The Tiarzecatar, the thirteen songs, are the sacred songs of creation in the Fernalese language. They are sung by Afer, the primordial creatrix of all nature, who creates herself and then sings the cosmos into being. The songs themselves are difficult to follow and require accompanying narrative explanation, as they contain obscure pseudo-narrative magical words which detract from the narrative flow as much as they augment the magical, musical flow. The primary storytelling method is the image here, not narrative, hence they read rather weirdly.
The content of the Tiarzecatar has sprung from three basic sources - first I've wanted to make sure the songs spring naturally from the language. So when I realised that Fernalese had three genders, female, male and queer, then everything had to be created in threes. Some of the language has also sprung from what the songs required. Another source was image - the songs are primarily image-driven rather than narrative. I wanted this to be a strange way of composing a mythology, that it spring from visual images rather than narrative ideas. For example, the First Song was derived from the realisation that a spontaneous quantum burst of energy and annihiliation can look like a portal or a very stylised vagina. Each song has images like this. Finally, the third source was dreams - and this has made the songs kind of animistic, surreal and magical.
Each song also follows a stylised pattern. In the first stanza, the singer of the song announces herself, before beginning the narrative in stanzas two and three, while the fourth stanza follows a set phrase 'seeing that... sensing that...' which summarises the previous two stanzas and leads the text onwards or changes the action in some way. Stanzas five through to ten narrate the main body of the song's action, until the eleventh stanza which mirrors the fourth stanza with the set phrase 'seeing that... seing that...' Stanza twelve summarises the story, and the song closes with the thirteenth stanza which locates the action in a particular place in the Fernal Cosmos.
The Tiarzecatar is schematically divided into three parts: i) in which the Primordial Powers (Afer and her children) create the Fernal Cosmos, ii) the actions of the Shimmer People in creating the Earthly Garden in some detail, and iii) in which the Flying Water People and various other beings create the Heaventrack, the Milky Way and language. The second section was strongly inspired by, but divergent from, Gromyko Semper's Fernogenisia. I've deliberately tried to avoid Western narrative models: in composing these songs, I've envisaged them being sung by an elderly, visionary and wonderfully-eccentric female shaman in some forest tribe somewhere. The voice of this imaginary figure for me infuses the atmosphere and approach of the poems, and I hope you will hear her voice too!
FIRST SONG ~ AMNIFERCATAR ~ THE SONG OF FERNAL MAKING (I)
Afer greets herself and the Fernal Cosmos before making the Fundaments of Heaven and Underworld
SECOND SONG ~ METEFEIRCATAR ~ THE SONG OF SEXUAL PASSION
Afer invents sex as the prime method of creation, then creates the vagina and penis before celebrating orgasm
THIRD SONG ~ IOYAIOCATAR ~ THE SONG OF THREE EGGS
Afer gives birth to three eggs from which emerge Ana, Atlai and Ayia, who sing their respective Gardens into being
FOURTH SONG ~ AMNIFERCATAR ~ THE SONG OF FERNAL MAKING (II)
A naming song in which Afer and her three children call forth the Fernufin, Cosmic Powers of the various Gardens
FIFTH SONG ~ IOFARAOCATAR ~ THE SONG OF THREE LAUGHS
Afer and her three children create Atze and the Human Powers. The trickery of Tzihuia makes Afer laugh.
*** *** ***
SIXTH SONG ~ XICARTZECATAR ~ THE SONG OF THE SHIMMER PEOPLE
Afer and her four children come together to create three Fernal Ancestral Humans
SEVENTH SONG ~ ORSOSECATAR ~ THE SONG OF NORTH AND SOUTH
The Shimmer People name the realms of the Earthly Garden, renaming it Ebion 'navel', and renaming themselves
EIGHTH SONG ~ NALIAXIOCATAR ~ THE SONG OF WHIRLING AND SHAKING
The Shimmer People create a lighthouse and sacred chime, whose light and song fills the Earthly Garden
NINTH SONG ~ HITZESONCATAR ~ THE SONG OF EAST AND WEST
The female and male Shimmer People join in orgasmic union and birth the queer divine child Ferioxe
*** *** ***
TENTH SONG ~ MIROSATZECATAR ~ THE SONG OF THE FLYING WATER PEOPLE
From the magic of Ana and Atlai's lust and longing, the Flying Water People emerge into being
ELEVENTH SONG ~ SEYEZENCATAR ~ THE SONG OF THE HEAVENTRACK
The Flying Water People make a path from Earth to Heaven and create Perozon, the nightingale
TWELFTH SONG ~ IOHUIACATAR ~ THE SONG OF THREE TRICKSTERS
A sexual farce in which Metehuia and Chianuia humiliate Tzihuia and give birth to Achir the child of language
THIRTEENTH SONG ~ FERXAOCATAR ~ THE SONG OF FERNAL SPEAKING
Achir tours the Fernal Cosmos to recover Afer's first words, then forges language from serpents