03 May 2009

LotS: Hildegard of Bingen

[Cut-and-paste Xerox, sharpie, whiteout]

Hildegard of Bingen

creates the role of Lola-Lola in Der Blaue
for von Sternberg in 1930, her lush
Rhinish landscape framed by tawdry lace
scaffolding. She's a hit in the famous halved
hoopskirt, knocking down the chorus girls to fetch
an "errant" handkerchief. Until one rehearsal,
legs V'ed like migrating birds during "Falling
in Love Again," the scissors sudden slacken, her
false lashes become arrows around quivering eyes--

"Aiguonz!" she belts, and crumples like a flung
stocking. Ammonia'd awake, sipping Birnenschnapps,
cheeks colored beyond current cinema, the chanteuse
chatters: she saw light, wings like crescent moons
meeting, the blank benevolent wafer-face of God, who,
she says, speaks neither Latin nor Hebrew but
a razor-edged tongue she now glosses: "Inimoiz--
human. Orzchis--immeasurable." Seeing the director's
sad eyes (Another one lost, he thinks) she offers
onyx on the tongue as a sure-fire pick-me-up. He
gestures to Marlene, the understudy: "Mädchen,
it's up to you." She dons the tux, becomes an icon;
the Sibyl goes back to her Weimar flat, writes
unheeded warning to the war-eyed world. Her visions
of barbed wire and flame do not consent to parable.

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), "the Sibyl of the Rhine," influenced politics, composed Gregorian chant without training, and wrote for herself rather than dictate to a secretary. Though her cult is still active, her canonization was never finalized.
[Published in Tiferet, Issue Four.]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
Muse at Highway Speeds by http://museathighwayspeeds.blogspot.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.