Liliana Heer



Liliana Heer



Blind Date
Prologue and poem selection by Liliana Heer 
and Ana Arzoumanian
Translated from Spanish by Michael Smith


The map of Argentinian poetry of the last decades, presented in this version on line, has now been changed from the earlier Written Word Re-cited by the addition of other writers. A device beyond national markings allows us to translate Argentinian poets into a language located on the dissolute margins of the frontiers of language. A forthright language that traverses levels of consistency in which there is neither past nor future.


The notion of “local” has been transformed in “speed”, a concept that implies the rupture of a narrative truss like the construction of variables of diverse intensity in the borders of a style. As opposed to chronology, the time of poetic pulsations – beyond the regular and the periodical – imposes a gradient of acceleration that involves rhythmic displacements, redefines concepts of beauty and introduces new polyphonies. Breaking the authoritarianism of certified postures distorts the category of property. The legitimate becomes questionable; every fragmentary expansion appropriates the script.


The place of poetry as a practice of language exists in the utopian gesture of the poet whose semantic, syntactic and lexical space is a place full of feelings in constant circulation.

‘when I say delirium I say Rimbaud

when I say lucidity I say Rimbaud




Glory and grief live in these subterranean mazes

One-way out burns in the distance

Sometimes my eyes fade

and sometimes the light blinds me’

Mario Trejo (‘La lucha personal’, Personal Struggle)


Lost from the beginning, without distinction of entry or exit, without return to any origin, beyond any ingenuity, silence and name are flàneurs.


‘If I stay long enough

I shall see the fisherman returning with his lamp,

if I stay long enough

and do not vanish in a hotel room

like a scared crab.’

(Paulina Vinderman, ‘Simbad en la taza’, Simbad in the cup)


The poetic process does not consist in reducing the object, whatever happens as an event is alien to its representation, it exceeds, rushes, appears when it is named.


‘orchids gardenias

they’ll run a shoeless race

under the foreign sky

they’ll laugh  

at their being banned

from the final scene                                                   

of an all-inclusive paradise’

(Jorge Paloantonio, ‘Paraíso levemente perdido’, Paradise slightly lost)


When the poet writes extension, the risk of touching – a nucleus of incessant fright – he prefixes the indiscernible of meaning. The inner side of what cannot be said is extracted: raw, not yet corporal, a preamble of some immunity.


‘My heart

is a shapeless mass



and on top of everything red

surly muscle

                         and nauseating

without a bird’s vocation’

(Reynaldo Sietecase, ‘En fin’, “At last”)


It is Achilles’ lance that heals wounds. They are the letters that bring the stamp of Sovereignty with commands of confinement or exile. Threat, scandal, lines of destruction, disorder.


‘The beard soaked between the legs of your savagery


more audacious, or what more

like the chemical properties of your juices

and the cold metal of our swords.’

(Alejandro Pidello, ‘La Cour des Voraces’)


Making of the immeasurable a condition, a design: hybris in progress. Overcome the political cartography that divides countries, latitudes, surfaces.  Set up a way out of the battle between the singular and the plural.



months and years and seasons


of ice stone or sand

with a steady step

as undaunted

by change

of the temperature of light

to the harshness

of landscape

to acquire

the consistence of stone

of insects

or pachyderms

their elegance

recondite and mysterious…’

(Anahí Mallol, -9-)


A buzzing, the purring, the depth of the tongueless mouth. Air entering and exiting the sonorous cavity. Cavern, drum with its top of animal hide extremely taut. It is music, sound of absence.


‘gives me

a white


that does not smell


I leave it

in the shade

of the water

of the vase’

(Susana Szwarc, ‘Vano’, Vain)


Place and senses dismembered, violence cauterized by fire invades. The One open, undefined. Solitude is not a theme, it is the image itself and its expression.


‘…will the substance of so many suspended bodies leave through this luminous hole? the body mangled, is that substance mangled too or are remnants left behind like lovers who seek each other after some catastrophe?...’

(Lila Zemborain, ‘11 de marzo 2002, de noche’, march 11 2002 (at night))



The rests, the ruins, the spoils of an eclipsed civilization pass at our side; a nature grimacing in a gentle, indefinite sketch. If the moral vehicle is transformed into the artistic, then the landscape is a gesture of itself.


‘So I tear up my notes,

deactivate the explosion,

and leave everything in place

while I continue my journey

satisfied to have left the world untouched,

a place no foot had ever trod.’

(Santiago Sylvester, ‘Libro de viaje’, Travel Book)


Ode to finite, not unlimited surface. Writing without interposed voice, without footnotes. There is a unique message and neither the earth nor wretchedness are capable of wrapping it up, the ambience and the context in permanent wandering.


‘He dreams of sacred objects, of sexual devices, of stones made damp by treachery, of the beginning of all deformation.’

(Mario Sampaolesi, ‘2’)


Precise, up to a certain uncontrollable point, a furtive manner of discovering all the swayings of the scene, including the damaged. The drama is unbound like detention. Voices observe the past devoid of epic.


‘the history of who

from his ruinous confinement

devoted to the pleasant vice of words

                                           finally awaits




with so many things to say.’

(Basilia Papastamatiu, ‘2’)


The poems of this endless Supplement shape a shadow where a certain hope of civic transmission ambushes: to inform something of the language of Argentinians. We would not simply like to distinguish the harmony of the unreconciled; this is the same as saying: it is the work that a language makes. In the resonance of the words, subjects and forms disappear to be converted into immediate actors.





Authors included:


Mario Trejo 

Tamara Kamenszain

Santiago Sylvester

Alicia Genovese

Paulina Vinderma

Jorge Paolantonio

Reynaldo Sietecase

Alejandro Pidello

Anahí Mallol

Susana Szwarc

Lila Zemborain

Mario Sampaolesi

Basilia Papastamatíu

Alejandra Correa

Nicolás Peyceré

Sandra Cornejo

Leonardo Martínez

María Victoria Suárez

Hebe Solves

Bea Lunazzi

Romina Freschi

Version with selected poems



Antología de poesía argentina (I)

This prologue and the bilingual version of the selected poems have been published in Free Verse Website 2009, as an extension of the First Anthology of Argentinian poetry – published in Poetry Ireland Review, Nº 73, Summer 2002, edited by Michael Smith.


© Liliana Heer and Ana Arzoumanian

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