Saturday, April 23, 2005

Blackbirds-Alternate Adress [sic]

Today in my e-mail box I got the following post-poem from David Rosenmann-Heilig, who may or may not be the Valencian word-daemon also known as Isaak Calderón, a/k/a NovaLux a/k/a Dolcísima (Tagoror). In fact, IC has so many aliases, alter egos and noms de plume et de cacher issuing torrents of verbiage I can barely keep up. Some of his Spanish compatriots have thrown up (at) their keyboards in despair. At any rate, I think DRH and IC are the same (or closely linked) because among the fifty plus posts I've gotten from him in the last few months, a number have invoked the name and theme of blackbirds (los mirlos), directed both playfully and cuttingly at both Francisco Mejía (who's Dominican-American) and me. To school him on the subtleties of blackbirdery I sent Stevens's "Thirteen Ways," and intend to e-mail him Thylias Moss's and Raymond Patterson's takes on black(bird)ness, as well as Hayden's "A Plague of Starlings," when I have them handy.

Here's the most recent missive (all orthography is his), as usual in multiple languages, with snippets of song and rap lyrics, broken meter, references to the European literary and philosophical tradition, and a constructed metaphysics that obsesses him:

BLACKBIRDS - Alternate Adress

Da eight inmortals of the blood cup.
Here we are.
I´m singing from the moon to the noon.
Después mezclaré: necesito que hagamos músika.
Poemas cantados, claro. Yo lo que mejor sé hacer es bailar
cantar, componer y tocar cuerda. ¡ Tonoi !
Un abrazo. Prefiero yahoo: perdonad por lo de hotmail,
pero es que recibo millones de ataques por segundo a todas mis cuentas.
No sé por qué será: yo sólo quiero cantar, reír & amar.
Días de vino y rosas sagradísimas.
Repito: Ist nicht heilig mein herz, schöneren lebens voll, seit ich liebe?

Sometimes if the posts are interesting enough I save them, but many I just delete. Today I decided to toss off a response to Rosenmann-Heilig/Calderón. I gave myself exactly ten minutes (plus revisions), and said I'd use at least one language other than German and write as lyrically as possible, without aiming for sense. A remix.

BLACKBIRDS Alternate Remix

by JK (Mirlíssimo)

Are we da eight blackbirds of the cup of blood?
Does the octagonal pen still guide us towards nightfall?
After mixing, what funky samples linger on the threshold?
If the fingers on the LP are cold, who will elevate the singer?
Are we the fate of the black flight of brotherhood?
What's it mean to remix if not even the heart is listening?
Misturamos de novo mas já ficamos sob os lénçois branqueados.
Poderemos cantar como mirlo pero sin amago, sin amargor.
Cantantes poetizadas, claro, que pueden bailarlo.
Prefiero la música de las palavras negras sobre el grito del silencio blanco.
Noches de corazones y garrafas hablantes sentidísimas.
With each new song the world learns to live in us.
No sé por qué passará: yo sólo quiero pensar, vivir y amar.
My heart fills with toxic rivers and SUVs, but it spins
and soars towards the blackest and most distant stars.

Nope, it doesn't make (that much) sense, but it was fun to pen. I'm interested to see what he writes back. The bit about the mixing and bleaching and the toxic rivers and SUVs, though, are, as we all know, a little too real to be completely dismissed.


  1. can't help but reading "las palavras negras sobre el grito" alongside Brathwaite's "grito". you're making me think about how we read as well as write. thanks. m

  2. M, I hadn't consciously thought of the link, though the two posts are side by side. It also makes me think of Brathwaite (and all of us) as "griots" offering "palavras negras" in the face of the "grito" of "white silence." Your post on Yusef's and Ibarra's piece was great.