Weekly magazine through Internet Indio Gris
Nº 170. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 TH , 2003



El futuro me llama


Indio Gris



Dear readers, as we had told you, we have been in Buenos Aires because of the


and also because of the

XIV Cero Group International Congress "THE WOMAN AND I". A Congress on sexuality according to the poetics posed  in the book " The woman and I" by Miguel Oscar Menassa  

and we continue with the press notes:


A strange phenomenon is surrounding Cero Group Psychoanalysis and Poetry School, which has turned into one of the most renowned associations in its field in Spain. It was founded by Miguel Menassa, an Argentine professional who has today hundreds of disciples as well as an important publishing house which edits three fortnightly publications with more than one hundred thousand copies delivered. This is the story of the group.

"The word psychoanalysis was not in the common dictionaries when I arrived in Spain in 1976", Miguel Oscar Menassa, 63, director and founder of Cero Group Psychoanalysis and Poetry School, states emphatically. Being a crusader produced its results for him: the association he leads has three hundreds students, four facilities in Madrid and four others in Barcelona, Ibiza, Malaga and Zaragoza. In Buenos Aires, where he founded the association in 1971, it also has a building where classes and events take place.

Besides, Menassa directs three fortnightly magazines: Extensión universitaria, with one hundred and twenty five thousand copies per issue, whose printer's mark reads "the magazine on psychoanalysis with the highest number of copies in the world"; Las 2001 noches, publication dedicated to "poetry, aphorisms and freshness", and a magazine dedicated to plastic arts called Oleo, apart of a virtual weekly publication under the tittle Indio Gris. In addition, he directs a publishing house which has so far published one hundred tittles, of poetry as well as psychoanalysis.

"I feel that I deserve it and it thrills me. The biggest joke I have made is to carry poetry to the highest peaks of knowledge"

In addition to all that, Cero Group grants scholarships for physicians and psychologists who want to study in their classrooms, "but only through their respective professional schools" according to what its the web page reads. And awards in poetry contests, with publication of their works for the winners.

While this interview is taking place, a video camera is recording Menassa permanently. One of his Spanish disciples operates it, she revolves around her maestro trying to capture his most minuscule gestures from all possible angles. "My people have been recording me for two years -states the psychoanalyst- and on Sundays they record me while I paint; they interview me and then we place it up in Internet. I don't notice when they are recording me, but it does bother me if they do it while I'm picking up a woman". The joke is celebrated by several adepts, who draw in his words with devotion.

Poem 16
by Miguel Oscar Menassa
(from the book "The woman and I)

When she attacked me with no motive
I, almost always, thought the worst:    
jealousy or sorrow or lack of money
or the death of a beloved relative
or the electric power plant which blew       
up in a thousand pieces],
an unpredictable war, the lost fortune
or millions of children starving.

But she said: No, nothing is happening to me today,

today I attack you because I have motives.
But I want to make it clear I that, for pain,
a sole beloved dead is enough.  

I don't look for almost anything in particular.
When I bump into what I was looking for
I do find something but I again lose it
in the next step, the next phrase,
the next love making, poetry there.  

To speak to her and to make love with her
were two absolutely different tasks:
When we talked she wanted to say everything,
when we made love she wanted me
to do everything, desire and dance, everything for me.

The first time I interrupted her
to be able to express my things,
she told me not to be a male chauvinist,
to allow her to speak freely,
to let her develop her life.

The first time I asked her
to be more active sexually,
she said to me almost immutably
Why don't you hire a dancer?

Or still better, a dance teacher
or a cloned and accelerated masseuse
and with so much movement there wouldn't be poetry,
so be quiet and eat and then rest,
love this quietness passionately and write.

Pure Cero

Cero Group was born in Buenos Aires in 1971, two years after its ideologist obtained his degree in Medicine. "We took that name because we said to ourselves , we are nothing, we don't love anything and we ambition nothing. That is why we are zero (cero in Spanish)", Menassa comments. They were a detachment from the Argentine Psychoanalysts Association and among its founders were Sergio Lariera, Roberto Molero and Horacio Vallas. "When we wrote the First Manifesto -he recalls- we were all drunk in the Espumita bar. The reason is that we were a group of tormented people, all physicians, who were dedicated to the soul".

In the first document of the group, we recovered Marx, Freud, epistemology and several poets, among them the surrealists César Vallejo and Cesare Pavese, together with narrators such as Henry Miller and William Faulkner. Of course, Jean Paul Sartre was not absent. "The poet Luis Lucho -Menassa says- took me to the factories to recite poems". At that time Menassa already had four poetry books published. Today there are twenty poetry books, more than six narration books, seven of psychoanalysis written by him and several works in collaboration, besides painting a hundred paintings per year.

His method for being prolific seems simple "What happens is that people masturbate too much. I no longer masturbate, and so I have a lot of time".

In its beginnings Cero Group was well-known in Buenos Aires as an organiser of very crowded parties, where sexual freedom was total. Those were the times of free love and hippies.

But Menassa denies all that emphatically: "We proposed to fuck all day long because the man who doesn't fuck daily has his mind locked. But that isn't free love. To fuck all day long means: if you have no woman to fuck, write a poem, paint a picture, walk the street, find a lady and help her to cross her little dog or make the revolution. Of course, the jerk who thought that to fuck meant to fuck, would make love three times and then he would say that Cero Group was impossible because one couldn't be fucking all day".

The crusader

"The first thing I did in Spain -Menassa says- was to publish an ad in the newspaper that read 'Freud, Lacan, supervision' and further down I signed as director of Cero Group. This was in August and by November I already had three study groups and fifteen patients".

"I don't know if he arrived in Spain because he had to leave Argentina or because psychoanalysis sent him", Magdalena Salamanca, Spanish psychoanalyst and biologist of Cero Group comments, who likes to define herself, "I'm pure Cero because I belong to the association since the very beginning".

"I had been the psychiatrist of some of the boys who were locked up in Villa Devoto (a Buenos Aires prison) and I was frightened", Menassa confesses. The exodus of Argentine psychoanalysts was also orientated towards other countries like Brazil, Israel, Nicaragua and Venezuela. In those lands, Freud's disciples were also pioneers. "I remember that in an ad in Cambio16 the word psychoanalysis was published with spelling mistakes", the director continues.

Amelia Díez Cuesta is a central personality within the functioning of the association in Spain. This woman of fifty years of age, born in the Iberian peninsula, is in charge of the Master in Psychoanalytical Clinic and two seminars on Freud and Lacan. "I remember that when she came to study with me I foretold her that in ten year's time we would have forty groups of psychoanalysis in Spain. Nobody believed me, but she did, and now she is the boss", Menassa affirms. "There is no other school in Spain  as Cero Group -Amelia states-. The psychology career is very new in my country and recently psychology clinic made its entrance. Those who start to attend, come to our school in order to ask for a certificate of having done some course in Cero Group. So high is our prestige".

Juan Carlos De Brasi is an Argentine psychoanalyst who emigrated to Spain two years ago to work with Cero Group. "We imported him -Menassa clarifies- because he is a great professional and we pay him a good salary so that he can help us in our task". At the same time, De Brasi affirms that the school "is the only one that bet for a seminar on thought".

Menassa listens to them attentively. His gaze is that of a maestro with his disciples. Nevertheless he clarifies: "I'm not a patriarch. Each one will guide themselves by their own blindness. In any case, I'm the one who puts their blindness in order". "In Spain -Amelia interrupts- they hear the word psychoanalysis and automatically they ask if you form part of Cero Group". "I feel happy fort that" -Menassa concludes, while Amelia swears that "there is no other psychoanalysis school in my country like Cero Group, because setting up another one like ours is very difficult. The people who are in the group cannot stop reading all of Freud's work, because in the same way as when we read a poem today and then we read it tomorrow it's different, a theory like the Freudian cannot have the same reading in all epochs and circumstances". 

"Since that first ad -Menassa reflects- things went right for me. I achieved everything a man can achieve. As psychoanalyst I got the maximum: to be director of a psychoanalysis school. And as a poet I achieved something that Freud and Lacan wanted, that a poet would become the director of a psychoanalysis school".

"My people have been recording me for two years -states the psychoanalyst- and on Sundays they record me while I paint; they interview me and then we place it up in Internet".

Poetry and I

To place poetry as an ally of psychoanalysis isn't any novelty. But it is to place them at the same level and as disciplines that must necessarily interact, at least at the level that Cero Group poses them. "A psychoanalyst that doesn't know anything about poetry isn't worth because the poetry imaginary is universal, while the psychoanalysis imaginary is restricted, theoretical", is Amelia's point of view. And Salamanca is even more emphatic: "Poetry is fundamental to think psychoanalysis. when Freud speaks of theory, he resorts to poetry more than to other sciences. Any psychoanalyst has to situate himself in front of poetry as if it were any other kind of work".

Cero Group believes that it's impossible to transmit psychoanalysis if there is no writing in between. "Psychoanalysts cannot be manufactured -Menassa sustains- if they don't write, because for them it is the only way they have to prove how psychoanalysis was transmitted to them". Currently, the association possesses 35 literary workshops.

Of course, such fervour for the poetic language has been inherited from his founder who published his first poem book Pequeña historia (Small history) in 1961.

That is the fact why the most read poet is Menassa himself. His last book, The woman and I, containing forty seven poems and two CDs, was the subject of the XIV Cero Group International Congress, which took place last week in San Martín Cultural Centre, in Buenos Aires, under the avocation:

" A Congress on sexuality according to the poetics posed  in the book " The woman and I" by Miguel Oscar Menassa. During three days, which started very early in the morning and culminated at night, around a hundred and forty participants, the majority of them psychologists and psychoanalysts and students of those careers, listened attentively to thirty two lecturers who analysed the verses of the mentioned book.

Amelia explains why: "Menassa's writing is different to Menassa, it is more than him and forms part of the psychoanalytical thought together with Freud and Lacan". "The previous congress -Amelia Díez Cuesta continues- was about Menassa's  complete work, but this one was only about his last book because there is where all of his research about the woman is".

Menassa listens to her and then adds:  

"I feel that I deserve it and it thrills me. The biggest joke I have made is to carry poetry to the highest peaks of knowledge". Afterwards, in a dramatic tone he asks himself: Why did I have to write this book? After this book, for two hundred years, no one will be able to say anything about the man-woman relationship. Here we have forty years of experience in an outstanding writer like I am, because the praises I have received as a writer, I have never received as a psychoanalyst or as a painter".

Coincidentally, painting, another of Menassa's passions, was also present in Buenos Aires with an exhibit of his oil paintings which has just finished in the same place where the conclave about his book took place. In this recent exhibit, all of Menassa's paintings were sold. Each of Menassa's works is valued between six hundred and seven thousand Euros. "But here -the painter clarifies- they cost, as the books do, the same price in pesos, that is to say I use the conversion one per one".

His daughter, Alejandra Menassa de Lucía, a physician and psychoanalyst of thirty one years of age, inherited his poetic vocation. Last year she published her poem book Death at home which was granted the first prize from the Pablo Menassa de Lucía Association. Two weeks ago she presented her book together with other poets from the group in this city, with verses full of rhythm and sharp irony, so much alike to her father's personality , who declares: "I'm a normal person that always arrived on time to exams, I had children, and nevertheless I'm a damned writer. If Alejandra Pizarnik would have followed my advice, she would still be alive".

After two hours of interview, with a camera flying above the room the whole time, paintings lying everywhere, ten disciples listening attentively each word of the founder of the group and declarations where many times  modesty missed its date, there is no more left but a question:

Miguel Oscar Menassa, who are you? There are people who still call me Miguelito. When I was young I worked in the Inclán market place selling bijouterie for women. My father told me Arab stories and I danced the tango. I'm Miguelito, and think I am a great writer, that I'm immortal.

In the next three decades, from sixty three to ninety three years of age, I want to become mortal, live life, enjoy what I have produced.

                             A prolific production and one of the covers of the Editorial


Practise French in Madrid
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Cero Group 
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Cero Group 
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Indio Gris