything so green . . .

--Ne u que'n . . . cou nt ry of a pples . . .

Huidobro spoke of the country of the Ranqueles, [2] Brigadier . . .

Aha. . .but here the sun comes down through the glens, they say . . . and
the apples are poisoned. . .
I don't know . . . it must be . . . the mountain gets angry with the
intrusions . . . said the old man . . .

--Some little apples . . . from the heart of the mountain . . .
these Indian women with firm skin . . . no, Pacheco?
Do you think the mountain will get angry, Brigadier?

[2]  A native tribe mostly exterminated in the 19th century.


Jorge Santiago Perednik


. . . . .

in the tunnels, infinite, intricate, from which one only carries
          to the dining room, green,              it was and
why do people become enamored of a mistake?


she was lying on a table, master and sir, green, she was naked
surprised like a nun taken by god
taken to task for loving god and loving intimately
that he would never come (to be on the table, on her)
to incite her to show herself
strawberries with syrup and peaches, the taste of sugar in the peach 
	  [on a table
of god
tongue raising the forested mountain, the soft, strange shrubs 
          [of its planet
                         taken in
given or venial,                   the fruits
bitten, running with saliva
covered                                 learned the class of the
that this is the order, it shall come to pass or it shall not come to pass:
                                             you are the only
fruits that take pleasure while you die


you replied, stammering, let's not write each other any more
and then (like in a soap opera)
that you weren't going to write me any more, that I could write you        
	    [when i wanted
let's sup/p/p/pose I'm d/did/dying
that this steam didn't let you breathe well, see well
and when you wanted to talk to me you c/
the syrup's waiting, cold, and it won't spread
the Roman bath water's hot and waiting
Buenos Aires, October 20th.  My dear XXXX I haven't heard
any responses from you and word something that XXXXXXme
o/no/no/n/on the table/l/l/lies your body


it was.
I would choose shurbs for the greenhouse.  I would tear out the seeds       
  	  [the fruit
the flowers the leaves the branches naked like a statue of salt ahead
with empty hand with the trunk between my hands reality they          
	  [disappeared I was thin
king about those who were not the greenhouse shrubs rob themselves!
I would sing to them but my god    don't look behind
I asked her.  little sister your    ? has been?
it was.  stop
no one talked about dreams, the taste the smell of dreams, the echo of
dreams i the 
and in the question of dog?
counterecho bounces off the wall the dream
on a table, green, naked


the table is served and the aroma
indifferent.   an aobject.
the table is   a female body.
the supper is  however
rotted fruit   dead gods      green
                              it was
                              "so that not even the shadow of an
                              excuse can interfere
                              in the matter"
               on a table


naked, mistress and sir, green, you wanted it
the light, blurred in the supine steam of the bath, it bothered [you
frvalle, sylvalley, pinvalley you told me and
suspended between the eyes the body the small drops scarcely allowed       
	  [thinking, not seeing
the sliced peach that incites the eating of the fruit, the tongue
the juice it releases, thick, so sweat, when the teeth sink in,showing
the two wild strawberries on the pinnacle, those--ah! in the          
	  [receptacle, the emptiness in the diffusion of steam
small sighs that stir small corpuscles, in growing intensity, in
          [increasing depth
make yourself, accumulate, multiply, call yourself by name
and the morning of the last day set and dawned
this world that just I finished and I don't understand where it's
          [taking me
valley I watch from above, suspended in this diminutive death
it lacks existence you said,  that the steam won't let me arrive

. . . .
. . . .
. . . .


they buried their dead seated in more or less the same position
we were in, in the water
with the small, trivial things they'd loved or enjoyed in life
but it springs up and dies back alone and now
and it dreams itself alone and dreams are idiotic
we're together, naked, neither dead nor alive
each dreaming our own useless story
in the maternal bathtub, as alike as twins
the heavens the sky and the earth.  and the earth
were emptiness and confusion

From The Shock of the Lenders FRAGMENTS 4 and 12

The fall:
     The new Science of the 18th century speaks of our home, its
          [perfidy, that it is "full of chaos
     because of individualism and sterili (oh Holy Church) and because     
     	  [of a lack of respect
     Holy Chruch lil English girl Madonna mia I Saw you As a monster       
	  [with two back I saw you glancing back at

the fall:
     The Roman Empire
     Newton's Apple
     the rabbit and Alice following
     Carlos Argentino Daneri and Jorge Luis Borges following
     capitalism and communism and
     Christophoro Columbus landing on the island of
                         called by him Santo Domingo
                         the birth of the New World
                         the rebirth of the old world
                         episode or stumbling block that histories
                                   [avoid so as not to fall

the fall:
     the only commandment alive or like sin
     You will honor your father and mother
     you will touch your
     The       : they cast on earth and said Rest in peace
the world factory doesn't rest

     "do not enter" "top secret" ("you'll fall anyway")
patriarchs of the order and giants of chaos embrace in the name of
three crazy elves hunch forward like old men and howl to break down the door

Phoenix, Phoenix, why is virtue so run-down?
like sages howl like children like a family tree of 
                         [without on the other hand expecting anything
knowing that the void awaits them
                         [without on the other hand possessing
serene before the secretary who tells her secrets for a new secret
smiling before offended office
laughing in the Tower without qualms about the same illness
the very illness that requires the construction of the do
the door
opening closed with a key
the lie:
          a door


          an office


          a boss

(they didn't appear on the sacred papyrus)

the formula or genetic order:
it  all  changes (except  one thing (no
it  all  changes (for    that thing (no
nothing  changes (because of that   (
three crazy elfves hunch forward like old men and howl to break down       
	  [the thing that
they cast on earth and said Rest in peace



Every end is a beginning.  Searches
The engineer's arches built brick by brick treaon on treason looking       
	  [for what
The mayor dressed as a peasant crossing the continent on horseback
          [looking for what
Woman's pools, the hunger for depth, do they matter?


Each search pursues its end--and finishes before reaching it
Unrelenting, unreachable searches.  Lost arches, for example
The crumbs that showed the path back disappeared.  Birds


The strap falls.  The bird takes flight.  Where
Don't pay attention to mummy.  She drank too much.  She writes mush.


Every persecution has an end: to make its beginning infinite; so
The engineer reads Hegel "there's no depth just ignorance" and        
	  [approaches the abyss.  Later
The engineer denigrates "limitless emptiness": fear of limitless
          [ignorance, or his own emptiness
Horror at perpetual beginning
Each month is each day is each hour is each moment is
Time past and present that which is and that which was
Madness    the invisible marks that return
The impossible union of beginning and end
The impossible family and its new records, its beautiful story, its
To break the record  to crack the memory for good   to cut
The evanescent knots that impede the denoument
The persecution of


Every search makes its object invisible therefore
pages and parrots and payments
Every search seeks to find itself


the design of the stigma will be: an animal that eats what it vomits
                                        that smiles constantly
                                        that has a huge black bird on      
                                             [its back


The prosecution of
Pages and pigeons and payments
Reality resists being described: a prohibition such that


Every end breaks the enchantment
The twelve strokes sound
They're at the door
The engineer reads his family the sotry and suddenly flees:
Partridges in pear trees.  Did they live happily ever after?  searches
Every beginning is an end.  The agonized end
Of a story that doesn't want to finish


quarantine: isolate the contagious patients
who'll believe in that trash?

kill the dogs in secret and let rabies justify

illing in you its sickness
     words helped to believe in the unbelievable
     helped Argentina  who?
     pockets full of blookd and money
     hands stained with
     another's: that blocks or cuts off the mothers
     is another speeled with yoo or ho?
     with--you know.
the dogs bark because they believe
the wolves howl because they desire
the neighbors crowd together flocking to see the
a question what does fuck mean?
one answers happiness
another better not ask lady
some of the neighbors saw the incident: it was inconvenient: 
               [they forgot it three times
in the fox's metaphysics the chicken comes before the egg
the hyena's laugh because they smell  their teeth announce the 
          [ethics of the great hygiene
happiness lady may the world end quickly
and even if the world doesn't end fuck lady, happiness anyway


(From "Diary of the Flight")

Thursday the twenty-fourth
I have to keep going
I can't keep going
I found a dead horse in the tub                            (in the bath)
the horse gets up
the quitable moment in which he leaves me     (the firm moment in which)
Friday the twenty-fifth
I have to keep going               	              (I can keep going)
a slow trot:
maybe the path is near
they've already made it
somehow I get to the threshold
onto my story                            (maybe I'm arriving at my story)
Saturday the twenty-seventh
I'd be surprised if it opened


(from "Diary of the Flight")

my interrogators   know   more than I

yes, everything seems foreign  virginal   a worthless fable


I wish   the lantern in the night  showed

the   broken hymen   of the priestess

that the vagina opened in   flower   that there were no trap

that the image were the delay  a fall  one could live in


the questions close me  confuse   I can't

I wish or even  to pronounce the word end

RIF/T: An Electronic Space for Poetry, Prose, and Poetics
Editors: Kenneth Sherwood and Loss Pequeño Glazier
ISSN#: 1070-0072
Version 4.1 Spring 1995

XUL_04.01 and RIFT04.01 copyright (c) 1995. All rights revert to author(s) upon publication. Texts distributed by RIF/T, e-poetry@ubvm, or the Electronic Poetry Center (Buffalo) may not be republished for profit, in any form, without the express consent of author(s) and notification of the editors, but may be freely circulated among individuals for personal use, providing that this copyright statement is included. Public archiving of complete issues only, in electronic or print forms, is permissible, provided that no access fee is charged.

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