Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Dream of Death, or the Place for the Poetic Bodies

By Alejandra Pizarnik
(Translated by Carolina Drake)

All night I hear the call of death, all night I hear the song of death near the river, all night I hear the voice of death that calls me. And so many mended dreams, so many possessions, so many immersions inside these possessions of a young one deceased in a garden of ruins and lilacs. Near the river death calls me. Desolately torn in the heart I hear the song of the purest happiness.
And it is true, that I have woken in the place of love, because when I heard its song I said: It is the place of love. And it is true that I have woken in the place of love because with a smile of grief I said to myself: It is the place of Love (but trembling, but phosphorescent.)
And the mechanized dances of those ancient dolls and the inherited sorrows and the water running fast in circles, please do not be afraid of saying it: The rapid water running in rapid circles while in the shore the paralyzed gesture of the paralyzed arms are calling for an embrace, in the purest nostalgia, in the fog, in the weakest sun light filtering through the fog.

More from the inside: The nameless object that is born and pulverizes itself in the place where the silence is as heavy as gold bars and time is a sharpened wind that makes its way through a "grieta" as that is its sole declaration. I talk about the place where the poetic bodies are made-like a basket full with the bodies of young girls. And that is the place where Death sits; it wears an ancient suit and plays a harp on the shores of the "lugumbre" river. Death in a red dress, the beautiful, the funerary, the spectral, the one who played the harp all night until I fell asleep inside my dream.

What was there, in the bottom of the sea? What landscapes were made and unmade behind the landscape which contained a painting in its center, where a beautiful lady was painted on it, and she carried a harp and sang besides the shores of a river? A few steps behind, I saw the stage of ashes where I represented my birth. Being born, which is such a "lugumbre" act, caused me laughter. This humor running through the contours of my body turned me into a phosphorescent figurine: The iris of a violet eye changed into blue as it turned in the light, a glowing young girl made of silver paper, half way drowning in a glass of blue wine.

Without any light or guide, I advanced through the path of metamorphoses. A subterranean world of unfinished creatures, a place of gestation, a green house of arms, of trunks, of faces, and the hands of the dolls, suspended like leafs from the ice sharpened trees, flapped and echoed moved by the wind. And the beheaded trunks dressed in lively colors danced in childlike circles near a coffin filled with the heads of madmen that cried like wolves, and now my head seems to want to burst out of my uterus like if the poetic bodies were fighting to come into reality, to disrupt it, to be born from it, and there is someone inside my throat, someone who has been gestating in solitude, and me, unfinished, burning to be born, it opens, it will come, I will come.
The poetic body, the inherited one, the one unfiltered by the sun rays of a foggy morning, a cry, a call, a flame, a calling. Yes. I want to see the bottom of the river, I want to see if it will open, if it disrupts and flowers on this side of the shore, and it will come or it won’t come but I feel it pushing its way. And maybe, and maybe it is only Death.

Death is a word.
A word is a thing; it is a poetic body that invades the circumstance of my birth.
Never, through this way will you ever be able to explore it. Speak, but over the stage of ashes: Speak, but from the bottom of the river where Death is singing. And Death is her, my dream told me, the song of the queen told me. Death with hair the color of crows, dressed in red, molding in her ancient hands the bones of birds to beat over my tomb, she departed singing and from behind looked like a beggar, and young boys threw rocks at her.

She sang in the foggy morning barely filtered with the rays of the sun, the morning of birth, and I would walk with a torch in my hand through all the deserts of the world and even dead I would keep looking for you, my lost love, and the song of Death unfolded that morning, and it sand and it sang.
It also sang in the old tavern near the port. There was a teenager dressed as a clown and I told him that in my poems Death was my lover and my lover was death and he answered: your poems speak the just truth. I was sixteen years old and had no other remedy than to look for absolute love. And it was in that tavern in the port, that she sang her song.
I write with my eyes closed, I write with my eyes open: The wall will fall; the wall will become a river.
Death in blue, Death in green, Death in red, Death in violet, in the visions of birth.
Her blue suit and the phosphorescent silver in the medieval night of every death of mine.
Death sings near the river.
And it was in that tavern in the port where she sang the song of death.
I am going to die, she told me, I am going to die.
Come at sunrise, my friend, at sunrise come.
We have recognized each other, we have made each other disappear, my friend, the one I wanted most.
Me, assisting my birth. Me, assisting my death.
And I would walk through all the deserts in this world and even dead I would keep looking, for you: because you were the place of Love.

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