Oh!… Why wasn’t I born on a pirate ship, lost on the endless ocean, in the midst of a handful of rugged, brave men who furiously climbed aboard, singing the wild song of destruction and death? Why wasn’t I born in the boundless grasslands of South America, among free, fierce gauchos, who tame the fiery colt with the “lasso” and fearlessly attack the terrible jaguar?… Why? Why? The children of the night, my brothers, impatient with every law and all control, would have included me. These people, spirits thirsty for freedom and the infinite, would have known how to read the great book that is in my minds, un utterly marvelous poem of pain and conflict, of sublime aspirations and impossible dreams… My intellectual heritage would have been their intangible treasure, and at the clear fount of my satanic pride and eternal rebellion, they would have fortified their strength, already violently shaken by a thousand hurricanes. Instead, I was fatally born in the midst of the nauseating herd of slaves who lie in the filthy slime where the imperial ruling Lie and hypocrisy exchange the kiss of brotherhood with cowardice. I was born into civilized society, and the priest, the judge, the moralist and the cop have tried to weigh me down with chains and transform my organism, exuberant with vitality and energy, into an unconscious and automatic machine for which only one word was supposed to exist: Obey. They wanted to kill me!… And when I rose in the violence of irresistible force and wild shouted my “no,” the idiotic herd, amid the splashing of stinking slime, launched its vacuous insults.
Now, I laugh… The crowd is unable to understand certain spiritual depths, and doesn’t have a sharp enough gaze to penetrate the hidden recesses of my heart… You curse me, you curse me still, as now, stained with sloth, for sixty centuries, you consume the ritual of the lie; you curse me, applauding your laws and your idols… I will always cast the red flowers of my contempt in your face.
From the peak on which I live with the eagle and the wolf, faithful companions of my solitude, I contemplate humanity, this grotesque parody of the reptile, with great nausea. Around me, lush nature wraps the rock in a green cloak of undergrowth, whose wild beauty gives the mind and inexpressible feeling of strength and joy. Below, on the mountain slopes, fertile fields stretch out, dotted here and there with isolated houses and villages in which human beings cement the millennia-old chains with unfortunate blindness.
And I laugh… I laugh as I watch human beings, these little monsters shrunken by space, when they are poisoned in the workshops where sewer gases lacerate their lungs…, when they pass by chanting in procession, bowed beneath the idols of fanaticism and unconsciousness…and when, in cowardice, they consecrate their slavery, licking the hand of the master that savagely beats them. I see the miserable comedy of human hypocrisy and pettiness unfold below me feet, and a deep sense of disgust sweeps over me, and an unspeakable loathing winds through me heart… And still I laugh… And as the chime of the bell that tolls for the feast rises from the village in the silence of the night, I sing my purest song to the eagle and the wolf, the faithful companions of my solitude. It is the song of my pain and my passion… And my song says:
“Oh, God of destruction, of terrible and monstrous God, rise up from the deepest bowels of the unknown and come to me through the open wounds of the old earth, come to me… come with the overwhelming, sudden fury of the squall; devastate, destroy this weakened and decadent world, which needs a new blood bath to renew itself… I will lend you my arm and my thought. We will struggle together as long as any temple arises bearing testimony to the superstition and sloth of men… as long as any law, engraved on the tablets of deception, tries to impose dedication to itself on the rebel,… and as long as life, encroached upon and oppressed, cannot rise once more triumphant in the light of day. Then, when clouds of flame rise threateningly from smoking ruins toward the sky, satanic, demonic, mad, we will sing our iconoclastic hymn of negation and revolt…” So I say! And my voice is, indeed, mighty and arcane, indeed, rich with hatred and feeling, so that my eagle rises up over a horizon which sinister lightning bolts flash… and my wolf with eyes like embers howls and pounces on the muddy paths of the village where he brings terror and death…
Above, on my peak, so high and inaccessible, the fateful symbol of my liberation waves is the wind: the black flag.
Now I dance on the edge of an abyss at whose bottom the murky waters of death sinuously wind… I dance, tragically, with my mind focused on the dawn of my “true” life, of the free and intense life I want to conquer for myself, at the cost of the fiercest conflict and the most difficult sacrifice. Because I belong to the race of invincible giants for whom danger is not a barrier, but a sting, a spur that pushes them to realize their will more forcefully. And I dance, I dance… The pale, anemic virtues that dominate in this world of eunuchs and slaves, have tried to lure me. But I have answered their fondlings and their threats with the diabolical laughter of my savage sarcasm. Humanity, Society, State, Law, Morality… You already know the force of my blows as I know the force of yours… And yet you don’t stop attacking me, you don’t cease entertaining the mad intention of reducing my unbending temper in the fetters of obedience… Well, you still throw your hat into the ring, you still drag that bleak, amorphous mass of flabby slaves in your train, you sharpen your weapons that will shatter upon my invulnerable armor… I resolutely wait for you. I, the damned one, the rebel… I wait for you with my eagle and my wolf, the faithful companions of my solitude. And my brothers also wait for you, arrayed for battle at my side, my brothers, the heroic and undefeated children of Evil…
So come on! The sacrilegious and destructive iconoclast has flung his challenge. And in an intoxication of enthusiasm, a delirium of energy, an exaltation of audacity, he will fight his war, in the open and hidden… Later, when poison darts have pierced the armor and reached his heart, he will slide, sneering, to the bottom of the dark abyss where the threatening waters of Death sinuously flow.
From Proletario # 4,
September 17, 1922