Réquiem Para Un MalandraSaturday, June 02, 2012
This record (now mostly unplayable but the CD is pristine) taught me to appreciate dissonance (the only previous experience had been the music of Thelonius Monk) and music mated with recited poetry. This Nuevo Octeto even featured the famous and recently departed writer Ernesto Sábato. But especially impressive in its terrible language is Réquiem Para Un Malandra by Piazzolla’s daughter Diana. Seldom have so many nasty sounding and meaning words been put into one poem with such fulminating effect.
Réquiem Para Un Malandra
En esa asfixia bélica de noches despiernadas
en el gran partenón de tu garganta
donde un juglar de tedio se desangra
en gladiolos adúlteros que escapan por túneles,
azules taquicardias y un malandra en glaciares de metralla.
Malandra agujereado, por todo tu esternón
tantas banderas, por todo tu perrazo,
por todo plenilunio en pleno alcohol eternizado.
Epopeya de vírgenes curtidas
y corales de orines constelados.
Por todo te despenias, potro tú.
Potro que se desnuda hasta el espanto.
Desnudo, nauseanauta que tiras a la ferias
ese gallo averiado de tu sexo
y caminas la niebla como un ciego,
el vientre vocinglero de su amante.
La noche ya te larga los suicidas
y sus dientes la flora del insomnio.
tu desnudo, la noche contemplando,
las vírgenes que cuelgan sus enaguas de cactus
y apagan en la lámpara sus corpiños
que fueron azules de pirañas.
Barrenan por tu sangre tranvías y venados
y bodegas, tenores con diafragma de estaño.
Y desnudo caminas, y desnudo pareces
la épica siempre viva de los desesperados.
Así, desnudo y recto, así, con la aterida
garrapata del asco, con los mil labios
del desenterrado yo te escupo la muerte y ya no grites.
Quiero verte sangrar tu noche larga,
quiero verte sangrar para gritarte,
hoy un acorazado aún titila
entre tus ingles bárbaras.
I will not translate as English could not possibly do this poem justice. If anything listen to the link here of the somber Piazzolla tune that preceeds the reading of the poem by Alfredo Alcón.
Malandra, malandrín is a Spanish word of Italian origin that is all about a thief and evil person. It is a word that is rarely used anywhere except in Argentina where many old Spanish words are conserved in everyday language. For me it is a magical word that makes me remember the dictionary my grandmother gave me in 1954 in which she says that its purpose is to help me master the language of my grandfather Don Tirso de Irureta Goyena who had mastered and loved the language. I was to perhaps be a worthy grandson.
In many ways thanks to my constant reading of novels in Spanish the language of my childhood and youth has come back even though there are few people in Vancouver with whom I can share this love for Spanish.
In the last few days I have been savouring, page by page and word for word, Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s 7th Capitán Alatriste serial novels, El Puente de los Asesinos.
Paradoxically as I enjoy this thrilling novel I feel a depressing isolation as I look out of the window into a gray sky and feel a winter chill in my bones just a few weeks from the first day of summer. I long for heat and the music of Spanish and of my kind. Of late I have felt a stranger in this solemn city of people being concerned about dog poop and bicycle lanes.
The malandra that illustrates today’s blog is not a malandra at all. He happens to be the gentle Scottish film director Bill Forsyth whom I photographed in 1987. How could a man who directed Gregory’s Girl, Comfort and Joy and Local Hero, be a dastardly villain? But he will do just fine for appearances.
Of bats and cockroaches.