Monthly Archives: August 2013

Omen pawn


Trying to get out of Buenos Aires, I must first have the right to stay, which means going through windless bureaucracies, routinely misled and insulted.

First two young men behind a desk, smiling at me when they saw my old Argentinean passport, as if they wanted me to join their party. (There was a cardboard on their desk saying ‘Aqui “No” se dan turnos’ , Here we do “not” give out favors, the not in quotation marks. But I must be consistent, I like some corruption, what gets called transparency is when government corruption is invisible) They said I needed to try another office the next day, as it closes early. On the way home I saw on old pawn shop on San Juan boulevard. There was a poetry book by Hernandez with art nouveau illustrations, there was an old headbust of Theodor Herzl, the bearded ideologue of Zionism, with Hebrew inscriptions, and a leaden statuette of a goddess or Etruscan, Roman Aphrodite figurine. I asked the shopkeeper about the figurine, he was drinking terrere, the iced herb drink from a bull’s horn through a metal straw, a young man with dreadlocks. Only people from the North and Paraguay drink terrere. He had a non-Porteno accent, I somehow have acquired affectionate feelings upon hearing

non-Porteno Spanish, I am a provincial in the city that Martin Espada called La Cabeza de Goliath. He said it an old figurine–from the 40s, lead. Bits of crystal sparkled in it, I was afraid to buy it, fears of who the owner had been, I saw too much Indiana Jones, but decided such Germanic fears, of accursed objects,  do not suit me. I bought it and built a small altar by the window.

(Ehad Ha'am)

(Ehad Ha’am)

I was disappointed about Herzl in the shop window. Had it been a headbust of Ehad Chaam, the more unknown Zionist who Chomsky speaks of admiringly and who was for a stateless cultural center in Palestine to energize the Jewish diaspora, I might have bought it. Or one of the Jewish Bund Socialist leaders–

The next day on the way back from the bureaucrat who sent me away from the offices at Avenida Desamparo I passed again the pawnshop on San Juan. There was still Herzl in the far right corner, in the left a very large old black and white photograph of Adolf Hitler posturing, in an old frame. I asked the rasta-haired vendor why he was selling this. He said it is an old picture, not from here, from Germany, but was owned by an Argentinian who had it on his wall in the 1930s.
“Solo estaba curioso, I was just curious is all” I said, like a coward.
“Its alright pa” he answered and offered me a sip of terrere, cool metal straw in my mouth, “good against that sick winter sun”

At night I dreamt the statue came to life, its lead turned soft, she sat and rode on me, I woke up at 4 am with the smell of lead, some crystals, the smell of a young woman’s cunt on my lips, and for some reason the desire to walk by the shop before dawn and throw the leaden idol through the portrait. But I will not do that, the idol is not for that. The idol is for when I leave this city, this barrel of suffering of Buenos Aires, when I go again to the mediterranean sea in front of Whom I was created. I will go to the bay by Athens now again colonized by the Germans. There, I will go to the sea near Kerameikos where young boys of 17 are initiated as men by trying to dive in search of an old Athenian or Ottoman sword they must pick up from the bottom with their hands to the beach–then they win their fiancees, old abolished paganism. If I drop my leaden statue anywhere it will be into such a wave, where another will fish her up to end a suffering that no mere wedding, no childbirth and not one or a hundred violent acts of revenge could undo without having first fished blindly for goddesses.
Creative Commons License
Omen Pawn by Arturo Desimone is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Poem by Arturo Desimone

This poem is published in the Buenos Aires Reader, bilingual literary blog edited by Rick Powell:

POEMGRANAT  by Arturo Desimone

I usually boasted that I am from the 19th century
but  reality dawned yesterday
really I am from the middle ages,
evidence: these latest attempts to avoid falling in love
trying from a hiding place in a cloud to lower a bucket
from the corruptor sun
and shower acid down on the pomegranate tree
whose branches unfurled with fruit
from our embrace in the night-bar
unto the iciness of lunar light in the Argentine winter,
the night Videla died
I am ruthless as the king of the pomegranates
and a megalomaniacal jackal for the comparison

They should have made Videla kneel in corn

for twelve December heatwaves

At my hospital-white computer, the social-hope-generator,
then cinema porno reels gyrate as saws
against new branches and entanglements
in the pomegranate tree of lovers,
smaller than a porcupine it contains a copy of the planets in its dew drops
I seek to impose a government, forgetting anarchisms
I walk around in the day attempting to dream the anti-dream
Fall asleep while making childish vows in anguish to avenge the Bulgarian actress in the fuck film
 who does not need my saving and knows what to do,
for breakfast break a pomegranate
one turns out fresh, three are rotten on the inside
I hurry to an encyclopedia of dreams, papyri in Christian-human skin.
Among desert peoples who spoke their dreams into lamb-skulls
a rotten pomegranate meant an unchaste woman
I eat rotten dreams and hope for breakfast
all this was an attempt to control anyway.
(self-portrait of the poet)
Bio Arturo Desimone, 1984, born and raised on the island of Aruba (Dutch Caribbean) to parents of immigrant origins foreign to the island (an Argentinean father, a Russian-Polish mother) at the age of 20 he emigrated to the Netherlands but after six years left to lead a nomadic way of life better suited to writing and making drawings.  His short fiction and poems have been in Big Bridge, and The Acentos Review and Hinchas de Poesia. The Argentine writer Laura Ramos recently wrote a collumn about him in Clarin,

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

links, new poems and drawings on Horror Sleaze Trash


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Updates recent publications and writing news

The Poet’s Basement, poetry-pages of the radical left wing magazine Counterpunch has published
a series of my poems called Letters to Karl Marx
In September check the pages of the journal Mobius, Literary Journal of Social Change for my story
This is an interview with a very bright radical mind, my fried O who is in the Opposition network against the tyranny in Azerbaijan which has recently been (preposterously) hailed by the EU as a transparent democracy safe for trade ( though they are thankfully divesting from Israeli settlements the snide Europeans diversify the market of oppression elsewhere) The Baku resistance movement is leftist in spirit, but believes in an enlightenment, pedagogy of the oppressed and translating Stefan Zweig into Azeri, wow.
Back to prose and poetry:
The new issue of Big Bridge has published my story Eurydyka of the Krakow Tourist Information Center short-short-story from Krakow, I wrote it in 2011 
Big Bridge edited by Michael Rothenberg has become reknown. This issue has poets from India, Latin America, Eastern Europe.
My poem titled “I Cannot Live Here in the Nethenmark” was recently in Soul-lit, Journal for Spiritual And Poetry,
(luckily this was published just when I am getting strict letters of reprimand and debt from the damp and inescapable land of bailiffs )
My poem Travel by KLM is in Acentos Review, journal concerned with Latinos who write in 
Travel by KLM in Dutch translation is in Ex Ponto.
The poem “Inter-Fractalactic Occurences”  in Hinchas de Poesia can be read at
(after volume nine which had  Good Morning Midnight Mass

More to come.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized