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Orides Fontela: A Sketch

Orides Fontela: A Sketch

The last time I saw her, she regarded the grass and the trees as
cause for awe, even while compulsively picking at the raw, overscratched flesh on the back
of either hand. Finally, to avoid further damage, I put one hand over hers; she was
unprepared for any such gesture. Pure Zen she was. But only as an apparition; inside there
was the chaos.
By John Howard

Orides Fontela, the São Paulo poet, recently dead, received wide recognition during
her lifetime, having established, in her relatively small production, a unique poetic
idiom, pure as the classics she admired. She now will be translated into other languages,
collect much commentary, eventually gain readers of poetry unaware or uninterested in her
legendary, intractable eccentricity. Contemporaries, even those who tried to shore up her
talent against her untenable person, she offhandedly consigned to the "burguês"
out basket, were it but on the basis of their regular job, middle-class demeanor,
too-fashionable front. Unhappy graceless genius, tormented mystic, impoverished fount of
an arcane automythology, terror of the Paulistana literati, maker of delicate snowflake
symbolisms, helpless, hopeless, she lived in a tiny Ap not far from the downtown Boca
do Crime ("mouth of crime") the city’s oldest red-light district, a noisy,
polluted, unsightly, overbuilt decadence. Where was the nearest tree, bird? What the
source of her favorite words: silence, white, pure, water and sea, star and space?

Inside what in other space-times would have been a mountain cave, a desert hut, a
forest lean-to, the visitor would find an Orides with no job, phone, or car, no TV, CD, or
PC, no flower, art object, trinket or memoir, nor any optimism, housekeeping, posture, or savoir-faire.
Her realtime windows admitted little light. The webby broom, accouterment to her
"pure crystal of time," "huge golden birdless sky," "white
petals/of the flower which navigates/the splendid/waters."

We are used to thinking of poetry as in at least a minimum way an extension of the
poet’s person and history, or vice-versa. That opulent poetry is by that opulent woman;
that pretentious verse a pretentious man. Was not T.S. Eliot himself the picture of an
Anglican minister? Alan Ginsberg, a unified exponent?

If you once understand an author’s character, the comprehension of his writings
becomes easy. (Longfellow)

But more than one thinking spectator had to doubt our brilliant writer be this
depressive waif, that designer of loveliness an unkempt misfit. How relate the
"silence beyond the whiteness," the "sweet living petals," to their
impossible antipodes? No, I would not, even today, should I see proof that one of the
rulers of this surrealist land, a conniving descendent of the Duke, desiring anonymity,
not wishing to embarrass the bottom line of his personal empire with his poetry, had fed
her these brilliant scintillating obscure diamonds, find it entirely improbable.

Orides, the dear: we first picked each other up during an autograph nite at a
bookstore. The same occasion she surprised everyone by wasting her drink at a surprised
admirer, who probably said a careless word. Legend. An impressive performance, said to be
eventually headed for rehearsal on stage and screen.

Sin is the writer’s element. (François Mauriac)

Thereafter, we visited. I’d go over to her Ap where, like everything else she had
nothing of, she never had any food or drink worth offering. She often didn’t have that
much to say either, and could sit for longer in silence than any woman I’ve ever known,
except when getting worked up over the statelessness of existence. The couple of times I
had to ask her to quiet down, she didn’t object. One had to steer the conversation into
poetry, which she wouldn’t mention otherwise. Her English was slight, but she liked to
discuss its poets. She admired Emily who, she supposed, had "died a virgin," and
enjoyed verbally translating some of Wallace Stevens. Or she’d bus over to one of my
various addresses. At the time I was into graffiti, and she’d come along to watch the
action, but was no good at all with a spray. Readers of her poetry might find some
indication of her method of transforming experience by considering a short poem inspired
by a graffito she especially liked:

Deus se come-se. (God eats Hiself)

Her poem:

UROBOROS (UROBOROS

Water returns
to the fount.
A água volta
à fonte.)

Though much of her demeanor was cathartic, Orides eventually paid her way.

The last time I saw her, in a borrowed back yard, she regarded the grass and the trees
as cause for awe, even while compulsively picking at the raw, overscratched flesh on the
back of either hand, emanating angst like a castaway might to a passing native canoeist
who spoke another language, had not an extra seat. Was it the spirit of poetry trying to
tear its way out of prison? Finally, to avoid further damage, I put one hand over hers;
she was unprepared for any such gesture. Or had she arrived as crawling through the urban
guerilla war zone, ducking snipers, avoiding the pits, insulting, offending her allies,
daring them not to help, not publish her, to even meet with her? Pure Zen she was. But
only as an apparition; inside there was the chaos, a drama which cast the immaculate image
of her poetry in direct conflict with the murky details of her personal history. You could
look an original poet in the eye behind the thick heavy dim glass; she’d look away, as if
it had never happened before. You could speculate that this person, lost darling, was in
fact an intricately-constructed disguise on that very spirit of poetry incognito who,
which, Medusalike, protected her archetypes behind a shield of confusion and
despair…but could it also be the other way round? Surely, if one looked deeply
enough, one would ascertain how this mourning song, this alba, is the mute,
dramatic sound of one hand clapping:

a flame
in dense silence
keeps watch
uma flama
no denso silêncio
vela

And so, into the sophistication of the São Paulo critical establishment, its roots in
the Iberian Inquisition and African voodoo, Orides came like a diamond wrapped in layer
after layer of city newspaper, which she wouldn’t read even had she the price of one. Her
second-greatest pleasure in life was her habit of badmouthing even the outer fringe of the
execrated burghers, the elite, the "system," the middle class, other writers,
almost everything existent which was not becoming essence. All that is to be expected, but
how could she not want to knock the game’s opponents, however subtly, in her writing?

All the world knows me in my book, and my book in me. (Montaigne)

It may be that existence was just too terrible and terrifying, too destructive, for
Orides to relate it in any way to the creative act. In her tiny hermitage, where few
visitors came, where little sound admitted, even little light, where distractions were
minimum, she would sit in a meditation tending towards contemplation, withdrawing deeply
into a silence safe from her own self and her knowledge of what it had meant to be born an
Orides Fontela.

But the memory
— a text pul
sating—
but the memory
—rite of the blood
but the memory
— always the
memory

"Centaurs"

Mas a memória
— texto pul
sante — 
mas a memória
— rito do sangue
mas a memória
— sempre a
memória —)

"Centauros"

There are enough references in the poems, and there were enough books on the shelves,
to indicate Orides’ interest in mysticism. Her book Alba1("Aubade"),
from which all relevant quotes are taken, was prefaced by a verse from Saint John of the
Cross, the 16th century Spanish mystic:

Que bien sé yo la fonte
que mana y corre,
aunque es de noche.
How well I know the fount
which surges and flows,
yet night has fallen.

Contemporary society seems to offer few openings for mystical types. Poetry may
continue to be one, when circumstances permit, but it is a risky marriage.
"Vigil," a word not uncommon in the literature of mysticism, appears in several
of the poems, is the title of one which begins

Absolute
moment:
living bird
attent to.
Momento
pleno:
pássaro vivo
atento a.

Besides her gnomic sense of humor, the verse illustrates what even a superficial
reading of the same literature will indicate an essential technique of mysticism: the
absolute attention to nothingness during which the mind-spirit, emptied of all that is
contingent, opens up a virtual space for that which is not. The connection between a
poet’s retreat into the silence of mysticism and an advance into the buzz of society (it
may be the other way around) is of course the word, which, in its ambiguousness,
standing as it does with feet planted in both essence and existence, provides an interface
between mind and matter. For good reason did another mystic write "In the beginning
was the Word," for the word, stripped of opportunism and ego, in the clarity of its
being-in-itself, is contiguous with the beginning of human life—the presence of
reflective mind in the world of matter. With her poetry, Orides takes her readers into the
heart of symbolism, conciliable with original Mind, collective unconscious; her spoken
words, alas, often belonged to the material world of contingency, the politic of her time.
Carrying through life, as she did, an irregular physical self, it must have impressed her
as somehow regrettable, the Word having been made flesh.

The poetry was, in a very real sense, Orides’ religion, to use that word as meaning re-,
back + ligare, to bind: its genius is to re-unite the believer with something lost,
a primordial act-state-condition which has been told of in the mythologies of many
cultures, variously named Eden, Atlantis, the Golden Age, the "good old days."
Literature is said to fundamentally consist of variations on the themes of the departure
and the return, to and from this paradisiacal consciousness, lost and regained. Evelyn
Underhill, in her definitive study, Mysticism2, defines the practice as
". . .the art of establishing (a) conscious relation with the Absolute."

A first step, say the experts, is the renunciation of the psychic complications induced
by competitiveness. The friend Emily wrote

Renunciation—is a piercing Virtue—
The letting go
A Presence for an Expectation—

Although Orides had studied well such traditions as The Bhagavad-Gita, a basic
text of Indian mysticism, which advises that one "perform every action. . .free from
all attachment to results," she could not quite bring herself to completely renounce
that which she knew had to be renounced, and therefrom suffered certain consequences, but
late in life she appreciated an adagium of Wallace Stevens, "After one has
abandoned a belief in god, poetry is that essence which takes its place as life’s
redemption."

 

1 Roswitha Kempf/Editores(São Paulo, 1983)

2 E.P. Dutton & Co(New york, 1961), p.61

John Howard has published the translations of several Brazilian poets,
and several poems of his own. He has an MA in literature from California State University.
Several of his São Paulo graffitos can be seen on the Internet at "Art Crimes/The
Writing on the Wall. You can reach him at jodeho5@hotmail.com
 

ALBA
Orides Fontela

Que bien sé yo la fonte
que mana y corre,
aunque es de noche.
San Juan de la cruz

ALBA
A um passo
do pássaro
res
piro.
ALBA
I
Entra furtivamente
a luz
surpreende o sonho inda imerso
na carne.
II
Abrir os olhos.
Abri-los
como da primeira vez
—e a primeira vez
é sempre.
III
Toque
de um raio breve
e a violência das imagens
no tempo.
IV
Branco
sinal oferto
e a resposta do
sangue:
AGORA!
POEMA 2
Saber de cor o silêncio
diamante e/ou espelho
o silêncio além
do branco.
Saber seu peso
seu signo
—habitar sua estrela
impiedosa.
Saber seu centro: vazio
esplendor além
da vida
e vida além
da memória.
Saber de cor o silêncio
e profaná-lo, dissolvê-lo
em palavras.
VIGÍLIA
Momento
pleno:
pássaro vivo
atento a.
Tenso no
instante
— imóvel vôo—
plena presença
pássaro e
signo 
(atenção branca
aberta e
vívida).
Pássaro imóvel.
Pássaro vivo
atento
a.
3
CLIMA
Neste lugar marcado: campo onde
uma árvore única
se alteia
e o alongado
gesto
absorvendo
todo o silêncio — ascende e
imobiliza-se
(som antes da voz
pré-vivo
ou além da voz
e vida)
neste lugar marcado: campo
imoto
segredo cio cisma
o ser
celebra-se
—mudo eucalipto
elástico
e elíptico.
POUSO (II)
Difícil para o pássaro
pousar
manso
em nossa mão—mesmo
aberta.
Difícil difícil
Para a livre
vida
repousar em quietude
limpa
densa
e inda mais
difícil
— contendo o
vôo
imprevisível—
maturar o seu canto
no alvo seio
de nosso aberto
mas opaco
silêncio.
CISNE 4
Humanizar o cisne
é violentá-lo. Mas
também quem nos dirá
o arisco esplendor
— a presença do cisne?
Como dizê-lo? Densa
a palavra fere
o branco
expulsa a presença e—humana—
e esplendor memória
e sangue.
E
Resta
não o cisne : a
palavra
— a palavra mesmo
cisne.
COMPOSIÇÀO
Compor os pomos
— exatamente—
até
que os signos
— deiscentes —
transfigurem-se.
Compor os pomos
Até
a anárquica primavera.
Compor transpor
Até
a rosa única
— múltiplo
espanto.
5
TRAMA
Tecem-se vôos
campos dóceis
esperas
tecem-se verbos
atentas claras
luzes
tecem-se formas
jogos maduros
rêdes
tecem-se tempos
para um só ato
infindo.

BODAS DE CANA
I
Da pura água
criar o vinho
do puro tempo extrair
o verbo.
II
Milagre (anti-
milagre)
era tornar em água
o vinho
vivo.
III
A água embriaga
mas para além do humano: no amor
simples.
IV
Para os anaw6kx a
água. Para nós
o vinho encarnado
sempre.
6
AS TROCAS
Um fruto por um
ácido
um sol por um
sigilo
o oceano por um
núcleo
o espaço por uma
fuga
a fuga por um
silêncio
— riquezas por uma
nudez.
CAÇA
Visar o centro
ou, pelo menos,
o melhor lado
(o mais frágil).
Astúcia e tempo
(paciência armada)
e—na surpresa
do golpe rápido—
colher a coisa
que, apreendida,
rende-se?
Não: desnatura-se
ao nosso ato. . .
Ou foge.
7
A MÀO
I
A mão destrói imagens
descristaliza signos
e a luz de novo
desabitada
pulsa serenamente
em frio ímpeto.
II
A mão destrói-se
furtando-se
à textura do ser
e do silêncio
e—naufragada a forma—
subsiste uma estrela
sobre as águas.
TROVÕES
Trovões invadem
casas
coisas
quebram
louças gráficos
vidros.
Anulam o supérfluo: articulam
um campo para o destino.
Trovões transportam raízes
a altas distâncias nuas
tentando armar uma flor
com o que resta—ainda—
do silêncio.
8
PROMETEU
A Lei
cinzenta—ave de
rapina—
vôa mas
pesa: desce e
busca
o Sangue
o Sangue: agravo
o Sangue: gravidade.
Peso da
Lei
peso do
Sangue 
— destruição rubro-cinza.
TOURO
I
No verde campo
o touro
qual noite exposta
em claro
dia
no verde chão
da irrealidade
a violência:
o sangue contido
(ainda).
II
No verde dia
(fábula)
a morte? A
VIDA
— tão brutalmente
VIDA
que a tememos.
9
CENTAUROS
Centauros derrubam ídolos
centauros derrubam-se
centauros centauros.
Mas a memória
— têxto pul
sante—
mas a memória
— rito do
sangue—
mas a memória
—sempre a
memória—
absorvendo o ímpeto
floresce.
PEIXE
Gira
forma oblíqua no espelho
cor
capturada em fria
plenitude.
Gira
na transparência a
forma
apenas forma: sem
fuga.
Apenas forma: ciclo
rítmo submerso
sem asas para o tempo.
10
UVAS
Mesclados: o mel
e o mal
a vida: madura
impura
doces-pobres
bagos
em que o gozo
do mel
inclui o mal
em que o gosto
de podre
aguça o fruto.
MITO
Bizâncio:
grande céu dourado
sem pássaros.
Bizâncio:
os mosáicos sem tempo
luz
imota.
Bizâncio:
o eterno helianto
— a estrela
fixa.
MOSAICO
Os anaw6kx fortes eretos.
Faces
neutras
vestes
claras
asas tranquilas
imotas.
Os anaw6kx.
Inamovíveis.
11
PENELOPE
O que faço des
faço
O que vivo des
vivo
O que amo des
amo
(meu "sim" traz o "não"
no seio.)
RELÓGIO
Hora dos
peixes
hora dos
náufragos
hora do es
pêsso
concreto abismo
hora das
algas
lentas flu
tuantes
hora das
ondas
brandas in
findas
hora dos
peixes
densos
obscuros
na obscuridade líquida.
AS PARCAS 12
As Parcas
fiam
nada
tecendo
tecendo o
nada
em lento fio
branco? Nem
branco:
apenas pura
perda, sussurro
de lento canto
que auto-esvazia-se
e—inútil—
tomba
evanescendo-se
na transparência.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Apenas
isto:
Parcas vigilam.
Cintila o
mar.
ODES
I
No mar interior em que
olhosvivências se tramam
no mar estruturado
de olhares em que a vida
se adensa, não há falhas
e onde tudo é vivo nenhum
barco furtivo se aventura.
II
Retêzo o arco e o
sonho
espero:
nada mais é preciso.
III
O fruto arde e se consome
o vinho sustenta os pássaros
a liberdade das águas
dissolve-nos.
Bebemos profundamente. . .
Não é preciso renascer.
13
POEMETOS (II)
Brejo
Água parada água
parada água pa
rando
sob a cintilação dos lírios.
O azul
o exílio.
Fonte
As águas levando
as palmas
as águas lavando
os olhos
as águas livrando
tudo.
A estrela próxima
Próxima: mas ainda
estrela
— muito mais estrela
que próxima.
Sal
ritmo
flama
ciclo
— rio absoluto
do sangue.
Centro
O que é tão puro que
enlouquece as flores
o que é tão puro que
magnetiza o deserto
o que é tão puro que
nem simplesmente existe.
Reflexos
No olho—espelho—
na água—espelho—
no tempo—espelho—
espelhos nos
espelhos nos
espelhos
— infinito irreal—o sonho
flui.
14
MURMÚRIO
O murmúrio não cessa. Nunca a
fonte
deixará de cantar
oculta
e oculto mesmo
o canto
soterrado em cansaço
hábito e olvido
e tudo oculto sob árida
lápide
sob o contínuo deslizar
das formas
e tudo
oculto
mas água
sempre
pulsação
viva
centrando
o
tempo.
MAPA
Eis a carta dos céus:
as distâncias vivas
indicam apenas
roteiros
os astros não se interligam
e a distância maior
é olhar apenas.
A estrela
vôo e luz somente
sempre nasce agora:
desconhece as irmãs
e é sem espelho.
Eis a carta dos céus: tudo
indeterminado e imprevisto
cria um amor fluente
e sempre vivo.
Eis a carta dos céus: tudo
se move.
15
NOTURNO
O silêncio sem cor nem peso
(vacuidade) sustenta
agudas sementes—júbilo—
da lucidez nunca
extinta.
Grandes estrelas fixas.
ALBA (II)
A estrela d’alva—puríssimo
centro da aurora—sidera-me
penetra-me até à vertigem.
ALBA (III)
Ó rosa face
emergente:
puro gosto de luz
branca.
ANTÁRTIDA
O campo branco
(nenhum mapa) intenso.
Os passos consomem-se
o espaço introverte-se
branco branco
asséptico/absoluto.
Norte nenhum
noite nenhuma
— branco sobre
o branco.
ESPELHO 
O espelho
lúcido branco silente
imóvel lâmina fluxo
o espelho: corola
branca
o espelho
branco centro da
vertigem
enorme corola
áspera
forma vazia
do branco
o espelho
flor sem memória fluência
— intensa corola
branca.
16
ESPELHO (II)
I
Fita-nos o cristal, vácuo
de onde emergem rosas
pássaros.
Fita-nos o tempo. Viva
a infância nos rememora.
II
Aves
disparam no espelho
vívidas
aves
lucidamente navegam
no puro cristal
do tempo.
ROSA (II)
Doce perfume des
falecente, rosa
mais-que-perfeita: solta
em vôo
puro.
Doces pétalas vivas.
NAU (II)
Um barco
fende—tranquilo—o mar
(o amor) transporta
— vôo profundo—o esplendor
do silêncio.
Um barco
fende o rumor do mar
transporta
— silente ânfora—a
imortal lucidez
do branco
a
siderante impossível
primavera.
CICLO (II)
Os pássaros
retornam
sempre e
sempre.
O tempo cumpre-se.
Constrói-se
a evanescente forma
ser
e
ritmo.
Os pássaros
retornam. Sempre os
pássaros.
A infância volta devagarinho.
FONTE
A fonte (oculta) ignora-se.
Escamas: sóis
intranquilos
torrente: luz
que se quebra
oferta multi
plicada.
. . .mas na escura gruta
intata
a fonte—serena—expande-se.
SILÊNCIO
I
A madrugada.
Seu coração de silêncio.
II
O silêncio cheio
de peixes
de irisados peixes
úmidos.
III
Grandes árvores
ânforas
transbordantes de silêncio.
IV
Galos
no alto silêncio
impressos
seda
translúcida do silêncio.
NUDEZ 17
Ainda há maior nudez: barreira
ininterrupta do silêncio
guardando em si a evidência
das formas.
Ainda há maior nudez: evidência
sem mais sinais
exata em sua luz interna.
Ainda há maior nudez: a luz
infinda simplicidade
sem apoio além de si mesma.
MIGRAÇÀO
Do leste vieram pássaros
rápidos leves
nem sombra nem rastro
deixam:
apenas passam. Não pousam.
VIA
I
Há um caminho solitário
construído a cada
passo:
não leva a lugar algum.
II
Na floresta um branco
pássaro
oculta-se em seu
silêncio.
III
No alto
— jubilosamente —
uma estrela
apenas.
RIO (II)
I
Águas não
cantam:
fluem suaves
fogem.
II
Fresco silêncio:
a flor não
fala.
III
Nenhum ruído. Apenas
brancas pétalas
da flor que navega
nas águas
esplêndidas.
FLAMA
Tensa
uma flama
no denso silêncio
vela
imóvel
brilha
intensa vigília
áurea
esfera
cálida
— brilho e
sigilo—
no intenso
silêncio
vibra e
vela.
ODE
O início? O mesmo fim.
O fim? O mesmo início.
Não há fim nem início.
Sem história
o ciclo dos dias
vive-nos.
ODE (II)
O instante-surpresa: pássaros
atravessando o silêncio
o
instante
surpreso: conchas
esmaltadas imóveis
o instante
esta pedra tranquila.
REFLEXOS
No espelho
a vida
a pura
vida
já sem
palavras.
A vida viva.
A vida
quem?
A vida
em branco
espelho
puro:
ninguém
ninguém.
LETES
Ó rio
subterrâneo ao ritmo
do sangue
ó água
frígida clara
que elimina toda a
sede
ó água abissal
sem gosto
nem vestígio algum
de tempo
ó fonte
sem mais música audível: água
densa
que nos limpa de todas
as palavras.

Published by permission
of the author. Originally
published in 1983 by
Roswitha Kempf/Editores
(São Paulo)
.

AUBADE
Translation by John Howard

AUBADE
One step
from the bird
I in
hale.
AUBADE
I
The light
enters furtively
surprises the dream still immersed
in the flesh.
II
To open the eyes.
Open them
as for the first time
— and the first time
is always.
III
Touch
of a brief ray
and the violence of images
in time.
IV
White
sign offered
and the blood’s
answer:
NOW!
2 POEM
To know the silence by heart
diamond and/or mirror
the silence beyond
the whiteness.
To know its weight
its sign
— inhabit its merciless
star.
To know its center: empty
splendor beyond
life
and life beyond
memory.
To know the silence by heart
— and profane it. Dissolve it
in words.
VIGIL
Absolute
moment:
living bird
attent to.
Tense in the
instant
— motionless flight —
absolute presence
bird and
sign
(white
open and
vivid attention).
Motionless bird.
Living bird
attent
to.
3
CLIMATE
At this marked spot: field where
a single tree
rises
and the elongated
gesture
absorbing all the silence—
ascends and
immobilizes itself
(sound before the voice
pre-living
or beyond the voice
and life)
at this marked spot: immotile
field
secret estrous distrust
being
celebrates itself
— speechless eucalyptus
elastic
and elliptic.
RESTING PLACE (II)
Rare for the bird
to alight
gentle
on one’s hand—even if
open.
Rare so rare
for a free
life
to realight in quietude
clean
dense
and much rarer
still
— containing the
unpredictable
flight—
to mature its song
in the target breast
of our open
but opaque
silence.
4 SWAN
To humanize the swan
ís to violate it. But
then who’ll tell us
the unsociable splendor
— the presence of the swan?
How to say it? dense
the word wounds
the white
expels the presence and—human—
is splendor memory
and blood.
And
remains
not the swan : the
word
— the word even-so
swan.
COMPOSITION
To compose the pomes
— exactly —
until
the signs
— dehiscent —
transfigure themselves.
To compose the pomes
until
the anarchic spring.
To compose to transpose
until
the single rose
— multiple
fright.
5
PLOT
Flights are schemed
docile fields
pauses
words are schemed
clear attempts
lights
forms are schemed
full-blown games
snares
times are schemed
for a single endless
act.

THE WEDDING AT CANA
I
From pure water
to create the wine
from pure time to extract
the word.
II
Miracle (anti-
miracle)
it were to make water
from living
wine.
III
Water inebriates
but beyond the human: in simple
love.
IV
For the angels
water. For us
the blood-red wine
always.
6
THE EXCHANGES
A fruit for an
acid
a sun for a
secrecy
the ocean for a
nucleus
space for an
escape
the escape for a
silence
—wealth for
nudity.
HUNT
To seek the center
or, at least,
the best side
(the most fragile).
Astuteness and time
(armed patience)
and—by the surprise
of a quick attack—
gather the thing
which, apprehended,
surrenders?
No: it denatures itself
by our act. . . .
Or flees.
7
THE HAND
I
The hand destroys images
decrystalizes signs
and the light once more
uninhabited
serenely pulses
in cold impetus.
II
The hand destroys itself
sneaking itself away
to the texture of being
and of silence
and—the form shipwrecked—
one star subsists
over the waters.
THUNDER
Thunder invades
houses
things
breaks
dishes graphs
windows.
It annuls the superfluous: articulates
a field for destiny.
Thunder transports roots
to great naked distances
trying to set up a flower
with what remains—still—
of silence.
8
PROMETHEUS
The Law
of gray—bird of
prey—
flies but is
heavy: descends and
seeks for
the Blood
the Blood: grievance
the Blood: gravity.
Weight of
the Law
weight of
the Blood
— crimson-gray destruction.
BULL
I
In the green field
the bull
as if night exposed
on a bright
day
on the green ground
of unreality
the violence:
the blood contained
(still).
II
On the green day
(fable)
death?
LIFE
— so brutally
LIFE
we fear it.
9
CENTAURS
Centaurs overthrow idols
centaurs overthrow themselves
centaurs centaurs
But the memory
— a text pul
sating—
but the memory
— rite of the
blood—
but the memory
— always the
memory—
absorbing the impetus
blossoms.
FISH
Turning
oblique form in the mirror
color
captured in cold
plenitude.
Turning
in transparence the
form
merely form: no
escape.
Merely form: cycle
submersed rhythm
with no wings for time. 
10
GRAPES
Mingled: the honey
and the evil
life: mature
impure
sweet-poor
drupes
in which the delight
for the honey
includes the evil
in which the taste
of rot
excites the fruit.
MYTH
Byzantium:
huge golden
birdless sky.
Byzantium:
timeless mosaics
immotile
light.
Byzantium:
the eternal helianthus
— the fixed
star.
MOSAIC
The strong erect angels.
Faces
neutral
vestures
luminous
tranquil wings
immotile.
The angels.
Irremovable.
11
PENELOPE
What I do I un
do
what I live I un
live
what I love I un
love
(my "yes" brings a "no"
in the breast.)
CLOCK
Time of the
fish
time of the
shipwrecked
time of thick
ened
concrete abyss
time of the
slow floa
ting
algaes
time of the
waves
gentle un
ending
time of the
fish
dense
obscure
in liquid obscurity.
12 THE PARCHAE
The Parchae
spin
nothing
weaving
weaving the
nothing
in slow white
thread? Not even
white:
just pure
loss, murmur
of slow chant
which autoempties itself
and—useless—
tumbles
self-evanescing
in the transparency.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
That’s
all:
Parchae keep vigil.
The sea
scintillates.
ODES
I
In the interior sea where
eyesperiences conspire
in the structured sea
of looking where life
thickens itself, there are no failures
and where all is alive not one
furtive boat dares venture out.
II
I re-stretch the bow and the
dream
I wait:
nothing more is needed.
III
The fruit burns and consumes itself
the wine sustains the birds
the freedom of waters
dissolves us.
We drink deeply. . .
Rebirth will not be necessary.
13
SHORT POEMS (II)
Swamp
Water stagnant water
stagnant water stag
nating
Under the scintillation of lilies.
The blue
the exile.
Fount
The waters laying
the palms
the waters laving
the eyes
the waters liberating
everything.
The near star
Near: but still
star
— much more star
than near.
Salt
rhythm
flame
cycle
— absolute river
of blood.
Center
Which is so pure it
maddens the flowers
which is so pure it
magnetizes the desert
which is so pure it
doesn’t even simply exist.
Reflections
In the eye—mirror—
in the water—mirror—
in time—mirror—
mirrors in the
mirrors in the
mirrors
— unreal infinite—the dream
flows.
14
MURMUR
The murmur ceases not. Never the
fount
will stop singing
occult
and really occult
the song
buried in weariness
habit and oblivion
and all occult under arid
tombstone
under the continual slippage
of forms
and all
occult
but water
always
live
pulsation
centering

time.
MAP
This the chart of the heavens:
the living distances
indicate only
itineraries
heavenly bodies do not interconnect
and the greatest distance
is merely the looking.
The star
flight and light only
always nowborn:
ignores its sisters
and has no mirror.
This the chart of the heavens: all
indeterminate and unforeseen
creates a love fluent
and forever alive.
This the chart of the heavens: all is
in motion.
15
NOCTURN 
Colorless weightless silence
(vacuity) sustains
acute seeds—delight—
of lucidity never
extinct.
Great fixed stars.
AUBADE (II)
Star of dawn—the purest
center of daybreak—astound me
penetrate me even to giddiness.
AUBADE (III)
Oh emerging
rose face:
pure taste of white
light.
ANTARCTIC
The intense white
(no map whatever) field.
Footsteps consume themselves
space introverts itself
white white
aseptic/absolute.
No north whatever
no night whatever
— white over
the white.
MIRROR
The mirror
lucid white silent
immobile blade flux
the mirror: white
corolla
the mirror
white center of
vertigo
enormous corolla
rough
empty form
of the white
the mirror
flower without memory fluency
— intense white
corolla.
16
MIRROR (II)
I
The crystal stares at us, vacuum
from which emerges roses
birds.
Time stares at us. Living
childhood recalls us.
II
Fowl
let fly at the mirror
lively
fowl
lucidly navegate
in the pure crystal
of time.
ROSE (II)
Sweet perfume en
feebling, rose
pluperfect: loose
in pure
flight.
Sweet living petals.
VESSEL (II)
A boat
cleaves—tranquil—the sea
(love) transports
— profound flight—the splendor
of silence.
A boat
cleaves the tidings of the sea
transports
— silent amphora—the
immortal lucidity
of white
to
astounding impossible
spring.
CYCLE (II)
The birds
return
always and
always.
Time fulfills itself.
Building itself is
the evanescent form 
being
and
rhythm.
The birds
return. Always the
birds.
Childhood quite slowly returns.
SOURCE
The (occult) source knows not itself.
Scales: intranquil
suns
torrent: light
which breaks itself
offering multi
plied.
. . .but in the dark grotto
intact
the source—serene—expands itself.
SILENCE
I
Daybreak.
Its heart of silence.
II
The silence full
of fish
of shimmering humid
fish.
III
Great trees
amphoras
overflowing with silence.
IV
Roosters
printed
in high silence
translucent
silk of silence.
NUDITY 17
There’s even greater nudity:
uninterrupted barrier of silence
keeping to itself evidence
of the forms.
There’s even greater nudity:
evidence with no other signs
exact in its internal light.
There’s even greater nudity: light
unending simplicity
with no support beyond itself.
MIGRATION
From the east came birds
light fast-moving
they leave
neither shadow nor track:
they just fly by. They never land.
VIA
I
There’s a solitary road
built with each
step:
it leads nowhere.
II
In the forest a white
bird
hides in its own
silence.
III
On high
— joyfully—
just one
star.
RIVER (II)
I
Waters don’t
sing:
they flow gentle
they flee.
II
Fresh silence:
the flower does not
speak.
III
No noise. Just
white petals
of the flower which navegates
the splendid
waters.
FLAME
Tense
a flame
in the dense silence
keeps vigil
immobile
glows
intense vigil
golden
burning
sphere
— radiance and
secrecy—
in the intense
silence
vibrates and
keeps watch.
ODE
The beginning? The same end.
The end? The same beginning.
There’s no end or beginning.
Without history
the cycle of days
lives us.
ODE (II)
The surprise-instant: birds
crossing the silence
the
surprise
instant: enamelled
immobile shells
the instant
this tranquil stone.
REFLECTIONS
In the mirror
life
pure
life
already
wordless.
Life lives.
Life
who?
Life
in pure
white
mirror:
nobody
nobody.
LETHE
Oh subterranean
river to the rhythm
of the blood
oh frigid
water clear
which quenches all
thirst
oh abyssal water
tasteless
with no trace
of time
oh source
with no more audible music: dense
water
which washes away all
our words.

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