Distribution Automatique

Friday, December 5

For no particular reason, I'm thinking of Vallejo tonight.

In this poem he is able to drive a sombre subject to the
verge of a kind of poetic white hot heat, where there is
a meltdown of meanings, and even the harshest of
negative assertions verges on generating a kind of affirmative
rip tide:

"You're all dead.

What a strange way to be dead. Anyone would say you aren't. But, in fact,
you're alll dead.

You float nothingly behind that membrane, hanging from the heights to the
lowest, which comes and goes from sundown to sundown, shaking in front of
the echoing box of an injury that doesn't hurt. So I say life is in the mirror, and you're
the original,death.

While the ripple goes, while the ripple comes, it's so safe to be dead. Only when
the waters fall apart in front and keep on folding over, then you change yourselves
completely and when your know your'e dying, you notice the sixth cord and it's
not yours anymore.

You're all dead, not having ever lived. Anyone would say that, not being now,
you must have been in some other time. In fact, you're the corpses of a life that
never was. It's a sad fate having been dead all the time, a dry leaf that's never green
Orphenhood of orphanhoods.

And yet the dead aren't, can be, corpses from a life they have yet to live. They al-
ways died from living.

You're all dead."

from *Trilce*
Cesar Vallejo
translated by David Smith
Grossman Publishers, 1973


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