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FUSIONED - DIRECTED - WRITTEN AND CORRESPONDED BY: MENASSA 2002
DON'T KNOW HOW TO SPEAK BUT WE DO IT IN SEVERAL LANGUAGES
GRIS, IS A PRODUCT
INDIO GRIS Nº 115
WITH THE POET MIGUEL OSCAR MENASSA
Now, that we are doing the recording of the poems of your last book, South of Europe, the recorders commented to me that you recite with
a lot of energy, they asked in what position you do it, what do you
recite with, from where one has to recite. In certain schools it is with
the central part of the stomach, but the recorders asked how you do it,
when a recording is something cold and the audience are the two
Oscar Menassa: Evidently, in front of work there are two ways of
thinking. I can think that work takes my energy away and, apart from
being a proletarian, being an employee or a worker, turns me a little
poor. With that thought I may fall , at any moment, into a depression,
into sadness, into a nervous breakdown. This way led us to think that
work takes our energy away. And another way is to think that the money I
collect at the end of the month charges me with energy, I go on being a
worker, an employee, but I'm happier.
want to say about that you must have energy to recite, to sing, to
write, to paint, it is an invention of the states to dominate the
workers, because, in reality, one gains energy singing, reciting.
Besides what you say, to have the energy in the middle of the belly, are
different schools. In my school it would be "you must have no
centre, nevertheless you have to be centred, and you don't have to worry
for having a voice or not, because the voice, in all cases, is the voice
of the poet". Now, if you are worried to know if your muscles will
jut out, if your voice will come out, evidently one spends a lot of
I answer something in particular?
It seems that you have a lot of experience in reciting, have you recited
much in a loud voice?
At seven years old I made a poem to my mother (that not all poets have
written a poem to their mother at 7). I wanted to make a joke, I wanted
to recite a tango for her and tell her that it was the first poem I had
written in my childhood and the tango was: "My poor beloved mother,
I had given her so many sorrows, how many times I have found her,
hidden, crying, sad and defeated, in a corner" (Lyrics from a tango
called My poor beloved mother).
I wrote this poem for my mother, I gave it to her written down on a
page, because I was a poet since very little, but she wanted me to read
in a loud voice, and I, that shame, that humiliation, I have never felt
them anymore in front of a million people. Why? Because my mother danced
the tango very well and if she liked how I read the poem, it's because I
surely read it well. And she liked it. She hugged me and told me
"My dear Miguelito", and I said to her, "stop it mother
that daddy is watching us".
At what age?
At 7, imagine, but I don't know if it is worth. And to my first
girlfriend at 11. And what did I do from the 7 to the 11? All the poems
were for my mother. And if you want I say it you, I wrote very few poems
to men. I dedicated a poem to a man when I was a grown up, to Che
Guevara, afterwards when I was older I wrote a poem dedicated to my
father, however, I was quite older. But being a young man, the first
poem I dedicated to a man was to Che Guevara.
It sounded odd to me that it was the greatest shame you went through in
your life, that you were not ashamed anymore.
I told you that for you to see how outstanding that moment was for me,
that afterwards I was never again afraid of reciting, I never more felt
ashamed of poetry. I recited poems in factories, in the stadiums, in the
football fields, in places where box was practised, in bed, in all the
parties with all of my friends, I recited. As I did well in front of my
mother, and for me, my mother was an artist because she came from the
popular classes of the population and she got this son who is me, she
was a great artist, do you realise?
I'm going to say is very difficult, it is for the writers of the
neighbourhoods, it is for the writers of El País. It is very difficult
to make these people understand that when one says "I want to
paint", one doesn't want to paint, one wishes to want to paint.
Instead these things don't happen to me, I don't live on illusions, I
want to paint, I'm painting, Sartre would say, when he was painting that
he was painting, then he says " don't ask me when I'm making love
if I love you, because in telling you that I love you, I stop making
if you ask me when I'm painting or when I'm making love, what are
you doing? I would answer "I want to paint, but when I'm painting,
when I'm fucking, I would say "I want to make love", not
before, if I say it before what I want is to want to make love, what I
want is to have a real illusion of painting. Do you understand?
That reminds me of an old saying which says that movement is
demonstrated by motion.
Yes, if you want to vulgarise my knowledge, we can say that every cloud
has a silver lining, but that is false, it is false because the road is
made while walking, as Machado says, it is an incontrovertible truth,
but what happens is that one has to walk.
If the road has been done will be seen later.
What you say is very true. Not all ways of walking produce roads. Don't
you see that you're also learning something in these interviews, that it
isn't completely free? Because people keep saying "this poor girl
who works so much…" Let's see what they say in a few years time.
only thing I miss, though it may seem strange, is my mother.
that way of walking rhythmic and slow ,
was not in the way of walking she carried the true tango,
in the whistle of her contagious and open laugh,
the light, it wasn't darkness, it was blindness.
open my eyes and the world brightens up in that opening of my voice to the roads
of the poem.
the greatest poets have been born and died at the same time and I am the only
one responsible for that.
voice, I mean, that desperate light which extends itself open towards the most
remote dimensions of the speech.
of light, dazzled nightingale lying simply over my days.
I cannot say that this poem will be the last poem written in the world.
myself will fall and I will get up another thousand times and that underground
beat will become word, timeless whirlpool, grandiose obscurity open in thin
apocalyptic tremors of light.
vintage of the flesh, crepuscular essence. I love you.
now says that the effects of psychoanalysis make her laugh. I understand
nothing of what she's saying and I remember Lacan, someway in general,
no phrase, none of his books, only his figure, then I imagined that
something formal was happening.
of the style of the unconscious, I myself was structured in that way.
talked about the French writers and told me that she was assassinated by
two Arabs like me and, then, committing a lapse in German, she told me:
immediately, thought that many years had gone by. My father had died,
one of my sons was on the verge of making me a grandfather, my mother
feeble, and my wife mature.
must have happened in me. But I didn't achieve to see myself as an
arterioesclerotic old man and so I understood everything: our love was
threatens to send me to prison but, immediately, says she sees that as
an absurd; but that anyway, to be a good psychoanalyst, I should listen
to her with more attention.
she lies placidly over cruel and vengeful men and confesses that being a
child, she couldn't identify herself with her mother.
Violets, I tell her, this is good time to plant violets.
Yes - she answered me - In Juana la Loca's tomb (a Spanish queen)
there were little enamoured flowers.
My desire is simple, I spent all my life fighting with my brothers and
could never defeat them, that is my drama.
continue the next time, I told her.
The light descended to our shadows, to the point that we could barely see one another.
cornered us against the glass wall which separated love from wind and in
a dance, this time of hands and mouths and tits and legs and hands and
with her long and delicate hands squeezed my clitoris until she obtained
from me my most intimate moan.
with his hands on her buttocks, made us kiss in the mouth and told us:
Oh, baby, what a little pussy you have.
of a vertiginous shot of desire, we were sent to the centre of the
hall. The orchestra desperately played desperate music. We
collapsed in the battle fields, like always the soldiers collapsed,
before or after the battle and making us chat about nonsense, we thought
of the future of our relation.
parsimoniously, let her legs open a bit more each time. Imagine: her
legs more open than ever and her gaze made all of love over my mouth.
looked at him as if I were asking permission and I knelt down between
her legs never so open and told her:
You'll see what I'm going to do to you.
know that I won't be able (or perhaps I will) to see all the murderers
die. But I'm happy thinking that my verses yes will see all the
the snake-like witch of winter invades our time, I'll go back to writing
and no one will be able to stop my verses like gigantic stones made of
salt and sand and sea.
wonderful it would be to go to the sea someway.
strip, I have stripped myself of everything and it wasn't worthwhile, so
that now I have to "dress" myself
A man attempting against himself all day is impossible. The enemies must be on the outside of me.
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