The Sacred in Translation: A Response to Susan Schultz


It is interesting how what one considers innovative in one language would be of the very essence of the other, particularly when that language is dealing with "sacredness," whether it occurs or is spelled out in ritualistic or institutional terms or not.

Turkish is also full of similar puns, partly but not completely due to the narrow sound range of the language. Since Ece Ayhan’s work in the 1950's and 1960’s (A Blind Cat Black and Orthodoxies, Sun and Moon Press, 1997), Turkish poetry exploits this quality continuously, in all sorts of ways. The "Godless Sufism" which I attach to this poetry in an essay I wrote in 1995 (Talisman, no. 14) partly derives from it.

At the moment I am translating a poem, “Hotel Kuskuncuk,” by the Turkish poet Haydar Erg¸len where I am struggling with one of these pun clusters: "ay" ("moon") also means "ah," both of pain and rapture; "ayla" ("with the moon") also means a woman's name; "ayna" means "mirror," etc., etc.

Another cluster occurs in an Seyhan ErozÁelik poem: the word “kiragi” means “frost”; “kir agi” also means “meadow web”; “kir” also means “break,” “crush,” “emotionally hurt,” “disappoint”; “agi” also means “dirge.” The poem involves a boy’s memory in early morning walking in the field and crushing the frost with his heel, the incredible pleasure he feels and also oddly the trauma. Words as fragments explode in the poem, of pleasure, pain, song, etc.

This poem belongs to the book, Rosestrikes and Coffee Grinds (G¸l ve Telve), which I am translating in its totality. (Sections from it appeared in English in the Eda: An Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry, Talisman House, 2004, and in Bombay Gin, 2006, translation issue.) The poem in question is the final piece in the Rosestrikes section. Undoubtedly, it is one of the greatest poems written in the last twenty years, in any language. Interestingly, the title of the poem in Turkish is a word in English, “Rosebud,” which is a reference to another formative childhood experience in snow, Orson Welles’s, together constituting a Spicerean correspondence, a continuum, or, put in another way, both belonging space/universe of Walter Benjamin’s “ideal language.”

Susan, I think we come here back to the issue of the “sacred,” what it means, and how it relates to the questions you raised in your initial post, the possibility of a “refusal to translate.” The sacred is that part of the dialectics of translation which wants to keep itself intact, “untranslatable.” In a text, the sacred often manifests itself as style, that aspect of a writing most involved with its own “modes,” its own culture (I discuss this in “Translation and Style,” Talisman, No. 6, 1991, and http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~sibel/poetry/murat_nemet_nejat.html). No true translation can exists without containing these traces of style. That is why, essentially, what a translation translates is distance, its untranslatability. In my own case, and in the case of Turkish, eda is those stylistic trace, segueing into the sacredness of Sufism, and the inviolable wholeness of the dream city Istanbul, and the elusive wholeness of Turkish as an agglutinative language.

In this dialectic the other side belongs to the target language, its own sense of lack at the moment of contact in relation what the original text has to offer, the translation starting out of this insufficiency . The target language in some ways has to transform itself to accommodate this other, its elusiveness, “growing a new limb.” This aspect of the dialectic leads to experimentation, linguistic innovation.

Following this argument leads to a startling conclusion: linguistic experiment, innovation must involve a confrontation with the sacred. To put it within the framework of the poetics of our time, translation involves the confrontation of the secular language with the sacred. In more general terms, isn’t this confrontation between the secular [“democratic,” “rational”] and the sacred [“terroristic,” “sentimental”] the primary ideological battle of our time, doesn’t this make translation the quintessential form, the most relevant of this historical moment?

I would like to refer to Jerome Rothenberg’s The Technicians of the Sacred, the anthology which was crucial in bringing the idea of the sacred to the surface. Unfortunately, American poetry since then, a very significant portion of it, seems to have focused on creating a poetics of the avant garde basically decoupled from this sacred dimension, as if poetic experiment can thrive basically as social criticism, within the infernally endless machinery of language. This to my mind is sad and peculiarly drained of reality.

There is a deep spiritual strain –a strain of the sacred- in American poetry, starting from Biblical sermons to Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Spicer, Duncan, Creeley, Fanny Howe, Kent Johnson, Forrest Gander, Linh Dinh, etc., etc. (the list is rich and long). If one frees oneself from the dichotomy of The Avant and The School of Quietitude –which is an attempt to project a poetic movement of about thirty years onto the total history of American poetry- the primacy of the spiritual (as opposed to exclusively political or social) in this poetry becomes self-evident: one has then a spectrum the two ends of which are the sacred and the secular, inhabited in between by the blasphemous, the profane, the witty, the ironic, dying towards the indifferent.

As David-Baptiste Chirot says, American poets are looking for a new Fleurs Du Mal.

A poem in two languages, a kaona:

An/kara: My Kind Hearted Step Mother*
An--: moment, second.
kara: black.
Second black, not first.
An(a): mother.
kar: doing it.
kar: snow.
kar(a): to the snow.
kara: land.
kara: black.
K(i)r: prick.
kar(i): the snow.
kari: old crone.
Kirhane: prick house
next to our synagogue in Istanbul there was a prick house,
on wooden tables at the end of Yom Kippur
in the dark, in the intersection of our street and theirs,
the ladies of the night and their pimps left
glasses of water for us to drink
for free: Sebil.
Mysterious Cybil.
So civil-
thirty years later I went to the same spot.
the synagogue and its porch garden
(where I'd spent two evenings a year, the twinkling lights mixing with the stars through the Succah)
was all in ruins,
the rusting gate ajar,
and a red rooster was strolling at home among the lunar mounds and weeds.
Red rooster: as in red light district?
Red: kizil.
(Kiz): virgin.
(Kiz): angry.
Yuzde yuz kiz: hundred percent virgin.
Yuz: hundred.
Yuz: face.
Yuz: swim.
Rooster: horoz.
and oz, as in the Wizard of O's.

(from Io’s Song)

*Ankara: my Kind Hearted Step Mother is a line from the Turkish poet Cemal S¸reya. The capital city of Turkey, Ankara, is a step-mother compared to Istanbul, which culturally and historically was the main Turkish city. Another expression along those lines is: Ankara is a wife, Istanbul is a mistress.


Murat Nemet-Nejat


Susan said...

Thanks very much for this, Murat. I take your point, and suspect that a lot of what's at issue with Hawaiian work is precisely the sacredness of it, and the fear (so often realized historically) that what is sacred will be smothered in a blanket
of what Craig might call touristic language. Or simply not respected as sacred.

As you might imagine, I'm of two minds (or maybe one and a half, as I love translations) about all this, and really wanted to hear what people on the blog had to say about it. The historical moment may change, and translations become more available. Gayatri Spivak was here and spoke about the need for languages to attain equity at universities--all languages need to be respected, not simply the Big Ones. The fact that the largest course at my university is in Hawaiian Studies bodes well for the future in this regard, I suspect.

Kent Johnson said...

I'd said in a comment some weeks ago that "Susan Schultz" had written a review that critiques the Araki Yasusada work. In fact, the author of that piece is Susan Smith Nash.

Thanks to Susan Schultz for calling my attention to this slip. My apologies to her!


Susan said...

Hey Kent, at least you didn't confuse me with Susan Polis Schulz, the worst (and richest) poet on the planet!

mark wallace said...

I do have to add, though, that if a significant number of American progressive poets have rejected the sacred in the name of social criticism, that's hardly because the sacred is dead as a concept for the American population--it's precisely because the sacred is a concept at the heart of many of the current problems of US culture. A return to Rimbaud? Or Rambo? No thanks. Hell (and I do mean hell), a very large number of American citizens do indeed identify with a transcendent notion of the sacred, as opposed to having understand anything about history. Ain't nothing more American than to blow someone up with the idea that it'll send you to heaven. But then, people all over the world really like that one too, don't they? You can buy it for a few coins anywhere.

Wishing you the best possible social materialism--


Anonymous said...

Yes, Mark, and as we all know, one can't entertain metaphysics (woohoo!) without being an absolute idiot.

Dude, you are even more dogmatic than Dawkins and Hitchens! Lighten up.

But, alas, where does one live? Why, in post-avant American poetry...



Kent Johnson said...


I LOVE Susan Polis Schulz.

In fact, I cut my poetry teeth on her.

She's the Ron Silliman of Border's, and it all depends on how one reads her.

Respect for the elders...


mark wallace said...

I hope you'll pardon the polemical anger of my last post--Lord save me from the idiots of the sacred, they do help me lose my temper sometimes--but obviously, it's important to recognize that the impulse towards the sacred and the impulse towards social materialism have many connections, and seeing them as opposites is certainly responsible for many of our contemporary theory-world problems.

Kent, if you're living in post-avant America, I suggest you get out more. I'm living in America, and far as I can tell, there are maybe 100, 200 post-avants in the whole country. Come on, man, get out of the house. Go to church or something.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,

I believe I'm living in "America," too (the U.S. version, anyway).

Freeport, Illinois, 61032.

Come on down. We've got lots of churches, with a surfeit of inferior idiots in the congregations. We could use some wisdom from enlightened folks like you... Potlucks on the weekends. The seniors here make a mean Langpo chili.


Susan said...

Mark--keep in mind that connections between the sacred and material/political sphere are not always right wing, though it sure seems so these days. And it depends on the cultural context, too, within and without the US of A. Unfortunately, many native Hawaiians have been drawn into rightwing politics via the churches, but Hawaiian spirituality is used against such politics (at least in its guise as American political and military power). Happy Memorial Day.


Murat Nemet-Nejat said...


As one of the idiots of the sacred, I must say that a "significant number of progressive poets" have not rejected but suppressed the sacred, as if it doesn't exist, by doing that creating all sorts of distortions.Shal I call it sacrophobia?

To feel superior to seventy five percept of the population is not something a poet -or any artist- should be proud of. It leads to the illusion that we (intelligent, enlightened poets) do not share in the corruption which is around us.



mark wallace said...

Well, at least I have the pleasure here of stirring up some useful responses.

I grew up in a religious household, the latest of many generations of churchgoers and ministers, although luckily for me I grew up in a socially progressive church that was very involved in trying to alleviate suffering in different parts of the world. So I'm aware that religious commitment doesn't have to be pro-War or Repulican, although I found growing up even in a socially progressive church stultifying. I remember telling my third grade Sunday School teacher that I didn't believe in God, an opinion on which I've never since wavered.

The issue, then, if one is interested in "the sacred," is to give the term some specific content that would differentiate it from the revivalist, right wing, pro-war notion of the sacred that is, sadly, the much more empowered concept in America (and not just) at this time. And frankly, the more you do that, the more an informed notion of the sacred begins to look a lot like an informed social materialism. So, again, I would insist that seeing them as necessary opposites is a problem.

Murat, I actually don't think you're one of the idiots of the sacred--I could introduce you to a few and I think you'd see the difference pretty fast. There's no doubt that, historically, Marxism positioned itself against religious belief and religious institutions, in a way that was sometimes very harmful, and it's clearly true even to this day that many poets interested in social materialism have an instinctive knee-jerk reaction to any mention of the sacred--although I have to say that I still reserve my right to that knee-jerk reaction on occasion. You're absolutely right that the concept might get you stigmatized among the poets of, say, Vancouver, or Cambridge, or NYC. But obviously, as I think we would both agree, the problem is a much broader one than that.

Kent, I can't say I know Freeport Illinois; it could be as you describe, that the healthy, happy citizens there are well-adjusted to their lives of potlucks and Sunday service. In my part of the country, people have problems; they're poor, they can't get good jobs, they have little education. They live in isolation from each other; spousal abuse and divorce are common. For many of them, local churches are the only organizations that give them any kind of sustenance, sustenance they often desperately need, but the ideology that comes with those churches doesn't ultimately help solve people's problems because it obscures the sources of those problems, telling them that gay people, immigrants, liberals, and the government are the source of their pain, that God, corporations, and the Republican Party will save them.

Luckily, I think, some of these folks do go to college, and yes, there, at least some of them are exposed to different ideologies, ones that suggests that activism, unions, even, God forbid, art and literature will help them, and can tell them things that they need to know. All of these things contain their own contradictions and limitations, obviously. But whatever those limitations, I still think exposing students to those things is worthwhile. And it's true: they might even come out of my classes saying "language poetry" or "Linh Dinh," and I'm kind of proud of it, I have to admit. I think they've genuinely learned something of value.

Murat Nemet-Nejat said...


The "sustenance" you are talking about is precisely what the sacred sacred all about. It goes beyond the cycles of production -food and cars- and it won't be assuaged by any analyses of solutions either. It is a hunger which exists in China (where I am at the moment), in the Middle East, in the United States, etc. Most governments are absolutely afraid of it, and more or less trying to cope with it, through suppression (China) or accommodation (Turkey, Western Europe, Russia) or coopting adoption (The United States, the Taliban, the Hezbollah). For a poet not to respond to this historical need, not to embody and be part of it, its expression (eda, the sacred are all about) is the surest way to doom this poetry to irrelevance.

After all, given the ideology embedded in global capitalism (that cars and food and good shopping will solve our major problems -believe me Hong Kong is the supreme, awesome example of that), the sacred represents the counter ideology, the ideolopgy of the have-nots, as opposed to the ideology of the haves.

I am perfectly aware of the insanity of the religious mania, its suppressive urge. Mark, I also understand your urge to escape such environment. After all, that's why I left Turkey where I was the son of an economically privileged Jewish family and came to The States where I had to work as a door-to-door electrolux vacuum cleaner salesman for a while.Today, because my wife is religious and gets sustenance from it, I go to the synagogue occasionally but can not stay there for more than hour. My state reminds me of a John Donne sermon (meditation?) where he says he is obsessed by the buzz of a fly when he is trying to pray. On the other hand, is Hutchins (?) in his boozy white suit any less insane, not to say disgusting?

I think the discussion between you and Kent around Lincoln's missing head is related to what we are discussing here. I think what Kent finds missing in Flarf (I don't want to put words in his mouth) is exactly this element of the sacred, a cuteness only dangerous to themselves which turns people, events, dreams, pains, suffering,the clap trap of people's lives into flat, cartoonish phrases. Compare it to Linh Dinh's poetry, which I think uses similar word and phrase mining techniques. At the heart of it lies a profound sadness engulfing the emptiness, a moral sympathy (that is what the sacred is) which makes the poetry awesome, worth reading, not an irrelevance whether it derives from surrealism or not.

I would only add that detached from flarf I think Nada, Kate, Gary and Drew are very interesting writers whose works often transcend the limitations we are talking about. Aside from a marketing asset, I don't know what the word flarf adds to their work -though considering the number of discussions that word led to, perhaps I should not minimize that brand value -though I think flarf as a brand is much less than the total of these poet's works. I wish that Patrick Herron did not get so upset for being excluded from it.

One or two others thoughts from Asia where, besides seeing our younger son who lives too too far away from us, a few most memorable things that happened:

a) Given the demonology to which Hanoi belongs, I was struck by the exquisite beauty of Hanoi as a city, the beautiful deep yellow of its buildings, the city's unique architecture with big terraces at the top giving it a strangely Greek air,the subtleties in the differences of taste in the food, particularly vegetables, the reserved elegance and friendliness of the people, an amazing absence of anti-American feelings -and, don't forget, the mad, endless onrush of traffic. consisting mostly of motor bikes, which makes crossing the street a foolhardy, anxiety provoking, dangerous (in the Flarf sense) experience.It seems "The Vertical Ray of the Sun" is more truthful about Vietnam than all the propaganda we heard in the Vietnam War, about an enemy "wearing pajamas" with Heffner fashion sense (that Robin Williams joke has a touch of flarf, don't you think?).

b) I came across a DVD of a movie called "Sandstorm,"made by a member of Falun Dafa, a movie I found out is banned in mainland China. The movie is basically a science fiction piece centered around a character involved in the interrogation and "re-education" of Falun Dafa "sect" members who the state considers a great danger to its stability. This character tries to save the interrogated members -finding torturing them distasteful- by suggesting that they "confess" and recant. The Falun Dafa member, who is a woman in this case, full of bruises on her face, refuses and calls the main character blind. What he is blind to is exactly this element of sacredness -which is anti-institutional- and goes beyond any rational arguments of physical self-preservation (Antigone is the corresponding myth in the West)and the rational needs of the state (Creon the Chinese officials). I can not tell you any more because I had no chance to see the whole movie. It has something to do with the main character losing his daughter and his wife joining the Falun Dafa, I think.

I remember the Falun Dafa demonstrating in New York, at the corner of 33rd Street and Sixth Avenue, where I got out of the subway every day. With their posters and a few of them sitting on the sidewalk, they look exactly like a crack pot cult. Wild horses wouldn't pull me to join them. But thy represent withing the specific political context is meaningful.

c) Yesterday evening, we were driving up a Hong Kong hill the central part of the city is all hills- among sky scrapers on a winding highway. My wife Karen suddenly said, isn't it wonderful to realize that here, in a completely different part of the world, we have places as advanced, as modern as the ones in th West, that we are not alone? This is a realization divinely to be wished.



David-Baptiste Chirot said...

Ever since I can remember i knew that everything was what later i learned as in the discussion is called "sacred" or "holy" though i don't believe in any words really for it--i just think of it as that which is. ("Name it and claim it"--) I have found it everywhere--in the cracks stared at in a wall in prison, in rusting metal in industrial dumps, in the decomposing lettering of old signs, in rocks half hidden, trees--pointless to list tens of thousands of instants--and instances--my faith is in the Found--Picasso said--"I do not seek, I find"--i believe that that which is--one finds it just as it finds one--on the way--and in moments of uncanny recognition is the encounter which particpates in creation of a work--part of an ongoing flow--energy--belonging to no one--i have no idea where this came from --other than it has always been with me--it is the most serious thing there is and also the most hilarious-
-people say they want to be free--and want freedom for others--and al they do is lock themsleves up and imprison and torture others--"systems of belief"--bureaucracies of the spirit really--
Mark misunderstands a great many things about Rimbaud, and one of them is that Rimbaud believed absoluetly in Poetry--he believed in it with a faith far deeper than most poets ever have--when he realized it was not what it he had believed it to be--it was the end of that Rimbaud--("I is an other" "I is somebody else") --strangely, the next Rimbaud fulfilled a dictum of the first--that poetry will precede action--for much of his life is almost an exact living out of phrase after phrase of his poetry and prose poetry--lines of his letters spare versions of the poems and prose poems--
he had the belief that poetry can change the world--and being very impatient, expected it right away!!--after all, he was a child of the time of the Franco-Prussian War, the Commune, the end of one period of French history and the beginning of another--sadly the next one not the one he had wanted with all his being--25,000 Communards killed in Bloody Week--the equivalent of those killed in the two years of the Terror--annihilation of a generation of hopes--killed, and turned into exiles--vast reorganizations of social spaces in Paris and country side--eradication of all signs of the Commune, rise of Impressionism and the new bourgeoisie--and the mercantilism Rimbaud participated in when his mother wdn't leave him with the family farm--forced him to seek employment elsewhere--and not having a degree--(school had been terminated by the War)--not that many options--
the Sacred is also the tradition of mysticisms around the world, including shamanisms--which has appeared very much in poetry in all times and places, even among poets who express themselves in terms of organized religions, there is the distinctive sounds of the ancient shamanic energy, when poet and seer and "priest" and "preistess" were one--and into the present one finds poets as those Murat works with--who express this sacred quality--certainly a great many in the English language--many in the revivial of American Indian spirituality--not the "pan Indian" crap promoted by the New Age types--(and i don't mean an ethno-poetics either in the sense it has been used) --but those that are specific to a tribe and practised among them--starting to make comebacks to help combat the immensity of despair and violence, addiction, devastation, poverty--
reading whitman this morning--that is an ecstatic vision that when moved to rage is predicting exactly what is happening now in the usa--and at the same time--his vision of the sacred in everything--the power of that vision--emily dickinson: "the hills know but do not tell"--makes one think of heraclitus--"the One whose Oracle is at Delphi neither speaks nor conceals but gives signs"--
people confuse the outward show of religions with the sacred--in Chuang Tzu, Jesus and St Augustine--it is said that the persons who make a show in public of prayer--of their religion and belief--they do this for other people--the person with faith or the person who follows the Way--the prayer or meditation is silent--
and does not need a church or temple or shrine to pray--they can be anywhere at all--at anytime--
just as with poetry--
again, it is not something which has anything to do with property--
a poet does not have to be "religious" to have a scred intensity--there is "soul"--what Lorca wrote of as "duende"--which actually does frighten people i think--just as a shamanic kind of sounding and function would, really--in many ways--
the works i make i find by hearing a calling from the things around me--and seeing is a form of hearing and hearing a form of seeing--and have been training myself by working in the dark and in poor lighting to learn to see by touch and by touch to see--the things call and sign--and one finds them, they find one--and then by working directly with the materials, the materials and oneself create the notations of the encounter--visual/sonic/tactile evidences which are a form of thanks for that which is--
Paul Celan wrote that "poetry no longer imposes itself, it exposes itself"--
too many poetries now still --probably always will--impose themselves--but that is the way of things--imposing poetries--means property, control, bureaucracies--colonizations--of poetry--areas of poetry, teaching of it, etc collecting of it--the dissemination and canonization and all the rest of it--
and with the internet possibilities for extensions of this in ways undreamed of before--especially for the "haves"--and America being the Superpower--what a time for American poetry to realize its own neo-con dreams--
which is one of the questions Murat raises--how to realize in a sense an imperialist project of diseminating "radical" american poetry globally while having to confront the anti-imperialist anti-american sentiments around the world?--especially when "radical" american poetry doesn't seem to have directly confronted at home the crises of its own culture and its culture's assault on others?--

what is interesting always are the fragments, the decompositions which endure and find their ways through the cracks in the walls of systems--the things that continue to send out their call--even when one may no longer know the "message" (as with cave paintings)--one understands that there is a calling--a communiaction--a poetry--as yet "untranslated"--yet heard--
that is the sacred--in a sense--
which a poet can find ways of hearing --this calling-- seeing it-- feeling it by touch--and conveying it--into a language shared with others--which the poets are transforming via a translation as it were--while bringing intact the energy--of the source--
flarf and spam poetry seem to be the latest electronic updated versions of dada cuttings up of newspaper items for fotomontage--raoul hausmann was doing this kind of thing in 1918--and in Mail Art and mimeo art and collage work and comics, movies, videos music you name it--this sort of thing has been done over and over with whatever is the latest upgrade in media equipment--from scissors and glue to computers and new programs for them--as long as there are new ways of cutting up the volumes of words flooding mail boxes there will be this kind of project i am sure--every generation will have its own form of flarf or spam poetry foto/video montages etc--because there will keep being new geneartions also of the media equipement and new generations of the ways one is inundated with tons of information--new machines, new advertisers, new consumers, new forms of montageurs--DADA SIEGT!!!(Dada Lives!!)
--when i was in second grade they had us doing these with our weekly readers and junk mail and anything else we wanted to bring to the art class--cut up phrases and pictures and create "poems" or funny rhymes or stories using words and phrases from these readymade texts--"Pope uses Nixon for peanut butter" one kid made out of a weekly reader--"Barbie is a Communist Panda"--
the Lincoln foto--did they take the head off to have it cleaned? as the rod for holding it in place neatly there--not like the heads of Saints chopped off during Revolution in France--
and why Lincoln?--as Kent and Murat note--very safe--
it would be much more fun to do what the Surrealists did in their very early journal Literature--have a cover with the removed heads of "Les Grandes tetes molles de l'epoque"--"the Big softheads of the times"--the poets the most overblown and Important and Bigwinded--so why not mount the heads of across the board some of the blowhards of american poetry of all stripes?--Bernstein and Bly, Silliman and Strand, Hejinian and Jim harrison and etc etc etc--it might be more to the point than mr lincoln--
but then--it is not my magazine--! always easy to be the monday morning quarterback, right!
Put on the headless bodies of blasted innocent people in Iraq Afghanistan Palestine Lebanon Congo Sudan Darfur Somalia Nigeria Haiti--??????
Put on a Lincoln five spot drenched in blood and crack cocaine??? Or heroin straight from Afghansitan??
But again, that is not the point of the magazine--
Hidden in plain site/sight/cite are poetries to be found. "The most beauitful world is a haep of rubble tossed down in confusion (or: at radnom in some transaltion)"--Heraclitus.
Living on the streets in New York, Charlie Parker was found by an anxious friend, who had feared "Bird" might have met the worst. Seeing the way the great artist was living cheerfully out of dumpsters for his food and clothing, sleeping them for warmth and wandering about listening to music outside of the clubs he was banned from on, including the one named for him, the friend said--how can you possibly survive like this?
Bird looked at him and laughed and waved his arms all around at the city--How can you not LIVE with ALL THIS all around you!
To me this is where the sacred and art come together--
"necessity is the motherfucker of invention" i call it--
"It has been rediscovered!" "It needs to be reinvented" Rimbaud writes--Robert Smithson writes of the artist creating with a glance a work of art, so to escape the imprisonment of the art object, the artist's time trapped by others in the value of an object--Baudelaire: "Ihave taken mud and made gold of it"--"The common thing anonymously about us"--WCW--
"A Dadaist is someone who loves life in all its uncountable forms, and who knows, and says that, 'Life is not here alone, but also there, there, there (da, da, da)'"
--Johannes Baader, Oberdada Berlins, Die Freie Strasse, December 1918

Notice he says--in ALL its UNCOUNTABLE forms--

(and so one may continually find them hidden in plain site/sight/cite--)

in the sense one embraces the uncountable--
it makes one hilariously and dangerously aware so much of the time of what is thought as, imposed as to be "counted"--
in every sense of the word--
and again, what it is to be "uncounted"--though not "uncountable"--

Translation is a form of travel--the sacred is often pictured as a Way--or Road--a Journey--a Path--the two share this this--

Just as by being painted on stone in caves and so traveling through time for so long that its meaning is lost, the cave painting still "speaks"--
so the translation & sacred travel--some or quite a few exact meanings and fullnesses may be lost along the way--yet what comes through the cracks in the walls--is the energy--of the source--it still reaches one in some among the uncountable forms--