Easter 1912 and Christmas 1929: Blaise Cendrars and Garcia Lorca in New York (a Second Take)

By Matthias, John | Chicago Review, Spring 1999 | Go to article overview

Easter 1912 and Christmas 1929: Blaise Cendrars and Garcia Lorca in New York (a Second Take)


Matthias, John, Chicago Review


What lengths what loops. In 1912 and good enough. In 1929. At Easter first, at Paques. And then a good right hand and arm blown off the shoulder at the Battle of the Marne. And after 1930, the Falange. But Easter first, but Christmas next again. A calendar, a caliper. And One: who'd done a juggling act with Chaplin in the London circus once. One: who'd hear a violin in limousine, a xylophone in linotype. Who'd call out Negro Negro to the King of Harlem looking for the Gypsy Jesus Christ. In 1912, in 1929. Caruso sang Puccini & the widows in black carried his cross through the Bronx. Whose Red Christ or whose Black Sun split apart like a coal? Did somebody say Je connais ... Je descends a grands pas vers le bas de la ville? Did somebody answer with wheel and leather and hammer and oil? Ninguno queria ser... Ninguno amaba las hojas, la lengua azul. First Cendrars in 1912. And Lorca next. One: These three: Chalice and orchid and book. All the Christs all the heists in museums. Nobody there to hear bells, nobody anthem and song, nobody liturgy, nobody nun, nobody prelate or drum. So dic nobis quid vidisti nobody nobody there: Encores encipher at dawn. Ten: What tense? Who'd tell what tensions tore the whorish times. …

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