In the beginning it was Odradek,
the lopsided spool of tangled threads,
the sly refe star that stumbles and falls,
arousing the concerns of the head of the family.
For a long time Perilli had observed that somewhat tipsy simulacrum.
He owned a funny supply of cubic and rectangular boxes,
from shoes, from Easter eggs, from vinavíl tubes,
open on one side like theaters without curtains.
He had long dreamed of making a series of incongruous machines, of delusional devices.
Roussel, the strangest of modern necromancers, read "Locus Solus" every night,
inventor of abstruse mechanisms.
And one day he began to pile up dice and lozenges of boxes, diaphanous prisms,
at the court he composed a box-like cosmogony,
a Mirandola, an enchanted universe of rampant mechanisms and Meccan burlesques.
But above all he was still inebriated by the juggling of the square,
spell of distant years.
Here it is his booth of overturned boxes,
boites, Schachtel, koròbki, krabicky,
of ambiguous boxes that overturn, eager, sleepwalker, tipsy.
Of boxes, whose hairless sides open like the holds of ships,
of crazy boxes, ladders, lanterns, fearless box organs,
clinging like clownish butterflies to a square,
that fit and join like phonemes in rebus and warps
of the magician Roussel, penetrating one into the other bold and cheerful as of contraband
with impossible joints and grafts and a great abundance of ironic folds.
Machines that strut on yellow, orange, very black backgrounds, cardinals,
without levers and pulleys.
Looking at them, I remembered the pròunydi Lísitzkij, stations that, wading and undeterred,
they hover in astonished space
without points of support on the ground with circus libration and perfect icarism,
of those pròuny in which you feel the suggestion of flight
and an unconscious connection with the charm of ballet.
The ballet that presses and rouses from the ground
also Perilli's engine cloud catchers.
But what was my amazement in seeing myself
that those gay machines, like clusters of ringing strokes, assumed human appearances,
that those boxes connected in shaky bodies
without pistons or gimbals,
in short, those machines were dancing puppets of geometric pieces,
crafty angels suspended between heaven and earth and enemies of weight, clay, stone.
In this world smeared with boredom
dance, dance, unreal machines,
as on blades of blades, on peaks and ridges,
dance, I tell you, dance, for there to be joy.
Angelo Maria Ripellino