Excerpted from Secession / Insecession (BookThug 2014), a double volume including Secesssion by Chus Pato (trans. Erín Moure) and Insecession by Erín Moure.
in each, in every fold: a river, the planks of a bridge, autumn leaves, a goose and ash blue sky, an adult man, in love, who waits
or a class where the teacher explains that the vegetation is adapted to climatic conditions related to the altitude and orientation of the mountain, and her students, boys and girls, record in their notebooks the graduated vegetation of a mountain that does not exist, an utopic mountain
no matter how much it folds it never reaches the inside: it’s always an immunity, a world, an existence.
Things, the heart of things, but everything could be anything
Behind things is crime, memory, death, fear, consciousness, understanding
An emotion can only be surpassed by a greater one, not all are rational
Things, the heart of things / do not speak
Get to the bottom, to the bottom of words.
They’re buds, the passions, and their typology is the mountain’s: they divide along extension and the logos, establish a sensibility
Of an animal—pup, mammoth, tortoise—we don’t say “it’s an impassioned animal” but of our flesh we do say “my flesh is passionate”
The passions don’t stem from the gut, they’re from words
We can trace lines on this mountain of the passions, if it’s Atlantic we’ll nurture springs and torrents which can, if we’re not careful, become destructive
Vegetation, as is proper, gathers its warmest species at the foot; on the peaks are unending snows.
They get closer / run
without the least effort
they are three, maybe four
they are radiance, action, distance
like skaters in a Brueghel winter: an instantaneous and constant transfer between bodies, highway, grey sky, trees and the eye that sees them
and something more
angels running when they meet the gaze
when I write humidity, winter, the Brueghel painting, none of it is here; the words evoke runners about to vanish, as when you, looking at the path, discovered crane tracks and asked if they were otter footprints; in that sense we say the poem has a face because we write cranes or otters when they aren’t there.
Writing evokes, evokes the voice that in humans is that of an animal that learned language, various languages, all of them articulated. As for the voice (to read aloud, present a poem), nothing brings it closer to the text; a text is complete in its writing, and writing is an absence, a forgetting. This dismemory (the forgetting of winter, of the bird snare, of angels running when they meet the gaze) of the voice that speaks or reads the poem is what makes writing possible. These are letters, the rough draft; but precisely for this reason, because this base is where letters emerge, writing is the sole possibility of remembering the voice, the voice that in humans is the voice of an animal that learns an articulated language. In this way, each poem would be a letter in an interminable abc that calls out constantly through the voice, through the lost moment in which someone articulates a voice in speech. Afterward, a silence exists to speak the world, then all speak, then time and history and grammar arrive.
The poem—angels, skaters, girls on the rainy road—runs/nearer to that voice, to the immemorial instant that sees them, touches them and is maternal; the voice without repetition and primordial in the world speaks so as to say. Poem, memory, are both the forgetting of that voice (a flesh that becomes writing) and the sole possibility of remembering it.
Thus a person endures in desperation and stays among humans.
Writing can’t make happen what it writes, and it never happened, but memory, the memory of what never happened and what happens unendingly, is its home.
Remain before the living and receive from the living their fire, the name
Europe, Easter (1947): Delphine Eydé in a red coat, olive branch full of red red winter apples.
If an image is at once corpse, idol and ghost
if letters are images
a writing (the poem) is, consequently, death, Hades and resurrection
If the poem is forgetting of the voice and outcry through the lost moment in which someone articulates speech in an animal voice, that moment is at once death, Hades and resurrection
In any case a poem (a poet) is always an uncomfortable and threatening being who belongs equally to the chambers of the living and the dead
Death as closure, closure of the animal
Hades: a uterus, a voyage through the inferno of the imagination
Resurrection as judgement
but the poem, the poem is a possibility—a privation of writing—that incessantly exceeds its forms and realizations
The colour of writing would be darkness and, rising up from its depths, the diaphanous.
The delta, the six branches of the delta and its river; that’s how my image trembles in the breath
The diaphonous of writing is a clarity that emanates from ashes, for there’s no light other than that of ashes rising to construct the transparency of writing; thus the animal voice that articulates speech is a translucent voice. The quill has to plunge itself into writing, into shadow; in other words, the ink with which we write is writing proper—the proper forgetting of the voice and its memory—with this ink, with darkness, we write the diaphanous.
Writing remains fallen in its own darkness, from this privation rise the figures who invent a voice that speaks alone and with the world; sometimes it remains in an extreme calm, an ocean-grey pupil, its sky
This pupil immobile as an ocean is a passion for translucent creatures; it means: love
This love allows it to open up to the closure of the animal, to the viscera of the imagination and to judgement: a law in accordance with the disorder of the tree of life
With love all this is bearable
Trees: so many dead comrades
Barefoot in the snow / from here we can reach humanity
(…) shyness is a form of violence. Because of this and because of the emotion of the meeting, Brisa started contradicting Cambria’s each and every affirmation, maintaining not only that there’s no way she’d ever read Heidegger, but that even if the past could be altered, she’d never set eyes on any of Ezra’s cantos, despite recognizing that Heidegger’s thought was central and that she couldn’t not consider Ezra as one of the best Western poets.
Cambria, with some difficulty, found the restaurant; the dining room—the former stables for the beasts of the manor’s owners, who went there down a wide staircase, obviously of stone—was pleasantly heated and the lunch dissolved her tensions.
After a bit of shopping and already into the darkness of a cold and rainy January late afternoon, they ducked into a café. Cambia admitted she’d retreated, related how what had once happened to her with books had recently started happening with people: she felt so much respect for them that thinking herself a burden she retreated, and this situation meant none of her relationships were spontaneous and yes, on the other hand, it was mediated by thought and the discovery, disturbing to her, that feelings can come to be a burden; this mediation, she added, made relationships even harder and scared her even more, impeding her in many cases from calling or contacting those she loved. Brisa, for her part, confirmed what she’d already said before, that she was prepared to keep relating to someone when and only when the connection did not imply any type of mutilation of her person; she could accept encounters when and only when the other person was sincere with her and accepted her fully, without rejecting what he or she found unacceptable, that is, without rejecting her conviction of being part of a people against whom the state again and again distorts the normal way of being in the world, part of a nation harmed and enslaved to the point of being today in a situation of permanent state of exception, ignoring in so doing her unacceptable state of exclusion from any citizenship, exclusion from any recognition of rights, insofar as her maternal identity and language are concerned, and considering the independentist option as mere caprice or extravagance; in any case, she continued attracting human beings in the most fascinating of spectacles; she was, thus, ready to observe them, listen to them, but in no case make any compromises, outside of what she’d just said and naturally in the case of those men and women who were integral parts of her love, as was the case of M., of her daughters or of Cambria herself. She ended by explaining that, from her point of view, feelings are, doubtlessly, a commitment, and that even if every commitment requires an effort, this at no moment can be a burden. They spoke as such of identity as immunity and of the recently translated The Intruder by Jean-Luc Nancy, and of other books.
As the evening went on, the face of Cambria, its white skin and very black hair, became dilated in her fatigue, in the sensual rhythm of her lips that opened and closed in the rhythm of her words, in the aura of her eyes that relentlessly gazed ahead, nearly converting themselves into a splendid cosmic animal, watching from the skies.
Later, back at home, Brisa felt that each and all of her affirmations in the bar where they’d met were impostures of what she really wanted to communicate, not because they lied but because in the speed of the conversation and due to the strong emotion she felt at sitting across from Cambria, she hadn’t been able to utter what was nestled in her phrases: that possibly she could never forgive the violation she experienced at the hands of her progenitor and brother and that the guilt she felt for her innocence was also unforgiveable, guilt at not being able to avoid that aggression, and furthermore that in great measure the failure of her personal relationships had to do with certain hopes, not exempt from ambition, that had impeded her from focussing on what was before her and from obliterating discrepancies and impossibilities that not only were obvious to everyone but were meridianal, feeling that what hurt her most was not the need to be loved and accepted, to let herself be swept away by various happenings—the irresponsible and amoral that took place in certain situations—but the ambition which so regularly betrayed her. All in all, learning how not to betray herself was an arduous task for Brisa, to which she had to dedicate a lot of energy and one that she would possibly have to carry out for the rest of her days.
Documentation: on the definition of Galicia and those other peoples of the planet as enslaved peoples, impeded from nourishing themselves, from enjoying themselves.
What’s important is the big picture, what’s important is the sovereignty that decrees a permanent state of exception (Benjamin, eighth historical thesis). In so doing it places the law outside its domain and, in consequence, occupies the entire available surface, immediately converting the inhabitants of the territory into populators outside the law, which is to say, into slaves, who include (self-produce) the precise cause of their exclusion, of their privation of rights.
A sovereign who decrees a permanent suspension of the law is a nihilist sovereign and all his acts are also nihilist.
A law with which we cannot comply (nor obey, nor transgress) has no meaning, it is a nihilist law.
Sovereignty and the law that fill all space available to them are nihilist.
To violate the state of permanent emergency that oppresses us. To exist beyond sovereignty, on the obverse of capital, of nothingness. To establish a law in accordance with the disposition of letters on the tree of life. To write not elegies but hymns, that which has no compliance—redemption—(I write redemption through Eduardo Pondal, through Walter Benjamin, and also through the nation of Breogan), the new.