Beatriz Hausner

The Music of the Sea

(on a collage by Ludwig Zeller)

I sat on a cliff by the sea, wrote he. I listened, listened to the
deep sounds of the liquids inside the box of water. Play, play,

play the strange music of the sea so Oceanus girding earth may
place himself closer to the Goddess receiving him in mouth. The

slow misplaced likeness of other seas fade into waves rising with
the large mollusk as greater oceans begin illuminating the night.

When crashes of thunder burst out amid flashes of lightning the fish
and all the creatures of the world jump out of the water and rejoice.

A gaping breach brings inside to outside of water and the echo of
strange land animals are returned to the origins of water in prayer

is woven the route to the sea of stars in our eyes: night is day with
inverted milky way contained in the folds of the shell that surrounds

us. While we delicately strum on string-ridged instruments the
polyphony of fish and all living things is resurrected in deep sea:

this throat bails out the masses of salt water these lips surround noise
the music of the waves and their sound rise like mountains of foam.

The text in italics is from Lautréamont’s Les Chants de Maldoror, second canto