999 rooms, 1-33: rooms of innocence
999 rooms, 1-33: rooms of innocence / Vanni Santoni
[Nel contesto della rete, l’inglese non suona più come una lingua nazionale ma come il linguaggio dello spazio globalizzato, il linguaggio di una potenziale letteratura transnazionale. La letteratura di una comunità che parla e, soprattutto, legge e scrive l’inglese come lingua solo in parte “altra”: non una lingua madre ma una lingua familiare, legata in modo essenziale all’individuo, a particolari esperienze, sentimenti, desideri, percezioni. Vanni Santoni, scrittore italiano, con il nuovo progetto 999 rooms propone un esempio di ciò può essere questa letteratura transnazionale, una scrittura italiana ma di ambito linguistico globale. Per questo ho scelto di postare il testo in inglese, senza alcuna traduzione. Gh. B.]
Room 1 is filled with water.
In room 2, a sparrow and a mockingbird flutter about.
The floor of room 3 is covered in grass, with sparse buttercups; a huge porphyroid granite block stands in the middle.
The walls and floor of room 4 are plastered with lime mortar; near the northeastern corner, wheat, barley, corn, durra and rye are amassed in five conical piles.
Above the open ceiling of room 5, one star shines.
In room 6, there is bdellium and the onix stone.
Most of room 7’s floor is occupied by heaps of those brick sticks – nameless yet known and appreciated by children, who hand chop them pretending they’re martial artists – that sometimes litter a construction yard after the placement of hollow tiles.
On the eastern wall of room 8, the window is a square hole. The depth of the wall itself functions as a windowsill, homing three pots of lilies.
In room 9 there’s no enemy
but winter and rough weather.
On the sand-covered floor of room 10, a conch can sometimes be seen.
In the middle of room 11, a bush is aflame
with fireflies, boughs looking golden at times.
On the table in room 12, there are twelve loaves of bread, twelve branches, twelve stones, twelve strips of cloth and three sets of twelve silver bowls.
Some people are said to have seen, in the dark recesses of room 13, an object whose description matches that of a contemporary arcade machine; a few reports include tales of interaction, but are generally considered made up or a product of suggestion.
Under the ash covering room 14’s floor, a serpent is asleep.
The walls of room 15 are frescoed with wild dill motifs. Drums can be heard from afar.
In room 16, mirrors and rags abound.
In vast room 17,
oaks sometimes bear apples;
from apple seeds alders
can grow, whose branches bloom
with narcissus flowers
which hide no lycorine,
but tamarisk-perfumed amber.
Room 18 is an empty cave.
Room 19 is a cave not unlike room 18, but it does have a square hole for window. Somewhere outside a fire is ablaze, projecting shadows, both still and dancing, on the opposite wall.
In room 20
there are the wooden fender
& the butter
(and energy up yonder).
In low-ceiled room 21, russet mushrooms sometimes grow.
In room 22, there is one candle on its stand, and one under a bushel.
In room 23
a golden braid or gyre,
more gyre than a braid
(yet eternal, some say)
spins the night afire.
In fair room 24, a three legged oak table stands; a bowl of milk rests over it.
Room 25 has rammed earth walls and floor; on the southern wall, tubers of various kinds are heaped together.
Room 26 is a big mouth’d cave
from which the moon’s pale orb
is seen climbing up a pathless sky,
her dainty beam soothing
the joy austere of contemplation.
Room 27 is one huge dreaming crystal.
A statue of figwood has been set in room 28;
a mouthless statue of figwood with three legs and no ears.
A thread discends from the middle of room 29’s groin vaulted ceiling down to three feet high, where a gold-enameled fish is suspended.
Room 30 is broad and sunny, geckos sometimes crawling up its old adobe walls.
A flower-like moon in heaven’s high bower is engraved on room 31’s high and flat metal ceiling.
The floor of room 32
of dark, damp, fat earth is made.
Cymbals resonate at intervals in room 33’s hexagonal space. Colored wood cubes are scattered on the matted floor, at the center of which the papier-mâché diorama of a mountain stands. Ionic thirds of column apparently sustain the ceiling from the six corners of the room; on the northern wall, a moon and a sun, as if they were up in the sky at the same time, are roughly painted.