Mario Santiago Papasquiaro

Advice from 1 Disciple of Marx to 1 Heidegger Fanatic

[two excerpts]

& UNDRESS      

—Advice from 1 disciple of Marx to 1 Heidegger fanatic —

Poetry: weʼre still alive
              & you light your cheap cigar with your matches
                       & you look at me like 1 insignificant mop-top
shivering with cold in the comb of the night

[p. 9, the only mention of the title in this poem]


5 November 2022: I re-read this mongraph-long poem today. When I originally read this and commented on 21 October 2013 (see below), I loved the language but felt the poem was too incoherent. This time I relished the whole poem. The translation is great, and while there is incessant disjointedness as one segment shifts to another a few lines later, the language is never stale.

Note that this poem is dedicated to Roberto Bolaño, Kyra Galván, and Claudia Kerik. The author inspired Bolañoʼs somewhat different character Ulises Lima in The Savage Detectives.

21 October 2013: The English translation of this Mexican poet is pretty damn good. The language is expressive. It suffers from the incoherence of much avant-garde poetry and thus appeals mostly to those used to avant-garde noodling, with appropriate name-dropping. There are some really nice passages, but in addition to exuberance, I would prefer some coherence at this point.

I like this sequence that comes at the end, just before the final two lines of the poem:

Even though right now it would only seem
       that Beauty is emotively radicalized
like multicolored T-shirts that say: kiss me
       from the most erogenous part of their torsoes
like 2 brats (rumored to be hippies or anarchists)
       who promise to meet
       at that hour / at that sunset
in the Ray Bradbury Port of the channels of Mars
/No matter what
                         right there/
Under 1 sky that Van Gogh would give thanks for in 6 languages /

SOURCE: Santiago Papasquiaro, Mario [pseudonym of José Alfredo Zendejas Pineda, 1953-1998]. Advice From 1 Disciple of Marx to 1 Heidegger Fanatic, translated by Cole Heinowitz and Alexis Graman. Seattle: Wave Books, 2013. 29 pp. Originally published in Jeta de Santo (Antología Poética, 1974-1997) 2008, Fondo de Cultura Económica de España.

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