Upon Hearing Montse The Singer

Poem by Arturo Desimone after hearing Montse Ruano sing the verse of Idea Vilariño, at a concert in Buenos Aires.


alas-lachrimae of eye made the plight

for mourners as a paid profession.

the mass deportations and expulsions at least do not affect me,

Today I was lucky, this night—

I did not know all along I would be praying

To be brought to the place

to see a mourner,

she is tall as an oasis palm

a singer from the North of Spain come down, down


to say

no other substance of verbiage

no other mel et lac sub lingua sua


Amor amor

Amor amor amor

Amor Amor


Amor amor

Amor amore

until I was crying.

weeping-snakes thrown

in mass expulsions like spring of Hibiscus syriacus

from her gray eyes

hit a gourd, it broke its skein

and tears crept

and tears slid

preventing me from turning the other cheek

and how shameful,

how destructive

it is not hydro-acid, or ash turning to its ashen self

like ashen Narcissus, forever twisting to himself (as accountant echoes

and plucks)

Tears are all we were made of,

the tears of sex, lachrimae sostenuto in time

until death, the arid visitor who drinks rivers and sewers,

then wipes his thick lips with the kerchiefs that Fates wove

at no small price.

My tears are the size of boxing gloves,

With a will of their own and wearing scarves

with eye-holes in them, they have murdered, plundered,

robbed ATM cash-machines, and have hidden in mangrove swamps

or crept along brick walls of Rancho and Calle Constitución.

The tears of wolves imitate

their makers, *(not the canines and bears dotted in stars stellar Hypatian)

in the mating, the tears mate as the wolves who shed them,

male upon the female, cimmarron upon the blue.

And two apes in mockery, by accident learned how to cry

as they imitated the fledglings, under their tree

there, before the blood-on-snow-on-a-stone age, 276,543 years ago, the Bonobo’s ancestors learned distinction, became taller so they could bow.

They learned the art of weeping

(at more than a fall, or a christ-thirst or a herod fit)

In dehydration, they stood up erect looked around for water,

their long shadows like lachrimae led

towards founding Civilization in arid planes.

Thousands and thousands of years

before poet-odes, sung tonight by Montse, the Morna singer —

Thirsty crawling men in sands

with curlers in their Babylonian beards

made the plight for civilization,

they knew Just what that entails:

Mourners as a paid profession.

Buenos Aires, 2016