This writers group has been meeting at the same table in the Cafe Variete Osvaldo Pugliese for over a year now. July 25 is the 14th anniversary of the death of this 90 year old tango musician. The writing exercise was to give a summary of the year of meetings (in some form) from the perspective of the drawing of Osvaldo observing us from the wall beside our table.


They come and go – like words on a page hanging together for over a year now – sitting around the table at the back where I can keep a good eye on them – hear their words. There’s a glue yet periodically a character will appear and shortly thereafter spin off into another world like an oddly inserted word in a story that hangs in your memory, disturbing the equilibrium for a time until the dust settles and the foundation is left standing. A place to spring from, a place to come back to. This table holds them down and together, like the page, the words imprinted, pages inserted, held in place, bound, closed book.



Thin lipped, sly smile, Pugliese stared out of the picture frame at the group of foreigners gathered for their writers group. Brits, Australians, Irish, Americans, Canadians. They sat weekly with pens, hearts, minds, and sometimes smiles. He watched as they read stories, articles, poetry, bits and pieces of ideas. All wanting something, wanting, waiting, wondering, “What next?” The look was in their eyes.

“I’ve lived 90 years, a dancer, a man, a lover of life and there’s one thing I would say to these foreigners.”

Take off, rise up.
Listen, I hear the words of the tango song. Mucho amor, mas amor, quiero vivir la vida. Y vos? (much love, more love, I want to live life, and you?)

One sits with infiniteness at the ready, feet that want to move with the rhythm.

He observed the group and heard their questions.
“But how does it work?” they asked.
“I hear you asking before you get a chance to see for yourself,” he answered.




I imagine Osvaldo  smile knowingly down at us as we gather around the table every Wednesday. He would say “just like tango, each person has his own story” and that the people in our writers group, dance to a difference beat. Then at 1 PM he would applauded at the end our are weekly performance, waiting till the next time, the next improvisation, the next act.



adverbial strife
positioning the editorial knife
the million medialuna novel
word stuffed empanada dream
coffee humming critics
striving for caffeine perfection
i don’t understand a word
it’s all english to me



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