Marina Mariasch


translated by Jennifer Croft


We jump right in, head first.
The beginning is incredible. Halfway through
is incredible. You quit
smoking. We do the things
people do
under the influence
of talismans. You start
smoking again. You say
you’re not against me,
or against the people who are against me.
I can’t love someone
without knowing what they’re afraid of.
But you don’t think
about the future, you act
like it doesn’t exist, you configure
an idea of a present continuous
like the past doesn’t exist. Or
are we our past? You’re scared
of it, you don’t want for anything
to be gone and buried
with whatever else has already happened.
But some things of yours and mine
are gone,
some of the delight of that pink I put on.
When we drift off,
I have dreams about people going wild,
a flight attendant jumping out of a plane mid-air
who winds up fighting in Cambodia.
At dawn I wake up
hating you and thinking of your dense slumber,
where man is most animal
and incapable of making his breathing
into a music in between marx and god,
wild boar, without that amulet
of words that make
magic, and I know that my enmity
empowers you. You hate my critical
spirit, although you don’t consider hatred
a passion, but rather a category. I just hate
being neutral. I’d like it
if there were something you didn’t like,
something you didn’t find charming.
Something ideological or religious, moral
or outright physical. That good cheer
you like blocks out the sad
parts. So what about
crime, or those games of conquest
you play when you go out with your friends
in that state of constant promise,
and you all play Playstation and do
coke. You crossed over
into a gray area that crushes
any idea of new, the heroic side
of jazz and of the comings and goings
of women. A bundle
of tenderness. Nostalgia
for the idea of a network, for that
system of necessities; nostalgia
for the epic of an epoch
is nostalgia for that epoch.
Those famous actors
you say you look like,
or say people say you kind of
look like would find it funny if they found out,
as I find it funny, that empathetic pity
that draws me to people
in raising the veil and leaving their weakness
at the elements’ mercy, and I so love
that little attack
on my heart that never kills me
when you come in. When we sleep
something remains at attention, with
purely aesthetic ends. Kind of like those cacti
that don’t need anything other than an okay
from the upper classes to be beautiful. Otherwise
they’re aridity, pain, hell. An insomnia
like the sex with love and that slight
resentment we feel when we see
each other wanting
to form a single skin. You’d like to leap
across the shadow
our love casts on the carpet, you’d like to move
on to the dirt road you’re drawn to in your hypnoid
states, but Freud is out
of fashion, and your parallel agenda
is a conscious act. When we ask for
more, it’s always more
femininity. When we’re done
your eyes become slits like an immigrant’s.
I don’t want that account in my name,
I want an extension, someone to take over
my debts. My finances are weak,
as only as Andorra la Vella sounds.
Nobody wants a person with a big
tragedy in their office.
You text quick
as a kid.
I’m more and more removed
from the architecture and the experience
of being a girlfriend. We looked at new houses
making believe we were in an American
film about what could happen
within these four walls—
but there’s anti-us trafficking.
One time you told me I wasn’t good
at the little things. Last night I found out
someone was going to die.
I told someone over the phone,
I said, You have to live your life.
But what is living your life?
Death is the most appealing
thing in the world, a field that magnetizes
sex and food.
I spent the whole afternoon saying
I’m like this I’m like that
or I’m really like this, too, a solo
flight, capable incapable
of sticking to the pact.
I don’t believe in people who say
I’m really this really that.
Words are totem
because I’m afraid of them.
They fall across the sky of my unconscious
like shooting stars conveying portents
of fortune or misfortune,
spurring on that crazy horse
of thought.
That’s what I’m afraid of. If your fear
is of the future, what will your fear be
when the future arrives?

* *

 Image: Vera Rosemberg

MariaschMarina Mariasch was born in Buenos Aires. She studied Literature at the UBA and Sociology of Culture at UNSAM. Her poetry collections include coming attractions (1997), XXX (2001) and tigre y león (2005). In 2009, el zig zag de las instituciones received the support of the Fondo Metropolitano de las Artes. En 2011, she published her first novel, El matrimonio.
hsfJennifer Croft is the recipient of Fulbright, PEN, and National Endowment for the Arts grants, as well as the Michael Henry Heim Prize, and her translations from Polish, Spanish, and Ukrainian have appeared in The New York Times, n+1, Electric Literature, BOMB, Guernica, The New Republic and elsewhere. She holds a PhD from Northwestern University and an MFA from the University of Iowa. She is a Founding Editor of The Buenos Aires Review. Read illustrated chapters of her novel—in a wide range of languages—at

Published on July 16th of 2013 in Poetry.

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