Horses Drawn with Blue Chalk / Caballos pintados con tiza azul

Horses Drawn with Blue Chalk / Caballos pintados con tiza azul

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Author: Rocío Ágreda Piércia

Translator: Jessica Sequeira

Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse (2021)

The work of the philosopher-poet Rocío Ágreda Piérola is full of ghostly traces, smudged lines from the past turned with care into new forms through references to writers like Héctor Viel Temperley and Dante, rewritings of Biblical verses, redraftings of personal memory, and forays into history with the Spanish conquistadors. In Horses Drawn with Blue Chalk, Ágreda Piérola’s sensuous language is populated by animals (hyenas, wolves, birds, cats, shoals of fish), parts of the body (the tongue, the nervous system), and the physical stuff of childhood (those horses drawn with blue chalk, erased from the wall yet forever archived in memory, to be drawn and redrawn). The questions here of how to create meaning from solitude and silence do not rely on any facile premade identities or autobiographical intimacies, but seek constantly to unsettle the known, challenging given truths to forge a meaningful communication.

"Thinking always leads to madness, according to Maurice Blanchot. Poetic writing could be the trace of that madness, at least the writing of Rocío Ágreda Piérola. She speaks in a language unknown even to herself, for it is the clear, strange language of the illiterate who conceals and spits her vision through her voice of night. She might take as her own the words of the mysterious poet Héctor Viel Temperley: 'I meet with my poetry when I don't know how to write it.' Opening Horses Drawn with Blue Chalk, we witness the radiance of this meeting, swimming through her house of water."

–Stéphane Chaumet