Poems by José Muchnik

বাংলা English

Nothing was True

Don’t worry

nothing was true

nor waters agonizing
day to day

nor air rarefying
minute to minute

nor birds falling
because clouds hadn’t
wings to share with them

Don’t worry

nothing was true

nor burning ships
invented by forests
to cry for help

nor whales that lost
her lightest illusions
to drown hopeless

nor massacres sprouted
like blood vines
to humankind shame

Don’t worry
this was just a sketch

the Gods were testing
the shapes of the world

May be

The mud on the rib
did it get too thick?

The ribs very sharp
turned into hate?

Or distracted angels
Didn’t see the monsters arrive?

I don’t know

Does anyone guess
sources of failure?


we have to imagine
different inks and pens
to give more tenderness
to the next trial

 (From “Poetic calendar 2000”)
 Translated from spanish (Argentine) to english by the author) 

Before and After

Before and after
the end of the century

There will be
those who understand reality

traffic lights
benefits between two interview

And those who are lost in the city
between buildings supported
with wires tied in the clouds

Before and after
there will be those who understand reality
locks to store the soup

And those who listen trees
preaching the message
despite the tiles


you have to live in reality

Have money to navigate
between the shores of cheating

have nails to heal
the sickest chairs

have clocks to measure
the distance between two umbrellas

You have to live in reality
because those who see

in the paper money window
a squeezed life

those who listen

chairs talking
to share their misfortunes

those who know

that watches are umbrellas
to protect us from others storms

those who feel

in stray dogs
an omen in the open sky

those who invent

disheveled brooms
to display analogies
Those who don’t see reality
as it should be

With her acute triangles
and her limited areas

Her possessive pronouns
and her traffic rules

Those who don’t see reality
as it should be
as she is paid
as she is sold

can be severely punished
to lose sanity forever

and wake up in a different dream.

 (From “Poetic calendar 2000”)
 Translated from spanish (Argentine) to english by the author) 
Jose Muchnik
   José Muchnik (josemuchnik@gmail.com), Poet and anthropologist, born on November 2nd, 1945 in a hardware store of Boedo, a district of Buenos Aires-Argentina, the city where his parents, Russian immigrants in these lands, had put down roots. His childhood took place among barrels of plaster and drums of fuel, among migrants waves of diverse latitudes which looked for a place of peace to live. Thirty years later, with the arrival of the military dictatorship, he emigrated in his turn. He lives in France since 1976, realizes a doctorate in anthropology in the « École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales» of Paris. He specialized in the study of local food cultures, going through diverse country of Africa, Asia and Latin America. He published numerous books of poetry, novels, anthropological works. As part of his work he has taken numerous photographs, most of which have not yet been exploited, although he made several photographic exhibitions: at UNESCO (Paris), in the FNAC of Montpellier France, in the house of poetry in Havana Cuba.      Founding member of the Franco-Argentine group “Travesías Poéticas”, of the “Collectif Poétique Effraction: Poètes des cinq continents”, of the group “Crue Poétique”, in France. Permanent contributor to the newspaper “Desde Boedo”, to the cultural newspaper "Generación Abierta", of Buenos Aires, and to the poetry review “Souffles” of Montpellier. Organizer of numerous poetic manifestations in Paris and musical poetic shows associating tango and poetry.      Last Publications :      “Sefikill (Serial FInancial KIllers), words for the new millennium”, 2014, poems and stories, Spanish, ed. CICCUS, Buenos Aires.   “Poetic critique of mathematical reason”, 2015, poems, bilingual Spanish-French, Ed. L’Harmattan France.  “Geriatrikón”, 2017, novel, Spanish, ed. CICCUS, Buenos Aires.  “Torns: exiles, duels, walls”, 2018, poems and stories, Spanish, ed. CICCUS, Buenos Aires.  “Chant pour Paris”, 2019, French, ed. Unicité, France  “Di-amants”, 2020, ed. CICCUS, Buenos Aires.  “Quarantine poems, 2020 ed. CICCUS, Buenos Aires.  “Déchirures ”, 2020, French, ed. Unicité, France           

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