On Contemporary Poetry, Plus Rombo #02

Tamara Domenech reading during Rombo #01, at PAN Libros. Photo: Paula Alvarado.

Except for a brief period of time when I was 13 years old (when a school assignment asked us to create a book and I chose to edit a ‘Poetic anthology about love,’ with that name, seriously) and another time around my early 20s, I’ve always had a bit of an aversion to poetry. I wish I could explain why articulately, but there’s probably no more reason than my ignorance and the fact that I stumbled into too much crap that someone had called poetry.

However, I’ve been making amends with the genre over the past weeks, particularly since I went to the first edition of Rombo, a series of poetry reading events organized by Mariana Roca at PAN Libros.

In that freezing afternoon, around a well that lies at the end of the ‘Paseo de compras Echeverria’ gallery, I enjoyed the work of Tamara Domenech, who recited words of affection for pieces of clothes. Among them was a corduroy overall, which she seems to have worn while pregnant.

The short text by her printed on the fanzine created for the event does not reflect what she read at the event, but it is beautiful nevertheless:

I find who I am outdoors.
The trees here.
The sun there.
To the front infinity.
The animals gallop,
the quiet animals.
I understand everything.

I also enjoyed the readings of Gael Policano Rossi: humorous poems which reflected on a journey he did to meet his father at a province in the interior of Argentina. One of this texts, also printed on the fanzine:

I know nothing of the good life or of bad moments
but I do know that there are places
where one can go for a coffee
or whiskey at any time
in any city in the world
no matter how many closed doors you run into
you’re one taxi away
from a table and yesterday’s newspaper
where nobody knows your name.

Perhaps by coincidence or perhaps because I was paying attention to the issue, since then I ran into Chronos Loves Kairos, a site that grew from a photocopy edited by Belleza y Felicidad and that is now published by a young American man called Jacob Steinberg. It gathers Argentine contemporary poetry translated into English.

I found the texts by Fernanda Laguna compiled in An e-mail from you adorable, especially the one below:

When I’m sad:
The computer breaks.
Chat doesn’t work.
The person I love doesn’t write me.
My period comes.
I get stained.
I forget to save my passwords.
I hold my tobacco rolling sheets backwards.
I can’t manage to write what I want to tell you.
Songs on youtube end way too quickly.
My friends push forward their travel dates.
My schnitzels burn.
My kid doesn’t want to eat.
My painting sales plummet.
I spend my money compulsively
on plants I won’t take care of.
I’m late to pick my kid up from school.
I can’t find the tools I need in Word.
My keyboard switches languages
and I get lost…

Lastly, through a friend I found out about New York based artist Beau Sia who became famous for doing poetry slam but who got my attention for its ‘moving poem‘ or video-poem ‘Memory Sucks,’ which is so breathtaking that I’ve seen it about six times already.

So I guess I can add one more sympathy-for-poetry period to my life.

If these words sparked some interest or if you’re into the subject and want to spend a lovely afternoon, the second edition of the Rombo series takes place this Saturday July 2 around 5 p.m. at PAN Libros (Echeverria 2576, Store No. 16).

If you have more recommendations, links in the comments are appreciated.

Chronos Loves Kairos
Tamara Domenech
Gael Policano Rossi

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