Arturo Desimone

Thermal POEM of  conversations in St Telmo, Buenos Aires Argentina

holy fool, spiritual teacher, treated first as sacred then as parasite,
they marched upon him in the streets, St Telmo has beautiful
colonial architecture, non-European under the plaster.

Avatar in Swedish is conqueror
“Hernan Cortes was an Avatar” she said “I like to read Hernan Cortes”
and put her finger to her head, intellectual
I wanted to explain Cortes was more like Hitler than he was like Knut Hamsun, to the Aztecs
por lo menos es interesante they said

I wanted to say in Spanish, that it cannot be pure dark half the year in Sweden
her golden head lights up
they were offended to hear I lived 5 years in the Netherlands.

Dangers of Southern patriotism:
Did I unconsciously serve the patriotic worldview of Berlusconi and Greek Nationalism
in my theories and poems
In Cologne the gay scene goes to the symphony, not Madonna
it is a monopoly on the movement of the soul in time, but a time beyond all rolex
this has occupied my mind by mid-morning.


Three wars at once
at once extending their legs and marching,
marching, all the treasuries are darkened

newspapers flutter,  atrocities to report
they curtain the faces of the well-centered against rain from sun
Sun, my private suffering had been too heavy,
heavy is a small lunar bird who was
removed, eschewed
evicted from the branches of the wisteria tree in which
a city was built before
before the in vitro birth of fear
For fear had no mother

small as a mother and it weighs
more than the Indian ocean

ocean that pressed the island of the dead between its legs
all the legs and all the sand of the desert of Santiago del Estero
into my hands,

I am loneliness,
my tribe eradicated until my tribe became loneliness

now there is no more room, the world
world: an infested lung,
where will I crawl unto? I cannot be a good soldier
Soldier, I cannot be a martyr carrying the people’s breadmill
eat hard bread and swim in the ocean of all their vast sweat
sweat, what gets called swimming is too often
a slow corrupt drowning, it takes an expert swimmer to know.

Know that I was no tourist in the sea without craft.
Swim, but

How am I going to live


not alone, not at all
my brother is the misunderstood carrier

of the cosmic knife
my brother: the chivalrous,  mercy-bringer
vilified as executioner

by  afraid villagers,  they expect to live forever,
they want to sleep with the famous and to vote for absolute evil
in the elections of the continent of good ideas
they throw the dead at each other
like clay
like a drunk girl throws a plastic cup, across the lake
hoping to beat the reflection of the moon
and the disappointed illusion she once had about swans:
she thought swans don’t bark across the tundra
and swanhood is democratically attained.
and her throw succeeds,
her pitch perfect
but to what end?
the ugly want to be independent swans of the wadi
the academics want to beat the voices of the diwan
Jamshid’s cup cannot be made of recycled paper
no competition is desired against the moon and her light
of her nakedness oh Nour Al Kamra rasul allah

My sister is the muse, my lover yet another muse, and also my sister
my mother
the desert,
my only mother

and never breathe an oxymoron like father-land
never utter that lie, hateful toxic as frangipani grapes, they grow in desert islands too

my brother: the famished hoodlum waits just around the corner
his leg extended hoping to trip up a somnambulant
dreams are hoodlums, they break in to rob in the midday

they wear thin muslin over their eyes and see through it,

pretending to be pitiful blind men waiting by the traffic light by the lantern bright and useless

Somnambulants, at times, are unsuspecting

I am the son of Hajar, fed on Hajar’s milk

her mouth was parched then

the dietary law

forbade she drink of her own milk

her mouth was a prison then

like the most vast and worst prisons, open
We were once a Zoroastrian family circus,

the others died, I am the only survivor
and learned to drink from the sea, while letting the salt and death drop out the other end of my mouth and ear

technique, hard work, skills
neither a miracle nor gratitude
not an especially adept tongue
that refined what I licked up from hands just wading
here by the innocent wadi:
a desalination plant, the size of ten tears
was hidden in a point,
vowel-coordinate just above and behind my  second lung
next to a persecutor that propels me somnambulant
to look for more water, for night-miasmas
for fish for my mother Hajar’s medulla at night

Arturo Desimone, Arubian-Argentinian writer and visual artist. His poetry and short fiction have previously been in The New Orleans Review, in the Buenos Aires Reader, and in the Rosetta World Literature Quarterly of Istanbul,  Counterpunch Poets Basement.
He is currently working on a longer fiction project.

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