Online Editorial

Apr 24, 2023

English, Spanish

Lara Mimosa Montes on Feliciano Centurión

Paraguayan artist Feliciano Centurión (1962–96) worked frequently with textiles, having learned to crochet, knit, and embroider from his mother and grandmother. Expanding from that basis, the artist transformed found materials, such as aprons, blankets, and paper plates, into playful and surreal acrylic paintings. Of his series Mantas (Blankets, 1990–96), which consists of blankets painted with quotidian icons and images from his dreams, Centurión wrote, “Once we decontextualize them, assemble them, paint them, or assail them, they reveal that they passed through our feelings. Consummated love.”Frazadas: Feliciano Centurión, Galería Fábrica, Asunción, May 4–18, 1990. Translated by Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro. Quoted in Feliciano Centurión, eds. Aimé Iglesias Lukin and Karen Marta (New York: Americas Society, 2020), 7.

In the following text, "Same Sea (Rose Horse)," Lara Mimosa Montes fuses the traditions of conceptual and lyric poetry to encounter the more intimate elements of Centurión’s practice and work. Focusing on the symbol of the rose, Montes turns to Ukrainian-born Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector, whose novels and short stories are abundant with descriptions of the flower. Sentences compiled from Lispector’s translated works became the foundational vocabulary for Montes’s anagrammatic text. Mirroring the metamorphosis of Centurión’s appropriated blankets, the words appear again here in an entirely new form, painstakingly reconfigured word by word.

This text is a part of ISLAA’s Online Editorials series, which was launched in 2021 to bring international visibility to works from the organization’s collection and to foster novel research by historians, curators, and artists working in the field of Latin American art. By inviting collaborators who range from scholars to artistic practitioners, the multilingual series acknowledges that the history of art is written both in the academy and on the ground.

Missing. Lost o’clock.
you were air,
And words intertwining.
unattainable happening—
distant and submissive
. . .that afternoon I felt
wild Something scarlet
how we—desire
in the beginning
the slight fatigue
that red attention

dumb I felt
as rose
without words
was I darkness
was I endless
paper children
daisies kindness
calmly budding

I flower with the inside
I flower with the flower
inside that darkness
I remembered
a garden and inside
it lived two voices
we would sunrise
like two roses
bright hard scarlet
I, wife and movement

she was within reach
but she was also
somewhat modest

without shape I was
and without shape
I happened
same sea
same reflection
inside you, I happened:
I house the exclamation
because desire—order
. . . geraniums

on went this strange
process it was like a
bright black moment
—a strange insistent
motionless invitation
And wild like some
garden some mute
thought in nature
made night
made darkness

This was desire
that floating endless
now whenever I stop
and mirror this hand
become brooch
I taste space
because sea
because silence
inside me horses

It was strange
—the pink dust
the floating morning
when you
being mirror fled
I, a space, happened
as if over dinner
macerated lemons
intuited something
signs, waves, envy
I noticed
another flower
in the wallpaper

I thought
something is happening—
something was

speak without
without invitation

I left you alive words
I left you
of silence—
huge gold horses
become fabric
made surface

when I sensed
afternoon turning
into darkness
I felt dizzy and
submissive I flower
I Listen I remember
I possess darkness:
you noticed
you blossomed
through story
you become content

now whenever you
leave I remain horse-
less inside I am the pink
you realized was roses
glorious motionless
rose gold roses

between being and
envy Was.
now I am zinnias
intertwining now I am
inhaling the morning

is this sunrise
—It was as if the thought
sent itself
It arrived first without words
then as strange waves—
when I wrote inside the waves
I wrote an endless beginning
I wrote about you your voice
the sea
the end

was This not
Where everything began
we intuited the invitation
we remembered without
trying we made dinner
we felt distant we noticed
the sea
we noticed the silence

in the present
you lived forever
I lived in the present
but the present
as I invented it—
the present without us
your distant reflection
It was so itself
it blossomed
It was so itself
it happened

in us

in us

I felt the darkness cutting
I said show me
something show me one
show me
show me what you want
show me

the world was
strange I decided
I dimly perceived
how strange
The you
you’ve invented
would sometimes
shed its fragrance
I started missing
you as you were
in the beginning
in broke darkness

and I wrote
to shed
the silence

she was She
she decided that
staying was like
this bright intense
I decided Then
I could love
her like I love
the idea of forever
perhaps more
than I love forever

was there
going on
I left early
that morning
I noticed
your gaze
I noticed you
the gaze
that only
its house
do you
how it felt

we transformed
from one shape
into another—
we were like two
trees that on
occasion wither

when we reach
the sea
we should paint
its surface– look
and then It happened

I decided to steal something
like water without movement

I broke her vase
and held
her gaze
I ran my hand over
her sheets I reach

we are two
inside one

we happen
we open we
come with
one tongue

she was so
extreme so
inside herself—
I know
I seem
but I also know
I’m alive—
I’m trying to look
inside I said
because I want to
know who you are

I noticed She was
distant and
full of being
I loved her as she
was I think I even
loved her deeply

we thought That
we Could sense
the sea
the waves
but we never
remembered how

I time two waves
and avoid this
strange idea
that is never
just itself
because this
idea is also us
the way we lived
the way we held

If I leave
what will
of us
The sea
the wind
the plant
the stem

I realized maybe
I was not careful
but I wanted us
to interrupt each-
other. I wanted us
to go on living
as we had before
we happened or
I simply wanted
us to be as we
were—two animals
alone inside a house

I never
decided if this
was not still
the beginning

we turn away
from one
another but
as we turn we
make a space
and in that space
we fill our
selves with
air sea salt soil

I could want or
transmit to her
through silence
something of my want
I could even
speak its rose material
into being

when you move
I take shape
when you listen
I turn away

I was not alone
but I was
also not with her
night was now
I decided
I did not mind—
I ran my hand
over the silence

had we
not intuited
as real as
those very
white horses

transformed I began
the rose world began
the endless decided morning
gold o’clock. . . the same rose

Lara Mimosa Montes is a writer, editor, and teaching artist whose practices span the fields of alternative publishing and experimental writing. She is the author of THRESHOLES (Coffee House Press, 2020), which the publisher has described as “a doorway and an absence, a road map and a remembering.” Her writing has appeared in Amant, BOMB, Futurepoem, The Poetry Project, and elsewhere. She teaches poetry at the University of Minnesota and is currently working on a novel. Her writing practice gravitates toward processes and phenomena that exhibit change or transformation as their defining features. To learn more about her work, visit

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