Cecilia Vicuña: 'DISPROSODIES' or 'Saint Visions,' after 'TOCADAS' by Xul Solar
Translated from Spanish by Christopher Winks
I write these lines on the day of Hurricane Sandy, the biggest storm in history, the beginning of the future, lashing Manhattan.
Hexagram 25 / Wu Wang / Innocence (The Unexpected)
Heaven is above; movement is below. When movement follows the law of heaven, man is innocent and without guile.
On an empty pampa a lightning accent protexts me, an alloffire semi-human god approaching me, juxtafloating, round him all are flames, the god is made of admixed manremains, the whole of living-dead, jointup there, the remains to be revived by magic and memory. The glow of a recollection, human magnitude reanimates them, I see the gluon, the strength that unites them, fluidify, & so, people awaken.
Firecide, the city that was fire and is no more, the dead city that will no longer be, glomeration plurdisposedof, outswept. Theres no one, everythings gone. The pale alloffiregod loses his materbreast, his humanity is extinguished and a lumiglobe lights up with otherness, his phoskin phosphoresces lighting up that which will be.
Oh fount of future fierywater, fount of it, where are you in your wandering loss? In what sinks and goes away? Something draws me on and sinks me into fire, chemipurifying, the fire cleanses me and I dont feel a thing. The betr to see & be another I imagine nonbeing, the mean-while of who I left and who Ill be, here I shud selfflameup, illuminate-myself on my own. The exo, the outside dusnt mean anything if we don’t withfeel it, I with-feel and at last I flaym something, loving the divine lights me up, meupfires, I am only the firethought, what burns and shines in nonbeing, the firethought that saturatthis space. I whish to see the people fromere, swarms of quasunformed flowbeings, rather. Oh, fullondreemlet, I liv by dreeming, seeing other people who are not people but star.
Lost in the one-hand-stars, sum of the human and the stellar, I hear the audble being: “deity is pandeity” & it must be theokai here, adored, exalted, goldenlightnucleus says the light of now, unimpeded shining, light of the plurother beings, filled with others, totalities of others, those who are the light of the other, those of the hintercrossing shine brighter (those who touch each other and cross each other shine more brightly, though separated), both copoints, I allso si them sunq into the same point, one point, through a superdimension, above an incalculable scale, an infinite inner phosgrey.
Hexagram 24 Fu / Return (The Turning Point) / (Prophecy of Occupy)
When the dark lines have pushed all of the light lines upward and out of the hexagram, another light line enters the hexagram from below.
i intro in the shape of a vital centipede through the door of this sign.
veri thinqing braine very thinking brain
veri feelful harte very feeling heart
i lose shape
i whoam a god aswell
occupy infinite cosmos
occupying is the cosmos!
hou light tubers
peacefully enraptured little potatoes golden with light
Hexagram 3 Chun / Difficulty at the Beginning (Ar Chi Tect Tures)
A blade of grass pushes against an obstacle as it sprouts out of the earth. A thunderstorm beings release from tension, and all things breathe freely again.
eeh aye eeh eye the flooded ones still do not want to see!
foams and wavecrests sparkle inopportunely, in the internal storm lone beings emit light. what is in this solid globacity that does not connect to this force, this strength whichz now whatz real?
Floatsathing with a large hole of blugrey air with same stoorrmm, denser winds.
Finally a procession arrives, beings neerthotof, thinking as one, thinkers in a circle, mother-of-pearl and felt!
I soor into light celestial sky, plants biomove & hum.
Fromtother side is a floating temple, many pray, in their theo-co they touch the god, they saintexult, participate in the divine and their auras flow with prana.
Fromtother side a tower of books, pri petri, epi, tijol, xy’l epi, rolhi, hi.
Letters like flies perisoar in letred swarmz allround.
Living archi tec tures, biopalaces and biohuts armed perhaps with soul and thought thruchange into biocumuli quiver move about rise up, interpenetrate and float on their own.
Houses here be burning, but not destroyed, constructed more than structed. Their fire is lyfe & the greater the burn the greater the palace. The people co-flame aswell. Houses and people boil with fervor, explode with love, smoke and geyser of love. Various and piledup togethergrown fervisprouting local offices of love.
Houses here be growing, growing on their own, zonti, bies, upa, yuso, gordi: here they buzz squeak crow speak in consodissonant tongues.
The ground of this citie is a plural cloud.
Under this citie be another upside down citie.
Gloomy, slow, dark, and alive downward growing.
I seegain the other citie, the rabble sky, rabble of the happyhigh sky, clouded with fog and coagulates: outlines of thought and smokymud ennui. Here be Aztec teocallis only of book tongues whar their readers embodify, not reading but sucking forces, vital brio, juice of languages.
Sexpanding undulating spokers of all linguages with their swarms of letters thickets glyphs and disprosodies. Counterpointing they co-, dis-, re-form sense and ever new lingold.
[NOTE. The work above is from the recently published New & Selected Poems of Cecilia Vicuña (Kelsey Street Press, July 2018). Of this beautifully complex poem Vicuña writes by way of introduction: “The piece comprises three poems and was commissioned by Lila Zemborain for the book-catalog of the exhibition ‘Xul Solar and Borges: The Art of Friendship’ at the Americas Society in New York, 2013. I was asked to respond to Xul’s writing, and I did this piece, recreating/paraphrasing his work of the 1920’s, written in neocriollo, a language he invented.”
Of Xul Solar himself, a major experimental/innovative poet/artist of the Americas, she has written elsewhere: “Xul said of himself: ‘I am maestro of a writing no one reads yet’ and ‘I am world champion of a game no one knows.’ But Jorge Luis Borges, who was influenced by him, said: ‘Xul took on the task of reforming the universe, of proposing on this earth a different order. For that, among other things, he changed the current numerical system of mathematics to use a duodecimal system, with which he painted his watercolors.’
“But Xul remained a secret,” she continues. I remember hearing about him in the 1960s, but never coming across his work. His writings are uncollected even today, and his art didn't begin to circulate until the 1980s. At one point, I wanted to edit a selection of his work and went to Buenos Aires to visit his old home, now a Xul Museum. Someone showed me to his room and opened the closet for me. I saw his white iridescent tie and his green plastic belt. I could suddenly ‘hear’ him speaking in Pan Criollo and dancing with Lita, his wife:
‘Olas, ólitas, vintos, hálitos, réspiras, kinflores, hondónadas, pirmanchas, kingramas, biovacíos, tunzoes: too fon.’
‘Waves, wavies, wine-reds, breath-rests, kinflowers, profundiads, firestains, kingrams, biovoids, tongtoes: Too fun.’”]