EL DESAHUCIO : The Poetry of David Rosenmann-Taub

The musing begins with an unscrolling napkin. Into a parchment street. With paper trees. Lined up in front of a pictureframe house. Of cardboard rooms. Full of cardboard cupboards. A steel gray mantlepiece. A textured sidetable. With a dual photoframe. Father fits into one side. Son inside the other square. A bookrack of black & white. A tricycle loiters before it. In spectral moonlight. In a bony white masquerade that covers all face. The face of a pantomimer. The tricycle rolls towards a drooling bed. Bed of an infant. Covered by a sheet with mudstained stripes. Made in haste by a sharp-cut woodpencil. And side by side. Fragmented palms. Branching palms strike on the piano reeds. In some green frenzy. In a repeatability constantly cadenced. Constantly varying accurate errors in their best proportions. Is this Echaurren ?

May the mud of my footsteps
not mar your sidewalks,
Echaurren, rocky cliff,
Echaurren, scarlet street.


Echaurren, defunct street
Echaurren, sleepwalking street.
From the son's entrails:
"Father, why do you go barefoot?"
From the father's absence:
"Son, its late, quicken your step."
And my torture implores you
and you run after me imploring.

the mud of my footsteps
never achieves greenness
the mud of my footsteps
never reaches greenness.

This never reaching greenness forms the backbone of a central lament that is able to return David Rosenmann-Taub's poetry a certain foliage of itself. Perhaps the finest Chilean poet since Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral, Rosenmann-Taub has lived in the United States for the past several decades in what one might otherwise call “exile”. It remains unclear to me at this time if his move to the US was to seek political asylum, but there is avid proof no doubt of his reluctance to promote his own work - poetry and music.

As the demonizing of Nerudaic tropes continues to expedite innovative poetry against many State run poetry programs, premios and funding agencies in all of the Espanolic world, there are other more living literary establishments to combat. Nicanor Parra, for example. The anti-poet who had wittingly observed, "America, where liberty is a statue" is no less statutory today than any of Latin America's great literary establishments. Young writers continue to hold him partially responsible for the isolated fates of poets like Gonzalo Rojas and David Rosenmann-Taub.

The lost home of Echaurren had led to many subsequent un-hope’s (desa-hucio). The eviction had begun to lose impermanence. The poem "El Desahucio" accentuates that concern –


The landlord of the apartment building
- I've occupied a midsize unit,
on the second floor,
for such a long time
that I don't remember
how long -
extremely early.
I didn't know him.
He gave each of us tenants
different reasons
for our having to leave.
I went to buy the newspaper
- "Your Pasquinade".
Looking for the rentals section
I happened to see the date: the month and the day
were right, but, what an error, the year...
I understood.

I did not choose to be. Nor did I choose to be I. I inhabit a comfortable uncomfortable prison from which I cannot escape. I have just been informed that I must leave it. I do not own my apartment - my self: I rent it. I pay for what is loaned, with my life. I did not choose to enter temporal space. I did not choose to become part of matter (which is energy) in temporal space (also energy).
On this day, the irrevocable happens: the eviction: the end, here, of hope. I have to give back everything: blood, flesh, bones, hindrances, fingernails, attachments, terrors, the ability to live and to die, the ability to think and to think about myself, the very ability to know that I am on loan. Even to commit suicide would be to destroy something that does not belong to me, with a will that does not belong to me, using a faculty that I cannot call my own. My death is no more mine than my birth.
I don't belong to myself! The owner - the landlord - is demanding I return the loaned I.

Del edificio (of the building) ..../ .../ .../ ..../ .../ el propietario (the landlord): This hyperbaton, wrenching the sentence out of its normal order, thrusts the idea of belonging to the forefront.

The samples of David Rosenmann-Taub's poetry presented above come from a selected portfolio gifted to me recently by the Corda foundation of New York City - a non-profit foundation formed to preserve and promote the work of the poet. They also have a website for the poet at www.davidrosenmann-taub.com Sincere thanks will go to younger poets Subhro Bandopadhyay (India) and Violeta Medina (Chile) for making the connection possible. The brief introduction of this pithy note received visual resonance from Elemental Reflections - a succulent film poetry by Alexis Moreno Burgos based on and inspired by the work of David Rosenmann-Taub.