Death in White

There were four white candles lighting her white weeps. She was heading toward death in the last room.

She was all white. Her clothes were pregnant with mild rigidity, vaporous undulations and angles; and covered in white in a white shroud. Hanging from the peak pointing to the sky and breathing the Void: The sacred veil, running down the face’s plateau to jump in sparkling white waves that would cover the slopes of her senses and the lower scope of her hair, extending in the valley of emotion–her white chest. By now, the climax of life’s excitement is the white calm expression on her face: death.

Death was all white.

A white piece of ice was cooling off the coldness–which was also white–right under Death.

The ice… The Ice… Ice! Life and death: that is my white obsession. Ice: wearing out its own life, drop by drop and tear by tear, rolling down its smooth skin rhythmically. I went back to what I used to be: water, a vulgar plagiarism of both life and death.

What a magnificent death the death of ice!

It was a strange event: strange but true. I was ice and I was dying in every tear being shed and, in spite of everything, I did not stop being myself. I, who was dying at the peak of my creativity…. I…I…. I, to the last drop. I…creating; creating life with all my strength. I, producing coldness to arrive at that which is cold: death; and returning, in the process…returning to my own self: nothing.

I love death: the white death of ice which uses all her senses to create in that very moment when she intersects with life. At the end, that is to die. The rest is to have never lived.

Bios

Freddy Gatón Arce

Freddy Gatón Arce (1920-1994) was a Dominican surrealist poet, essayist, lawyer, and journalist. In 1980, he was awarded the Dominican Republic’s National Prize for Poetry. He was a member of La Poesia Sorprendida (The Surprised Poetry), an influential avant-garde literary group founded in 1943 and later disbanded in 1947. During that time, he and other radical writers and artists helped break the cultural isolation imposed by the authoritarian Trujillo regime. Unlike the majority of writers and intellectuals, the members of La Poesia Sorprendida refused to bow down to the regime’s nationalist and racist cultural policies that painted the country and its people as a Hispanic and Christian nation that had no African roots. At the same time, Gatón Arce and others advocated for the creation of a “universal art” that encompassed the whole of human experience beyond their own borders. An ardent opponent of reactionary politics, state repression, and dictatorship, Gatón Arce was also a member of Juventud Democratica (Democratic Youth), a left-wing clandestine organization that fought the Trujillo dictatorship. In the 1970s, his witty and sharp newspaper editorials, which opposed the authoritarian right wing regime known as the Twelve Years (1966-1978), gained him considerable respect. Some of his works have been translated into other languages.

Amaury Rodríguez

Amaury Rodríguez (b. 1976, Santo Domingo) is an independent researcher and mail artist based in New York City.

Muerte en Blanco. Copyright (c) Ivelisse Altagracia Gatón Díaz de González y Luz Altagracia Díaz Gil, 1944. English translation copyright (c) Amaury Rodríguez, 2012.