An Argentine Tango Poem
by Albert Sheppard

La Femme Fatale
The Cafe de Sal

Слова Альберт В. Шеппард
Albert V. Sheppard

A magnificent lady in a black evening gown stood all-alone in a dimly lit corner of the Café de Sal.
The light of her aura said beware tangueros ...beware of La femme fatale!

She put on her music and a sweet Tango began to play.
I had a premonition that this was the day when the blood, rose and dagger will pass my way.

The wide down-turned brim of her black silk hat
...cast a shadow over her face ...her luring eyes ...hypnotic ...lurking like a cat.

Bright red over-painted tempestuous lips belied the gentility of her silent elegant frame.
I knew my heart was facing danger but I was falling in love all the same.

Was she unaware of the three tangueros and me starring? ...No one knows
...as she lifted her dress and straightened the seam in her jet-black fishnet hose.

My heart jumped, blood rushed to my head and I could not breathe.
I thought certainly I should run for my life but I had no will and could not leave.

As she raised her head we saw the cold blue fire in her eyes.
Then we knew that only one compadrito would ever claim this prize.

A fight to the death to quench our lust and passion ...NO LESS!
In the end she would see which one of us was best.

May the victor dance in eternal bliss
...perchance a Tango and an immortalizing kiss.

Cold steel knives flashing fear and sweat
A thrust a parry a whip a kick a cut Oh God I felt my bloodlett'.

...but soon I stood alone and saw the other tangueros were no more.
...my outstretched hand for the lady to dance as she hurried across the floor.

"Don't cry for me," I said as I saw the compassion in her face.
"If this is to be my last Tango, I couldn't think of a better place."

The Lady's eyes welled with tears as the last tanguero ceased to dance ...slipped her embrace and died at her feet.
"How could I have known that my Tango would have such a tragic and deadly beat?"

She plucked a rose from her hair and dropped the red petals upon each man.
...then disappeared into the night and was never heard from or seen again.

The old milongueros say that before he died he danced the greatest Tango of all time.
...that this dance of love was born of pain, frustration and sorrow is humanity's greatest crime.

Since that day the story has been told and passed on for many years
The compadritos gave their lives for Tango and painted the floor with their blood, sweat and tears.

So if ever a man should be tempted to tango at the Café de Sal
I pray he dare not enter if he sees La Femme Fatale.

Written by
Albert V. Sheppard
April 18, 2003
for a melody on my mind
...because I too...

An Argentine Tango Poem by Albert Sheppard

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Volver by Carlos Gardel

Garlos Gardel

From Wikipedia: Carlos Gardel (11 December 1890 – 24 June 1935) was a singer, songwriter and actor, and is perhaps the most prominent figure in the history of tango. He was born in Toulouse, France, although he never acknowledged his birthplace publicly, and there are still claims of his birth in Uruguay. (See below.) He lived in Argentina from the age of two and acquired Argentine citizenship in 1923. He grew up in the Abasto neighborhood of Buenos Aires. He attended Pio IX Industrial high-school located in the Almagro neighborhood of Buenos Aires. He died in an airplane crash at the height of his career, becoming an archetypal tragic hero mourned throughout Latin America. For many, Gardel embodies the soul of the tango style. He is commonly referred to as "Carlitos", "El Zorzal" (The Song Thrush), "The King of Tango", "El Mago" (The Magician) and "El Mudo" (The Mute).

The unerring musicality of Gardel's baritone voice and the dramatic phrasing of his lyrics made miniature masterpieces of his hundreds of three-minute tango recordings. Together with lyricist and long-time collaborator Alfredo Le Pera, Gardel wrote several classic tangos, most notably: Mi Buenos Aires querido, Cuesta abajo, Amores de estudiante, Soledad, Volver, Por una cabeza and El día que me quieras.

Although I teach and know mostly Salsa, Argentine Tango "rules the world" and one day in this lifetime I will master it!

I have studied with some GREAT tango instructors... Christy, Mayumi, Alex, Maija and others in Portland Oregon and San Francisco... but I am still a beginner. I shall return!

Albert V. Sheppard

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Альберт Шеппард

“We pass by potentially great friends, compatible business, cultural, and political exchange partners, and possible perfect mates everyday and FATE NEVER causes us to meet them, in a safe environment for a long enough time to discover that we like each other. We are programmed by Hollywood films and music and media stars to reject anyone who does not immediately meet our usually misguided standards. Perhaps that is a fact of life and may even be a instinctual human trait, but we know it fails to recognize a more developed and current human state. I personally have tried the pen-pal, friends, social networking, dating, matching, and marriage sites for many years with some temporary success, but they did NOT meet my most important expectations, needs, wants, desires, and goals. Their concept is good, but misdirected. It is hard enough to deal with the random odds, the random chance, the fickle fate, and the chaos in the real world; so why extend it into the virtual world. My future websites take into account these social networking and dating/match-making site short-comings, their trial-and-error approach, their best intentions, their best concepts, and their best practices and adds a structure to give nature an intelligent helping hand.

I have NO doubt that each of us can do some small or BIG things to stop violence; raise better children; stop violence against women; stop drugs and alcohol abuse; ostracize the ignorant conservative politicians and their controllers, who want to take the world backwards in the misused name of traditional values; raise your voice, your pen, your blog, and your web site to stomp out racists and religious bigots -- do NOT be silent (your silence implies consent); stop global threats and human suppression by countries of their own people and their threats to other nations and territories; remove the causes of terrorism; help capture or kill terrorists and dangerous criminals; create global friendships with appreciation for global cultures find ways to communicate effectively with people, who speak other languages; give aid and care for others in disasters; get rid of world poverty, disease, starvation, illiteracy and ignorance, rape, child abuse, pedophilia, and the rampant abuse of our globe and the protective atmosphere. Help immigrants, seeking a better life and trying to support their families, to do so. Make a legal path for illegal immigrants seeking to do the work that you and I reject, etc. Do not accept the globe the way it is. We can make it better. Just do something! Even a small thing. Any action you take, no matter how small, will set off ripple effects that will reverberate around the world. Courage is not the absence of fear, but overcoming your fears.

Albert V. Sheppard

La Femme Fatale The Cafe de Sal Carlos Gardel Volver Argentine Tango Dance Passion Love Blood Sweat and Tears