Some of the poems of To, first book of poems by Paula Maffia, could have been early morning messages sent by WhatsApp like bullets. There are truths thrown into the void and, as she herself writes, correct words given to the wrong people. Some of these poems could have been notes in the margin of a faculty notebook, A4, spiral. And of course many others were songs.

They are present in To her longing for a lover who kills time by weaving and sending smoke signals, and also the one who with full determination puts an end to her waiting: the two are the same poet. The pursuit of pleasures is one of the great themes of the book and the obstacles that stand in the way of achieving what Pino Solanas once called in Congress, stretching the letter “O” a lot, the gooooce.

I certainly wanted to give place to the pleasure that our hands give us. There is a whole compliment to the hands of my lovers in this book that seemed like a fun place to start making another proposal to the idea of ​​eroticism that runs through almost all literature. In this case, the hands are the protagonists. It is an honest and lesbian counterproposal to forms of hegemony that we have very assimilated to the core. And that gesture of praise with the hands is taken to such an extreme that I chose for the lid to have a texture “.

An erotic fantasy I have is that they give me back all the books I lentsays the author of a compilation of poetry that raises a very powerful question about the place of eroticism in everyday life, which in this state of affairs, with the future in suspense, maximizes its value. An eroticism that in Paula’s handwriting includes the love of oneself, the beauty of the hands, the breakfasts, the long life of her cats, the genesis and metamorphosis of her plants. There is also pleasure in her rituals: the hair removal methods she recommends over others she would never torture herself with, the recurring question of where the lost stockings go. And a universe of sensations that he transmits with his to: like when you caress an animal against the grain, the feeling of having your mouth full of sand and the smell that your girlfriend leaves on the pillow.

To it can be read neatly. Or it can be opened to a random page -as the writer Camila Sosa Villada said in the presentation of the book- as a I Ching erotic what does it say: I died of love / take my clothes off / pull my hair / lose control. Or a meditation in the form of a lesbian haiku that ensures I would like to be the one / with whom I want / spend / the rest of my life.

I was thinking of asking you something about writing in the confinement and becoming a quarantine poet … but then I found out that these poems are before March 2020.

-But beyond that, I never became a poet. I think that engaging in a deep discipline and being a person who cultivated self-management gives you that, if you like, ability to come and go. I mean: my world of actions was always one completely crossed by transversality and interdiscipline. I entered the conservatory at 15 but I started playing my songs at 17. I had very little of what the Academy could have left in my head and I have many more academic texts over the years like puaner, studying Anthropology and Philosophy, than as a person who went to the conservatory. My university was punk. They were self-management, festivals, fairs, venues such as Cosmos, Gaumont, San Martín, and Rojas, making moves in La Tribu, in neighborhood spaces, in university clubs. In those places I was trained and in them we all did everything. Many people ask me about the writing: “it came suddenly … how did it go?” What hardly ever surprises anyone is that music also makes sound, lighting, solves technical issues. That is naturalized. It is completely understood that we are going to do it because it is part of self-management. I am a person who entered art accidentally and willingly.

Why accidentally?

-Because I don’t come from a family related to the arts directly. I started looking for channels of expression from a very young age to survive adolescence. So the first thing I did was draw and write because it was free. I only needed a support element and an execution element. End.

So is music really what came next?

-Music only came to me when I was able to manage an admission to the Conservatory on my own. But up to that point he wrote and drew a lot. When I start making music I realize that I want to dedicate myself to that. Dedicating oneself at that moment was living For that, do not live of that. There I move away from drawing and writing because all I wanted to do was make songs all day and socialize! There is an incredible and very powerful factor there which is creating together. Long, long, time later I understood that I was an artist, it was not just music. Maybe tomorrow it occurs to me to direct a play, it could happen. Luckily I have that cheekiness of saying that I am an artist, which is a way of doing permanent performance of myself.

At what point would you say that you started to live from art and not for it?

-That’s something you never talk about. Did you see that nobody asks art people about silver? Even among artists there is a modesty to talk about money. That is why the book is so valuable Money diary scored by Rosario Bléfari. It is very rare: we do not ask for money or talk about it. What they call ‘love of art’ is unpaid work or precariousness, you could say.

And at what point did you start living from music?

-Surely there are people who will find it useful to read it. At the age of 27 I started trying. Until then I was this puaner In Anthropology, I worked as a web page developer, earned well, lived at home, had everything, as they say, well off. But when I got to that level of stability I got a tremendous ulcer. Why? I realized that the rest of my life was beginning. What do I see ahead? Continue the career, which no longer attracts me because I already studied everything that interested me. I have a puanic attack: a pile of pending exams. I have a good job… But I want to die every time I think that I have to live the rest of my life according to someone else’s calendar, transporting myself from one end of the city to the other every day. And if I spend all my time dedicated to that, at what point do I develop as an artist? And there: the ulcer. I fell into bed and understood that if I projected my present into the future … I was buying a future in which I was not going to be happy. And there I said: I have to turn the board.

And how did you do?

– Coincidentally, at that time, Casa Brandon invited me to give singing workshops. I had formed myself singing in an almost self-taught way. And the proposal that I be in charge of that workshop, and as an act of revenge against all and all the lousy teachers that I had, I thought I had to do something that would give the song a twist. It had to be something more linked to enjoyment, to physical experience. Something that is common today but at that time it was all very melodic and very sloppy. I combined my desire for revenge with my desire to change my lifestyle and started teaching classes every day, all day. I had more demand and was finally able to raise the price of the classes, work less and earn more, and have more time to play. At one point I was able to drop out of classes and dedicate myself to playing. It took me ten years.

So for the people who read you right now your recommendation would be …?

-That art is engineering. You have to be very careful not to be precarious. And of not being precarious by oneself, in a kind of self-exploitative emotion. The truth is that I worked a lot for free. It is very difficult to say no when you are trying to develop your thing and you are excited about what you do. They offer you things and you can’t say no. Until in a moment you decide: my time is worth. Time is money but gold is not time. Time is not bought with money or with work. There has to be a balance between what you want and what you can do. Between the desire to develop something of your own with a specific brand but that is not so tight that it does not generate a niche.

The title of the book, ToIt also means “guitarreo” and “chamuyo”, to seduce with the word lying or exaggerating. How did you get to it?

-I really like short words and I really like words with O. My latest album is called Dust and it also has a spectacular polysemy. When the Planeta publishing house asked me for the book and I put myself in the poet’s skins to start composing, I reviewed works from other times, I put myself in writing mode, I set myself on fire and the title came to me. The word “verse” itself is a poetic movement, of humor. It’s a bit of a disclaimer. It is as if to say: think well if you want to put this book next to Olga Orozco or Diana Bellessi. The publisher decided to call it “poetry” but for me it is an extension of the work. It is verse insofar as it is game. Those who spend time with me know it. I am unbearable with puns.

A moment ago we were talking about the pleasures you discovered with this book. What pleasures did you miss?

-A few years ago, in a new year. It was in a very beautiful grass, it had come out of the pool and it may be that it was accompanied by beautiful substances. Lying on the grass I felt pleasure throughout my body and I remembered a scene from Orlando by Virginia Woolf. There is a moment in the novel, when Orlando transitions into a woman, lies down on the grass and feels pleasure throughout his body. When I was a child, I had that ability. He still didn’t understand that there was an erogenous direction. After knowing, not only by social mandates but by self-exploration of course, that there was an area that was more important than the others and more effective, I forgot about the rest of the body. And now I curse having sacrificed so many surfaces of pleasure. There my body appeared to me, something that is also a very thirty-year-old experience: women of our generation and identities that identify with the feminine of our generation begin to live the body in other ways. From the ailments, the complaints and other things that the body also tells you that maybe at 20 you can not give them a ball. You ask him and you ask him, and do not stop to see what state he is in, what he is saying to you.

At 20 we do body extractivism!

-Yes! And I do not want that. The next thing that comes for me is to get my feet back. I look at them and think: how much do I touch them, what do I give them, while I ask them for everything. I complain about capitalism and lalala but I’m having a top-down attitude on my own two feet. With the quarantine, although I never proposed to make it a comfortable place, or something productive, I can say that for the first time in my life I was able to sit and meditate.

How did you do it?

-I’m interested in the world of dreams, I took ayahuasca several times, I read a lot about ecstasy techniques. They are a search that Humanity has been doing since Pythagoras, through all religions and all philosophical systems, which at some point propose that the body surrender to ecstasy. There are those who call it an encounter with divinity, the totality, the cosmos. Suddenly you come out of a particular point of view and suddenly you begin to contemplate the logos. I describe it like this, it is the way I found and the way I began to understand something of the subject, with these words that are the most anti New Age what’s up. And I allow it.


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