Las poéticas de Jacqueline Goldberg / Francisco Javier Pérez

The Poetics of Jacqueline Goldberg

The title announces the disturbance. Attractive and terrible, Verbos predadores (Editorial Equinoccio, Universidad Simón Bolívar/Editorial Boker, 2006), a book of books the gathers all the poetry published by the writer between 1986 and 2006, wants to be seen as a summary of a poetry and poetics achieved in tune with the best of Venezuelan literature today. One and the other, poetics and poetry, consistently run through the pages of this work of high caliber and voracious spirit. The collection that gives the book its title, Verbos predadores [Predatory Verbs], the latest of her work and written with conclusions, announces the metabolic edge of a poetry that exists at the limits of many digestions conquered with bites by words that devour all the securities of happiness and ruminate all their implacable desperation.

Five texts with identical syntagma announce a guide for the laconic and sublime method of understanding poetry and invoking a personal epistemology; a form that sees the world by means of forms. Given all the risks, this poetry theorizes convinced and pleased within an unquestionable knowledge, harvested by a pain recuperated “so that the book might grow within the book.” The poem is a structure that dictates misfortunes that create riddles and dense cavities of the spirit’s maps. The poem’s calligraphy traces the scribe’s diction, which is nothing more than an illegible “boreal invalidity,” possible only with the help of others who allow spelling to arise. The poet recognizes that she writes carried by tremors and that with them she is able to gain height with severity and insolence.

The scientific eye arrives at the unseen (“I never saw saffron plots, / nor their bastard complaints”), at the colors of the oracle (“Augury is redder than blindness”), at the poverty of manuals (“they never warn / of the outcome of the accused when the sky clears”) and the fascination with false names (that “twist a world without favors”). Theory proceeds to assess books of poetry as entities that “don’t cease,” “don’t lead” and “don’t bring about.” Each book of poetry is, effectively, a “jumble of tensions” and “the tribe’s exhausted field of stones.”

Born to loot, this poetics of acknowledgment now boasts of having sown the poems and that they will always be an escape forged in the waist and not in the feet, “as the forsaken believe.” The poem is an unhappy, deserting beast that is always passing through. “In the end the most horrible stories choose themselves / and a precipice flows from hesitation,” she prays at the entrance to the final poetics. “This is how the other pours itself into us: / from anguish to comfort,” seems to be the kind coda. “Identity is found in the book’s coat, / not in arguments, / nor in lean antonyms / we undress of their future or their tiredness” and, again, the animal book is recognized by its coat.

The bloody mission accomplished and worn out, will there be any salvation left for the word, since it is verbs that prey on existence? Here we have a poetry that doesn’t believe in renouncing life in the poem and that denies the postponement of suffering behind aesthetics. The hour of agony has arrived and this magnificent poetry reminds us without contemplations. Its goal is to announce the carnivorous truth.

{ Francisco Javier Pérez, El Nacional, 21 July 2008 }

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