1. You bring out the Gitana in me

    After Sandra Cisneros

    You bring out the Spaniard in me. 
    The coral drumfire of romanesque,
    the raven saints & caravans
    windchimes & broken church windows 
    the sapphire seaports, masia motherland
    ( belvedere, baile, barge lights )
    - sharp as a switchblade veiled in
    the syrup for sevillana heirs.
    A serape slinking on a songstress’s body
    as if a chorus of molasses 
    clinking el yeli to a shatter of crushed glass.
    Every swig of satuday night sangrias in me.
    You are the one I would war & wed
    - Let you kiss me with slits in your shirt
    Tease out the last aristocracy of
    a jewelled argot from your teeth.
    Make love to you like history didn’t exist.
    Make you mine.
    Maybe. Maybe.

    You bring out the dia de libre - octavo
    & rosaleda : vermilion, chestnut,
    a cava from cherry to maroon in me.
    The guerrilla gunfire’s half-open swoon in me.
    The Mediterranean’s port wine dialect in me.
    Goya’s ghosts singing bulerías through a bullfight in me.
    The Cervantes charlatan in me,
    a hidalaga & a henchwoman in me.
    The knife-under-the-sleeve knight in me.
    You bring out the la liga rivalries in me.
    The august majesty of Montserrat in me.
    You bring out the lacework courtyards
    of ottoman mosques in me.
    The coerced Orthodox in me.
    The fuchsia tent of an oilve-skinned soothsayer,
    the police state with its iron boots to knock in me.
    The cottage cheese & honey
    seny sculpted with small talk in me.
    The death by Inquisition in me.
    The onyx hair under an ivory mantilla in me.
    The bridesmaid & the black widow in me.
    The vestal virgin & the femme fatale in me.
    The venial and primal sin in me.

    My alabaster colt. My milk-bathed wild thing.
    Let me spell you in this duende.
    Let me comb through your cartographies.
    Let me mark territory as only a refugee knows.
    I want to wrap myself around you like moss
    - upholstering 
    the wide back of a lonely mountain; 
    or vignette your chest 
    like it were the cave of altamira
    and I, the first dilettante of sigils.

    You bring out the clandestine drug hawker in me.
    The dusk of barcelona when it turns ochre in me.
    The hokkani boro sleight of hand in me.
    The nomad in no man’s land in me.
    The cerecloth of bluebells draping a nicho in me.
    The blind basket weaver eating bread dipped in water in me.
    The bottle-hurling, flag-burning rioter in me.
    The mercenary, the monarch and the martyr in me.

    The Heracles coat of arms versus the crown of Aragon in me
    The 1 million strong human chain in me.
    The català no és espanya refrain in me.
    No pasarán to every police baton in me.
    The deadbolt of an ancient cathedral in me.
    The anarchy courting apostle in me.
    The burnt sienna grotto with its lopsided vine in me.
    The corpus christi of a baptism wine in me.
    The bullet wound of Lorca’s fate in me.
    That papillae of his moon in chrysalis
    buried under a bohemian ballad’s weight in me.

    You bring out the Spanish armada in me.
    The ángel of flamenco resurrecting Granada in me.
    The stammer of a verse clinging to be
    nursed within a castanet in me.
    The café con leche with a castillian baguette in me.
    You bring out the renaissance of desire in me.
    The coppersmith by the fury of fire in me.
    The ripe happiness of la tomatina in me.
    The caramel sun of a crema catalana in me
    The lowbrow grub of oxtail & olives in me.
    The ricepaper afternoon’s perfect siesta in me.

    You bring out flamenco’s finespun 
    shoulders strengthening their elan in me.
    You bring out the andalusian & the catalan in me.

    A cante jondo’s thirst of salt in me.
    You bring out the goddess of embers in me.
    The home, the heart that no one remembers in me.
    The status of dust, kitten pulled wool, a wounded 
    animal with its tail as its tourniquet - half penance, 
    half patience - always hungers in me.

    You bring out a militant adoration in me.
    The elegy of linen pooled upon the  
    floorboards like petals of a carnation in me.

    I want to colonise your ruins.
    I want to turn your oracles into assassins.
    I want to be a tree of nectarine 
    in the ardor of your mouth.
    From ether to ore.
    I want to strip you to your ashen bones
    - widen your mouth from a sigh to a roar

    Yes I do. I do. I do.

    Mi taza de la lluvia. Mi cama de girasoles. 
    Mi boca suave. 
    Sólo tú. Sólo tuya.
    Love you the way a gitana loves. Let me
    sing to your skin as only a gypsy knows how.
    Love the only way

    I know why.

    Scherezade Siobhan©

    Reblogged from: viperslang
    • To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, Joshua Ferris
    • The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan
    • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler
    • The Blazing World, Siri Hustvedt
    • J, Howard Jacobson
    • The Wake, Paul Kingsnorth
    • The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell
    • The Lives of Others, Neel Mukherjee
    • Us, David Nicholls
    • The Dog, Joseph O’Neill
    • Orfeo, Richard Powers
    • How to be Both, Ali Smith
    • History of the Rain, Niall Williams

    Ellen Feldman is a glaring and unforgivable omission. My heart is split between Siri Hustvedt & Ali Smith. 

    Yay for my boy Neel tho!

  2. viperslang:


'appy 'appy



    'appy 'appy

    Reblogged from: viperslang
  3. One would hope to not be anywhere and not be in the knotted being, spasmodic being that does not emerge. One would hope to half-open permanence, touch substances, sap, primary delights.  

    Antonia Palacios (trans by Guillermo Parra), from Displacement Texts

  4. I have refused to transit through roads of grace. Let darkness be. I will conform to my nature like the sunflower to the flame. I will be an arc docile to the tensions. I will fill myself with servitude at the demand of weak imposition. But I want within me a flowering, insurmountable, ductile angle where I might reign undisturbed, to retreat there when the temporal liquor is tasteless and there are no more confines to trespass. Sheltered by such limits I will open my house to travelers.  

    Rafael Cadenas,The Exile Notebooks (Barquisimeto, 1930)

  5. Samuel R. Delany -- The Semiology of Silence

    But as you articulate those codes more and more, you soon find, if you’re honest with yourself, you’re at a much more dangerous and uncertain place. You notice, for example, the convention of white spaces between groups of letters that separate out words is, itself, just a code. Knowing the simplest meaning of a word is a matter of knowing a code. Knowing printed letters—written characters—stand for language and are there to convey it is, itself, only a certain codic convention. “Word” (or, indeed, “sentence” or “paragraph”) is only the codic term for the complex of codic conventions by which we recognize, respond to, understand, and act on whatever causes us to recognize, respond, understand, and act in such a way that, among those recognitions and responses and understandings, is the possible response: “word” (or, indeed, “sentence” or “paragraph”). But turn around now, and what we called “the real world” seems to be nothingbut codes, codic systems and complexes, and the codic terms used to designate one part of one system, complex, or another. In the larger neural net, the colors we see and the sounds we hear are only codic markers for greater or lesser numbers of vibrations per second in electromagnetic fields or clouds of gas. Shapes among colors are markers coded to larger or smaller aggregates of atoms and molecules that reflect those vibrations. None of this can be perceived directly; and it’s only by maneuvering and cross comparing certain codic responses to certain others according to still other codes that we can theorize the universe’s external existence in our own internal codic system—a system that, in practical terms, while it expands and develops on that theory at every turn, seems hardly set up to question it except under extremely speculative conditions.

    The sentential, codic—or semiotic—view is dangerous because questions that, at least initially, seem inimical to the system do get asked. And inimical seeming answers are arrived at. The comparatively stable objects posited by the limited codic system of the senses do not correlate well with the greater codic complexes that entail our memory of objects, our recognition of them, and our knowledge of their history and their related situations, which, finally, are what allow us to negotiate, maneuver, and control them. Sense bound distinctions such as inside and outside become hugely questionable. Value bound metaphors such as higher and lower stand revealed as arbitrary. And the physically inspired quality of identity becomes a highly rigid mentalistic ascription in a system that can clearly accommodate more flexibility.

    "Solipsism" is what it’s called—to call it with a sentence. And it feels very lonely.

    Delany on Writing and Fantasy. Masterpiece.

    This is the ethic of hacking codes. True self is a representation. The mirror is an abyss (and vice versa).

  6. I want in fact more of you. In my mind I am dressing you with light; I am wrapping you up in blankets of complete acceptance and then I give myself to you. I long for you; I who usually long without longing, as though I am unconscious and absorbed in neutrality and apathy, really, utterly long for every bit of you.

    Franz Kafka, Letters To Milena

  7. They become one body, a muscle of need.
    A testament of want.
    Ellen Hinsey, The Multitude
  8. i am thinking of how close this is to what you will look like in your 60s and how much i would love walk the streets of naples with you on my arm.

    i am thinking of how close this is to what you will look like in your 60s and how much i would love walk the streets of naples with you on my arm.

  9. A wall of difficult dreams
    divides me from the dead
    Federico García Lorca, from Gacela of the Remembrance of Love (trans James Wright)
  10. Reject the angel, and give the Muse a kick, and forget our fear of the scent of violets that eighteenth century poetry breathes out, and of the great telescope in whose lenses the Muse, made ill by limitation, sleeps.

    The true struggle is with the duende.

    The roads where one searches for God are known, whether by the barbaric way of the hermit or the subtle one of the mystic: with a tower, like St. Teresa, or by the three paths of St. John of the Cross. And though we may have to cry out, in Isaiah’s voice: Truly you are a hidden God,’ finally, in the end, God sends his primal thorns of fire to those who seek Him.

    Seeking the duende, there is neither map nor discipline. We only know it burns the blood like powdered glass, that it exhausts, rejects all the sweet geometry we understand, that it shatters styles and makes Goya, master of the greys, silvers and pinks of the finest English art, paint with his knees and fists in terrible bitumen blacks, or strips Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer stark naked in the cold of the Pyrenees, or sends Jorge Manrique to wait for death in the wastes of Ocaña, or clothes Rimbaud’s delicate body in a saltimbanque’s costume, or gives the Comte de Lautréamont the eyes of a dead fish, at dawn, on the boulevard.

    The great artists of Southern Spain, Gypsy or flamenco, singers dancers, musicians, know that emotion is impossible without the arrival of the duende. They might deceive people into thinking they can communicate the sense of duende without possessing it, as authors, painters, and literary fashion-makers deceive us every day, without possessing duende: but we only have to attend a little, and not be full of indifference, to discover the fraud, and chase off that clumsy artifice.

    Once, the Andalusian ‘Flamenco singer’ Pastora Pavon, La Niña de Los Peines, sombre Spanish genius, equal in power of fancy to Goya or Rafael el Gallo, was singing in a little tavern in Cadiz. She played with her voice of shadows, with her voice of beaten tin, with her mossy voice, she tangled it in her hair, or soaked it in manzanilla or abandoned it to dark distant briars. But, there was nothing there: it was useless. The audience remained silent.

    In the room was Ignacio Espeleta, handsome as a Roman tortoise, who was once asked: ‘Why don’t you work?’ and who replied with a smile worthy of Argantonius: ‘How should I work, if I’m from Cadiz?’


    When the angel sees death appear he flies in slow circles, and with tears of ice and narcissi weaves the elegy we see trembling in the hands of Keats, Villasandino, Herrera, Bécquer, and Juan Ramón Jiménez. But how it horrifies the angel if he feels a spider, however tiny, on his tender rosy foot!

              The duende, by contrast, won’t appear if he can’t see the possibility of death, if he doesn’t know he can haunt death’s house, if he’s not certain to shake those branches we all carry, that do not bring, can never bring, consolation.

              With idea, sound, gesture, the duende delights in struggling freely with the creator on the edge of the pit. Angel and Muse flee, with violin and compasses, and the duendewounds, and in trying to heal that wound that never heals, lies the strangeness, the inventiveness of a man’s work.

              The magic power of a poem consists in it always being filled with duende, in its baptising all who gaze at it with dark water, since with duende it is easier to love, to understand, and be certain of being loved, and being understood, and this struggle for expression and the communication of that expression in poetry sometimes acquires a fatal character.


    Ladies and Gentlemen, I have raised three arches and with clumsy hands placed within them the Muse, the angel and the duende.

    The Muse remains motionless: she can have a finely pleated tunic or cow eyes like those which gaze out in Pompeii, at the four-sided nose her great friend Picasso has painted her with. The angel can disturb Antonello da Messina’s heads of hair, Lippi’s tunics, or the violins of Masolino or Rousseau.

    The duende….Where is the duende? Through the empty archway a wind of the spirit enters, blowing insistently over the heads of the dead, in search of new landscapes and unknown accents: a wind with the odour of a child’s saliva, crushed grass, and medusa’s veil, announcing the endless baptism of freshly created things.

    From  Federico García Lorca’s essay "Theory and Play of Duende"

  11. it has rained all night.

  12. viperslang:

    you say drape me 
    in the valance of your hair

    you, i soothe

    as a festival of flames,
    a tree of torches

    a hundred boughs of bladed heat 
    costumed in a jellyfish silhouette

    hand-drawn in charcoal.
    i become an ossuary

    of smoldering depths
    a spiderblue snare

    between us the moonshine
    of words to cauterize 
    a whole holocaust

    so we gut the quicksand

    barefeet & carnivorous
    we amble through

    foxholes filling up with snow 
    fingers feasted on by frostbites

    mouths – a parade of wasps
    the horizon crafting fog

    into animal shapes of 
    hoodwinked gods

    we laugh like a stampede
    anomies of flocks & herds

    you, i harbor
    unbuttoned by a sleep
    smaller than a bird’s belly

    the ever-coiling hours
    are where i am roughhewn

    from the gossamer black 
    of a highway’s midnight

    you are an ingot of sugar
    thawing my fangs to an ache

    the edge cutting through
    the precipice of its own flesh

    so, teach me how 
    to teeth against the marrow
    of your speechless disappearance

    when you anchor into me

    Scherezade Siobhan©

    Reblogged from: viperslang
  13. be my pianissimo outré, my bario gig,
    my theolonius monk blended in a blue agave swig
    Scherezade Siobhan©
    Reblogged from: viperslang

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