"The purest machine will exist"

During the months of June and July, I hope to write part IV of the project Tropical Fascism. I'm not sure if that will conclude that text as a series of four related essays, or if it will branch out into a longer prose piece. I want to write about the fierce debates that have ensued between Venezuelan intellectuals during the last five years, in relation to their country's ongoing political crisis. In particular, I want to discuss how specific poets have analyzed the crisis, in their poetry, in newspaper columns and in various open letters and public forums.

The Economist published an excellent piece last week on Venezuela's endlessly complex situation. The full text ("How big a threat is Venezuela's Hugo Chávez?") can be found at Vcrisis.


Thanks to a friend's recommendation, I've been reading the poems of Jorge Eduardo Eielson (Peru, 1921) in the anthology Las ínsulas extrañas. Antología de poesía en lengua española (1950-2000). Discovering a new poet is a pleasure I always look forward to. A name to look up this summer in the library.

"[existirá una máquina purísima]

existirá una máquina purísima
copia perfecta de sí misma
y tendrá mil ojos verdes
y mil labios escarlata
no servirá para nada
pero tendrá tu nombre
oh eternidad"


Another enjoyable read this weekend was Jim Behrle's pamphlet Why I Am Not Post Avant (Boston: Pressed Wafer, 2005). I admire Behrle's ability to be funny and visionary at once, avoiding self-importance in favor of great lines, such as:

"For some reason no one here got shot yet
But here come the helicopters"


How does one write about anything save tragedy?

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