Category: Cultura

Armenian Genocide, a poem by David Garyan published in Interlitq

This poem previously appeared in Volume 7 of The American Journal of Poetry (July 1st, 2019).

Please click here read the story behind the initiative to republish all my work lost with the disappearance of The American Journal of Poetry.


Daniel, this holocaust is for you.
Let me burn your blank pages,
soak the ashes in history’s blood—
just to darken it.
What’s your shade of red?
Do you know its price?
Your rubies aren’t ruby enough.
The government gods
want more holocausts—
just to be appeased.
Let your books go to the fire,
along with all Armenian bodies—
is that enough works cited?
Maybe then regimes
would say “genocide,”
and Turkey could apologize—
at last … no one’s left
to demand redress,
or even an apology.
This is the only holocaust I can offer;
it’s mine and it’s not mine.

I would throw our legends
into Ծիծեռնակաբերդ—
I would set all our churches on fire,
spoil our monuments
in the blaze as a holocaust,
just to bring everyone back.
What have we done to anger the gods?
What have we done to deserve this?
And yet all will be well.
People and land are gone,
but we stood at Sardarabad.
We’re still here.
Let me tell you about those
who were with you—
some had no country then;
Slovakia and the Czech Republic
are less than 30 years old,
and they haven’t forgotten.
I’m now 31, the age when you died,
and death doesn’t scare me yet,
but when your captors raised knives,
you heard hope—
it was escaping like hummingbirds
in your lungs trying to pierce their way out.
How did you steal enough air
to express your torture,
much less breathe?
Uruguay first heard your cries,
then Cyprus, Argentina, Russia,
Greece, Canada, Lebanon, Belgium, France,
Italy, Vatican City, Switzerland, the Netherlands,
Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Venezuela,
Chile, Sweden, Bolivia, Austria, Brazil,
Syria, Paraguay, Luxembourg, Bulgaria,
and, of course, Armenia
never stopped listening.
More people will hear you.
More people will come.
Raphael Lemkin took the last breath
of each victim to beget
the term “genocide.”
This word used to be our word,
and, sadly, it no longer is;
others have died to breathe life
into this name and I wish
things were different.
The world is less innocent
with “genocide” in it.
Everyone can hear
your last breath,
but many fear repeating
what they heard:


Your final gasp is my holocaust.
Forgive me. My paper is just paper,
but this ink will reach
your grave.
Tell me—is revenge
a good thing if it feels good?
Those behind our suffering
were sentenced to death,
but they all escaped justice.
We put down
the main architects
of our plight,
and Europe’s courts
have absolved us,
but even European courts
can’t make God preside over them—
I ask that you pray
for our race when we praise
the revenge of our brothers.
Like wind scattering a torn book,
the genocide has strewn
survivors across the world.
Much of the pain
can no longer be felt,
only understood—
time has lulled
the red ink to black.
I won’t let
years and statistics
keep your blood from drying.
I won’t let wise ears
of old history
go deaf to your cries.
The poet isn’t the historian of facts.
You’re the archivist
of laughter and tears.
Inside your pen were voices
from near and distant futures.
The bard is a chronicler,
but he has hemophilia;
those who injure him
incur torment—
they must endure
the endless howls of his ink;
to kill poets is to kill one’s self—
read lines enter
the murderer’s nation
and speak to the soil—
forcing honest crops to grow there.
Denial—prisons without walls or guards
surrounded by minefields.
Denial—truth that wears gloves
when handling ethics.
Denial—hospitals that only
admit healthy people.
Denial—palm trees of regret
planted deep in the desert—
no one can reach
their dates of apology.
Denial marks moveable
feasts on calendars without numbers.
Denial blindfolds justice—
just to let killers escape.
Denial hangs a noose
in cells of the innocent.
Denial arrests the blameless,
severs their tongue and hands,
then says: “All are free to acquit
themselves of stealing and slander.”
Still, the pens we left
were picked up,
carried by righteous palms,
which saved the books
of our history;
foreign tongues tasted the lies
and stopped them like circles
trapped in a circle.
Daniel, your name
has erased the word “denial”
from the Murder Dictionary;
its authors now trudge deserts
of reason to hide from your face;
they have no ink to quench
their lexicons of shame.
The culprit lies,
claiming Armenians
were the enemy.
Have you seen such enemies
die without weapons?

The sinner boasts, claiming Armenians
were dangerous—the desert marches
served as brief transfers.
Did you know people
must be raped and starved
on long walks to a new home?

The crook twists, claiming Armenians
were the real killers.
Have you seen genocide
memorials in foreign countries
honoring murderers?

The conniver acts, claiming Armenians
and Turks were killing each other.
Have you seen a more one-sided defeat?
Can unarmed armies
lose wars this badly?

The thief hides, claiming Armenians
were better off,
and this led to jealousy.
Could it be true?
Maybe diplomas and wealth
are cause for genocide:

“The Armenians were better educated and wealthier than most Turks and because of that were envied and hated, so much so that the government instituted a program of ethnic cleansing. The Turks had had practice runs before. Between 1894 and 1896, 200,000 Armenians were massacred by soldiers and armed mobs.”
The Australian, “Geoffrey Robertson puts the case against Turkey for 1915 Armenian genocide” (2015)

Those are the accusations.
Forgive me once more.
I shouldn’t have refuted
claims that don’t deserve
our ink, or even attention,
but like revenge—
what can be wrong
often feels good.
Still, as victims,
we can’t take our red
bed sheets and pillows—
forcing the innocent
to sleep on them;
they need peace
as much as we do.
We can’t forget
the righteous;
only denial and murder
makes one a menace—
not birth alone.
Your life was a garden
where bodies were buried.
Your death is a graveyard
where strangers
leave the dead flowers.
I tried taking your tears
off this page by holding
the paper up to the sun,
but the words never dried.
Never mind.
I’ll stop writing this poem
when your life gives me one
metaphor for happiness.
You haven’t left us—
we’re archaeologists of echoes.
The desert’s breath
still speaks your name.
How can I find truth
in archives and books—
their voice is distorted
by those who keep them?
Even the white gloves
I must wear can’t silence
the racket of cities.
The poet’s truth sounds true
at first sound.
I ask you again:
What price is your red shade?
Is it higher on earth than in heaven?
They want too much for it here.
They need to measure
the pH of your blood—
perhaps it was too acidic.
They’d like to research
how far you walked
to your death—
if you didn’t walk at all,
or only very little,
you should be thankful
for the killer’s kindness.
They want to debate—
were you given
something to eat
on your death march?
Even crumbs
from a guilty hand can wipe
the blood away from its history.
They crave to count
the bodies again—
the death toll was inflated,
and statistics are very important:
One, two, three,
four, five, six, seven,
eight, nine, ten, eleven,
twelve, thirteen, fourteen,
fifteen, sixteen, seventeen,
eighteen, nineteen, twenty,
21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27,
28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34,
if less than a million died,
this woman becomes a doctor
of history and data.

Those who deny,
kill the victims’ memories—
they inherit the crimes
of their ancestors.
Rest here, friend; the worst is over.
Science says you can’t
breathe underwater;
it says most lungs
can stop textbook drowning
for a minute or so;
after that the brain
turns to “D” in its wordbook—
it goes down
the terms until its own
inventions can’t rescue you.
But how is that true?
Victims can breathe
under innocent blood.

How else can God keep
a race from perishing?
Why else have history’s
sluggish eyes
never witnessed
a final genocide?
Its pages are honest,
but they can only be honest
with what they’ve seen.
Geschichte is a guest who must describe
a party where thousands
have gathered—without the time
to shake everyone’s hand.
The tongues of foreign pens
tasted our blood
and spoke the word “genocide.”
The fingers of foreign brushes
forced guilt to open its fist.
The hands of foreign lenses
led eyes to the bodies
and made them discover;
yet history had no time
to meet everyone.
Too many songs
have been orphaned in the wind’s ears.
Too much laughter has been shelved
in the library without windows.
Too much anger has traveled
inside the unaddressed envelope.
Too much hope glows
in the stained glass of lost churches.
Poets can speak the wind’s alphabet;
they can pound on doors
of libraries without windows;
they can take blank envelopes
and address them to the fire;
they can bring light
to dark mornings,
but even we can’t make
old days see a new past.
We can only wonder:
How long could history
keep its eyes open
if it had to face
each dead child,
each raped woman?
We can only fathom:
When would the objective
voice of its pages
start shaking
if it had to find every body—
just to count it?
We can only picture:
Might its cold arms
finally give up
if sources had to lead
all corpses back
to their homes?
We can only imagine:
How much blood can it stomach
before the archives throw up
truth in disgust?

Again I ask:
How much for a bard’s blood?
History is the past’s shepherd,
but its flock has become too large—
it can no longer see till the end.
There’s not enough time
to notice small losses.
Poetry is the future’s steward,
yet it’s losing the fight against time;
it wants to save all lives,
but there’s not enough paper
to hide victims under blankets of verse.
You had no time to wait for art.
When they dragged
you to the forest,
you scratched
your lines of death on the bark—
all with bloody fingernails,
until you had no biology
left to write with.
The memories of trees
live the longest.
Even if their life is cut short,
some can sprout
new stems from their roots.
The history of blood
doesn’t exist in libraries;
the ashes of wisdom
we’ve planted in our archives
can’t absorb buried voices
and carry them to the leaves—
their roots
aren’t placed in the ground.
The history of blood
doesn’t have dates—
just the symbol for infinity.
Cruelty’s extent lies
in the number of prisons,
and how we treat women,
but that’s all false.
To measure
the volume of gore,
see how many new words
we need to define massacres:
pogrom, genocide, the Holocaust.
What’s next?
Can I be wrong about infinity?
Let “Holocaust” be the last
term for plight.
What’s the difference
between one death and ten million?
Tell me, Daniel.
History opens its eyes,
weighing loss with a scale;
poetry closes its eyes,
measuring with the heart.
The Library of Genocide
is built out of mirrors;
when the past enters,
it sees its reflection,
but the Library never tells
the biographer of blood
that all mirrors are two-way—
that bards are looking
in from the outside.
Only poets can interrogate history—
only poets can bring it to trial.
Their eyes are two flashes
of lightning striking a forest at night.
Their testimony is evidence
gathered by saints.
Your son was born
on the day of your death—
a welcome blessing,
but even the bard’s
house of language
doesn’t have space
to lodge these guests together.
Your wife wasn’t afraid
to name him “Haig,”
even when the tongue
of the killer’s blade
was after Armenian flesh.
The living can’t understand
the word “genocide.”
Only victims who spilled
their lives on page “G”
of the Blood Dictionary
know the true meaning—
this is a torment your offspring
weren’t forced to endure.
Poets know where
they must dig to build wells
that will raise tears
from the ground,
but they’d rather be asked
to do harder things—
speak with the frankness
of children who are good
storytellers, but poor liars.
All kids
know what blood is,
even if they can’t say
it has an average pH of 7.40
and holds 4.2 to 6.1 million erythrocytes.
All kids
can recognize the guise of genocide,
even if it wears the friendly face
of a low number.

Bards lie—
but only like youngsters;
they steal truth from the blood jar,
but never clean their mouths.
They guide archaeologists
to buried graveyards—
no pen stops digging
when hands are cut off.
Yet, we’d rather be asked
to do harder things,
like visit decency’s drying cement
and write “forgiveness”—
before it’s too late.
If we demand with axes,
the tree of denial won’t yield
apology’s ripe fruits—
we must save the roots
after picking the red grapes.
We’re geographers who’ve lost
our homes—the land
we must study
no longer bears our names,
but even this isn’t hopeless;
it’s easier to leave
regret’s shore with torn canvases.
Rage will rage at the avalanche,
even from its own summit.
Peace will find peace in all temples.
We create our ink
like portrait painters
in diverse lands,
but each voice
has its complexion.
We can see hope
inside the stadium where love
is always the visiting team.
We’d rather answer prayers
than use dog ears
to hear faraway trouble.
We’d rather stop history from bleeding
than use a shark’s nose
to find distant blood.
We’d rather get rid of darkness
than use owl eyes
to record dark crimes.
We’d rather pave a safe
road to one village
than divine every way
leading to tyranny.
We’d rather keep one person from drowning
than find the wreckage of tragedy.
You sang quietly
in life’s rear procession;
those at the front never noticed,
until history went forward
and told us you’re gone.
They made you give up the bard
before they made you give up the ghost—
every last drop of ink,
all the blank papers.
You weren’t supposed
to die as a poet—
somehow you did.
What did you manage to hide
from your captors?
Those who craft verse
get only thin veils to conceal it.
How did you smuggle your bard
out from the prison called fate?
Your lines didn’t scare them—
only one thing did:
Letting history witness
your death and having it alter
the parade of their crimes.
With a priest, your wife
retrieved The Song of the Bread,
waiting to be finished.
All it took was a bribe—
this shows how much
they feared your words,
which spoke of farmers and fields:

“It’s the sower. He is standing tall and stout
in the sunset’s rays which are like flowing gold;
before his feet are the fields of the fatherland
spreading their unlimited nakedness.”

Who can be an enemy to that?
Does this make you a traitor?

“I’m harvesting alone tonight;
my love has a love.
My pale scythe, a slice of light
from the full moon above.

I walk through dark furrows,
head and feet bare.
She’s wearing a bridal veil,
I wear the wind on my hair.

I cut through the waving wheat.
Her hair is a lake.
I shear and bind my grain
while a mourning dove wakes.”

Who, then, can kill
poets as poets?
The death of one rhyme is a holocaust.
Genocide—quilts stitched
out of all blood types.
filled with victims’ ashes.
presented to Hades.
Genocide—the devil’s red pen
correcting utopian poems.
Genocide—Trojan horses
entering towns without walls.
that always come out to 0
when people are added.
who think the word “suffering”
only exists in their language.
Genocide shoots millions
of family photos—
frames them blank side facing the glass,
then hangs each in the Museum of Hate.
Historians should ask:
What do poets call genocide?
Really? What does it matter?
If we write “death
is a room full of clocks
that only work in the darkness,”
critics will say: “You’re no expert.
And you’ve never been to this room.”
We can imagine what we’ve seen,
but we can’t see what we haven’t seen.
This is my genocide and it isn’t.

I’m trying to grasp your fire
by walking barefoot
on the coals of our past.
Yet that’s impossible—
facts of time move ahead …
… sympathy’s warmth stays behind.
With each year that departs,
genocide’s heirs must go
deeper into history’s desert—
just to bring victims some empathy.
Time has eyes
in the back of its head,
but it never opens
them when surging forward.
Time has always been
the butcher’s best lawyer.
Time only buys fresh blood
at the Genocide Store;
it packs new slaughter
and stamps the good—
best before next election;
time never feels well
if history invites it
but doesn’t serve veal
100 years is enough—
let’s feast as one
without one apology.
But we won’t let years
or even seconds
become evidence.

Centuries won’t be long enough
for killers to clean
the guilt off their words—
sell them to the world
as “brand new.”
Seconds will be too long
for the past to blink.
We’ll plant the patience
of Sequoias in our kids.
We’ll pull the weeds
from their gardens of empathy.
We’ll teach them the brain
surgeon’s sobriety—
they won’t lack
the cultivation
of winemakers.
They’ll learn harmony
from the silence of monks,
and silence from books that spout lies.
We won’t build windmills underground
just to placate cross winds.
Our breath will keep turning
pages of tomorrow’s diary.
I hear your words:

“There’s a nation on my writing table—
an ancient nation speaking to me
from this soil where dawn was born.”

We have poets willing
to plow the earth;
wine-making priests,
teachers willing to learn …
… plowing, praying, and winemaking,
librarians letting infants
cry among old books;
we have doctors
helping bury our dead,
soldiers who sing
about triumph and loss,
painters who paint
those with no name,
sculptors who sculpt
those with no fame.
How did you know this soil
was fertilized with our blood?

“Perhaps this rust-red color
hasn’t been bestowed by nature—
a sponge for wounds,
this soil drank from life, from sunlight,
and, living defenselessly, it turned red,
becoming Armenian soil.”

We’ll grow cherries
and pomegranates
until the ground dies of thirst.
We won’t fear spilling
red wine before it becomes
Christ’s blood.
Our desire is patient—like clocks
that seduce cognac;
our patience is fleeting, like thousands
of church candles lit at the same time.
Now I feel as you do:

“The chords of my nerves shiver
with a trembling that furrows
the mind to wider creative paths
than the sun-soaked winds of spring can.
And all my senses are woken up
by lips still calling for vengeance
and souls still red with wounds.”

We shall seek revenge,
but music will make
the sound of our guns.
We’ll be first to draw red,
but the shade will flow
from our Ararat Scales,
not from enemy pain.
Our poets have cartridges
filled with the past.
Revenge is a battle
that must be won without war.
The Library of Genocide
may invite killers inside,
but it mustn’t deny
them the exit to log
guilt in its own archives.
We have to fight
with antique guns until history
surrenders its centuries of apathy.
Wrath must be a bomb
that explodes when the timer
has counted to infinity.
Revenge should be blunt—
like swords owned
by heroes who’ve lost,
but care not for revenge.
Foes should be free
to deny until they find
their humanity lost;
such wars can be won.
Sharpened pens,
brushes dipped in read history—
both can cross enemy borders
without crossing their land.
My heart is a children’s library
next to a graveyard—
it has no space
for any more bodies.
Genocide is a million dead figures
of speech trying to grow crimson
clichés on forget-me fields—
yet poetry is a forget-me-not.

“Never again.” “We shall never forget.”
“Justice.” “We demand recognition.”
Unlike nations,
verse has no space
for clichés in its canons,
nor red on its flags.
We keep reading History’s
unfinished epic, Pages of Blood,
which not even Time
has the time to complete—
only humanity’s death can finish it.
I’m tired of asking:
How much for a poet’s gore?
Your heart—
a white hummingbird
cut open at night.
Your eyes—
two black panthers
caught in a snowstorm.
Your voice—
the howl of a wolf caged in a theater.
Your smile—
a bridge joining two nations at war.
Your verse—
taxi drivers
taking scenic routes,
never charging extra.
I won’t describe the shade of your red—
let people read for themselves.
The death of one person is a genocide
if you kill the only one like him.
Who, then, is the same as someone else?

We don’t want numbers.
We want to count on truth.
Only final genocides
merit pity—we want a future.
Lost homes, lost territories,
land as concession for peace—
still some claim our nation
has too much space on the map.

Invaders have passed;
the soil is a passport stamped
by a motley of fingerprints.
We never had Alexander’s empire,
America’s dreams,
China’s silk,
or Caesar,
but the Silk Road was there,
and Romans once too.
Alexander’s armies came.
Jamestown had an Armenian in 1618.
This is our scent—
a cellar full of old
books that haven’t been read;
wine forgotten
in a barrel;
a pond where mosquitos
are never disturbed;
a loud waterfall
still undiscovered;
the descent from an unclimbed mountain.
Armenia, why don’t you go away?
Just stop demanding.
We don’t want your spoiled wine—
your antibodies drying
in the desert for years.
Britain won’t dip its hands
in your mosquito pond.
Your pain is too loud,
but also too remote.
For God’s sake, we hear you,
and we’d like to reach out,
but we’re not willing
to step over “good” fences—
though the red paint is yours:

“HMG is open to criticism in terms of the ethical dimension. But given the importance of our relations (political, strategic and commercial) with Turkey, and that recognising the genocide would provide no practical benefit to the UK or the few survivors of the killings still alive today, nor would it help a rapprochement between Armenia and Turkey, the current line is the only feasible option.”
—House of Lords Debate (1999)

“The Foreign Office documents include advice in 1995 to the then Tory foreign minister, Douglas Hogg, that he should refuse to attend a memorial service for the victims, and attempts to encourage the idea that historians were in disagreement over the facts. The government refused to include the Armenian massacres as part of holocaust memorial day.”
The Guardian, “Britain accused of ‘genocide denial’ over Armenia” (2009)

“Finally, in October 2007, when the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted a resolution acknowledging the Armenian Genocide, the Foreign Office wrote an alarming memorandum, expressing concern that ‘the Armenian diaspora worldwide lobbying machine’ would now ‘go into overdrive!’”
Huffington Post, “Internal Documents Reveal UK Officials Misled Parliament on Armenian Genocide” (2010)

“Genocide scholarship is one thing that the FCO have never been interested in applying to an issue they wish would go away. There is no reference in the papers to the 2007 resolution of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, which resolved that ‘the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the empire between 1914-23 constituted a genocide against Armenians and the Assyrians and Pontian and Anatolian Greeks’. The FCO merely evinces concerns that the US House of Foreign Affairs Committee had resolved to recognize the events as genocide: as a result, ‘we can also expect the Armenian Diaspora worldwide lobbying machine to go into overdrive’. This is hardly the language of an impartial enquirer: the FCO had become a rather cynical adversary of the truth, or at least of a Foreign Minister ever uttering it.”
—Geoffrey Robertson QC, An Inconvenient Genocide (2014)

“The British government has a strong track record in sophistry. Since Turkey became a strategic partner in the Nineties, the Foreign Office has been honing a set of cod-legal arguments designed to deceive Parliament – and by extension the electorate – into believing that the term ‘genocide’ is not appropriate in this case. Its current position is that it will only use the label if an international tribunal has already done so. This is a nimble legal dodge, which rules out recognising almost every genocide in history.”
The Independent, “It’s pure sophistry that stops Britain recognising the Armenian genocide” (2015)

Yet, none of this is Britain;
for us it will always be
Benjamin Whitaker.
One person’s voice
can be greater than
the honored crowd’s silence.
What, then, is a life worth?
Could we define genocide
if war pushes us to the brink—
when there won’t be millions
to kill without shame?
Is the price of plasma
really based on supply and demand?
I ask you again:
What’s the difference
between one death and ten million?
Is it 1 and 10,000,000?
Tell me the numbers
don’t warrant a genocide.
Say the nature
isn’t systematic.
The math doesn’t
add up to a holocaust.
Not enough torture,
deportation, and rape.
Can’t try under Article 7
of the Rome Statute.
How long will lawmakers play
Genocide hide-and-seek?
They talk like children—
they suffer like grownups.
What else can we do?
No matter where we are,
we carry pieces of you:

“On my desk is a gift,
a handful of soil on a plate
from the fields of my fatherland.
The giver thought he gave his heart,
but didn’t know he was offering
the hearts of his forefathers as well.”

Mapmakers today never
give us much time,
but there’s still enough
soil to give every
denier a handful—
make them see its color;
they demand historical proof …
… we’ll hand them physical evidence.
Our heart is an immigrant
transplanted from its body.
We’ve built churches
in all parts of the world,
saved some back home,
died in foreign wars,
and enriched other cultures.
We’ve become Arméniens de France,
Armenian Americans, Armeense Nederlanders,
Российские Армяне, Αρμένιοι της Κύπρου,
Schweizerische Armenier, armênio-brasileiros,
We’ll thank the noble,
while never forgetting
our հայկական ժառանգությունը.

We’re not the prism of diaspora—
merely light going in as one nation,
and leaving as new rays.
Enemies bring defeat,
yet the language won’t fall—
reshaped by the wind’s
voice that sings
it across the world.
We’re violins crafted back home,
yet the bows that touch
us have distinct strands of hair.
Abroad, our homes search for home—
too often like sharps and flats needing
space between B and C, or E and F.

Our background can’t meet
us head-on as we walk away
from it on one-way streets;
we can gaze back and hope
our past is able to follow
at the speed we’re retreating.
Many return to the homeland as tourists—
no longer able to grasp
their first culture;
some leave full of fire,
eager to return—
only as anthropologists;
others come back let down—
they must bury memories
that haven’t died recently.
Paron Diaspora is a paper
from the old country
gone out of print.
He remembers his land
like headlines without dates.
Paron Diaspora is a sculptor
who’s cast as the outcast.
Paron Diaspora opens his
restaurants on big streets,
but the taste is too distant for locals.
Paron Diaspora walks around towns,
praising his land’s greatness—
all in perfect accent—
sometimes Southern, sometimes Boston,
sometimes Midwestern, sometimes New York.
Worry not, Daniel,
about the heart of the race;
we need unique paths
to build more roads home.
Paron Diaspora won’t forget you.
When pens won’t write,
our voice will compose;
if voices shall fail,
great minds will change key.
Enemies count on human
memory’s limits.
They say: When survivors die,
the need to remember their pain
will perish as well.
We say: We’ve buried their bodies,
but not their words.
They say: When the new
generation comes,
they’ll forgive a bit more.
We say: We’ll keep yelling in front
of the house where denial tries to sleep.
They say: When that generation goes,
it’ll be quiet—we can sleep,
at last, without guilt.
We say: Poets will turn
our shouts into songs, then whisper
them to kids falling asleep.

Remembrance is a fortress
that has never fallen.
These are my memories:
David Davtyan, with his family.
There were 62 relatives
trying to escape.
Only 4 survived—
one of them his father, Mirijan.

(My great-great grandfather, Mirijan, in 1959. He escaped conscription into the Ottoman Army, which, during the genocide, had less to do with military service for Armenians, and more to do with the removal of able-bodied men from that population. His first wife, Rebecca, died in Iraq on a death march. He eventually ended up in Bulgaria, where the previous photo of my great-grandfather and his family was taken.)

Destroying people’s bodies
is genocide’s flesh and blood—
wrecking their past
is its very soul.
When the sharpening stone
of our past has worn out,
we’ll go to its gravestone—
dig up the echoes.
Denial has weapons?
Good. They only fire backwards.
We hear your voice:

“And I sang: ‘fight to the end.’
My pen is a burnt cigar—
an offering for you;
be brave, Armenian warriors—
I sang revenge and my voice blew
the ashes of my odes your way.”

We’ll write
the work you never
could start.
No bard can die
if one elegist
remains to keep him alive.
The writer’s time moves straight.
Though he walks to the end,
his life is a clock turned
by the hands of his readers.
Shivers, The Heart of the Race,
Pagan Songs, The Song of the Bread

we have all your books;
they won’t be lost now.
I can see your face only
on the pages,
but your voice
is all around me:

“Be naked like the poet’s mood,
for the pagan is suffering
in your unconscious,
and he won’t hurt you.”

Our bards can
witness without seeing,
hear without listening,
feel without touching,
smell without breathing,
and try without eating.
Let the denier say he can’t taste
our bitterness … time
has taken its flavor—
we’ll grant him a dog’s tongue;
let the denier say he can’t smell
our blood … the desert
has dried it—
we’ll grant him a wolf’s nose;
let the denier say he can’t feel
our pain … our children’s
skin is young and has healed—
we’ll grant him a shaman’s hands;
let the denier say he can’t hear
our cries … the wind
has taken and lost them—
we’ll grant him a cat’s ears;
let the denier say he can’t see
our past … the nights of time
have made it obscure;
we’ll grant him owl eyes;
let the denier say he can’t understand
why we speak to the dead—
we’ll grant him the eyes of a psychic.
We’re still with you:

“Tomorrow come to my grave;
as bread, I’ll place my poet’s
heart into your bag.
So long as your grief lives,
my poet’s heart will be your blood,
and the blood of your orphans.
Hungry One, come to the graveyard tomorrow!”

Perhaps I should ask again.
What are you asking
for a poet’s blood?
What’s the value if it can feed
a whole nation?
The strongest weapon
is a question no one can answer.
I’ll wield it even after
finishing this poem.
They want history?
We’ll give them poetry from the past.

They want to count the bodies?
We’ll give them a thousand abacuses
made from the victims’ bones.

Do I insult Turkishness
if I ask them to read our red poetry?
Let history decide.
Do I insult Turkishness
if I present them with those abacuses
and ask them to count the bodies?
Let history decide.

They want the past?
We want it too.
They want to juggle insults?
We’ll laugh at their circus.
They have Article 301?
We have Article 302—
“Yesterday’s Future.”
Are we to blame?
We offer to accept
the apology,
but they refuse to give it.
We can mend things—
tomorrow, even—
if they just hint
at the chance.
Still, they want to keep looking back;
they’re obsessed with the past;
they want history.
If they like it so much,
we should hand it to them:

“They have drawn from the fields the male population and thereby destroyed their agricultural communities. They have annihilated or displaced at least two thirds of the Armenian population and thereby deprived themselves of a very intelligent and useful race.”
—Henry Morgenthau writing to Robert Lansing, November 4, 1915, Constantinople, received by Mr. Lansing on December 1st
Morgenthau’s quote was obtained from the Office of the Historian, which is an office of the United States Department of State within the Bureau of Public Affairs, and it’s responsible for preparing and publishing the official historical documentary record of U.S. foreign policy.

“The dead from this wholesale attempt on the race are variously estimated from 500,000 to more than a million, the usual figure being about 800,000. Driven on foot under a fierce summer sun, robbed of their clothing and such petty articles as they carried, prodded by bayonet if they lagged; starvation, typhus, and dysentery left thousands dead by the trail side. The ration was a pound of bread every alternate day, which many did not receive, and later a small daily sprinkling of meal on the palm of the outstretched hand was the only food. Many perished from thirst or were killed as they attempted to slake thirst at the crossing of running streams.”
—U.S. Army Lieutenant General James Guthrie Harbord
General Harbord’s report comes from the U.S. Department of State Archives, presented by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge on April 13, 1920, and printed a week later by the Washington Government Printing Office.

“Any doubt that may have been expressed in previous reports as to the Government’s intentions in sending away the Armenians have been removed and any hope that may have been expressed as to the possibility of some of them surviving have been destroyed. It has been no secret that the plan was to destroy the Armenian race as a race, but the methods used have been more cold-blooded and barbarous, if not more effective, than I had first supposed.”
—Leslie A. Davis, American Consul in Harput
The consul’s testimony appears in the U.S. National Archives, doc. NA/RG59/867.4016/269

“The murder of Armenians has become almost a sport, and one Turkish lady passing one of these caravans, and thinking she too would relish killing an Armenian, on the guards’ invitation took out a revolver and shot the first poor wretch she saw. The whole policy of extermination transcends one’s capacity for indignation. It has been systematic in its atrocious cruelty, even to the extent of throwing blame for the murders on the Kurds, who are instigated by the Government to lie in wait in order to kill and pillage. Its horrors would be unbelievable if less universally attested. For scientific cruelty and butchery it remains without precedent. The Turks have willfully destroyed the great source of economic wealth in their country. The persecution is madness, but one wonders when the day will come, and if it is close enough at hand still to save the few remnants of this wretched community.”
—Lewis Einstein, American Chargé d’Affaires in Constantinople
The diplomat’s account is taken from his book, Inside Constantinople: A Diplomatist’s Diary During the Dardanelles Expedition, April–September, 1915, published in 1918.

“Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it—and like too many other such persecutions of too many other peoples—the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.”
—U.S. President Ronald Reagan, April 22, 1981
The president’s statement was taken from the official website of the Reagan Library, and was given during Proclamation 4838 – Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust.

“Today we recall in sorrow the million and one-half Armenians who were tortured, starved, and butchered to death in the First Genocide of the Twentieth Century.”
—Monroe Freedman, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council Director
The director’s statement was also taken from the official website of the Reagan Library, and it comes from a speech given on April 24, 1980.

History, history, history.
Why do we need it?
Why do we care when
we want new stories?
Our past is all over—
it’s there for all to see.
There’s no harm in forgetting old news.
Look. You can find the records.
Deniers have lost the battle for yesterday—
now they’re fighting
to take our tomorrow.
The living grow older—
the dead maintain eternal youth.
We’re not afraid of antiquity;
the artists they hung
are younger than ever.
the pregnant women they killed
keep waiting to give birth;
the children they left in the desert
remain children—
still looking for water;
the Armenianness they stepped on,
has come back—
like desert sands
that settle after a storm.
The future is all we have—
it’s a white crane
that watches from above;
when its time has come,
the feathers carrying our past
will fall from the sky,
reminding those after us
we were here;
you must’ve known this happiness
with the birth of your children,
and I shall end my poem on it.



Everywhere Armenian Providence

Daniel Varoujan was 31
when he was killed.
31 years isn’t a long life,
but it’s a long time
to write poetry.


A Tribute to Franz Werfel and Vasily Grossman

“This book was conceived in March of the year 1929, during the course of a stay in Damascus. The miserable sight of maimed and famished-looking refugee children, working in a carpet factory, gave me the final impulse to snatch the incomprehensible destiny of the Armenian people from the Hell of all that had taken place.”
—Franz Werfel, preface to The Forty Days of Musa Dagh (1933)

(Franz Werfel with representatives of the French-Armenian community)


“Never in my life have I bowed to the ground; I have never prostrated before anyone. Now, however, I bow to the ground before the Armenian peasants who, during the merriment of a village wedding, spoke publicly about the agony of the Jewish nation under Hitler, about the death camps where Nazis murdered Jewish women and children. I bow to everyone who, silently, sadly, and solemnly, listened to these speeches.”
—Vasily Grossman, An Armenian Sketchbook (1962)

(Vasily Grossman, second from the right, with villagers from Tsakhkadzor in 1961)


Links to the Articles

“Geoffrey Robertson puts the case against Turkey for 1915 Armenian genocide”
Louis Nowra (JANUARY 3, 2015)

“Britain accused of ‘genocide denial’ over Armenia”
David Leigh (NOVEMBER 3, 2009)

“Internal Documents Reveal UK Officials Misled Parliament on Armenian Genocide”
Harut Sassounian (MARCH 18, 2010)

“It’s pure sophistry that stops Britain recognising the Armenian genocide”
Alex Dudok de Wit (APRIL 23, 2015)


Thank you to my brother, Arthur Ovanesian, for suggesting key edits and providing the idea for the epilogue.



About David Garyan

David Garyan has published three chapbooks with Main Street Rag, along with (DISS)INFORMATION, a full collection with the same publisher. He holds an MA and MFA from Cal State Long Beach, where he associated himself with the Stand Up Poets. He received a master’s degree in International Cooperation on Human Rights and Intercultural Heritage from the University of Bologna. He lives in Trento.

David Garyan’s Visual Poem “Italianarsi” Translated into Italian by Emilia (@the.misfit.polyglot)

David Garyan’s Poem “Italianarsi” Translated into Italian by Emilia (@the.misfit.polyglot)


Thank you so much to Emilia (@the.misfit.polyglot) for translating!


Original English Text


Walk slow.
Talk fast.

Drive fast.
Live slow.

With great people.
With bad bureaucracy.

Be true—
honesty is key.
Make good impressions—
bella figura must agree.

You’re late?
We’re flexible.
Cappuccinos after lunch?
You must not be Italian!

You make mistakes?
We forgive them.
Chicken on pasta?
Beyond redemption.

Be relaxed. Be informal …
… titles, status, and age
are vital.

On buses,
the young give
their seats to the old.
In life, they leave
Italy to find jobs.

Italians are masters of romance.
Birth rates are declining.

Italians are all about family.
Europe’s lowest marriage rate is in Italy.

Be kind—say permesso
when you must pass.
Be passive—form queues
however you want.

Improvise and innovate.
But don’t change tradition.

Don’t leave the house
with wet hair—
colpo d’aria,
but smoking …
… even near your kids,
is okay.

We’re open
and curious about you.
Best not bring foreign food
to our dinners.

Drink in moderation.
Don’t share your pizza.

Never break spaghetti,
even if no one’s looking.
If you see no cars,
cross on red,
and don’t stop
at stop signs—
some laws are meant
to be broken.

Italians are gentle,
Italians are kind—
Italians have the harshest
prisons in Europe (41-bis).

have no time
letting people cross.
have much time
staring at strangers.

Homes are very clean,
locals well-dressed—
you’ll often see both
on neglected streets.

There’s campanilismo—
pride for one’s town—
yet dialects are dying …
… it’s discouraged to speak them.

If you come to Italy,
you’ll love it right away,
but, in the end,
love is always hard.

About David Garyan

David Garyan has published three chapbooks with Main Street Rag, along with (DISS)INFORMATION, a full collection with the same publisher. He holds an MA and MFA from Cal State Long Beach, where he associated himself with the Stand Up Poets. He received a master’s degree in International Cooperation on Human Rights and Intercultural Heritage from the University of Bologna. He lives in Trento.

4) Tienda de abalorios: columna por María Mercedes Di Benedetto


Tienda de abalorios

por María Mercedes Di Benedetto


Se denomina abalorios a diversos tipos de elementos confeccionados en múltiples formas, materiales, colores, diseños y calidades. Las más de las veces, sirven sólo como ornamentación carente de valor. Así pretende ser mi columna en el prestigioso edificio cultural de Interlitq: una oferta de temas varios sin pretensiones filosóficas ni literarias, una simple tienda de abalorios y palabras.





How could you leave me? /  When I need to possess you / I hated you, I loved you too… (¿Cómo pudiste dejarme? / Cuando necesito poseerte  / Te odié. Te amé, también…)

En mi habitación de adolescente, la voz filosa y gutural de Kate Bush cortaba el aire desde el tocadiscos. Era un vinilo simple, que en la cara A llevaba el tema “Cumbres Borrascosas”, número uno en las listas musicales británicas durante cuatro semanas. Yo entonces tenía la misma edad que la cantante, quien había escrito el tema a los dieciocho años  impresionada por la lectura de la novela. Aquella canción fue mi primer contacto con esta historia oscura y terrible. La letra nombraba a los personajes protagónicos de la obra de Emily Brontë. Kate Bush gritaba más que cantaba, y su voz sonaba desgarradora, como si prestara su alarido a las gargantas de papel de Heathcliff y de Cathy.


Bad dreams in the night … / Heathcliff, it’s me, Cathy come home / I’m so cold, let me in-a-your window / Oh it gets dark, it gets lonely.. (Pesadillas en la noche…/ Heathcliff, soy yo, Cathy vuelve a casa  / Tengo tanto frío, permíteme acercarme a tu ventana  / Oh, se ha puesto tan oscuro, tan solitario…)

Mi segundo contacto con Cumbres Borrascosas fue la lectura de “Jane Eyre”, novela de Charlotte Brontë, hermana de Emily. Leyendo sus biografías, me conmovió, recuerdo, ese trágico karma familiar signado por la tuberculosis; el destino de los seis hermanos Brontë (cinco niñas y un varón), poblado de muertes encadenadas y a tan joven edad, me atraía y me intrigaba. Tampoco era usual que tres hermanas se dedicaran a la literatura, en una época en que al sexo femenino le estaban vedadas la mayoría de las ocupaciones profesionales y creativas. Así fui adentrándome poco a poco en sus vidas: Charlotte era alegre y extravertida; Anne era sumisa y dulce. Pero Emily, la joven autora de “Cumbres Borrascosas”, poseía un carácter hosco y poco demostrativo, casi como sus personajes.



I’m coming back love, cruel Heathcliff / My one dream, my only master  (Estoy volviendo, amor, cruel Heathcliff  / Mi único sueño, mi único dueño…)

Hechizada por el clima opresivo y  misterioso  de “Jane Eyre”, continué con gusto la tarea de develar los destinos de esas otras mansiones y de los personajes que las habitaban.

Recuerdo que lo primero que me atrapó de “Cumbres Borrascosas” fue que estaba escrita en primera persona… ¡era como si yo estuviese viéndolo todo con mis propios ojos!  El narrador, en la figura del inquilino Lockwood primero, y de la racional ama de llaves Nelly después, me llevaba de la mano, me introducía en la historia, me presentaba al poco sociable Sr. Heathcliff y me mostraba con colores, aromas y sonidos la entrecruzada geografía de Cumbres Borrascosas y de La Granja de los Tordos, con sus chimeneas, sus salones, sus escaleras tenebrosas, sus animales y su pantano.



Heathcliff, it’s me, Cathy come home / I’m so cold let me in-a-your window (Heathcliff, soy yo, Cathy vuelve a casa / Tengo tanto frío, permíteme acercarme a tu ventana)

Los personajes de esta novela, entrampados en sus pasiones desbordadas, han servido de inspiración a numerosas obras de teatro, a poemas, ballets y óperas.

Cumbres Borrascosas  fue llevada a la pantalla grande ya en tiempos del cine mudo en 1920, pero quizá la versión más recordada y valorada sea la dirigida por  William Wyler en 1939 protagonizada por Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier y David Niven.  A principios de los ‘50, Luis Buñuel brinda su  particular mirada sobre la obra en ‘Abismos de pasión’, y a él le siguieron otros cineastas en 1985, 1992 y en  2011. Incluso hay una versión japonesa de la historia: ‘Arashi ga Oka’, filmada en 1988 y ambientada en el Japón feudal.

En nuestro país existió un fenómeno masivo llamado radioteatro, ficciones radiales a veces troqueladas en capítulos y a veces ofrecidas en formato unitario, con historias que comenzaban y terminaban en una misma emisión. Si bien aún hoy podemos encontrar estas obras en el aire o por internet, su mayor apogeo ocurrió en las décadas del 40 y el 50. Justamente por los años cuarenta aparecen las adaptaciones de películas en cartel y también versiones de las grandes novelas universales. Los libretistas transformaban la novela en un guión, y un elenco de prestigiosos actores, acompañados de música y efectos de sonido, completaban la magia: tal el caso del programa “Radio Cine Lux”, que podía escucharse por Radio El Mundo los sábados a las 22, en el que Hilda Bernard y Pedro López Lagar  encarnaron a Cathy y a Heathcliff.   En 1956, por la misma emisora y en el “Teatro Palmolive del aire de las 22:05”, la pareja vuelve a protagonizar  Cumbres Borrascosas. Completaban el elenco Gustavo Cavero, Luis Pérez Aguirre y Roberto Lopresti, con Roberto Miró en los relatos. La novela también fue llevada a las tablas en una adaptación de los escritores argentinos  Nicolás Olivari y Enrique González Tuñón.



Too long I roam in the night /  I’m coming back /  I’m coming home to  Wuthering Heights  (Por mucho tiempo he vagado en la noche / Estoy regresando/ Estoy regresando a casa, a Cumbres Borrascosas )

Si hay un estado que subyace en el intrincado laberinto de esta historia es el sufrimiento, un sufrimiento heredado a su vez por las nuevas generaciones. De alguna u otra manera, en mayor o menor grado, cada uno de sus personajes es víctima y victimario a un tiempo. Y en esa dualidad de amar y odiar, de resentimientos y acercamientos, de dolor por lo hecho y desesperación por lo que no se hizo, danza como en un fuego infernal esa Cathy  que oscila entre su oscura alma gemela y ese esposo pasivo y contenedor que la vida le ha dado por compañero.  Leyendo en sus pensamientos torturados, no pude menos que recordar un parlamento de “Bodas de sangre”, de Federico García Lorca, en el que la Novia defiende su decisión de irse con su amante, ante la madre del novio:

Novia: -¡Porque yo me fui con el otro, me fui! (Con angustia) Tú también te hubieras  ido. Yo era una mujer quemada, llena de llagas por dentro y por fuera, y tu hijo era un  poquito de agua de la que yo esperaba hijos, tierra, salud; pero el otro era un río oscuro,  lleno de ramas (…) y me hubiera arrastrado siempre, siempre, siempre (…)

Así de intenso e irreprimible es para Cathy su sentimiento por Heathcliff, así de racional y domesticado es su cariño por su esposo Linton: “hay más de mí en él  (en Heathcliff) que en mí misma. De lo que sea que nuestras almas estén hechas, la suya y la mía son lo mismo, y la de Linton es tan distinta como la luz de la luna lo es del rayo, y la helada, del fuego.”  “El gran pensamiento de mi vida es él. Si todo pereciera y él se salvara, yo seguiría existiendo, y si todo quedara y él desapareciera, el mundo me sería del todo extraño. Mi amor por Linton es como el follaje de los bosques: el tiempo lo cambiará, yo ya sé que el invierno muda los árboles. Mi amor por Heathcliff se parece a las eternas rocas profundas (…) Yo soy Heathcliff, él está siempre, siempre en mi mente…”

Y Heathcliff lo sabe muy bien: “Fui un estúpido al suponer, aunque fuese por un solo momento, que ella preferiría el afecto de Edgar Linton al mío. (…) Lo quiere poco más que a su perro o a su caballo. No lo amará nunca como a mí.”

La historia de amor de Cumbre Borrascosas no es solamente trágica, al estilo romántico, es visceral, es una sed nunca saciada, una pasión violenta y áspera. Cathy agoniza por una verdad que justifica el cielo y el infierno: “¡Yo soy Heathcliff!”, yo soy el otro, el amado, del cual se es ya una parte indivisible.

Algo en nosotros se agita y se retuerce mientras avanzamos en las páginas del libro. El alma se enturbia, los límites se desdibujan, un frío nocturno golpea los postigos entreabiertos y uno puede escuchar un susurro cada vez más cercano, una respiración entrecortada: la voz fantasmal de Cathy implorando nuevamente

Heathcliff, it’s me, Cathy come home / I’m so cold let me in-a-your window (Heathcliff, soy yo, Cathy vuelve a casa / Tengo tanto frío, permíteme acercarme a tu ventana)

Quién sabe si usted, o yo, en algún momento de nuestras vidas, aunque fuese por un relámpago de tiempo, no hemos sido un poco Cathy, un poco Heathcliff…desolados y torpes como ellos, en nuestra  propia noche de amores desmesurados y borrascosos.


María Mercedes Di Benedetto (Photo: Mauricio J. Flores)


Argentina, egresada de la carrera de Guionista de Radio y Televisión (ISER), ha sido docente de esa casa de estudios y  de institutos terciarios y universidades en las carreras de “Locución Integral”, “Producción y Dirección de Radio y Televisión” y  “Guion de Radio y Televisión”. Durante 20 años fue docente en escuelas medias en Lengua y Literatura y en talleres literarios y de periodismo.

Especializada en la investigación del radiodrama en Argentina, lleva editados tres libros sobre el tema, el último en 2020, “HISTORIA DEL RADIOTEATRO NACIONAL”.

Autora y docente de ficción radial, recorre el país brindando seminarios y talleres sobre el tema, dirigidos a docentes y público en general, a través del Ministerio de Educación y de ARGENTORES.  Sus obras se han emitido por radios nacionales e internacionales.

Ha recibido numerosos reconocimientos por sus obras teatrales y radiodramas; ganadora del Fomento INCAA  con su documental de cuatro capítulos para televisión “Artesanos del aire / Historia del Radioteatro Nacional”. Obtuvo el 1er premio en la convocatoria 2004 para radioteatro del Centro Cultural R. Rojas de la Univ. de Buenos Aires UBA, además de cinco Premios Argentores a la Producción Autoral, ganadora también en 2020 en la convocatoria del Instituto Nacional del Teatro con su radiodrama sobre la vida de la soprano Regina Pacini.

Con un profesorado en Historia inconcluso, ha escrito más de cuarenta docudramas y obras de teatro para sus ciclos “Mujeres de la Historia Argentina” y “Hombres y Mujeres con historia”, presentados en diversas salas del país.

Su obra para niños “Las Hadas de la Tierra Encantada”  ha salido en gira nacional abordando temas como la ecología  y el cuidado del medioambiente. El elenco, convocado por la Secretaría de Medioambiente y por el Ministerio de Cultura de la Nación recorrió 23 provincias brindando funciones en forma gratuita para escuelas de todo el país.

Ha participado como expositora en diversos Congresos de literatura y de medios de comunicación y en Bienales internacionales de Radio, así también como Jurado y Tutora de Proyectos en certámenes nacionales de literatura y de Arte Joven. En septiembre 2022 integró con su ponencia el Symposium por los 100 años del Radiodrama Internacional organizado por la Universidad de Regensburg, Alemania.

En los últimos años ha presentado en Madrid  obras para Microteatro: “Comer por amor”, “El día del huevo”, “Testamento” y “Viuda Negra”, con dirección de Marcelo Díaz.

Actualmente se desempeña como Secretaria del Consejo Profesional de Radio de ARGENTORES, Sociedad General de Autores de la Argentina.

University of Bologna Student, Paul Azemata Amune, Publishes Paper in Global Studies


University of Bologna Student, Paul Azemata Amune, Publishes Paper in Global Studies


Populism and the Rise of Xenophobia among Italians toward Immigrants



Over the years, like other parts of the European Union, Italy has experienced a sharp increase in the number of immigrants entering its territory. Immigration becomes a keenly contested topic. This paper focuses on understanding people’s genuine real-world concerns by briefly identifying three specific areas that could logically explain how Italians perceive immigration. They include security, identity, and jobs. The far-right populist politicians and the media have exploited these concerns as they continue to fan the flames of fear. This has consequentially led to several incidents of intolerance meted out to immigrants and other minority groups such as Muslims and the Roma community creating an atmosphere where these minority groups are perceived and treated as intruders. Empirical data have shown that immigrants contribute to the economic growth of Italy. They also show that immigration does not increase the crime rate and likewise does not pose a threat to the social fabric. Multiculturalism beyond integration is proposed in this paper to enhance the peaceful co-existence between the minority groups and the Italians.



In the wake of an Italian government coalition in 2018 between the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League saw the rise in violent attacks of foreigners. An anti-racist organization, Lunaria quarterly report, captures the number of racially motivated attacks against foreigners. The report states that the violence against immigrants has risen sharply in Italy, tripling between 2017 and 2018. It counted 126 physical attacks, particularly on migrants in 2018. It previously recorded twenty-seven racially motivated attacks in 2016 and forty-six in 2017 (Tondo 2019). Tondo (2019) noted that in the first two months of Matteo Salvini, (former Interior Minister well known for his anti-immigration rhetoric) entry into government, Lunaria 2018 figures recorded twelve shootings, two murders and thirty-three physical assaults against migrants. There was an instance that occurred shortly after the government instalment in 2018, involving Soumayla Sacko, an agricultural worker and a trade unionist from Mali, he was shot and killed in the southern Italian municipality of San Calogero (Robertson 2018). His death triggered a mass protest in Milan, in which protesters recited anti-racist slogans and posters read “Lega e Salvini assassini” (The League and Salvini are murderers).

Immixing, por Lic. Juan José Scorzelli

Luis de Bairos Moura (artista plástico, Tucumán, Argentina)


Por Lic. Juan José Scorzelli [*]

La immixión es una mezcla que no admite la separación de sus componentes, como por ejemplo cuando mezclamos el café con el azúcar o hacemos salsa golf con mayonesa y kétchup, los elementos que la pudieron componer inicialmente se hacen indistinguibles.



El sujeto de Lacan no es sin Otro, esto lo explicita en su Conferencia en Baltimore (1) en el año 1966, cuyo título está dado en inglés, ya que fue hablada en ese idioma (en realidad en una mezcla de inglés y francés) y es el siguiente: “Of Structure as an Immixing of an Otherness Prerequisite to Any Subject Whatever”, y cuya traducción aproximada tomada de Leonel Sánchez Trapani de la Revista Acheronta sería: Acerca de la estructura como mixtura de una Otredad, condición sine qua non de absolutamente cualquier sujeto. La palabra immixing [en inglés puede escribirse tanto inmixing como immixing] tuvo problemas de traducción en la obra de Lacan, aunque con algunas diferencias, por ejemplo, en el Seminario de La carta robada de 1957, pero reescrito en 1966, en ocasión de la publicación de los Escritos dice:



“La pluralidad de los sujetos, naturalmente no debe ser una objeción para todos los que están avezados desde hace tiempo en las perspectivas que resume nuestra fórmula: el inconsciente es el discurso del Otro. Y no habremos de recordar ahora lo que le añade la noción de inmixtion de los sujetos (immixtion des sujets), introducida antaño por nosotros al retomar el análisis del sueño de la inyección de Irma”

Es decir, se tradujo aquí immixion por inmixtion, que no existe en castellano, pero se entendió que el término tenía un valor neológico en Lacan. Marcelo Pasternac propuso su traducción como ‘entremezcla’. El término en francés existe y significa “acción de inmiscuirse o acción de meterse una cosa en otra cosa” pero Lacan altera este uso.



El asunto es que Lacan en su Conferencia de Baltimore no desarrolla el tema, sino que solamente está postulado en el título, aunque sí lo desarrolla en otras intervenciones durante los eventos en Baltimore. En una de ellas, a propósito del tema de la invención: ‘¿Quién inventa? ¿Cuál es el sujeto de la invención?’ (2) plantea la cuestión del estatuto del sujeto y dice:

“Estoy pensando en la palabra immixing (…) pienso que la primera vez que introduje esta palabra fue precisamente para la relación de los sujetos (…) Los sujetos no son entonces aislados como los pensamos. Pero por otro lado ellos no son colectivos. Tienen una cierta forma estructural precisamente immixing”, y propone el término sujeto para esta conexión.



Ahora bien, en el Curso sobre la Ética, del 2001, Alfredo Eidelsztein postulaba la immixión de Otredad, como una concepción correspondiente a una ética para el psicoanálisis, una ética que diferencia netamente sujeto de individuo, sujeto no sin Otro. Esta es la cita:

“Cada vez que operamos con sujeto, debemos tener en cuenta cuál es la dimensión de Otredad que nos permita acceder a él. Pero, aunque nos permita acceder al sujeto, no accedemos nunca al sujeto como tal, siempre es en este prerrequisito, en esta condición sine qua non, de que sea inmixturado con Otredad. La ética que yo propongo desarrollar es exactamente esa: una ética que diga “no” a considerar en psicoanálisis al sujeto sin Otredad. El sujeto sin Otredad se llama “individuo”, e individuo es el máximo ideal, el ideal fundamental de Occidente.”

Esta posición no individualista, de Lacan para el psicoanálisis, se traduce claramente en esta cita de La cosa freudiana [pág. 398 de los Escritos I]:

“Los términos para los que planteamos aquí el problema de la intervención psicoanalítica hacen sentir bastante, nos parece, que la ética no es individualista.”


*Extractos del escrito ‘El sujeto de Lacan’, que presenté en Yoica el lunes 29 de marzo, 2021, junto a, Yhonn Escobar Jiménez de Apola Bogotá. [se puede descargar la presentación en el siguiente enlace: ]

  1. El Congreso al que Lacan fue invitado junto con otros destacados de la época [Derrida, Hyppolite, Lévi-Strauss, Braudel, Jean Pierre Vernant y otros] se desarrolló en la ciudad de Baltimore (EE.UU), entre los días 18 y 21 de octubre de 1966. La conferencia de Lacan fue el 20 y realizó dos intervenciones el día 18, una durante la ponencia de Lucien Goldman, “Estructura humana y concepto metodológico”, y otra en la presentación de Jacques Morazé sobre “Invención literaria”. El título del Congreso fue “Los lenguajes críticos y las ciencias del hombre. La controversia estructuralista”.
  2. La intervención de Lacan realizada en la ponencia de Jacques Morazé sobre ‘Invención literaria’ [extracto].

Ref. bibliográficas: Jacques Lacan, Conferencia de Baltimore/ J. Lacan, Seminario 2/ J. Lacan, La carta robada, Escritos/ Pablo Peusner, Acerca de la pertinencia del término immixión en la definición de sujeto… (UBA, Psicología, 2005)/Alfredo Eidelsztein, Otro Lacan. / A. Eidelsztein, El origen del sujeto en psicoanálisis… / A. Eidelsztein, Ciencia y psicoanálisis. Curso en Apertura Sociedad Psicoanalítica de Bs. As.



Lic. Juan José Scorzelli


Miembro de APOLa Internacional (Apertura para Otro Lacan)

Fundador de la Asociación de Psicoanálisis S. Freud en Paraguay.

Ex Adherente de la Escuela de Orientación Lacaniana de Argentina (EOL).

Coordinador de Grupos de Estudio sobre psicoanálisis en Buenos Aires y en Asunción del Paraguay.