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  • Blueprint of an Impure Rose, and: Iron Flowers on the Chest of a Man
  • Luis Yuseff (bio)
    Translated from Spanish by Katherine M. Hedeen and Víctor Rodríguez Núñez

Blueprint of an Impure Rose

to Joaquín Osorio


Up against the Rocky Mountains in Colorado was the Paleolithic Traveler, in profile eternally prisoner, whistling "La Vie en Rose," scarcely whistling, humming "La Vie en Rose" (or was it the Barcarolle from The Tales of Hoffman?). God hadn't even made up the words 32 million years later Olofi, Jehovah, or Father Zeus would use to name him. He hadn't created man yet either, still the Traveler was there up against the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, whistling "La Vie en Rose." Pulling the petals off the mythical centifolia not knowing the rose is a lying abyss.


Lying.The rose is a lying abyss on the table of sadness set to music.And Violeta Parra, the Andean Indian from Paris, is questioning the Mapuche rose, with its back turned to the martiality of summers and slowly bending over

(so slowly it killssweet flying dove, do you love me?)

it answers. But we don't have to believe it.The rose is a lying abyss. And Violeta is fragile like a second. Fleeting, hands rough from mining music out of poverty, she draws two children's bodies on the clay.Later she blows, while on never-ending nights, with teeth quieting hunger, trembling, she weaves and unweaves at inspiration's mercy.Ángel and Isabel, like two tiny frightened violins, protest in pizzicato, asleep in the guitar case, swinging from the highest point of the Carpa de la Reina LP. [End Page 20] "As long as it doesn't all come crashing down my Violeta," the traveler told her. "As long as the show lasts. Come on, your rose still has 3 petals. And pulling the petals off a rose is like asking God . . ."

Sweet flying dove, do you love me?

And the questioned rose answers.In the Candelaria.In a damp corner of Paris.On the rue Monsieur le Prince Number 3.


And at Number 3 come together another 2 roses: the solicitous Rosa Cagí and the no less solicitous Rosa la China, promising out of pure instinct—like great wise men—that there were roses even before Christ. That all the roses in this world came from Asia. And this roseless world wouldn't be this world without the sadness of Sandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi Botticelli, without even one petal to keep the birth of Venus company. Or the sadness of Yukio Mishima, facing Guido Reni's "Saint Sebastian," with the rose of masturbation between fists, offering up seminal fluids. The suicide's rough, absinthian liquor.


What would this world be without the rose . . . You ask the rose.And the rose answers: What would the rose be without the rose . . .What would the Adelantado Don Christopher have been, if only one of the roses of the four winds had disappeared at the moment when Rodrigo de Triana, screeching like a wooden bird from the top of the three caravels, proclaimed to the New World the arrival of the very same God as Doña Isabella's and Don Ferdinand's.What would this world be without the rose.What of Juliet or what of Romeo rather.What of the Bard of Avon and the nightingale. And the rose.What would the rose be without the rose.


What of Nero and his one hundred fifty thousand secret nights of pleasure.What of the Golden Palace and the Palatine Chapel, but desire floating face-up in glasses of wine like a rose.And impossible to think what would have been of the beautiful Cleopatra, for a path of roses leads to Marc Antony's smitten heart.And what of Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena, facing the wise Eris, trading roses for apples. [End Page 21] Letting the rose of discord fall toward the eyes of divine vanity.What would Olympus be without the rose.


What if the miniature rosebush didn't exist in the land of Oz.What of Shirley Temple.And without...


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pp. 20-23
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