PART I of George kalamaras and john Bradley ‘s collaborative text

Edited by :Giorgia Pavlidou

(and previously unpublished)

Collective surrealist text
By : George Kalamaras and John Bradley

over the character of Miguel Carablanca, written collaboratively in the vein of Andre Breton and Philipe Soupault.

(Shoes That Lisp)

Shoes that lisp, he heard, should never be trusted. Water that writes its last will over and over. Once there was a moth entered his left ear as if again and again. Did, the tall family, the tufted family, the family of turf and towel. Dino Campana had been a circus tumbler, said the left into the tight angle of the right, Miguel Carablanca, a tumbler of turds.  Once, through carapace, once, through cumulus, thrice, in armpit’s cicatrix. Cicatrix, cicatrix, cicatrix, cried the crows of euphoria. The shoes moved, the shoes moved you, the shoes move us a little closer. To what we hear, we give our ears, our mouth, the wet big toe. Here is where I go to feed you, clouds, small, broken pieces of earth. Where I feed you, Cara, small, broken pieces of Miguel. The wet, we say, the wet he says, the left big toe. Everything I owe that lick of the arsenic crucifix. And so, his reading of Georges Bataille. And so the garlic love potions pouring out into bananaitis. And so the chimpanzee wetnurse in the dark. Did, didn’t, did, the blue-tongued angel-eater, the one- groined grave-humper, the slow-eyed toad-rider. Say and say so, said and see-sawed, my dearest salt-sucker. Dear impossible rain, he spat sideways into the ever-wettening dark, piss on me, the way the cockroach, last night, kissed the kitchen floor toward more and more and more.

Afterwards I slipped off my outer body and left it standing in line to see Charlie Chaplin seduce Charlie Chaplin by pretending to be Charlie Chaplin. So much rain is never really rain. So many toads, a Galapagos tortoise shell, suddened with cracked lightning. Moth that maps your undiscovered mouth, grazes your egg cradled in moss. Let me say it this way: If Georges Bataille could map the crack in the mouth, the wetnurses of West Sahara would cradle Carablanca; if garlic loved the potions pouring forth from the froth, tight angles of bees blood might did, and does, and don’t. All too possible, says the Book of Impossibility. To hammer a hole in the ceiling and call it the sun. To sleep with a comma clutched in your throbbing hand. To color the edge of the world with a struck matchstick. To clarify one’s sleep with the careful kerosene of the brain. All I ever wanted was rain, thought Carablanca into the humorless sleep of Chaplin, into the tough tissue of the baby tortoise about to embark eighty years in an archipelago of wandering.

Shoes that lisp, he heard in the lurch and hiss of the train, should nearly almost always be slighlty trusted. Shoes that whip, sometimes trusted. Shoes that, soled with teeth, unspoken for teeth, insist, Trust me on this. What was meant by this is that the wetnurses never suddened the sand.

What was meant by that was that tortoise eggs in the Sahara were more like broken pieces of here, drink this cloud. What was meant was that the reflection in the watery depths of a word was neither open nor clothed, heavy nor salt. Salt, that is, emerging from Carablanca’s pores. Not mine, yours. You, who hide behind the desalinated teeth of Mona Lisa; you, who lie inside the all-too-general, all-too-generous eyes of the toad-rider. You, not silence nor sister, sifter of silent spores. Let’s be clear: there are many ways to be fraudulent. There is the fake Van Gogh, the phony note uncovered in an attic in Brahms, Tanzania. The Mona Lisa without a mouth to smile with, or with which to deliver the kiss of depth. The El Greco not Greek, not gecko, more leek. Get me two pubescent onions, Miguel, she tells me, and I’ll make you a Miguelita no man can resist.

So, the shoes move us a little closer. To love, to trust, to the one-groined grave-humper bothering Miguel’s grave. To the angry hamper expelling its clothes. Always leave one sleeve

for the unwanted guest. Chicken with an ant’s head, crab with tank treads, dog with a peacock’s tail, followed by four monks in love with a can of white paint. Four monks, four monks, muttered Van Gogh, over and again into the tip of his brush. In the rushes, I hear the book crying in the breadbox that floated from Goya, Minnesota. (Let the cry henceforth be recorded as: A.) Where is the milk of the thrush. B.) Lorca stole honey from his own smoke. C.) Bread is eating a book, sung by Rumi to a ruminant. D.) A cobbler never follows his own shoe.)

What Should We Call the Calcified Feces of Stars?: An Interview with Miguel  


Q. We have to ask the moths, stumbling in the cloudy light of the moon, What’s it really like being sunk with that much milk?

A. Funny you should ask that. I once made a Carablanca out of odds and ends—horsehide, rotting onions, tidal skull, lapsed wire, brain wheel, beekeeper’s thumb. And when Picasso saw it, he said to the creature, It is you, you, my son, my semblable, who will write my obituary.

Q. Which particular corn on your left foot do you admire most?

A. Take a book, any book—why not Concerning the Angels in Hair and Ear. Fill it with holes. Don’t be afraid. Pierce it with knife and tongue. How else can the wind translate your name into hummingbird heartbeats.

Q. I understand your age is hidden inside the scansion of your last name?

A. You don’t want the lambs to come down with turn-sickness—and certainly not with grub-in- the-head. To be the offspring of a gadfly and infest the head of sheep is a way of coal-tarring the age difference between Denver and Andalusia in July.

Q. Have you ever carved your most deeply beloved organ out of a winter potato?

A. I’m still worried about grub-in-the-head.  Yes, I fear parasites, but what else, I wonder, might cause it, and in whom—certainly not just in the heads of lambs?

Q. If one plus one never equals zero, where are my socks?

A. But what if language pours from the tip of each hair, every pore, our ears, even our rear passage? What if this other language can’t be understood by human word-digesting, but it can be read by a tree, fire, cigar, fly, lunar fissure? It’s not what I’m saying, then, but what we think I’m not saying.

Q. Four monks enter a tavern, followed by a can of white paint. Is your tongue made of wood or leather?

A. Because the cranium isn’t a diving bell. (Believe me. I’ve tried.)

Q. Which is more erotic—the lips of the salt-seller from Izmir, or the smell of the paint on the fake Caravaggio?

A. I touched myself in touching her touching of me. My god, earthworms are delectable!

Q. Okay. Brahms or Brahman. Which is your favorite Oversoul?

A. How dare you say that about me! Here, spit those words, here, directly into my mouth. Really. Let me taste the cruelest cruel of conglutination, contiguous, xenophobic-clone.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like not to add?

A. That reminds me of the story of the Taoist, the Futurist, and the Lepidopterist who jump out of a plane, and while waiting for their parachutes to open suddenly can’t remember who’s the Lepidopterist, the Futurist, and the Taoist. Wait a minute, yells the Taoist. What if I’m the Socialist, and you’re the Socialite, and you’re the Sodomite? But the other two can’t hear him. They’re each wondering why the armadillo crossed the Rubicon.

Q. Teach us, without ever leaving your mouth, the grammar of the moon.

A. Permit me to answer this complex question in two ways, okay? I’d say both yes and Vicks VapoRub.

Q. This question is for your left femur, so please don’t listen, Mr. Carablanca. (Inaudible.)

A. Okay, let me answer by saying I’ve kept hounds for many years—Redbone Hounds, Blueticks, Black and Tan Coonhounds, especially Beagles. Imagine drinking the entire sky sunk into a blade of eelgrass.  Now imagine drinking that through your nose    Don’t wince. It’s not

salt. Nothing burns if you taste the right star. The only thing that burns away is your relationship to the past. To the past of the past. Hound dog man, they used to call me, getting down on all fours and howling, to make fun. Imagine that. Imagine the sky oozing through the slush of a boot print. Imagine the slug, the green blood of a caterpillar. Imagine snow entering the left nostril and exiting the right. Imagine your long ears stirring all the lost scent of the dirt.

Q. Describe your right hand as it appears right now.

A. Let me answer that with a question. Do you wish to speak to the sometimes entity known as Miguel Carablanca, or the peripatetic planet of frozen volcanoes, or the hoax generated by

a cabal of Argentinian mothmongers?

Q. So you once met an orangutan who impersonated an orange?

A. Let’s pretend you’re a starfish and I’m a spatula.

Q. When I was a child, I carried in a cigar box a world made of ice and straw and fire. Where can I now find that world?

A. Let me hear your cricket recite Issa. Please. Then I’ll gladly plead guilty to unnatural acts against white butterflies.

Q. What color is the sound of green as it secretes from the left ear during sleep?

A. My other mother.

Q. Tell us, what should we call the calcified feces of stars? And how often should we call them?

A. Then there was the lamp in the spine. And I don’t mean Virginia Woolf’s inner light. In other words, the universe is expanding every moment the moon makes less than whole.

Q. What question am I about to ask you?

A. Knock, knock . . . (this is your part—please say, “who’s there?”). Issa . . . (okay, keep up, you’re supposed to say, “Issa who?”). Then I simply say, Issa—just Issa. (That’s all—I just have one name.)

Q. Dressed as Lorca, you resembled, as if his double, Lorca’s assassin.

A. I am 1495, I am 1945, I am zero plus one plus one plus one.

Q. Have you ever studied a sleeper’s eyelids and read their dreams?

A. There is a thorn in my thorax. A cut in my cuticle. A what-if in my almost.

Q. Have you ever studied a sleeper’s eyelids and read their dreams?

A. It’s really simple. Sometimes shoes do marry their socks. There are taboos against such cominglings. For example, Portugal. Radishes, as another example. That’s one reason the indigenous tribes in Borneo, for example, go without both shoes and socks. Of course, I love hamsters, but that doesn’t mean I’d eat one. No offense, okay?, but what are you driving at?

Q. Which particular corn on your left foot do you admire most?

A. Whenever that happens, I borrow my sister’s bra and panties. She doesn’t mind. Really, she doesn’t mind. I think better when I have her lilac-garlic scent against my flesh. The sky, with its pale forehead, it doesn’t mind. You wince, smirk, laugh, but doesn’t the moon speak Chinese to those who sleep inside a lower tortoise?

Q. Have you ever sat in a chair that didn’tsit on you?

A. I think you’ve confused me once again with Salvador Dalí. He’s the dollmaker who refuses to make dolls. I’m the coffin-builder who refuses to wear anything but a barnacle-proof suit. Place a doll’s eye on your tongue and let it vibrate for a few minutes. Then you’ll soon know which is the fetus in the wormwood and which the wormwood in the frontal fetus.

Q. When the crows caw, are they calling to you, me, or a lost mouse they were expected to wet- nurse with worms?

A. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: lie on the floor, wrap your head in toilet paper, and shine a flashlight into your left ear.

Q. Have you ever wondered why you were born with the name Carablanca and not, Oh, God, Never in a Million Years! ?

A. Are you hinting that I let her remove my tonsils and replace them with a Chinese lantern? And then I let her smear my body with seal lard? And then I rubbed hers with phosphorescent monk balm?

Q. Sometimes a question entered him sideways, as if expelled from the land of questions.

A. You don’t know? Is that why you ask? Simple. Place your right index finger inside your navel, your left thumb in such a way as to close the tragus of the left ear. The tea leaf, then, can be read in the resin of your tongue.

Q. So you once met an orangutan who impersonated an orange?

A. There was a pheasant the size of a rat. A sage grouse the size of a thumb. Silk threads of ant feces almost invisible on the road to André and Clara Malraux’s apartment.  Back door, you say? Someone’s at the back door? Let’s not stop the interview. Surely, it’s the snow lynx come for the canary? The gorilla for the salsa and chips? My thumbprint in search of the ever-stirring groin dust.

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