Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Glossator 11 (2021): Cristina Campo: Translation / Commentary

Edited by Andrea di Serego Alighieri and Nicola Masciandaro
A Bell for Cristina – Writing an Image of Echo and Chimera
Daniela Cascella

L’Imperdonabile Cristina Campo
Laura Boella

Six Poems from Passo d’Addio
Adrian Nathan West

Forme dell’Amicizia negli Epistolari di Cristina Campo
Monica Farnetti

Cristina Campo’s Commentarial Reflection on her Literary Translations
Višnja Bandalo

The Fairy Tales in Cristina Campo’s “Della Fiaba”
Cristina Mazzoni

Gli Anni della Perdita: Missa Romana e La Tigre Assenza di Cristina Campo
Nicola Di Nino

Magnificat Equation
Snejanka Mihaylova

Cristina Campo and Iranian Mysticism
Chiara Zamboni

Cristina Campo – The Unforgiveables: A Translation with Commentary 
Andrea di Serego Alighieri and Nicola Masciandaro


Sunday, June 13, 2021

The Whim: Cantos1-9


The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the spirit.

– John 3:8


There is nothing but a bewildered one. There is nothing exercising properties but bewilderment. There is nothing but Allah.

– Ibn Arabi


It seeks to know itself. It is of no use to ask why it does so.

– Meher Baba




1: O Parvardigar! The Preserver and Protector of All


Everyday the human wakes, wondering

Where on earth, within spirals outside place,

Is one like its love—never anything


Once appearing on par with that pure face

Whose eye flashed eternal in the first soul,

Mirror of day before light, only trace


Of itself, dropping oceans down the whole.

I am here more or less another you

Acting out and in this singular role


No one alone will play, truthlessly true,

Being whatever nothing can be, split

Of time spilling earth’s old excess of new


Thoughts and words and deeds—as if tears, sweat, spit

May turn to sweetness the world’s secret pain.

The fact of infinitely being it


Informs a jumping spider all the same

Now transiting the moon glow of our screen

Like black starlight distilled into a brain


Unfolding the four-fold sense of the seen

Into lightning ideograms of limbs

Hunting the eye-color of longing: green.


Instant conviction that the ocean swims,

Otherwise no species of entity

Finds open its path through labyrinths of skins


Enshrouding the birth immaculately

Of matter, life, thought, and the God whose glance

Marks the plan of all spontaneity         


Pointing one asleep/awake in silence.

No one moves the puppet of their being

Without that infinitesimal lance


Sewing the horizon of every string

Far before it is twisted into form

Around the zero-dimensional ring


Adorning the end-origin, this storm

Absolutely safe filling the abyss.

Not a hair on any head comes to harm


In the universe whose expanding bliss

Springs from the seed of your eternal crown

In coils to be beheaded with a kiss


Some shoreless night when the full moon is drowned

In highest seas of future memory

And the pearl of pearls by itself is found.


Stay nearest the secret whimsically  

Ever swimming this matrix so clear,

Bound freely now in the one gravity


Whose net saves all from all where I am—here

Long before any were, lost in the care

Unending that pierces each eye, mouth, ear,


Heart with the sweet hook of life’s own navel.


2: You are without beginning and without end    


History is not happening today

Here in paradise where we not yet hang

With nothing or not knowing what to say


Other than remember me who once sang

Of something so dearest that knowledge weeps

To recall home the hunger of its pang


In mansions where the king dreaming us sleeps.

How many beings have you ever met

On this horizon scarred with light that leaps


In all directions outspreading the net

Into a view from nowhere so glamorous

That nobody sees you and lives and yet


One still is present like an anchoress

Floating wholly all well now in life’s tomb?

Answer not in thought-words unamorous


Any question left by love in the womb

Far before abyss springs from the recoil

Of asking in the first place like a bomb


Who individuation is, this soil

Of roots underneath gravity,

That black earth of every atom’s toil.


The soul is Mary, not an entity

Of the kind my blindness of thinking sees,

No thing squirming among identity


With shadow forms of fine or gross bodies,

But the real worm itself of life unbound

Echoing ever new in ecstasies


Of self-birth from her own omphalic ground.   

Never was and will be again always,

Such is the first order of someone’s sound,


Anyone who verses the rainbow rays  

Expanding from these shores of dreaming stones

To find impressions of the perfect maze


Known now-forever to one’s feet alone

In the whim of suffering the very swerve.

The vista of you nails us to the bone


One may say were it not for the pure curve

Of a plus lightspeed smile splitting the frame

Of pronouns, the unwhole skeleton nerve


Of humanity dying not to name

What everything is always seeing,

First image of fire before the eye’s flame.            


I know you know my beloved, the being

Whose question calls yonder unlimited

Domains the dark world-desert is fleeing,


A numberless friend losing first his head

To save each from themselves, bleeding such drops

As pierce my bubble-sphere with sighs undead,


Everybody falling before the sight.  


3: Non-dual, beyond comparison


Nothing what it thinks it is (divided)

And the one and only one so perfect

That none anywhere ever has a head,


Each face being before number bedecked

In decollation, crowned nameless today

By life’s body, the overboard subject


Beached like Priam, Palinurus, Pompey.

This all along was the absolute plan,

Projecting our purposes far away,


Unframing the picture of each lifespan

With hands born of wind breathing wherever

It will, all the while preferring a man


Whose right love the left does not outclever,

One whose sigh knows silently where to go.

Remember the shore of birth, the treasure


Retrieved there in midst of the first death throe,

This vast cetacean stranding of dark souls

Bleating syllables of origin’s blow


From which nothing recovers only rolls

Playing it again upon the om point

To sew time’s hide-and-seek game through new holes?


The supreme power splitting every joint

Of being’s chain ain’t imaginable,

Hands of one that all hands bind and anoint,


Tapping open and closed the gates of hell

Or paradise as love dictates within

This pulsing of nerves immeasurable


Enveloped in image’s very skin.

When Teresa sees the beauty of them—

Peripherally my eyes imagine,


Unable to sustain the diadem—

Every overestimation falls so shy

That no wonder it is merely the hem


Mind and heart are commanded to hold, why

That limen is what best molds your grasp.  

Line is horizon, the far-nearest sky


Within which all that makes contact may clasp,

The special place for love itself to meet,

Filling the spectrum between shout and gasp,


An omnipresent spot or endless street

Where all oppositions bow to the one

Whose presence proves everyone wrong, his feet.


See their shadow trample upon the sun,

The illimitable darkness of light

Outshining above and below the run


Of gravity, hear their steps in the night

Stalking the spirals of a lost thought’s ear

Like a panther nonpareil in whose sight


You will no more protect what never was.


4: and none can measure You


She felt like counting things, went to the sea,

Spent three days there numbering the waves,

Seventeen thousand eight hundred and three,


And then to a desert, among the caves

Within a centimeter of sand where

Dance grains of void like dusty crystal graves


Containing only themselves, what is there.

Truth is—heard in dream—the truth is a tree,

This whole slow bomb branching into the air


Of one worlds writing now by dreaming we

Asleep in the signature all over

Lining the art of petals such as these,


The ones sewn into beloved lovers

Of life’s full zero of the human form.

Number it as long as you can hover


Here, daring once to unswallow the worm

Of seeable spheres sprouting from a point

By falling in fronds unto their own germ,


And fail to fail to stop before the joint

Of soul and body suddenly sunders

In a dark flurry of stars at flash point.


Not a deity can tally the hairs

Of this—one’s very own—head, not one god

Flames not into being by sparks that dare


To swerve wheresoever spirit will nod,

Sewing by seeing the shape of things bleed

Alive into fresh forms perfectly odd,


Born by chance more necessary than need.

So full all place is with things never found,

Intersections of all with all which seed


In silent explosion the starry ground

So deep to carry my hands even here

In your heart-eyes for a moment unbound


And so light to unclose the furthest near

Like a banner rainbowing in the mind.

For example, in iridescent tear


Shed the skin snakelike from my face, designed

By predawn in a sleep pattern bluer

Than the purest lazurite ever mined


And cupped as a double crystal ewer

Like old interlocking hands of a man

Whose sight pours silence into the viewer.


Truly no ruling shall there be nor plan

Of this one and only reality,

Never a marking of its endless span


Beginningless, far too present to see,

And still just like that our appointment

Is kept, arriving my breath to where she


Waits, filling the ink of night with her eyes.


5: You are without color


A thousand yesses to all that transpires

Upon this sphere infinite where we crawl

Like ants spying the path of their desire


Until today the curve of the whole ball

Carries my heart into the first first dawn  

Whose hue memory will never recall  


(Goldening green eye of the Amazon).

Show me a mirror that does not reflect,

Refuse the force whereby a breath is drawn,


Lock someone’s corpse never to genuflect

Before mind, energy, matter, the whole

Massive mess moving totally unchecked,


Charioteering itself like a soul

Across the curve of all continua.

Everything here burning is in that coal


Of brightest ever black as Siddartha

Waking up and seeing the world anew

So good luck voting here other than yea,


Appearing elsewhere than in the pale dew

Of motherless birth like a falling word

Or moth-wing flaming the sun’s light from view.


At what point in whatever story heard

Has any of it made the slightest sense

Or single truth-drop from the cloud emerged


Other than unknowing’s own turbulence,

Something like the pure tint of this color

Out of space, a most ultimate presence


Sweetened inside bewilderment’s dolor?

Not beings but fatal contradiction

We are, latest singular plural spore


Of lives scarring the corpus with fiction,

Shadowing in ever-expanding gloss

That text unseen, yet felt, without diction,


In echoing sport of children across

The day’s darkening oceanic skies.   

See the impossibility of loss,


Take and read the total zero of whys,

This infinite sum of points escaping

Everywhere from your dreaming, unborn eyes


As if the one behind all creating

Is simply the pupil’s simplemost act

Of missing the moment of its shaping.


Something that nothing will ever distract,

A person so spontaneously friend

Now friendlier than the friendliest fact


Of original friendship without end

Right in the middle of every movie

Suddenly taking life by the left hand


To walk straight out of this void cinema.    



6: without expression


As the boulder he and his beloved

Are climbing at once begins to give way,

Rolls back crushing soon their small bodies dead,


He twists as if somehow to shield her clay

With his, curl space beyond the weight of dust,

Pressing gravity this once to obey


A will other than its own heavy lust.

Can you fathom the secret of their smile

In that total moment of helpless trust


When universe, contracted to a trial

Of instant spirit, with nowhere to flow

Save through itself, unfolds a new while


Neither temporal, eternal, or now

Blazing to gold the ash of all words?

Help me to hug that love, to be not vow


Whatever alone knows silence, as birds

This moment musicking in nearfarness

A sweet raw scent erasing the deaf herds


Of noise still demanding just less and less

Of a more and more available free

Among palms who labor first to confess.


Time is not much—do not ask—like a key

To no door, nor to mention any state

To save you from life or death which can’t be  


Regardless, simply a sense of breath, fate,

If you will, some mist of dream on the glass

Murmuring echoes back where we await


Thoughts stirring in the diorama grass.

Some days immutable so full of light

And strange like speaking in tongues to the gas


Whose souls we once were in unearthly night

Already too long after the first sound

By saying nothing produced the big plight


Of being others, not one but we, bound

By birth into cosmic history.

Others so heavy with some ancient wound,


Unable to respire the mystery,

Only boring horror of me hanging

As brain or hookbait of self-puppetry


Signifying nothing—muffled panting

Of the heart needing water not vapor

Trapped in required facemasks of ranting.  


So the next day spent burning this taper

Fly the whole world upon smoke unsaying

Whatever ink can shadow on paper,


Let all the drones of silent prayers praying

Themselves until the end of ends swallows

The tongue express what truth is conveying


Without pressing lips to flute, snake to ear.



7: without form


Those beautiful hands Saint Teresa saw,

Same ones each breath holding all our hearts,

Conducing crystal to leaf, limb to claw,


Midwifing birth’s whole into body parts,

Move here themselves exactly as they wish,

Not unlike an atom’s flow into quartz


Or the swirl of seas into fins of fish.

Whatever wondrous thing this is, neither

This nor that and both (query Ramakrish-


na), wherever one folds between breather

And breath the line of one’s own living who,

It is what it is and, yes, not either,


Forever an X for him, her, me, you

To fathom alone wherein silence drowns.

Is there something to be, someone to do,


In the daily masquerade of sad clowns,

Mad heroes, and bad sages, idiot

Slave-porters all to painted leaden gowns


With masks unhiding faces hideous,

Or, in deserts wild where unnamed flowers

People the sun with thoughts mysterious?


No directions lead to the sudden hours 

Where the whole shape of life’s monstrous circle

Feels to fall itself in unseen showers


Landing in my mind’s lap like some purple

Skin of ouroboros shed around dawn

By the still centrifuge universal


Until I understand and it is gone.  

Give yourself a name, sex, now run ahead

And place the stiff neck of that tiny pawn


Unpromotable to king on the red

Line of any guillotine’s little moon

Because everyone both living and dead


Is dying to fly from the dark cocoon

Of your cosmos into our home of homes.

Planlessly plan to meet me yourself soon


On a shoreless shore where the ocean foams

Bubbles sweet as spittle from Krishna’s flute

Or upon primordial plains where roams


Only love’s sigh bearing scent of the fruit

Of paradise, or elsewhere wherever

You want because to here there is no route.


Walking down the street today I never

See anyone anything anywhere

Until one far more circumspect ever


Appears right in the middle of a prayer

Silently there sculpting the wild wind

Into waves of sight and shadows of hair


Darker than darkness and lighter than light.

8:  and without attributes

A light shirt woven of your signature

Is the one my naked heart wants to wear

In this darker celestial color


And living texture of something’s hair

With the weight of a warm feeling or thought

Interested in everything without care


To breathe between all that is and is not.

Colder than today have you ever felt

In the people-less world of people fraught


With mirror-forms frightful that live to melt

Under the tongue of one’s own siren gaze

Spitting breath’s spice to the asteroid belt


Of history’s tomorrows, that flat maze

Or screen whose blade now beheads Earth’s children?

The only god who will save us—O rays


Of my real eyes neither seen nor hidden!—

Is the one one now is, this that no one

Seems willing to face in the lion’s den


Of your own lion-soul or soul-cave sun

Blindingly brighter than all daily dreams

And beaming from the ears of everyone.


Thread myself like zero into the seams

Of the garment of garments, God’s rainbow

Of flying sky whose silent freedom beams


In all directions or none with the glow

Of becoming whatsoever it may

And is and will be forever ago


The simply true happiness here to stay.

Or wait—while the thing-counting never stops

Adding un-verses to none—let me sway


Like a tear swimming itself in the drops

Of light that cannot escape your pupil

In some pink sunset drowning the rooftops


Up through the gravity unusual

Or smile sometimes known as anagogy.

One day (says heart with sweet mouths quadruple


Aping the tetragrammatology

Of causes unsaying its own event),

One day the time of speleology,


Of downclimbing the cave of time’s descent

Will uncoil itself as a butterfly

Surprised by its spontaneous ascent.


Since from the beginning of the first why

Or unplace of all places glimpsed unseen

To the final it, passing through each eye


Shut tightest on itself or piercing keen

As an eagle’s, this one spot has it all,

A knot of blue and white and brown and green


Where right now no world has ever been known. 



9: You are unlimited and unfathomable


As they scribbled with the friend about scars

Of the horizon, more and more was said

Than known and vice-versa; words like stars


Cut themselves from void, burning to be read

By a few disjointed no ones who feel

That everything alive is beyond dead


And more than any mind may observe, real.

To die in secret is the life, unheard

Outside boundless silence who feels the deal


In all directions since the first sigh stirred

Your waters of sleep the way it pleases

To be what things are really like, absurd


Or flooded with form that never freezes

Swallowing all on the way to nowhere. 

Now one more reason to love the breezes


That breathe upon the temples of your hair

Whose priestesses sweeter than the honey

Dropping unseen on their own heart-tongues’ prayer 


Sway as lions to drive off the money

Changers, thieves of blood who have no business

Near the pure pulse of something so funny. 


No one will ever stop laughing at this

Which nor can be indicated as that—

A wild abyss of mountains of such bliss


As is hardly felt living on the flats

Or in cities dense with desire’s pain,

Only closer to the sea habitats


Of Andean stones singing in the rain.

What I mean is that the entire world

Of everything (all) is totally vain


Or simply the shadow of a dance whirled

Of itself by God hanging round your neck

In cords out of life-creating cuts twirled


Down to the diameter of a speck

Whose color dots the pupil of image.

If at some moment on this mountain trek


All strength stumbles before the vast mirage

And the bubble of breath drowns in the blur,

Do not think that you are not the mad mage


Whose spell is causing all stuff to occur

Or that somehow anyone arrives here

Else than from here, the future where we were.


O bewildering whisper of the ear

Speaking all truth in a spiral of spots

Still-staying faster than the speed I hear


Passing time by through a series of knots

Each nested in the other yet somehow

Shortcutting the circuit of endless thoughts


How on earth to face whatever you are?