Tonight there will be a moon road, you say, I say: the moon road will unfold in an uneven rhythm, whose true significance is not even proportion, but movement dictated by hands and entangled voices, off-centre measure which introduces brief and nearly imperceptible pauses, the opposite of what is usually understood as measured rigid structure, so we may say rhythm is not dictated but embodied, so may I say asymmetrical, rhythm, is a most profound mode, not initially conscious, a qualitative, not quantitative articulation. It circles around an ungraspable centre, the point of irradiation of the relationship between two entities, each one with its distinctive quality, rhythm, a psycho-physic force transforming movement (of voices, of hands that write) into depth, and giving physical weight to sensibilities. It is not a precise division of time, rhythm, rather, it is like a driftwood which hovers on water, in a loose succession of lateral movements, elastically shifting toward their centre and never entirely coinciding with it, because the crux here is not to be solely at the centre, but to rotate around another’s while carrying one’s own. These conversations, of rhythm, of analogic repetitions, are the same and not quite so, manifest moving and centred ways of being, forms of words heard on the page, analogous when they follow the same, asymmetrical, rhythm, where I hear your voice that is my voice that is another, sense is manifested, not in a logic formula, but in rhythm which enmeshes various elements, confounds and re-founds them. Timelines are scrambled, timeliness no longer an issue, it is not a theory that demands to be written here, but a refrain that wants to be heard, its cadence touching a deep substratum. Hearing-in-reading, writing, are not consequences of efficiently calculated or arranged structures, but expressions of modes of being, and tonight it will be a chariot on a moon road, a moon piece, I long to hear lunar writing, a lunar criticism that floods the streets of the city by night, small waves and in cycles, streams, hits the shoals where memory breaks. A figure emerges from the misted page, an apparition who speaks in low tones and looks at the sky, guiding and interlocking the two writers’ fingers. A memory architect who never says what, but you are. She helps build the infrastructure from the shimmering remains of a nearly lost thought, from the soft skeleton of a suspended idea. Washed away by the tide again, now I long for a nonentity prose, like Jules Michelet’s on insects, the mountain, the sea, nonentity prose, prose full of elements which flee from overly familiar, safe environments, cultivating a sense of precision surrounded by obscurity, a form of writing which asks of language to be drenched in the unspoken qualities of silence, or to hear the voice of what speaks not, or it could be in circles, a nonentity writing that contemplates its object by apprehending its movements as much as its depths, its rhythm. Here is an object-urn-taciturn, tacitly asserting the nature of poetry that is being inside, its rotational spin deepening, retracing in my reimagining-reading the great circle of shadow that Dante evoked at the beginning of one of his Stony Rhymes, inaugurating another clash of opposites which allowed style to be vital presence. Here the same word rhymes and rhythms and rhymes with the same word, hear: petra, petra, petra, tempo, tempo, tempo, luce, luce, luce, stone, stone, stone, time, time, time, light, light, light, an armour of closely rhyming, rhythming words at the end of each verse holds the burning matter in the rest of each verse. At times it is a mineral formation, at times a triumph of flora, it is, and what I hear is, one bears a responsibility to the wondrous verb is. A conversation where the tacit and the urn long for another enfolding presence, the gradual materialisation of a sonorous initial and pre-initial utterance. Something strange and deep inside our nature occurs when we allow ourselves to make a circle… To write a poem is to be apprentice to the circle. The nature of hearing-in-reading, that is, to be inside, drawn in, devoted. Hear now: the subtle noise of prose, that road of many songs.
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, forthcoming 2022), Chimeras: A Deranged Essay, An Imaginary Conversation, A Transcelation (Sublunary Editions, forthcoming 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).
Voices Heard in Reading
James Wilkes and Ella Finer, ‘By Night, Tidal City’, MAP Magazine, 1 June 2022
Marius Schneider, Il significato della musica, trans. by Aldo Audisio, Agostino Sanfratello, Bernardo Trevisano, Milano: SE, 2007 (1951, 1956, 1960)
Coil, ‘Batwings’, Musick To Play In The Dark, Vol. 2, CD, Chalice, 2000
Jules Michelet, Il mare, trans. by Aurelio Valesi, Roma: Elliot, 2019 (1861)
Michelet, La montagna, trans. by Carlo Gazzelli, Genova: Il Melangolo, 2001 (1868)
Linda Orr, Jules Michelet: Nature, History, and Language, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1976
Dan Beachy-Quick and Kylan Rice, ‘Object-Urn’, in MAP Magazine, 2 June 2022
Dante Alighieri, ‘Rime Petrose’, in Rime, Torino: Einaudi, 1995 (13th century CE)
Daniela Cascella, ‘…cerchi? Cerchi (…you Search? Circles)’, Reliquiae, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2021