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Farewell to Argentina

Dear Reader,

This is a poem (Gasp!) that I wrote in farewell to Argentina, that I have loved alot. If you do not like poetry, especailly unrefined poetry, avert your eyes now.

The inspiration of this started, I guess, in January. My cousin (Geoff) and I had a long drunken discussion about poetry, namely the Beat Poets of 1950's America. He had been reading Kerouac's 'On the Road', and I had been reading him. I remember telling him that the greatest thing about the Beats was how well they got the whole travel thing; Kerouac being the hero of travel writers everywhere. It was then that I decided to write a blog about this trip, so in a way, this poem was pre-destined to be written since the very first post.
I had occasionally, on this trip, been reminded of this little ability of Beat poetry but it wasnt until I started becoming bored with writing the blog and looking for ways to make it more interesting to myself (i.e. Iguazu and my attempts at stylistic variety), that I decided to try and mimic the greatest Beat Poem ever (Allen Ginsburg's 'Howl') as an ode to Argentina. This is that attempt. It did not turn out exactly as it sounded in my head.... the rhthym needs work and some of the metaphors are wilted and cliche, but I think it is still worthwhile posting...if only because I spent an hour writing it.

Sometimes I dedicate posts to people, whether they are named or not, they usually know its about them. As this is just me entertaining myself, a work of literary masturbation if you will, I dedicate this post to myself ... and all those fragmented parts of my own soul. As voyeurs to this act, I request that you do not comment on it, lest it becomes publicly embarassing. If you really feelthe need to comment or critique, send me a message, email or strongly worded letter instead.
Right on... lets begin then!

The Author

Farewell to Argentina

The screen blinks and whirs softly, yawning its boredom as we stare at each other.
"Do something", it seems to say, watching the dark circles deepen under my eyes as we wait, hopelessly, for a spark of inspiration.
"If only" I mumble back. "But how to begin to describe 2 months of this?"

Of a city of millions, with a pulse of one.
Of the pale artistry of expensive graves and the riotous colour of river slums.
Of a city that never sleeps, except for siesta, when the birds in the Parques sing their hearts out above the roar of the traffic.
Of being kidnapped by a kindred spirit and taken to her nest above the trees to learn the 72 names of God and be taught the appropriate way to get mellow off of Mate.
Of the markets of tourist junk amidst the markets of local junk: fruit, wine and antique clocks and antique matchbooks, whose hands don't move and whose flames don't catch, thus proving their value.
Of the raw sexuality of a tango on a faded rug in a shaded plaza, calf and arm and upper lip taut with a tension stolen from the loose jaws and gaping eyes of a circle of voyeurs;
Of the two tangos! That daytime tango of work and play, and her bastard sister, that nighttime tango of despair and exctasy;
Of brown-skinned armies picking through the trash of their blue-eyed neighbours under the dull yellow-light of streetlamps at dusk;
Of the nightly patrol of scarred whores, blank-eyed staring at the nothingness beyond the spaces of the universe, begging to trade their fucks for fuck-all;
Of old drunks, hearts broken at the impossible distance of heaven, gazing eastward from gutters for the anesthetic certainty of dawn.
Of the morning migration of the clipity-clop of high heels on the cobbled streets of San Telmo, tired dancers returning home sweaty and content;
Of young drunks, having found heaven in the 2 oclock bar, the 6AM boliche, stumbling out of cabs, hands shielding faces from the fierce arrows of Apollo, hunting for breakfast while laughing their exctasy into the Good Air.

Of running away on shivering working class trains, and coffee sessions of socialist gossip and Argentine anger;
Of God's waste-paper basket smoothed out in fields of gold and green with sweat and dirt and caked on dust.
Of a shower, finally! Hallelujah, Amen!
Of the terrestrial basement dwellers, the braying penguins and aquatic elephants like fat nudes lying lazily on a Spanish Riviera while the surfing Orca hunt with prayers for seal infanticide.
Of getting lost and loving it. Of flash floods in the desert and the smell of damp earth mixed with fresh horse dung and fancy Welsh tea parties in Patagonian oases.
Of Patagonia! Of space and space and space! Of inhaling a universe in a breath. Of eternal freedom and the oppressive weight of infinty.
Of the nighttime depths of solitude and loneliness, staring out bus windows at Argentina lying naked on her back, sighing deeply, her warm breath a milky fog against the cool, black dome of the sky, stars like silver drops sliding slowly towards the horizon.
Of sleep... and of dreams.

Here's to seeing mountains, Gandalf! Mountains! To each jagged vertebrae in the Andean spine;
To the gigantic groans and thunderous cracks of ice racing slowly from the harsh frozen spires of the summits;
To racing winter and winning by a nose, feeling her tight grip on bones in the night, forcing northward retreat;
To the magic of a sunrise on the sheer face of bare rock, pink makeup worn only at waking;
To sudden hail storms on the top of the bottom of the world and shouting "I am here!" into the abyss and hearing the roar of the wind's laughed response;
To azure lakes of fine blown glass and alpine slopes painted evergreen;
To swimming in cold rivers and soaking in hot springs, Japanese style! Oh yeeaaaaahhhh!;
To short trips to Chile and long American rock ballads and half-way climbs up awe-some volcanoes;
To aging bicyles pondering sunsets on vineyards, the last of the season's grapes and the final cutting of grass, surrendering its scent with the sigh of a tired soul welcoming the soothing embrace of winter;
To dreamy foreign gods and jealous forest spirits. To falling water and a kaleidoscope of rock;
To the epic, the epic, the EPIC!

To fellow wanderers and the harmonious cacaphony of the Brotherhood of Babel, a shared desire in an orgy of mistranslation;
To drunken Dutch dancesteps after Argentine asados, Hebrew hookahs and Hawaiian hand-rolled cigarettes;
To getting stoned with brown-eyed, with green-eyed, with blue-eyed Jews, puffing smoke through our noses like dwarf dragons, our heads filled with helium blowing into each other's ears to see if we could drift away and giggling hysterically when we don't;
To the bearded denizens of France and Spain, Germany, Sweden and the United bloody Kingdom;
To Canada, Colombia, Chile and the Czech Republic, and that one guy from El Caribe;
To hippie villages and organic farming of fresh berries, dark chocolate and home-made beer;
To Beer! Sold by the dollar, drunk by the litre;
To Wine! Fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it has become my spiritual drink!
To Meat! Cows and sheep and their succulent young, pink and tender and practically free;
To a life of luxury on a dime! To Life! To Life! To loving Life!

O Che! I will miss you,
When the change in my pocket is heavy and unwanted.
O Che! I will miss you,
In the hot sticky nights of the Tropical Amazon, wishing for a cool breath on my warm bones.
O Che! I will miss you,
With each bite of beef and every sip of red wine forever more.
O Che! I will miss you,
When I no longer go "Como?" to each slurred Spanish phrase.
O Che! I will miss you,
in the absence of the words 'Chan!' 'Es un Flash!' and 'Buena Onda'
O Che! I will miss you,
If the yerba supply ends, and my Mate cup runneth dry
O Che!
"Never change!" I scream, though change is inevitable. "Live, breath, grow, love, lust, scream, moan and die only to be reborn again! Everlasting and Infinite!"

...I finish typing, and the dark circles are darker yet. My head feels light and my heart, heavy.
"Goodbye, Argentina." I say.
She says nothing. She doesn't need to.


Posted by 4ccamacho 18:06

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