Mario Z. Puglisi

Contra la impotencia y los dolores

toda la voz y los colores.

Prólogo a la obra pictórica de Salvador Rodríguez.

mario1

 

Somos víctimas de nuestras circunstancias: una verdad que ha aderezado los terrenos de la razón y la creación humana; una sentencia tan rotunda como dolorosa, una lanza en el costado. Sin embargo, surge una duda: ¿si acaso es verdad que nos victimizan los frutos de nuestros propios actos, bastaría entonces con aprender a modificarlos para que, por lógica y sinergia pura, cambiemos nosotros mismos y dejemos de lamentarnos por lo que obramos u omitimos? En este sentido y atendiendo a lo intrincado de la naturaleza humana, corregirnos es tan difícil como aprender a hacer otras nuestras circunstancias. La batalla aparenta estar perdida. Mas no todo nos ha sido arrebatado aún, por completo, nos queda una ruta de escape, un bunker de salvaguarda, un arma sin pólvora ni filo, una herramienta eficaz que en las manos andadas e intuitivas de Salvador Rodríguez alcanza su más alta expresión y sentido de justicia: me refiero a la herramienta del arte, de la sensibilidad y la nobleza, del color, el esbozo y la forma que, aún contenidas en un cuadro, se encuentran en movimiento ante todos los ojos y para todos los siglos por venir.

            Salvador Rodríguez es un pintor tapatío que goza de un altísimo prestigio que no logra rebasarlo ni dañarlo pues ese nombre y esa posición en el arte no son sino el producto de su trabajo tenaz, de su sencillez irrebatible, de su habilidad construida con años de esfuerzo, de su perene búsqueda de igualdad y de justicia entre los suyos que, al final, somos todos. A lo largo de estos años que tengo de conocerlo y de compartir con él la palabra, la noche, la música, la amistad, los motivos del lobo y las razones del arte; en todas las ocasiones que tengo de visitar sus exposiciones y de cimbrarme y confrontarme con su obra, he comprendido que el arte puede llegar a ser una de estas dos cosas: decoradísimo antifaz o trago de mezcal por las mañanas. Antifaz cuando intenta cubrir la dura realidad con brillos y formas artificiales o trago de mezcal cuando, sin aspavientos ni adornos, la reproduce tal y como es, una vida avasallante que nos pasa por arriba, una realidad sin veredictos ni ocio para elaborados juicios, sujeta al trajín del trabajo rutinario y a las carencias que nunca acaban, balanceada en la cuerda floja del sobrevivir por sobre la urbe de la tragedia que nos depara en el día a día. La diferencia entre uno y otro radica en que el antifaz resulta ser sólo vacío ornato mientras que el bendito trago matutino, remanso de breve paz para los inquietos, está efectivamente habitado por cosas reales y esencialmente amargas que provocan que muchos prefieran mirar hacia otro sitio, sombras con peso que surgen del eterno intercambio del hombre con otros hombres y con sus frágiles relaciones, cabizbajos entes que pueblan todas las habitaciones y las hacinadas vecindades de los pueblos y ciudades; al punto en que el espectador siente y se conmueve en presencia de esas cosas que delatan los cuadros del artista, pues el puente de comunicación entre él y su espectador se afirma sólido y efectivo.

            La obra pictórica de Chava Rodríguez es, sin dudas y contra quien tenga la osadía de asegurar lo contrario, trago matutino de mezcal que reduce las penas pues las reconoce con frío glaciar y las enfrenta, las reproduce con apego y con la magia que otorga lo sencillo (o, mejor dicho, lo que siendo bastante complejo, por la gracia de la maestría y de lo bien hecho, termina pareciendo simple). En su obra radica la esencia de lo real, que en este punto de su carrera realiza con una naturalidad y modestia impresionantes. Alguien me reveló alguna vez que la máxima evolución del artista se da cuando éste puede ejecutar con soberbia lo sencillo. El viejo adagio de menos es más. En la producción de lo complejo hay trabajo, sí, pero difícilmente genialidad u oficio. Chava Rodríguez ya es genio y orfebre indiscutible. La suma de su trabajo como artista reúne la historia de nuestra necedad social por procurarnos decadencia, por callar y obedecer, pero logrado sin insano oscurantismo ni falso apego a lo sombrío. Más bien la firma del pintor que es a la vez cronista de nuestra época, espectador de nuestro dolor, geómetra de nuestra carencia de ángulos, documentalista del acontecer de las urbes rotas (como la suya), colorido portavoz de nuestras injusticias y de todo aquello que nos mantiene, incomprensiblemente, sumisos. Ese discurso duradero, sin inicio ni fin, que en la obra de Chava Rodríguez nos mira con desdén y nos pone en nuestro sitio, incitándonos a defender lo nuestro, a no hacer silencio frente al abuso; es la resulta de la conjunción de todas esas pequeñas cosas que lo hacen ser lo que es hoy, una pieza fundamental en el arte de su tiempo, representante de su contexto y de nuestros defectos, voz y rostro que no callan pues no hay antifaz que las cubra por completo.

            La dimensión social de Salvador Rodríguez es silenciosa y penetrante como la humedad que recupera sitios dejados al olvido. Mencioné más arriba que Chava produce con su pincel una protesta invencible e interminable y lo sostengo; la especie de protestas que prefiero por obvias razones, la no enunciada en roto texto o en palabras que el viento doma; la que se clava profundo como espina de ceiba o de pochote, que no da pie a la defensa pues, tras concienzudas vueltas y vueltas, se encuentra siempre en lo cierto. La misma declaración de hirientes verdades que se descubren, entrelineas, en la grandiosa obra de Goitia y en esa dosis de dolor con la que todos, tarde o temprano, nos identificamos.

            La más reciente muestra del maestro Salvador Rodríguez, titulada “Jijos del Maíz” simboliza un paso más hacia la misma meta, un nuevo episodio en su mirada inquisitiva y ejecutado, como decían los abuelos, a carta cabal, conservando estilo y vocación, compromiso y continuidad de la naturaleza propia. La muestra, conformada por piezas que reflejan la situación mexicana frente al maíz, patrimonio de nuestra nación, que se encuentra en riesgo de verse reducido o desaparecer por la ambición de unos cuantos, de quienes se benefician con mantenernos mirando al suelo pues eso les asegura conservar la sensación de mareo que les causan sus falsas alturas.

Jijos del maíz está aquí como una ventana sin cortinas a la conciencia de lo que nos está pasando. Basta apreciar con detenimiento esta serie para comenzar a preocuparnos por la situación que atraviesa el pilar histórico de nuestro sustento. Alimento que construye la identidad de lo que somos, el cómo hemos llegado hasta aquí y con cuánta fuerza seguiremos hacia adelante. Las piezas que conforman esta muestra representan cada impresión de lo aquí escrito y de lo que veo y siento a todas luces en sus piezas: entereza, claridad, oficio, entrega y compromiso para con su vocación y para con sus semejantes. Celebro esta serie y el corpus de la obra toda de Chava Rodríguez. Una vez más ha sido capaz de decir con imágenes lo necesario: ¡No a la mansedumbre entre la raza humana! Bienaventurados quienes gritan lo que los demás callan porque de ellos será lo único que al final importa. Jijos del maíz, jijos de nuestras circunstancias, no nos demos por vencidos frente a esta o frente a cualquier batalla que luche por hacer de este, un mundo mejor.

                                                                                                                        Mario Z Puglisi

San Juan Cosalá. Jalisco | 2015

 

——————-


Let the flies come to me.

Portada libro de octavio

“Drunken of prayers and alcohol, the crowd

abused of life, they wanted to squeeze it like a lemon

but a burst of fatigue extinguished, forever, that

flame of piety and vice.”

O. Girondo

Let the flies come to me, the larvae, the waves, the verses… One of the most deeply and impressive things of poetry is that, as an expression and reflection of the world in which the poet lives, contains, in an unfading balance, the same amount of lights and shadows, of sweet tones and bitter outbursts, of supplications and mandates impossible to deny. Before the imperative commands, we give up, if the demand contains reason and heart in the right amount. The work of the poet is not only to articulate and describe things and names, and going into depths that are inaccessible to others, but also the work of challenge, on a swimming of a salmon that never moves from its place, the meaning of words and the endless relationships that contains those things and those names. And before this phenomenon we are at the end of “Let the flies come” of the poet Octavio Ignacio Perez.

In this collection of poems, Octavio Ignacio has the effective move of sticking his work to the three main columns that supports every poet (and that had sustained our species over the centuries): his historical context, his required dose of legitimate suffering and his endless hunger of fill with new meanings all the symbols that we use to communicate daily. And with this attachment he appears to be free from these same vertebral rows, and objectifying the idea of ​​freedom; that concept that in many of us causes confusion and misunderstanding, filling the bag with more noises than nuts.

Let the flies arrive… is the pray of never let anyone interrupts the arrival of hate in the subtlest of all the ways designed; is the claim for purity that in the deep has a rotten root; is the eager of filling us with the beating of wings and buzzes; is a journey for the poetic sound of a young poet. And I say this with no remorse: youth is not synonymous of weakness or lack of integrity. Octavio Ignacio has armed with the necessary—and who can say for sure what’s necessary?­­— to arm a poetry that shares the strength of an artistic manifest, in other words, the strength of saying: “this is what I am, but I recognize that at the end of the sentence I may not be what I just said that I was”. A very strong skeleton covered with meat always aging and changing cell by cell. Octavio Ignacio is a surprising poet without being amazing, that condition that is achieved over the years and the hard work of mixing water with mud and produces our everyday poetry. This, his first book of poetry, his first published book, reveals a broad knowledge of our literature, the product of countless readings and the professionalism of those who has worked for the common good without expecting anything in return; and what is more important: it shows a deep and sincere love for poetry and for their less fortuned brothers, these two things gives him that force to impress us in what I will insist on these lines.

Let the flies arrive is a soberly made book. It holds three chapters masterfully delineated: “The strange face of the waves”, “Broth of boredom” and “The singing of the lilies” that give the reader the opportunity to discover, verse after verse, the three core columns to which I refer above in the comments about Octavio Ignacio’s book. I must admit now that these three factors: the proper historical context, the pain as a fountain of expressions and the hunger to renew the language with their habits and customs, have been present and will be in every poetic generation of our land, from founders like Alfonso Reyes and Ramon Lopez Velarde to very young poets from today as Yaxkin Melchy or Tonatihu Mercado, with Octavio Paz, Efraín Huerta or José Carlos Becerra, just to name a few. Because poets are also discoverers of the same old ruin but trough different and increasingly glowing roads.

With no intention of give a greater importance to one chapter over the other of this book, “The strange face of the waves”, “Broth of boredom” and “The singing of the lilies” offers us the vision of a poet on these three ranges of his land. Octavio Ignacio seeks beauty knowing that he will not find it at the surface, on the outside; here is the importance of waves, those waves that have been with him since his childhood and followed him even to the desert. Because waves are beautiful in their interruptible language and even when they occur on the surface, without the tides of the deep, without the undetectable movements for the human eye, they would simply never happen. And then, the lake, the desert, the mountains, the lily, the women and hikuri that have been in and around him for all of these years, they populate the poems of this book with a grace that has no false heroism. Things are to be called by their name and with their right measurement, especially if things are from his daily walk. Octavio Ignacio writes:

We live the city

like we live the sea of symbol,

we flow towards the collapse of the waves,

in huge coral facades:

every relief has a torn up skin

by drains and cement floors.

We are the captivity from a wildlife that is born

from the bowels of the object.”

Then comes the pain, as always seems to do outside the cliché of Mexican novels. For Octavio Ignacio pain comes in many forms. As I stated: in this duality of poetry, in this flying above the warm air that inhabits every swamp, there are no celebrations without losses or achievements without a dose of failure. The everlasting wisdom of learning to rebuild what is ruined. Before the futile attempt of human beings to tame their own ambitions appears the suffering of so many others, of those who are less fortunate. There is the pain of a broken heart, of unprecedented violence, of hunger, of indifference and injustice; there is the inherited pain, the faked one, the deaf, the one we inflict on others without realizing it. Our poet writes:

The verse sickens and all of our friends have migrated to other cities.

Every two blocks there are three or four missing friends,

no one sees the traces of the crime

walking towards no place,

the spectacular vaults

on the top of every tree

the bridges crossing the lake

or the skeleton of fishes

waving like flags.”

 

Sings the Argentine musician, Pedro Aznar: “Let me be the pain in your body, I want to die begging for your bread; let me suffer in your bones, may nobody loves me, let me be in” on a clear plea to change the rules of the game and start declaring a draw. Is true: let nobody owns more than what is necessary while there are others who suffer for what’s indispensable. In other verses our poet says:

 

“(… ) to hurt the lungs exploded in the waiting rooms

the scars that lovers leave in my strong bark

the shedding of blood when menstruate

the transition from chip to microchip ( … )”

 

Finally, we witnessed throughout the poems the battle for renew the symbols of the language, using words like daggers that always carry the risk of hitting their mark. As Chekhov would have died of boredom without the telegrapher of his hometown who always helped him repair the irreparable; the poet doesn’t find meaning in our language without somebody who is willing to embark on a sea of ​​new possibilities. He says, for example:

Barely follicle our ovocyte,

       it was marked with a serial number :

        black bars tattooed eternally our bone;

( … )

falopoideal transition in the back of to death.

                     staying stealthy

I fought to soma against the beings that inhabited the pipeline

       beings that carried effective symbols

                                       -One trisyllabic echo.

( … )

I look at the offspring of your x’s and your y’s

I wash the dishes in which Javhe vomited the scriptures

I look at the black hole in the Iphone of your forehead,

at the dead ones in Auchwitz building ovens over the body of the history,

at Robinson return from the island turn into a Titan

just to melt the gods in the length of my back, ( … )”

 

To be the poetry and not the poet, Octavio Ignacio asks us. Let’s forget the creator to admire the work created: “I hate the ingenuity of poets” he shares. It would be necessary, then, to hate the innocence of children or the brutal agility of an eagle that hunts in silence. In the poem “I will never turn into stone” the poet says, “I will be poetry / but never a poet I will be“. We can’t be tide without being the sea that contains it, or seed that had come from a fruit that does not produce its own fruit over time, (let me contradict you, dear Octavio Ignacio: you are poetry but you are also a poet). We read:

“He had a thousand years of suicide.

Two hundred and thirty years ago

he is being writing my epitaph:

Poetry”.

Everything in this world is life and death in endless circular frames, being death a form of extended life in shades of gray and memories; and living a form of death step by step and without qualms. All in poetry, as in life, is given in inseparable pairs; and in the work of Octavio Ignacio we find the same dose of piety that vice. So let’s leave the cleanness for a moment and let the flies come, the larvae, the waves, the verses…

 

Mario Z Puglisi

mariozpuglisi@gmail.com

http://mariozpuglisi.blogspot.com

 

Mario Puglisi (Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. 1980), poet and independent editor. Editor of the cultural magazine Meretrices, in Mexico. He has work published in over twenty magazines in Mexico and Latin America. His work it´s included in a dozen of poetry anthologies. He has participated in international festivals of poetry in Mexico, New York, Cuba, Ecuador, Puerto Rico and Peru. He is the author of the books: de Dos Triunfos y un Poema de Amor (Colectivo Cultural La Cueva, Chapala, México, 2008), El Impulso de Tocarlo Todo (Ediciones El Viaje, Guadalajara, México, 2009), Capítulo Primero: Amanece Luz (El Taller del Poeta, Pontevedra, España, 2011), Selvas Mínimas (Latin Heritage Foundation, Washington, EE.UU., 2012)

 


Chasing Castaways 

“A poem is also an unstoppable 

battle against time”

Max Rojas

Woody Allen used to say that he was worried about the future because that was the place where he was going to spend the rest of his life. In this asseveration time stops being passing time and transforms into a physic space; in other words, time transmutes into space. This disassociation, this change from time to space or space to time happens commonly in art; more specifically in poetry. Why may be odd, for art, that the tomorrow, is a hotel room not rented yet? Or that the past is the back side of a farm close to the mountains where we walked before? Poetry, seen as that huge and virgin field where everything that cultivates gives fruit, even those seeds that exists only in the imagination, renew, reproduce and reformulate every scenery that formal Physics has taken for granted. Because the laws of poetry’s behavior are also attach to words (or the essence of words). In this way a body stops being a body and turns into a temporal instant. And that’s the point.

A few months ago I read “Prosecución de los Naufragios” (Prosecution of Shipwrecks) a book by the Mexican poet Max Rojas that belongs to a series of volumes that reunites a very long poem titled “Cuerpos” (Bodies), in it I could confirm that, effectively, time and space are not two parallel lines that goes at same speed, instead time and space plays to disguise one of the other at every moment. Max Rojas says in this book: let the body of the bodies be like the beauty of all beauty together / although time destroys the little time on a clear evening / or a dark night / everything is time that never fulfills devouring space, / devouring time / wearing bodies down.

Max Rojas, born Mexico City on 1940, represents a kind of poets that are on danger of extinction: the one that doesn’t search, desperately, the shiny lights of literary show business. In the eighty’s he published two books: “El Turno del Aullante” and “Ser la Sombra” (“The turn of the howler” and “Being the Shadow”) that made him one of the most relevant figures of the non-official poetry in Mexico, better said: a huge underground writer. The Turn of the Howler, a long poem divided into ten episodes with influences of American beat generation, Mexican contra-culture and the universality of Whitman, became one of the most read, photocopied, distributed and memorized poems of the second half of the 80’s in Mexico’s Capital, the poem begins: the furious, the truly animal / that holds me, what keeps me on my feet / with the rancor grown, this like bone / like teeth that keep biting / after has been chewing the dust, / this of blood, this of hanged scream / like a howl in the throat / this like a wall, like a sigh / long of night without a bonfire, the animal / the truly shy that hurts me in the eyes; and ends: alcoholized now, and trembling hitting ground, we´ll go glassing around to see in which filthy funeral / they accept us: / reborning is pretty damn fucked / and this lousy bus is not coming anymore, / is like if just until a ravine has come. 

Despite the great reputation that those two books earn him, Max Rojas kept silence for over 30 years, no show ups, no public readings, no publishing poems of any kind, but, in words of the poet himself, those were three decades of keep on writing and reading enough. In an interview made for the launching of his new project “Cuerpos” (Bodies), Max Rojas declared not to be a good poet simply because he doesn’t know what the fuck the good poet does. But he is, he is a good poet, and this I assure after the reading of his book Prosecución de los Naufragios (Prosecution of the Shipwrecks).

    A few years ago the poet started a huge project, the creation of a poem called “Cuerpos” (Bodies) that consists on seven volumes that gathers the 24 books that Max Rojas has written until today of the very same poem that goes over the ten thousand of verses. At this day four volumes has been published: Memoria de los Cuerpos: Cuerpos Uno (Memory of the Bodies: Bodies One) with this book the poet was honored with the Iberoamerican Poetry Award Carlos Pellicer 2009, Sobre Cuerpos y Esferas: Cuerpos Dos (About Bodies and Spheres: Bodies Two), El Suicida y los péndulos: Cuerpos Tres (The Suicide and the Pendulums: Bodies Three) and Prosecución de los Naufragios: Cuerpos Cuatro (Prosecution of the Shipwrecks: Bodies Four), all of them published by independent, young publishers that work aside the big monsters of the predominant publishing industry. Another three books remains, plus the ones that the poet will finish to write at his 73 years old. Iván Cruz Osorio said of Max Rojas that he may be the youngest poet among the young poets of our generation. I agree.

Prosecution of the Shipwrecks is a highly complex book. When read it by the understanding of a poem being just a minimal part of a bigger poem, the book plays with the multiplicity of themes that can be attached whenever one have a notion of what’s rhythm (and to know what to do with it). The first thing that I noticed, and what I used to start this article, is that in the poem time and space are central subjects that seems to contain one within the other like in a Russian matrushka toy of infinite pieces. Max Rojas seems to pursue shipwrecks along a very long shore that is always joined by the rhythm that produces the absence of elements that interrupts a speech that, coherent as itself, goes on and on for over 130 pages. Everyone speaks, but no one says something that contains affairs that matters / and turn because turning not affect the pass of the ships / for the black lines that allow the castaways to keep / the balance enough to not die at all (…), says Rojas with a posture that not only hasn’t change but he has learn to express with even more agreements. The poet runs like a pinball’s ball every corner of his own metallic box. It gives me the impression that if we lost something throughout our lives: a train’s ticket, the wheel of a tricycle, the fount pen, the big box where we keep the pictures of past loves, the keys of the house, any of those things can be found in this book.

But, no matter the poet goes from here to there without ever losing the string, the center theme is the body: the body and all of its dynamics. Like bodies or freezers a little bit warm that descends over the cold—Says Max Rojas— / and they humanize it until boil it and turn it into a warm body, / women remotely funeral or bone that burns and heats the remaining bones / that doesn’t find a way to be weld back to an skeleton… About faith he declares: it stays standing up in a corner waiting that someone passes / to pick it up, but no one did it and stays like a proof of how dreams  / are just perverse nightmares that shows faith is an useless / and worthless piece of dress.  Stopping is just another way of keep on moving because there’s not an absolute pause. In the uprising those things supposedly immovable, Max Rojas organizes his verses, sometimes as an army: with continuous discipline and rigor, and others as the characters of a circus where the educated animals “thanks for the ovation and the applauses, / and apologizes for all the mistakes committed in their lives”. 

Max Rojas has started the construction of a giant puzzle that´s going to heritage for us to build verse after verse, and that he says it may never rearm to its original form and stays forever broken. But the bait is already there, whatever happens is there. He recognizes that everything comes to an end, in a couple of lines he says: words of comfort or a dictum of the sadly state / in which the deceased arrive to their dead… “Prosecution of the Shipwrecks” represents one shipwreck itself, the most benignant of them all, the one that takes to finding instead of losing, the one that allows time and space transmute into each other, and in this game of double faces, that lives along everything that can be find between this two plates of the scale that balances the scenario: the true immense dimension, / almost eternal for the time to know that it won’t ever reach it / and that’s gonna be always behind of the fast that the infinite have to turn back / and bite its own back.  

Prosecution of the Shipwrecks: an unstoppable poem and at the same time a guide for castaways without salvation.

Mario Z Puglisi

mariozpuglisi@gmail.com

http://mariozpuglisi.blogspot.com

Mario Puglisi (Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. 1980), poet and independent editor. Director of the cultural magazine Meretrices in Mexico. He has work published in over twenty magazines in Mexico and Latin America. His work it´s included in a dozen of poetry anthologies. He has participated in international festivals of poetry in Mexico, New York, Cuba, Ecuador, Puerto Rico and Peru. He is the author of the books: de Dos Triunfos y un Poema de Amor (Colectivo Cultural La Cueva, Chapala, México, 2008), El Impulso de Tocarlo Todo (Ediciones El Viaje, Guadalajara, México, 2009), Capítulo Primero: Amanece Luz (El Taller del Poeta, Pontevedra, España, 2011), Selvas Mínimas (Latin Heritage Foundation, Washington, EE.UU., 2012)

________________________________________

Praise to decay.

Foreword to the book “La Carpeta Negra (The Black Folder)”

by Arturo Garcia.

It was 10 minutes before early seven o’clock when he appeared at the door of my house that day that would be carved strongly in our memories. He was accompanied by a bottle of vodka, a small gallon of artificial orange juice and a strange craving that in those days I could not fully explain (with the passing of time, I must admit, I put together the puzzle of his life and work that allowed me to better understand that tormented writer who always had some important things to talk about). At that time, drinking before the first meal of the day was normal, or at least, it didn’t surprise me at all. I received him in my living room. We talked for hours about literature, poetry, almost everything; life was a topic that had the power to relate and be experienced at the same time. Nothing less for those who were looking to get a high dose of magic every day. At that time we were united by the love for arts and literature, a love that hasn’t weakened today and that tends ties that will never erase. We were two local writers with a suitcase full of dreams hidden in our hearts. “In a few years I will write a book about Juan Rulfo” he said, “a book about my impressions and feelings of his work, about all that I have learned from him.” I knew that if anyone could write something good about Rulfo was him, he that managed to tame the wild beasts of the world of Rulfo, he that had drunk everything written by and about the Mexican author, he that could understood that language and reinterpret it with great quality, he that, time later, would reach places that I didn’t suspect yet. I believed him and I’m still waiting for that book. We finished the bottle of vodka before noon. When I accompanied him to the door (he said that a job was waiting for him) I told him: “we’ll meet in a few days to plan what we will do”. He calmly opened the door of his diesel truck, seemed to think for a second, turned to me and said “we can’t plan, Mario, we are not airplanes”. I laughed. I could allow Arturo Garcia such turnings of language; poetry licenses are effective in those who use the speech itself to sign an endless commitment of life. No discussion. We silently knew that for a lifetime we would agree to not totally agree in many things, but for one thing we would fight on the same side with dedication and without hesitation: for literature as an expression of life. And nothing more.

Arturo Garcia is in my opinion the best storyteller born, until now, in our little piece of land. Throughout these years I’ve seen him mastering any number of narratives with that ease that sometimes raise envy. I’ve been surprised with his stories, been amazed with the rapid change of form and content that he has managed during his career because he has step into every narrative terrain like who steps promised land, from here to there, in cement and in dust, from the forces trough agony, from happiness to sadness, and has left all these fields without owing rent. This book is the right example. “La Carpeta Negra” (The Black Folder) is, among other things, a story book dedicated to the dark side of man.

I don’t pretend that these lines become the author’s apology. Frankly, to make a foreword to the work of a great friend represents a conflict most of the times. One finds a step away from the abyss of not having a focused mind without shadows; one runs the risk of not taking enough distance between the author and his work, needed for a clean opinion. But let’s be honest: the good writer never goes away from everything that he writes. In “La Carpeta Negra” (The Black Folder)­—I say this fearlessly—, Arturo Garcia is behind every sentence, every action and dialogue. Actually, is his tribute to a hard time of his life that marked him forever and that, with all the integrity of the committed narrator that he is, not only doesn’t deny but takes everything that he lived and turns it into mud that he uses to build each of the stories that conforms this book. Arturo Garcia plays hide and seek with The Black Folder, reveals parts of his nature, speaks through dozens of voices, characters and situations his encounter with the vices of men, with the inherent darkness that condemns us on this earth.

Thirteen stories forms “La Carpeta Negra” (The Black Folder). Arturo seems to paint a single world that fragments into different scenes, however, the leitmotif is clear: weapons, alcohol, prostitution and drugs, all ambassadors, sad but true, of the fact that we are subject to decay each hour of the day. He tells us that the world is not a bath in rose petals. He affirms that also destruction, oblivion and the way down hides a tiny seed of evolution and growth. The narrative is clear but you have to read between the lines. The author, with great mastery of the technic, holds on valuable narrative resources to reach his goal. He can, for example, change in a single paragraph from the description of physical space to the description of the subjective emotions of the character, as a kind of internalized narrative part of a landscape, in order to justify the sadness. In other words, everything is at the service of our side lost. The demons that live in us also gain physical form. Many times, and this is clear in this book, we need to lose to find ourselves. A though that I recognize and admire.

Shcelling attributed to human existence a fundamental and inescapable sadness, a sort of dark foundation necessary for the development of consciousness and knowledge. Of course not all is light in sowing fields; there are also prudent shadows that help a root to grow. Bruno Piché said about this that perhaps, paradoxically, to Schelling this dark and primal basis, the sadness, contains within itself the seeds of creativity. Arturo Garcia rescues springs of creativity from sad and deserted lands. The moments of this book are clear: we visit a bar that resembles a world apart, a world of appetites and self-destructions where everything collapses under the weight of a large magnifying glass that disproportionate things and for its heaviness crushes all; we appreciate, in a sweet writing, the polarity of a family through a father and his daughter, both tide up to an end that gives beginning, and while one seeks the ultimate escape from the contempt of life, the other one finds a symbol of hope in the dark night; we meet a Santa Claus humanized by the rage of the cities, a painful story of homeless life of every big city in the world, of the reality that does not support extensions, of the burden of guilt that, in Arturo Garcia’s words, is a blinded bitch; an act of revenge crosses before our eyes, a man who hasn’t found justice concludes that if anyone is guilty then, also, no one is innocent;  we witness a man trapped in a job that is really a slow spiral into hell; we see a romantic encounter of the most soft architecture been hold under the look of a corner of the earth where there’s nothing left to be saved; we enter the complex psychology of a little girl who is a toy of the unknown and her mother who will have to face the demons shared in a lifetime of neglect; we see how a mirror is also a substitute of time and within him, within his reflection, we note the marks that the life makes in our soul and body; we witness a bullfighting evening in which a strange justice runs and then the boundaries between victim and offender dilutes; we recognize a carnal hunger that transcends all borders in the story of a man and a prostitute eternally dissatisfied; through a narrator without form we know an impossible dialogue between a mother and her young son, a tender wire cut by the arrow of an estrange circumstances; we see the steps that take a couple of brothers to make parricide; and finally, in the story “La Resaca” (The Hangover) we suffer the consequences of our idleness and dissipation. Anyway, we’ll do a tour guided by the evil side of the world and the uncomprehending zone of ​​the soul, a soul that, to our author, has eyes that see everything, even those things that should not be mentioned.

Those who know Arturo would imagine the drop of blood and sweat that he had to shed to write this book. To face our past is never easy, and more when that pass wakes us up in the middle of the night wanting to forget, something that we know it may never happen. Something, however, is clear to me: the writers, once abandoned the black chapters and exorcised the demons, have nothing left to do but write. And Arturo Garcia does it here with an unbeatable quality and warmth. The imagined and the fact combine in a way that produces a beam of light out of darkness. And then a different calm overwhelms us. As Arturo Garcia himself writes, we fall sleep in the nostalgia of a long time remembered silence (the silence of his longed land, of his beloved Lake Chapala, I know).

No one is completely saved, it’s true, and we can always fall because life is a pendulum ride. What matters is what you can build, what you can give to posterity with the suffered; overcome it doesn’t mean to leave behind: it means to transform.

Let this book, then, be the celebration of the sadness, the song of the absurd, the ode to the unfinished, the praise of decay. La Carpeta Negra (The Black Carpet)… is that and much more. It only remains, as in life itself, to read between the lines and face the truth with sincerity. No more.

The book is available on Amazon, through the following link http://www.amazon.com/carpeta-negra-cuentos-Spanish-Edition/dp/1479214477

Mario Z Puglisi

mariozpuglisi@gmail.com

http://mariozpuglisi.blogspot.com

Mario Puglisi (Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. 1980), poet and independent editor. Director of the cultural magazine Meretrices in Mexico. He has work published in over twenty magazines in Mexico and Latin America. His work it´s included in a dozen of poetry anthologies. He has participated in international festivals of poetry in Mexico, New York, Cuba, Ecuador, Puerto Rico and Peru. He is the author of the books: de Dos Triunfos y un Poema de Amor (Colectivo Cultural La Cueva, Chapala, México, 2008), El Impulso de Tocarlo Todo (Ediciones El Viaje, Guadalajara, México, 2009), Capítulo Primero: Amanece Luz (El Taller del Poeta, Pontevedra, España, 2011), Selvas Mínimas (Latin Heritage Foundation, Washington, EE.UU., 2012)

MAPS TO FIGHT ANXIETY – MARIO Z. PUGLISI

Letters to the silence.

“Claris

These talks I have with my conscience are sometimes very long
they last for days, that´s why I won’t start telling you about them
in this poor letter. Really, take care, eat and sleep well and dream
with the angels and not with this evil thing that I am.

But don’t forget me

And remain always the same, my dear chachinita.

Juan”

Aires de la Colina, Letters to Clara.

Letter from Juan Rulfo to his wife Clara Aparicio.

Time passes and there is nothing we can do to stop it. This is a truth that goes beyond us above all other things. With the pass of time, changes always come, changes that we need, perhaps slowly but without hesitation, get used to them and many times against the grief that can provoke. There’s nothing to regret. In this race, in this moving towards an undeniable technificationthat still sounds strange for many of us; there are things that get lost in the road. I’ve always believed, and I openly declare it, that the printed book will gradually lose its dominance against the e-book, everything indicates that there is where we’re heading. And this is not pleasing me at all, as a writer I still harbor the romanticism of what’s tactile, the explosion of the senses that always comes from having a book in the hands, to keep writing with ink, charcoal or granite on paper, our maximum representation of printing on the nature what we feel or think. The new book with its smell of fresh ink and its encouraging purity; or the old book with its marks of war and that common annotations as brief and temporary lapses contained in the pulp that was dust and undoubtedly in dust will become, still keeps the seriousness of the papyrus and the physical integrity in a world that every day is turning more towards virtuality. I’ve always believed in the book, blindly, without hesitation, and thereby I acknowledge that the essence of the book is in its content and its ability to make us grow, to procure the best of us if we learn to assimilate the message; not in the way that is presented. In other words: the most important of the book is the message not the messenger, that’s why judging any by its cover is synonymous of ingenuity. Although it hurts for me to say, the vehicle container of the book has changed and will continue so (we need to remember the mentioned papyrus, centuries ago it was the format to “textualize” the body of human thought). If the most important part of the book, his content, remains, let’s face it, the container will be changing.

We’d better be realistic: the electronic world gains, every moment, a ground impossible to deny. Sad but true. The internet is now the most important tool in the vast majority of academic and labor age population. The generation of children below 12 years of life handles the computer and the global network with astounding expertise and familiarity. Some high school students have never opened a physical dictionary or encyclopedia: they go to the internet search engines, I mean: they get to the same destination by different routes (there are teachers who -I say this with some shame because in this there are more loss than evolution-, who accept Wikipedia prints as serious research works). While we were playing hide and seek, to make spin a wooden cone, to jump on chalk stripes on the floor, children of today spend their time in front of the monitor. But beware, they don’t turn away from reality, they construct a new way of perceiving it. The phrase “the future is now” takes its proper perspective… now.

Literature also reforms itself, in the strictest sense of the word, of finding new forms. The mass media, social networking and renewing technologies, among other things, make literature suits but unfortunately in this passage something gets lost. But its capability to adapt, its ability of wounded animal that almost always survives, is a phenomenon not only natural but admirable that finds our changing nature and anticipates our future.

A genre that is now almost extinct and appears that in the coming decades will disappear entirely is the hand writing letter correspondence. People do not send letters anymore; they write emails or messages through social networks; that is the reality. A note in the newspaper Voice of America declares that the low demand for postal services could lead to closure of over a thousand post offices in the United States this year only. Those beautiful books, those immense volumes that collect the letters that some of the greatest writers sent in life and that gives evidence of the most human part of the authors, the everyday, will gradually disappear. Naturally, coupled with the fact that no one or almost no one uses the traditional letters now (compared to the power and speed of the virtual media) are the circumstances that no one can check dead people’s e-mail because that goes against all Internet’s privacy policies and that calligraphy served to authenticate the legitimacy and authorship of the person who wrote the letter and also that many things gets lost in the network over the years. This loss will leave something substantial behind: the most human part of writers and poets, the most visceral, the most central.

On a visit I made to the place where writer Juan Jose Arreola spent his last days in south of Jalisco state in Mexico and where there is now a museum, I found letters written by the hands of authors such as Octavio Paz and Julio Cortazar, among many other . They show the respect, affection and admiration that these writers felt for the great Arreola.

In the hundreds of books that recover and collect the letters sent by writers still beats the soul that inhabited behind the profession, they retain the language of art and sensitivity in ordinary texts to communicate what they felt and lived, to transmit the day after day, to keep in touch. Some episodes in the history of epistolary literature are really wonderful, essential documents to know the artistic, political and social thinking in some points of the line of time. And if something catches my attention are the letters motivated by love.

In Dickens in Love, a book published in Spain by the label Fórcola we find the letters that Charles Dickens sent to his first love, Maria Beadnell. These correspondence are the living embodiment of the childhood sweetheart of the British writer, a love ignored for over a century by Dickens’s biographers. Seven years before his death the poet Paul Valery lived the most intense love of his, by then 67 years of life, love that, some say, get to kill him of sadness. The object of that love, the novelist Jeanne Loviton, 32 years younger than the French poet, received during the seven years of their relationship dozens of letters in which Valery wrote a lot of love poems. When she left him to marry another person Paul Valery survived two months more and died of a heart attack. In these letters were rescued just over 150 poems that reveal a loving and sensitive Paul Valery, contrary to the vision of the pure, intellectual and measured poet. The poems and fragments of his letters are in the book Corona & Coronilla (original in Spanish), published by Hyperion. The exuberant U.S. actress Brenda Venus relates that in a book of the New York novelist Henry Miller she found a letter he addressed to a woman. Such was the admiration of Venus for the author that she wrote to Miller and send some pictures of her, he was captivated by her beauty and from that day until his death Henry Miller wrote her about 1500 letters in which he declares a love in counterpoint to the obscene universe of “Tropic of Cancer “, his masterpiece. The book “Dear, dear Brenda” shows this by presenting the letters they both sent to each other. Khalil Gibran wrote a lot of love letters to his beloved Mary Haskell for most of his adult life. Despite being a relationship between light and fog the letters speak of a love given and eloquent: “When two people meet, -says Gibran-should be like two water lilies that open from side to side, each showing its golden heart, reflecting the lake, clouds and skies. I can’t understand why a meeting always generates the opposite of this: closed hearts to the suffering and fear”. It witnesses the book “Dear Prophet, Khalil Gibran Letters to Mary Haskell”. Two years before marrying Elena Garro and Octavio Paz, the Mexican poet sent twenty letters in which he declares his love and admiration, and urged her to go against the family Garro and live their love to the fullest. In these documents Octavio Paz shows the seed of some of the verses that would become their best-known poems. “A man loves a woman and kisses her: the kiss creates the world” Octavio Paz wrote in one letter; years later, in Piedra de Sol he writes “The world is born when two people kisses”. Pedro Salinas, the Spanish poet lived a secret relationship with his student Katherine Whitmore until the poet’s wife discovered the affair and attempted suicide. In the period of the relationship Pedro Salinas wrote over three hundred letters to the young American girl, she eventually became the inspiration for his works La voz a ti debida, Razón de amor y Largo lamento. In one letter Salinas speaks of the importance of that little piece of paper they sent between each other: “Just the weight of your letter in my pocket served as a pledge, a proof. I lived in that rectangle of paper. It was the only true place in the world. And before I could open it, like that, close and in my pocket, your letter was the bridge trough life, the yes that life gave me to the troubled question: “Am I? Is It? Are We?” Yes, yes, yes. Everything, yes, hey, everything, yes. And then in my room I read it. I’ve read it. I will read it. Many delights! First the delight of learn your hand writing, your letter, to stumble on a word and decrypt it at last. Your writing, another way of you, another way of living you”. These letters can be found in the book “Letters to Katherine Whitmore” published by Tusquets in 2002.

The handwritten letters, in short, will eventually lose the fight against electronic media. Although I insist that we must be realistic and accept evolution I know that we will be missing them. There’s nowhere more to see, man changes, and for those who doubt and in a romantic way crave for permanence just take a look to history. There is nothing to regret.

Mario Z Puglisi

mariozpuglisi@gmail.com

http://mariozpuglisi.blogspot.com

Mario Puglisi (Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. 1980), poet and independent editor. Founder and director of the cultural magazine Meretrices in Mexico. He has work published in over twenty magazines in Mexico and Latin America. His work it´s included in a dozen of poetry anthologies. He has participated in international festivals of poetry in Mexico and Peru. He is the author of the books: Dos Triunfos y un Poema de Amor (Colectivo Cultural La Cueva, 2008) El Impulso de Tocarlo Todo (Ediciones El Viaje, 2009) Capítulo Primero: Amanece Luz (El Taller del Poeta, 2011) y Selvas Mínimas (Latin Heritage Foundation, 2012).

____________________________

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Poetic territories.

During my attendance at First National Encounter of Cultural Magazines in the city of Queretaro, Mexico, I did a paper that was inserted into the table for discussion called “The territories of the poet,” That table I shared with the publishers Manuel Noctis, Adán Echeverria, Rafael Antúnez and José Luis Sierra. In this table we would discuss the publication of poetry today in literary magazines in our country, Mexico. Despite the various styles of the publications that attended there, despite the different paths and approaches to all participants during the meeting we achieved important objectives in the magazine format, whether physical or digital, we recognized the same difficulties, the same concern for adapting to times that are accelerated each day, the same vital requirement for the participation of state authorities to support a work that it’s now more necessary than ever. I emphasize that the meeting, attended by both independent and institutional magazines was done by the cultural authorities of the state of Querétaro in conjunction with the efforts of some governance joined one of the best organized events I’ve attended. We owe much of this to Ms. Laura Gabriela Corvera director of the Institute of Culture and Arts of Querétaro, Miguel Angel Quemain, technical coordinator of the encounter and Maria Fernanda Alvarez Perez, academic link institute. So in this collaboration of NYC Red Door Magazine I share the presentation that I gave at the event.

Poet Territories

“When I heard, a few weeks ago that the table in which I was going to participate in this meeting was titled The Poet Territories the first thing that came to my mind was the question: and then, what are the territories of the poet? The answer was immediately clear, anyone it’s the territories of the poet. In other words, life itself is the territory in which the poet walks and backtrack, works, dreams and rises. The starting point is their ability to perform complex impressions of that he lives, his deep thoughts, his sharp vision that urge him to be the architect of poetry. But the poet, that already born with a natural inclination that must be polished during his stay has to go through a complicated process to achieve sustainable. He always starts from the intent that’s generally given by complex contexts of the first readings and the awakening to poetry, he also starts from his sensitivity that’s ultimately the urge to write everything that lives, and then goes to coaching resources that enhance the word, the history of poetry, the knowledge of techniques and styles, after that he passes through the discipline of his work, the care of the writing, to give time the right dimension for each line or verse written. In all artistic, absolutely all the works that have achieved immortality there’s a requirement: the depth. And this is achieved only with time. Everything in art that is made without devoting the necessary time, it’s done with haste ends up being superfluous and die. The poet must soon recognize that time is a factor in its favor, in favor of his work, that only with this he can reach the depth necessary for maturity. Following these basic steps for the development of the poet is an essential step, a core one: the publication of the work in literary and cultural magazines. Finally he reaches the final goal: the book that shows a proof of his commitment to himself, his time and the posterity because the written word, we know, it’ll always survive us. The poet must be careful with what he writes because it’s represents himself, his radicalism relays on the things he live and how he see and receive what comes, not necessarily in what he writes, because eventually it all goes to the poem, he writes what he lives, what he dreams and imagine, what he have been told and learn, not more. Again, the word remains, we are perishable, the commitment is large.

Of all the steps in the process I rescue one as the most important: publication in the literary magazine. His first confrontation with different and distant readers. The importance of the magazine is that it has served and still serves as a filter for poetry. Through its editorial board, their commitment to the opinion, the magazine filters what have aesthetic elements necessary for the editorial line, they will determine the characteristics of quality, maturity and depth, and finally, they filter most of the poetry that gets to them. From my perspective the poet who calls himself, must meet an inevitable requirement to approach poetry: the humidity. Nobody can be a poet without human recognition of that fine line that gently separates the fragility and strength. Our innate characteristics. Humanity and humility are words derived from the same Latin root humus, or dust, to recognize that we are dust and that no matter how we remain suspended in the air we finally will return to earth it’s essential. The poet must be humble to approach poetry, he will be willing to recommendations for a learning that lasts until the last breath, and even take criticism without turning his passion on. If at some point in the process of publication in the literary magazine he receives negative, he must recognize where are the gaps and strengthen them, to know how to wait.

With the advances in communications and technology anyone with internet access can publish poetry through blogs, personal websites and social networks. This sort of freedom compromising the quality of the work, the awareness of the work, the poetic rigor and discipline. Of course, I legitimate freedom of expression. But again, the poet must be careful with what he posts. Here are the importances of magazines as a sieve to maintain quality standards. The poet must approach the digital magazines and through them pass the test that confers him growth. The Internet is an effective tool for the poet, with its use he closes ties of fraternity with others of their own initiative, he learns easily and affordably, he communicates and is communicated, he can know voices from anywhere in the world, but finally he should have a commitment on what he writes. At this delicate stage is where many are left behind. By the time the poet has grown and matured, found his voice and style he can exploit all media, physical and virtual, then the internet is necessary to enhance the dissemination of its work.

Since the birth of the first literary magazine it has been publish essays, fiction, short stories, criticism, poetry and visual arts. Today, virtual magazines continue to publish exactly the same. This indicates that despite the rapid advance of the media it has changed the format but not the content, and may never do so. The adaptation of literary magazines to new media forms is always latent in the background but its structure and objectives will always remain the same. One of the best examples to illustrate the rapid adaptation of the media is the relationship of the sense of sight with the reading. Page paper reflects the light and with it we can see plainly what is written. The computer screen, however, does not reflect light but emits it, and eventually ends up with a tired view by prolonged reading. However, when the industry fell on the consciousness of this topic it began to emerge filters for the screen, first, then some devices (as in the case of the Kindle) that emulate the experience of the physical paper, its color, the intensity of light and then the reading it’s less damaging to the eye. Technology improves every moment. No doubt, and I say this without a single drop of pleasure, that eventually, perhaps in a few generations, the virtual media end up leaving the paper behind. Though passion finally prevailed, if there are poets who recognize the importance of sensitivity and synesthesia in the paper, there will still resistance in favor of the printed sheet.

Despite the fact that we hear every day on the theme that poetry is not sold in our country, yet it´s published and will continue.  It is undeniable that the big publishers largely publish novel, the genre more commercial, and short stories, one of the literary exercises that gains territory rapidly. However, small publishers, the independent ones in Mexico, continue to publish books of poetry, some even live on the sale of this genre. The classics are still reissuing, new poets are coming to light, the poetry, today, it has demonstrated us, it seems that is not even close to death, nor in the taste of the reader or in the practice of the poet.

Again, all are the territories of the poet, but his launch pad will always be the literary magazine, filter needed to confront his work in proper context and necessary setting to cope with its latest ally or opponent: the reader”.

Mario Z Puglisi

mariozpuglisi@gmail.com

http://mariozpuglisi.blogspot.com

Mario Puglisi (Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. 1980), poet and independent editor. Founder and director of the cultural magazine Meretrices in Mexico. He has work published in over twenty magazines in Mexico and Latin America. His work it´s included in a dozen of poetry anthologies. He has participated in international festivals of poetry in Mexico and Peru. He is the author of the books: Dos Triunfos y un Poema de Amor (Colectivo Cultural La Cueva, 2008) El Impulso de Tocarlo Todo (Ediciones El Viaje, 2009) and Capítulo Primero: Amanece Luz (El Taller del Poeta, 2011).

MAPAS PARA COMBATIR LA ANSIEDAD – POR MARIO Z. PUGLISI

De territorios poéticos.

Con motivo de mi asistencia al I Encuentro Nacional de Revistas Culturales en la ciudad de Querétaro, México, realicé una ponencia que se insertó en la mesa de discusión llamada “Los territorios del poeta” que compartí con los editores Manuel Noctis, Adán Echeverría, Rafael Antúnez y José Luis Sierra. En esa mesa discutiríamos la publicación de la poesía en las revistas literarias actuales de nuestro país, México. Pese a los diversos estilos de las publicaciones que allí asistieron, pese a las distintas trayectorias y enfoques de todos los participantes durante el encuentro se alcanzaron objetivos importantes en el ámbito editorial del formato revista, ya sea física o digital, reconocimos las mismas dificultades, la misma preocupación por adaptarnos a tiempos que se aceleran cada día, la misma vital exigencia por la participación de las autoridades de estado para apoyar una labor que hoy es más vigente y necesaria que nunca. Cabe destacar que el encuentro, que convocó tanto a revistas institucionales como a independientes fue realizado por las autoridades culturales del estado de Querétaro en conjunto con el esfuerzo de otros gobiernes institucionales que se sumaron a uno de los encuentros mejor organizados a los que he asistido. Se debe mucho de esto a la Licenciada Laura Gabriela Corvera a cargo del Instituto Queretano de la Cultura y las Artes, a Miguel Ángel Quemain, coordinador técnico del encuentro y a María Fernanda Álvarez Pérez, enlace académico del instituto. Así que en esta colaboración de Red Door NYC Magazine les comparto la ponencia que ofrecí en el evento. A continuación.

Los Territorios del Poeta

“Cuando supe, hace unas pocas semanas, que la mesa en la que participaría en este encuentro se titulaba Los Territorios del Poeta lo primero que me vino a la mente fue la pregunta: y bien, ¿cuáles son los territorios del poeta? La respuesta fue clara inmediatamente, todos son los territorios del poeta. Dicho de otra forma, la vida misma es el territorio por el que el poeta anda y desanda, labora, sueña y se levanta. El punto de partida es su capacidad para realizar complejas impresiones de lo que vive, profundas reflexiones, agudas visiones que lo incitan a ser artífice de la poesía. Pero el poeta, que desde ya nace con una inclinación natural que deberá ir puliendo durante toda su estancia tiene que pasar por un entramado proceso para alcanzar un desarrollo indispensable. Comienza siempre desde la intención que generalmente es brindada por complejos contextos propios de las primeras lecturas y del despertar a la poesía, parte también de la sensibilidad que es en última instancia la urgencia para escribir todo lo que se vive, de allí se pasa a la preparación individual de los recursos que embellecen la palabra, de la historia de la poesía, del conocimiento de las técnicas y los estilos; tras ello pasa por la disciplina de su obra, por el cuidado de lo escrito, por dar la justa dimensión al tiempo necesario para cada línea o verso escrito. En todas las manifestaciones artísticas, absolutamente todas, las obras que han alcanzado la inmortalidad sólo reúnen un requisito indispensable: la profundidad. Y ésta se alcanza únicamente con tiempo. Todo aquello, en arte, que esté hecho sin dedicarle el tiempo necesario, que esté hecho con prisa termina por ser superfluo y por morir. El poeta debe reconocer pronto que el tiempo es un factor a su favor, al favor de su obra, que sólo con él se alcanza la profundidad necesaria para la madurez y permanencia. Tras estos pasos fundamentales para el desarrollo del poeta viene un escalón imprescindible, medular: la publicación de la obra en las revistas literarias y culturales. Por último se alcanza la meta final del poeta: la publicación del libro, muestra fehaciente de su compromiso para consigo mismo, para con su tiempo y para la posteridad porque la palabra escrita, lo sabemos, siempre nos sobrevivirá. El poeta debe ser cuidadoso con lo que escribe porque en ello se representa a sí mismo; su radicalidad está en las cosas que vive y en el cómo ve y recibe lo que le llega, no en lo que escribe, porque finalmente todo se traduce en el poema, se escribe lo que se vive, lo que se sueña e imagina, lo que nos cuentan y aprendemos, no más. Insisto, la palabra permanece, nosotros somos fugaces, el compromiso es grande.

De todos los pasos de este proceso rescato como uno de los más importantes la publicación en la revista literaria. Primer enfrentamiento con el lector distinto y distante. La importancia de la revista es que ha servido y sigue sirviendo como un filtro para la poesía. A través de su consejo editorial, de su compromiso de dictamen, la revista va filtrando aquella obra que reúne una estética necesaria para la línea editorial, va determinando los rasgos de calidad, madurez y profundidad, en fin, va filtrando el grueso de la poesía que se llega hasta sus correos. Desde mi perspectiva el poeta que se jacte de serlo, debe reunir un requisito inevitable para acercarse a la poesía: la humidad. No se puede ser poeta sin antes reconocerse humano en esa delgada línea por la que andamos y que separa delicadamente a la fragilidad y a la fuerza. Nuestras características innatas. Humano y humilde son palabras que derivan de la misma raíz latina humus, o polvo, reconocer que somos polvo y que no importa cuánto nos mantengamos suspendidos en el aire finalmente habremos de regresar a la tierra. El poeta debe ser humilde para acercarse a la poesía, tendrá que estar dispuesto a las recomendaciones, al aprendizaje que dura hasta el último respiro, e incluso tomar la crítica sin encender su pasión. Si en algún momento de este proceso de publicación en la revista literaria se reciben negativas, deberá reconocer en dónde están las deficiencias y fortalecerlas, saber esperar.

Con los avances en la tecnología y las comunicaciones cualquier persona que tenga acceso a internet puede publicar poesía a través de los blogs, las páginas personales y las redes sociales. Esta suerte de libertad demerita la calidad de la obra, la conciencia del trabajo, el rigor y la disciplina poética. Desde luego que legitimo la libertad de expresión. Pero insisto, el poeta debe ser cuidadoso de lo que publica. Aquí la importancia de las revistas como un tamiz para mantener estándares de calidad. El poeta deberá acercarse entonces a las revistas digitales y a través de ellas pasar por pruebas que le confieran crecimiento. El internet es una herramienta eficaz para el poeta, con su uso estrecha lazos de fraternidad con otros de su oficio, con él aprende de forma sencilla y asequible, se comunica y es comunicado, se acerca a voces de cualquier parte del mundo; pero finalmente deberá tenerle mucho valor a su compromiso sobre lo que escribe. En esta etapa tan delicada es donde ocurre una especie de silenciamiento en el que quedan muchos atrás. Ya cuando el poeta ha crecido y madurado, encontrado su voz y estilo podrá explotar todos los medios, los físicos y los virtuales, entonces el internet se hace preciso para enriquecer la difusión de su labor.

Desde que nació la primera revista cultural se ha publicado ensayo, narrativa, cuento, crítica, poesía y artes visuales. El día de hoy las revistas virtuales continúan publicando exactamente lo mismo. Esto indica que a pesar del vertiginoso avance de los medios ha cambiado el formato pero no el contenido, y quizá jamás lo haga. La adaptación de las revistas literarias a nuevas formas de difusión siempre será latente aunque en el fondo su estructura y sus objetivos sigan siendo siempre los mismos. Uno de los mejores ejemplos para ilustrar la adaptación acelerada de los medios es la relación del sentido de la vista con el formato en que se lee. La página de papel refleja la luz y con ella podemos ver con sencillez lo que está escrito. La pantalla de la computadora, en cambio, no refleja la luz, la emite, y eventualmente esta luz termina por cansar la vista haciendo la lectura prolongada francamente cansada. Sin embargo, cuando la industria dedicada a este tema cayó en conciencia comenzaron a salir filtros para pantallas primero y después algunos aparatos (como en el caso del Kindle) que emulan la experiencia del papel físico, su color, la intensidad de su luz haciendo la lectura menos perjudicial para la vista. La tecnología mejora a cada instante. No dudo, y digo esto sin una sola gota de agrado, que eventualmente, en algunas generaciones quizá, los medios virtuales terminen por desplazar al papel. Aunque la pasión termina por imponerse, mientras haya poetas que reconozcan la importancia de la sensibilidad y la sinestesia en la hoja de papel, seguirá habiendo resistencia a favor de la hoja impresa.

A pesar de que se insista tanto en el tema de que no se vende la poesía en nuestro país, aún así se publica y se seguirá publicando. Es innegable que las editoriales grandes publican mayormente novela, el género más comercial, y en menor medida el cuento, la narrativa breve, como uno de los ejercicios literarios que mayor auge han tomado en la industria editorial. Sin embargo, las editoras pequeñas, las de carácter independiente siguen publicando libros de poesía, algunas incluso viven de la venta de este género. Los clásicos se siguen reeditando, nuevos poetas siguen saliendo a la luz en el papel, la poesía, hoy nos lo demuestra, parece que no está ni cercanamente a punto de morir, ni en el gusto del lector ni en la práctica del poeta.

Insisto, todos son los territorios del poeta, sin embargo, su plataforma de despegue será siempre la revista literaria, filtro necesario para confrontar su obra en un contexto adecuado y escenario imprescindible para enfrentarse con su último aliado o detractor: el lector”.

Mario Z Puglisi

mariozpuglisi@gmail.com

http://mariozpuglisi.blogspot.com

Mario Z Puglisi (Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. 1980), poeta y editor independiente. Fundador y director de la revista cultural Meretrices en México. Ha colaborado en más de veinte revistas en México y Latinoamérica. Su obra ha sido publicada en una decena de antologías. Ha participado en encuentros internacionales de poetas en México, Puerto Rico y Perú. Es autor de Dos Triunfos y un Poema de Amor (Colectivo Cultural La Cueva, 2008), El Impulso de Tocarlo Todo (Ediciones El Viaje, 2009) y Capítulo Primero: Amanece Luz (El Taller del Poeta, 2011).

Breve recuento sobre Gonzalito

¿Quién hilara después el hilo que hilaremos?

Gonzalo Rojas.

 

Gonzalo Rojas pertenece a esa casta de poetas que nuestra generación no duda en llamar poetas fundadores. Se cree que en cada generación nace en alguna parte del mundo un poeta cuya vida y obra confirma eso que debe ser la máxima preocupación de el obrero de la palabra antes, mucho antes que el éxito, la parafernalia, los premios o el reconocimiento: el ejercicio honesto de la poesía por la poesía misma. Lo hemos discutido hasta el cansancio, el único compromiso que el poeta debe tener es para con la honestidad de su palabra y su obra; y Gonzalo Rojas es una de las máximas muestras de la poesía sincera y sin pretensiones que tiene nuestro continente. Su vida agitada, dividida, su predisposición siempre para defender su poesía contra toda ley estricta de los clasicismos anquilosados, su peculiar forma de entender la universalidad y de allí su vocación de docente, pero sobre todo su poesía transparente, árbol cuyas hojas sueltas caen en todos los rincones del hombre, lo convierten en uno de los poetas más importantes para entender los tiempos modernos y ese fenómeno concatenado que llamamos Latinoamérica.

Lejano 1917 lo vio nacer en Chile, séptimo hijo del matrimonio Rojas Pizarro, en una aldea de mineros. Naturalmente su padre se dedicó a ese oficio mientras su madre educaba y alimentaba a tanto niño. Cuando Gonzalo Rojas tenía apenas cuatro años su padre murió, esa pérdida tan temprana despertaría una sensibilidad que marcó para siempre su obra. Escribe, por ejemplo en Carbón: “Ah, minero inmortal, ésta es tu casa / de roble, que tú mismo construiste. Adelante: / te he venido a esperar, yo soy el séptimo / de tus hijos. No importa /que hayan pasado tantas estrellas por el cielo de estos años, / que hayamos enterrado a tu mujer en un terrible agosto, / porque tú y ella estáis multiplicados. No / importa que la noche nos haya sido negra / por igual a los dos. / -Pasa, no estés ahí / mirándome, sin verme, debajo de la lluvia”.

Algunos años después la familia Rojas se trasladaría de su natal Lebú hacia Concepción y después al norteño puerto de Iquique donde Rojas comienza a escribir artículos para el diario La Crítica. A sus 20 años, mientras cursa la carrera de derecho muere su madre, otro golpe que tardará en cicatrizar. La relación con Rojas, a pesar de haber sido el séptimo hijo, fue estrecha. Nos dice en Celia: “Y nada, nada más; que me parió y me hizo / hombre, al séptimo parto / de su figura de marfil / y de fuego, / en el rigor / de la pobreza y la tristeza, / y supo / oír en el silencio de mi niñez el signo, / el Signo / sigiloso / sin decirme / nunca / nada. / Alabado / sea su parto. / 3 / Que otros vayan por mí ahora / que no puedo, a ponerte / ahí los claveles / colorados de los Rojas míos, tuyos, / hoy / trece doloroso de tu martirio, / los / de mi casta que nacen al alba / y renacen; que vayan a ese muro por nosotros, por /  Rodrigo / Tomás, por Gonzalo hijo, por Alonso; que vayan / o no, si prefieren, / o que oscura te dejen / sola, / sola con la ceniza / de tu belleza / que es tu resurrección, Celia / Pizarro, / hija, nieta de Pizarros / y Pizarros muertos, Madre; / y vengas tú / al exilio con nosotros, a morar como antes en la gracia / de la fascinación recíproca. / Alabado / sea tu nombre para siempre.

En 1938 conoce personalmente al poeta Vicente Huidobro y se suma al grupo surrealista chileno Mandrágora. Los jóvenes poetas que formaban este grupo, entre los que se encontraban Braulio Arenas y Teófilo Cid representan en Santiago un movimiento que refresca e innovan la poesía latinoamericana. Aunque Rojas declararía más tarde que él fue más surrealista que Mandrágora fue en este grupo no sólo donde publicó sus primeros poemas sino por el que entra directamente en la escena poética chilena. En los años próximos viaja de la capital a pasar breves temporadas tanto en la cordillera como en la costa, al norte y al sur hasta el año 45 que se radica en Valparaíso, donde comienza su labor como docente.  Un año después gana el primer lugar del premio de poesía de la sociedad de escritores de su país con el libro El Fuego Eterno; que dos años más tarde su publicaría con el nuevo título de La Miseria del Hombre, su primer obra publicada. Con la publicación de este libro comienza la polémica fuerte; los escritores chilenos dividen la opinión entre quienes lo consideran un trabajo caprichoso fuera tiempo, sin sentido y quienes admiran su nueva visión de la labor poética. Los críticos lo desbaratan, los poetas lo admiran. Gabriela Mistral declaró respecto de esa obra: “Me ha removido, me deja algo parecido al deslumbramiento de lo muy original”. Un año después Mistral escribe al poeta Hugo Zambelli en relación a la antología 13 poetas chilenos: “Si usted pensase en hacer un segunda edición yo procuraría ayudarle con algo. A fin de que se añada 1 ó 2 poemas a la ración de cada autor. Gonzalo Rojas, por ejemplo, no aparece con toda su estatura. Me interesa mucho seguir su evolución”.

En el 57 viaja por primera vez a Europa. Allá conoce personalmente a André Bretón y a Benjamín Péret entre otros maestros surrealistas. David Flakoll y Claude Couffon comienzan a traducir su obra al inglés, francés y polaco. Un año después da pie a su vena de gestor cultural organizando el primer encuentro de escritores chilenos en Concepción. Esta vocación continuaría sumando en calidad e importancia los encuentros que el poeta organizaba, al punto que en el 62 lleva a cabo los Encuentros Internacionales de Escritores a donde acuden figuras como Alejo Carpentier o Allen Ginsberg entre muchísimos otros. Se publica su segundo libro Contra la Muerte en el 64, obra ahora sí aplaudida por críticos, poetas y lectores. En ella nos dice: “Estemos preparados. Quedémonos desnudos / con lo que somos, pero quememos, no pudramos / lo que somos. Ardamos. Respiremos / sin miedo. Despertemos a la gran realidad / de estar naciendo ahora, y en la última hora”. Pocos años después Casa de las Américas publica la segunda edición de este libro tirando 2000 ejemplares.

Ya en la década de los setentas comienza su labor como diplomático y agregado cultural bajo el mando del presidente Salvador Allende. Visita, entre otros lugares China, Europa y el Caribe. Estando en Cuba recibe la noticia del golpe de estado en Chile. Tras perder todos sus privilegios en un acto de violencia política se traslada con su esposa Hilda hacia Alemania. Regresa al continente poco después para radicarse en Venezuela donde permanece por diez años. En esa estancia dicta cátedras e imparte clases en universidades de Estados Unidos y de Latinoamérica. En México publica Del relámpago, obra de suma madurez y con el sello contundente de su voz poética. En este libro ya no hay duda de la maestría en el manejo de su estilo inconfundible de poeta demorado. Nos dice: “De él somos, del / mísero dos partido / en dos somos, del / báratro, corrupción / y lozanía y / clítoris y éxtasis, ángeles / y muslos convulsos: todavía / anda suelto, ¿qué / nos iban a enfriar por eso los tigres / desbocados de anoche? Placer / y más placer. Olfato, lo / primero el olfato de la hermosura, alta / y esbelta rosa de sangre a cuya vertiente vine, no / importa el aceite de la locura (…)”

El poeta Jaime Quezada lo invita a participar en los Jueves de la Poesía en Chile, año de 1981. Esa fue su primera lectura y aparición pública en su país natal tras los diez años del exilio. En la década de los 90’s recibe el premio Reina Sofía de Poesía Iberoamericana y el Premio Nacional de Literatura de Chile, entre otros reconocimientos. La muerte de su esposa Hilda May en el 95, compañera de muchos años, fue otro suceso doloroso para su vida y su palabra; le escribió en Vocales para Hilda: “La que duerme ahí, / la sagrada, / la que me besa y me adivina, / la translúcida, la vibrante, / la loca / de amor, la cítara, / alta”.

Durante su vida fundó y dirigió diversas revistas literarias entre las que se cuentan Letras, Antártica o Atenea. En el 98 la fundación Octavio Paz le entrega el “Premio Octavio Paz para poetas y ensayistas de América, España y Portugal”. El jurado fue presidido por el mismo Paz. Sin embargo, justamente por esos días muere el premio nobel Mexicano.

En abril de este año 2011, la madrugada del 25, Gonzalo Rojas, poeta fundador, voz imprescindible para nuestra poesía, murió en un hospital de Santiago de Chile, yace su cuerpo bajo el suelo de Chillán.

“Lástima de hermosura. Si hoy te falta de madre justo lo que te sobra 
de ramera
y de sábana en sábana, desnuda, vas riendo
y sin embargo empiezas a llorar en lo oscuro cuando no te oye nadie,
es posible, es posible que descubras tu estrella por el viejo ejercicio
del amor, es posible que tanta espuma inútil
pierda su liviandad, se integre en la corriente, vuelva al coro del Ritmo.”

Gonzalo Rojas.

Mario Z Puglisi

mariozpuglisi@gmail.com

http://mariozpuglisi.blogspot.com

Mario Z Puglisi (Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. 1980), poeta y editor independiente. Fundador y director de la revista cultural Meretrices en México. Ha colaborado en más de veinte revistas en México y Latinoamérica. Su obra ha sido publicada en una decena de antologías. Ha participado en encuentros internacionales de poetas en México, Puerto Rico y Perú. Es autor de Dos Triunfos y un Poema de Amor (Colectivo Cultural La Cueva, 2008), El Impulso de Tocarlo Todo (Ediciones El Viaje, 2009) y Capítulo Primero: Amanece Luz (El Taller del Poeta, 2011).


By Mario Z. Puglisi.

Gonzalito’s brief review.

Who will then spin that thread that we’ll spin? 
Gonzalo Rojas. 

Gonzalo Rojas belongs to that kind of poets that our generation doesn’t hesitate to call founding poets. It’s believed that in each generation is born, somewhere in the world, a poet whose life and work confirms this to be the biggest concern of the worker of the word before, long before the success, paraphernalia, awards or recognition: the honest exercise of poetry for poetry itself. We’ve discussed in many occasions, the only commitment that the poet must have is to the honesty of his words and his work, and Gonzalo Rojas is one of the greatest examples of the sincere and unpretentious poetry that our continent has. His agitated, divided life, his willingness to always defend his poetry against any strict law of what poetry should be, his peculiar way of understanding the universality and his vocation as a teacher there, but mostly his transparent poetry, tree whose loose leaves fall in all over us, making it one of the most important poets of modern times for the understanding of this concatenated phenomenon that we call America.

Far 1917, he was born in Chile, seventh child of the marriage Rojas Pizarro, in a village of miners. Naturally, his father was dedicated to this profession while her mother fed and well educated the children. When Gonzalo Rojas was four years old his father died, this loss, so early, awoke a sensitivity that marked his work forever. He writes, for example in Coal: “Oh, immortal miner, this is your oak/ house, that you built yourself. Come in: / I’ve come to expect, I am the seventh / of your children. It doesn’t matter / that so many stars have passed in the sky of all these years, / that we’ve buried your wife in a terrible August, / because you and her are multiplied. It doesn’t / matter that the night have been black / equally to both. / -Come in, don´t be there / looking at me without seeing me, under the rain.”

Some years after the Rojas family would move from his native Lebu to Concepcion and then to the northern port of Iquique, where Rojas began to write articles for the newspaper La Critica. At 20 years, while attending law career, his mother died, another coup that will take time to heal. The relationship with his mother, despite being the seventh son, was strong. In Celia he tells us: “And nothing, nothing more, that she gave me birth and made me / man, the seventh birth / her figure of ivory / and fire / on the rigor / of poverty and sorrow, / and she knew / how to hear in the silence of my childhood the sign / the Sign / stealth / without telling me / never / nothing. / Praise / is your delivery. / 3 / Let others go for me now / that I can’t, to put on / around the red pinks / of the Rojas of mine, of yours, / now / painful Thirteen of your martyrdom, / those / of my caste who are born at dawn / and reborn, to be the wall for us, and / Rodrigo / Thomas, Gonzalo son, Alonso, to be or not, if they prefer, or that dark they leave you / alone / alone with the ash / of your beauty / that is your resurrection, Celia / Pizarro, / daughter, granddaughter of Pizarros / and dead Pizarros, Mother, / and then come / whit us into exile, to live as before in grace / of mutual fascination. / Praise / is your name forever.

In 1938 he personally knows the poet Vicente Huidobro and joined the Chilean surrealist group Mandragora. The young poets who formed this group, among whom were Braulio Arenas and Santiago Teófilo Cid represent a movement that refreshes and innovate Latin American poetry. Although Rojas later claim that he was more surreal than Mandragora it was in this group, not only where he published his first poems, but where he entered directly into the Chilean poetry scene. In the next few years he travels from the capital to spend short periods in both the mountains and on the coast, north and south to the year 1945 that he resides in Valparaiso, where he began his work as a teacher. A year after he wins the first prize for poetry of the Society of Writers of his country with the book The Eternal Fire, that two years later he published it with the new title The Misery of Man, his first published work. With this book starts a strong controversy, the Chilean writers divide their opinions between those who consider it a capricious work out time, senseless and those who admire his new vision of the poetic work.  Critics smashed him, poets admire him. Gabriela Mistral said about this work: “I was moved; it leaves me something like the glare of the very original thing.” One year after Mistral writes the poet Hugo Zambelli in relation to the anthology 13 Chilean poets: “If you thought about doing a second edition I would help you in something. In order to add 1 or 2 poems to the ration of each author. Gonzalo Rojas, for example, does not appear with his full height. I am very interested to follow its evolution. “

In the year 1957 he made his first trip to Europe. He personally knows André Breton, Benjamin Peret and other surrealist masters. David Flakoll and Claude Couffon begin to translate their work into English, French and Polish. A year later he starts his vein of cultural manager by organizing the first Meeting of Chilean Writers in Concepción. This vocation continue adding quality and importance in the poet encounters organized by him to the point that in 1962 he holds the International Meeting of Writers where figures as Alejo Carpentier and Allen Ginsberg among many others attended. He published his second book Against the Death on 1964, work now hailed by critics, poets and readers. It says: “Be prepared. Let’s stay naked / with who we are, but let us burn, not rot / what we are. Let us burn. Breathe / without fear. Let us awake to the great reality / to be born now, and in the last hour.” A few years after that Casa de las Americas published the second edition of this book whit 2000 copies.

In the decade of the seventies Rojas began his work as a diplomat and cultural attache under the command of President Salvador Allende. He visit, amongst others China, Europe and the Caribbean. While in Cuba he received the news of the coup d’etat in Chile. After losing all his privileges in an act of political violence he moved to Germany with his wife Hilda. Soon after that, he returned to the continent to settle down in Venezuela where he remained for ten years. In these times he gives lectures and teaches at universities in the United States and Latin America. In Mexico he published Of the lightning, a work of great maturity and with the strong stamp of his poetic voice. In this book there is no doubt of the expertise in handling their unique style of delayed poet. It says: “Of him we are, of the / miserable two parted / in two we are, of / Barathrum, corruption / and freshness and / ecstasy and clitoris, angels / and thighs convulsed: still / on the loose, what / would we be cool by the runaway tigers / of last night? Pleasure and more pleasure. Smell, / first smell of beauty, tall / slender blood rose whose side came not / imported oil of madness (…) ”
The poet Jaime Quezada invited him to participate in the Poetry Thursday in Chile, in 1981. That was its first reading and public appearance in his country home after ten years of exile. In the early 90’s he received the Reina Sofia Award for Latin American Poetry and the National Prize for Literature in Chile, among other honors. The death of his wife Hilda on May 95, her companion of many years, was another painful event for his life and his word, he wrote on Vocals to Hilda: “The one who sleeps there, / the sacred / the one who kiss me and guess, / the translucent, vibrant, / crazy / of love, the zither, / high.”

During his lifetime he founded and edited several literary journals, among which includes Letras, Antartica or Athena. In 1998 the Octavio Paz Foundation gave him the “Premio Octavio Paz for poets and essayists of America, Spain and Portugal.” The jury was presided by Paz himself. However, precisely in those days the Mexican poet dies.

In April 2011, at dawn of 25 day, Gonzalo Rojas, poet, founder, essential voice for our poetry, died at a hospital in Santiago de Chile, his body lies under the ground of Chillán.

“What a shame, your beauty. If today you lack a maternity just what you are of
harlot
and from sheet to sheet, naked, you are laughing
and yet you start to mourn in the dark when you anyone hears you
it´s possible, it´s possible that you may discover your star for the old work
of love, it´s possible that many useless foam
loses its lightness, it’s integrated into the mainstream, back to the chorus of Rhythm. ”
Gonzalo Rojas.

Mario Z Puglisi

mariozpuglisi@gmail.com

http://mariozpuglisi.blogspot.com

Mario Puglisi (Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. 1980), poet and independent editor. Founder and director of the cultural magazine Meretrices in Mexico. He has work published in over twenty magazines in Mexico and Latin America. His work it´s included in a dozen of poetry anthologies. He has participated in international festivals of poetry in Mexico and Peru. He is the author of the books: Dos Triunfos y un Poema de Amor (Colectivo Cultural La Cueva, 2008) El Impulso de Tocarlo Todo (Ediciones El Viaje, 2009) and Capítulo Primero: Amanece Luz (El Taller del Poeta, 2011).


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