Daniela editorial10

A fabric of words spreads all over the space of my mind, as if to take it over completely. It is fabric and atmosphere. It is a non-entity writing, now coarse now silken, made of words-that-remind.1 I want to tell you a story in which a non-entity creature that once was a dress, and then became words, began to grow fast, especially at the purple hour. The story would be fabricated in a leopard grammar.2 The spotty-language-me-not-me creature would be worn on my body in my mind every day, and as I wear it, I arrange thoughts with it. Its shape is my shape and I do not understand it, so I feel a lethal enchanting vertigo. Vertigo, did I see beauty? It has gone. We must try to be more beautiful than what we understand in ourselves, the creature-dress taught me. Beautiful, it said, we are beautiful when we know ourselves, and because we know that our selves are inevitably torn, exaggerated, nonconforming, and our inner lining intermittently reveals hidden velvet and pearlescent quivers, so this dress is beautiful as it is torn, exaggerated, nonconforming and its inner lining intermittently reveals pearlescent quivers. I like the creature-dress. I linger in liking’s unfinished edges.3

Slightly out of sync, an inner cadence is faithful to its motion because only by doing so can it establish its grounds to meet the world. In a region of transformations of which it is rare to speak, a plenitude of significance coexists with disruption, and this dress, to walk in this dress made of words… for every five aligned steps a wiggle, for every line drawn a tear—tear from the eye, tear in the fabric.

Sometimes its fabric has the quality of petals falling, and my skin is so thin I can feel each of them bruise me. It exposes what cannot be exposed; the body it enwraps walks on the edges of psychic-tactile material, touches the inner lining which supports its not. So that it may resonate with its inner knot.

How to sew a scream, how to cut a sigh.

I must reencounter my difficulty. It comes from what is true in me.4


Daniela Cascella is the editor of A Year of Carte Blanche and Other Chimeras at MAP. Her books articulate tensions and points of contact between the literary and the sonic: Nothing As We Need It (Punctum Books / Risking Education, 2022), Chimeras: A Deranged Essay, An Imaginary Conversation, A Transcelation (Sublunary Editions, 2022), Singed. Muted Voice-Transmissions, After The Fire (Equus Press, 2017), F.M.R.L. Footnotes, Mirages, Refrains and Leftovers of Writing Sound (Zer0 Books, 2015), En Abîme: Listening, Reading, Writing. An Archival Fiction (Zer0 Books, 2012).


1 Enxi Mandija, ‘To Be Elastic’, Part 1, MAP Magazine, 10 August 2022.
2 Enxi Mandija, ‘To Be Elastic’, Part 2, MAP Magazine, 10 August 2022.
3 Alice Butler, ‘Too Likeable (To the Side of Rosemary Mayer), Part 1, MAP Magazine, 11 August 2022.
4 Clarice Lispector, A Breath of Life, trans. by Johnny Lorenz, London: Penguin, 2014.

Voices Heard in Reading
Plotinus, The Enneads, V, book 8, trans. by George Boys-Stones, John M. Dillon, Lloyd P. Gerson, R. A. H. King, Andrew Smith and Hames Wilberding, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019 (3rd century CE).
Maurice Maeterlinck, The Inner Beauty, 1910.