THE GREEN DOOR ISSUE 8 ANTHONY WEIR TATJANA DEBELJACKIDIMITRIS LYACOS / SYLVIE PROIDLANTHANASE VANTCHEV de THRACY MARY ANGELA DOUGLAS GEORGE MOORE MICHAEL H. BROWNSTEIN
ANTHONY WEIRAnthony Weir (born 1941) is a hermit-misanthrope who wasalmost never employed. He is a painter who does not exhibit orsell, and a poet who avoids publication. He has, however threewebsites, one of which is literary (www.beyond-the-pale.co.uk),another which is a comprehensive and richly-illustrated fieldguide to Megalithic Ireland (www.irishmegaliths.org.uk), and athird which is a study of grotesque and ‘licentious’ sculptures onRomanesque and later medieval churches. He lives in countyDown, Ireland RUMInations Translations of and Glosses on Verses by Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi WHATS & WHATEVERS What was said to the rose to make it unbud was said to me here in my heart. What was told to the cypress to make it grow strong and straight as a pencil, what was whispered to jasmine to give it its scent, whatever made sugarcane sweet, whatever blessed the Turkoman people of Chigil with beauty and elegance, whatever permits the petal of pomegranate to blush like a human has entered me now.
I blush. That which adds beauty to language is passing through me. Great doors open. I fill up with gratitude, suck sugarcane, ever in love with the One who bestows these whats and whatevers to all! The Lovers will drink wine night and day, will drink until they can wash away the veils of intellect and shame and modesty. With this Love, body, mind, heart and soul and pain do not exist. If your Love is unconditional like this you cannot be separate again. THIS WORLD WHICH IS MADE OF OUR LOVE FOR THE EMPTINESS Praise to the void that cancels existence! Existence: this place which is made from our love of the vacuous! Emptiness comes, existence goes. Praise to that process! For years I pulled my existence out of the emptiness. Then with one massive effort, I stopped that repetitiveness,and was free from who I was, free from presentness, fear, hope, desire (for hope is pale shades of desire).
The here-and-now mountain of seeming is just husk blown off into emptiness.These words I’m saying too many of start to lose meaning: existence, emptiness, mountain, husk. Words and what they try to say fly out of the window, off with the wind. Come, come, whoever you are - wonderer, worshipper, wanderer, lover of leaving, whatever you are. This is no caravan of despair. Come – even if you have failed and dropped out dozens of times - Come on, try again, come. THE SPIRITUAL TOURISTS who idly ask: How much is that? …Oh, I’m just looking, pick up a hundred items and put them down. They are shadows without substance. What is spent is Love and two eyes wet with weeping. But tourists walk into a souk, and their whole lives suddenly evaporate. Where did you go? Nowhere. What did you eat? Nothing much.
Even if you don’t know what you want, buy something, to be part of the come and go. Even start a vast, insane project like Noah did, for it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you. Just flow. I died from minerality and turned vegetableand from vegetableness I died and then turned animal. I died from animality and became a man. Then why fear disappearance by death? Next time I die I’ll sprout wings like those of angels; then, after that, soaring higher than mere angels - what you cannot imagine - that’s what I’ll be.Soul receives from soul the knowledge, not by book and not from tongue, and not through artIf the knowledge comes out of silence of the mind, this is the illumination of the heart.
I said: ‘You’re very harsh.’ ‘But,’ He answered, ‘My harshness comes from goodness, not from rancour, not from spite. I strike down those who enter saying, “I…” -for this is Love’s tabernacle, not a cocktail party.Rub your eyes…behold the image of your heart!’ I AM AND AM NOT I’m swimming in the flood which has yet to come I’m shackled in the prison which has yet to be built I am the checkmate in a future game of chess I’m drunk with your wine which remains untasted I’m slain on a battlefield of long ago I don’t know the difference between idea and reality
Like a shadow I am and am not. O Giver of life, release me from Reason that it might depart and flit from vanity to vanity. Break open my skull, pour in the wine of madness.Let me be mad as You are; mad with You, mad with life. Beyond the commonsense of the conventional and respectable sanity and the information-infection a desert burns white-hotwhere Your dervish-sun whirls in every particle of light - O Lord, drag me there, let me roast in Perfection! God has given us a dark wine so strong that, drinking it, we leave both worlds. God has put into hashish a great power to free the taker of the consciousness of self. God has made sleep so that it stops us thinking. There are thousands of wines that can overpower our minds. Don’t think all ecstasies are similar.
Every object, every being, is a wine-jar of delight. Be a connoisseur, taste with caution: any wine will make you drunk. Judge like a king, and choose the best, the ones unadulterated with fear of what folk say, or some contingent “duty” or “necessity.” Drink the wine that makes your soul float, moves you as a camel moves when it’s been untied, and is just ambling about – loafing, if you like. The Tent Outside: the freezing desert night. Another night inside gets warmer, illuminating me.Though the earth be covered with impenetrable thorns In here there is a green and gentle meadow. When the continents are devastated - cities, towns and everything between scorched and blackened - the only news is future full of grief - while inside me there is no news at all. This is our intimacy, my beloved friend*: anywhere you put your foot, feel me in the firmness under it. How is it, soul-mate, that I see your world and don’t see you ? Listen to the whispers inside poems, follow their intimate suggestions
and never leave their premises.*His beloved mentor Shams-i-Tabrizi. A Thief In The Night Suddenly and unexpectedly the Guest arrived… Hearts beat faster “Who’s there?” And Soul replied “The Moon…” He came into the house as we lunatics ran into the street looking for the moon. Then from inside the house he cried out “Here I am!” and we beyond earshot ran around calling him, crying for him, for the ecstatic nightingale locked lamenting in our garden while we mourning doves muttered “Where, where…?”
- as if at midnight the ex-sleepers upright in their beds hearing a thief break into the house in the darkness stumbled about crying “A thief! A thief!” but the burglar himself mingles in the confusion echoing their cries: “…a thief!” till all cries become the same cry.And He is with you [Quran 4:57] with you in your search. When you seek Him, look for Him in your looking closer to you than yourself - why run outside? Melt like snow into yourself. Wash yourself with yourself! Sprouted by Love tongues rise from the soul like stamens But let the flower teach you
to silence your tongue. (adapted from a translation by Hakim Bey alias Peter Lamborn Wilson) A New Rule As a rule, drunks fall on each other, quarrelling, violent, making a scene. The Lover is even worse than the drunkard! Let me tell you what Love is: to descend into a Goldmine! And what is the Gold you find ? The Lover is King above all kings, unafraid of death, disdaining a crown. The holy man has a Pearl invisible beneath his rags, so why should he go begging from door to door? Last night the moon came along, drunk and dropping clothes in the street. “Get up,” I told my heart, “Give the soul a glass of wine.The moment has come to join the nightingale in the garden, to sip honey with the soul-parrot.” I have fallen – my heart shattered - where else but in your path ? And I broke your bowl, my amazing mentor, because I was out of my head. Don’t let me be harmed, hold my hand! A new rule, a new law has been born: Break all the glasses and beat up the glassblower! (based on a translation by Kabir Helminski, in Love is a Stranger, Threshold Books, 1993)
Who is it saying the words that my mouth says ? All day I ponder, at night, alone with the wine and the music, the roses, I wonder What am I doing here ? I’ve no idea! My heart is from somewhere else – I’m quite sure - and I surely intend to return there. This drunkenness started somewhere else, also, and when I get back I’ll be very sober. Meanwhile I’m a bird in a cage made of poems. I’ll break out! Who is it in my ear, who is listening ? Who is it typing the words that you can’t pay attention to, and sending them out on the internet ? Whom do my eyes belong to ? What’s the true nature of longing ? If I could taste one drop of an answer I’d crack open this cage, this trap of bemusement. I didn’t walk myself into it, whoever pushed me in will get me back just a bit wiser. But so what ? This poetry: I never know what I am going to say, until I have said it.
And after I’ve typed it out I stammer banalities, catch myself on and say nothing. A Kind of Kiss There is a kind of kiss that our very existence lacks: the absorption of spirit through flesh into mind. Seawater induces the oyster to open, and the lilies adore the sheer wildness of wind. At night, I leap out of bed and throw wide the window and ask the old moon to come and press its young face against mine: breathe intome, moon-face. So I close the thought-door and open the kiss-window. Moons (be they made of green cheese or of lead) don’t like doors, only windows. The quick route to wisdom is to cut off your head.
Rumi in the 21st (late 14th) Century If anyone unaccountably asks you what is the sign of perfect sexual satisfaction just sniff his armpit. (Only a man would ask that question.) If anyone wants to know what soul is, or ‘God’s blessing‘, just incline your head toward that anyone, and feel one face with another. Last night the Medium turned over and slept his deep, noisy sleep. That was his message. Tonight he turns, tosses and turns. And I cough, clear my throat, and pronounce, farouchely: “We’ll be together till Absolute Entropy!”He mumbles back thoughts that occurred to him when he was out of his head. He is a Master. The Thinker is always displaying, the Lover is always losing his way. The Thinker backs off, afraid of getting lost. The whole point of Love is to get lost. And who is this ‘Lover’ I keep on about ? He or she is a person who feels bad when trees and dogs and even lice are suffering. And what is ‘Love’ ? Is it Truth, ‘Allah, Desire-for-Perfection ? None of them!
It is Harmony - harmony with Entropy. But aren’t we all in harmony with Entropy -especially when we think we are not ?
TATJANA DEBELJACKIborn 1967 in Užice. Writes poetry, short stories, stories and haiku.Member of Association of Writers of Serbia -UKS since 2004 andHaiku Society of Serbia- Deputy editor of Diogen.http://diogen.weebly.com/redakcijaeditorial-board.html Editor ofthe magazine “Poeta”, four books of poetry published:Email/Websites/Blogs http://debeljacki.mojblog.rs/ & http://twitter.com/debeljacki
If you were living just across and if I were a treeIn that yard,I’d delight you with fruit,I’ll be watered with your glimpse,just look at me in ardor,I’d bear the sweetest fruit for you.* * *I am looking in lacking it, but having in looking for.Among the clouds,but not being among them.It is just my happiness going awaywhile I am sleeping and sleep furtherlymy choice is the dream.Though I am present in all of your needs.
SOUVENIR LUCKHow many times have I degraded myself?Kneeled, crawled, searching for this,My souvenir luck has banged!A little bit insecure, a little bit deceiving,you can never tell how long it will last.I give to you two cold stones,My cold hands, my shy face.Shout this from the glass housetops!MISTAKESWe no longer remember the mistake,our house started to crumble down,add one spark more.
Do you want to be honored for your efforts and fire?Did we feel anything at all?Though we were born…The dying inside seems the worst,dying out slowly…FULFIL YOUR WISHESFulfil your wishes, go on.Let the most beautiful melody start,Let the breath be so near.Steal dreams from the pillow.Be here, stir up imagination.Like this romantic tonight.Stay, take over me!Carry me! Take my clothes off!Let me run through your veins.Take my clothes off tonight, take me to the dawn.The walls of your own heart you can tear downAnd just one name carve there.You take one owner there and lock in forever.
Poisoned blood you cannot change,Only that someone stays there.And all happening then, is not simple anymore.When it starts, the chaos turns out!!BARE FACEI’ve been sick since the very start,I don’t care up to the very end of the game.They lost it.What about the other man?In the twentieth chapter in the eight lineHe was betrayed by the bare face.In the twenty-third chapter,It was goodbye.The same face under the hat,Bare face.
UNREQUITED LOVE`Forget what I’ve said.It’s something nasty again.Sharp word has freefalling.We have been long on these tracks,Huge steps, heavy memories,Through endless weeds.We defied the storms,Searching for oneself.Unsuccessful trying, my love,
Do not go to local colors.Forget what I’ve told you,Unrequited love…AQUARIUSKilometers gained nothing – you are here.Before I go to sleep thirty times I say your name – you are here.You fall asleep quietly – you are here.Through deserts of sound, reason - you are here,Through unreal reality – you are here,Through the music of drums – you are here.I know that you know that – here it’sAlways you.
HIMProfile. Face in the shadow, straight lines of forehead and nose,Plump lips, scar on the neck behind the left ear.No, it is not a scar. It is a shadow of the ear.Can’t see the eyes, but hear voice distinctly. It’s him.MOTHERIf your life was dying slowly,In this rhythm mine was living fast.
It is the same:I can see the day, I can see the great day,I can see the glorious day,My mother.If something is tearing my soul apart,though I put a lot of optimism into it,believe me, mother.You are special.In your eye is my happiness,Just because of youI am persistent and positive.Evil comes and goes.We have met again and we chased,And in circle again.Sadness makes lips silent.Don’t I have a right to love aloud?I will write a long poem.
PITY DESTROYS GOOD PEOPLEMaybe everything is possible?What are the wrinkles, slowness and pain towards death for?Many good people were destroyed by pity.And some unrequited loves, and me with all of that truth.Courage, come here!Strength, there you are!Touch, you are near!Breath, I can hear you!Just tell me a little bit faster, cease in the name of will.Life, turn around to look once more…Poetic soul is the only who can live when there is no any.Only those who do it exactly know the world of literature.It is a language of poetry!
LIVING OUT OF POEMWhile it’s raining, and when there is happiness,And while dreaming the green knight,When the fear is deep suspicion,Everybody puts own empty and little lifeInto one poem.Though, were I to live mine as one in the poem,But I didn’t.
WEATHERVANEOn the solid groundFatal and dangerousA word or twoBetween four sides,Mild wind in the north,In the south blows southeaster wind,and northwestern.Then, from each side blows the wind,And the point of adventure.Bring back the weathervane.* * *I’ve got your titters,And hardly visible pit on your chin,And your harsh frowns sometimes clearing out.Your ears which do not hear anything,And your strength sometimes I can feel.I like your lies, truths flying restless,And your little poetess.And I remember every scar and birthmark,
And fault thug, and one little fingerWhich means to me,And one relationship hidden that I wanted and didn’t want either,And dark loneliness.After you I enjoyed alone.And not lonely are the messages, not alone are truths,And not alone are neither you nor I.There is always someone to bother us,And we give way today for tomorrow.We are going out from our lives we lived.A HOUSE MADE OF GLASSA house made of glass.The last performance is given there,
Last role,A role without a price.Lovers, on your partingFly away, fly.For long, for long restrain your silence.In the dark of night, at least one star belongs to you.PHANTOM IN THE NIGHTPhantom in the opera initiated great interestInside deeper and deeper.And surrounded by his admirers only one is real,Hearing differently and he stays.Face to face. Two gaze.Shut up and kiss me!When you walk away from every stage and you lose yourpopularity,Come back.Be my cradle.
PICTUREPromise me that you would never leave me,Man in the picture.Tomorrow your smile will make my day.And you are not a dream, you are reality.Living picture, dear to me, picture full of contents.
If tomorrow will conquer the dayWhat would I do the day after?I’ll try to win in some other way,giving a bad example,being too much anxious,but again victory appears as reconciliation.As an omen to great victory,There’s victory existing unclearly.There are drawings, proof of victory.Part without envyDevelops and makes crazy,And is a rush for victory.It is easy to think. To win is other thing.It is easy to win, but thinking is the other thing.To win, not to give up.AT LEAST IN DATESDo not repent, time will not stop,Do not suffer, the sky will not cry.Star, twinkle in the night and, what had happened, will remainsomewhere,At least in dates.
REAL PEOPLEPeople die onlyIn dusk or dawn,There are no eternal graves.I smell on sweet basilPleasantly and divine,And I love up to freedom.MEETINGHow come that we couldn’t understand each otherIn thousand and one pain,Belgrade?Tell him that I’ll be waiting,
On Branko’s bridge in my thirtieth.Let it be Friday evening,Tell him to bring his feelings with him.* * *With you one half of me is sleeping.We were not meant to each other.Forgive me if I occupy the space.* * *When I think, when I want,And set of to do itThough ill, without your aimAnd every day is grater worryYou know the secret of water dropGrain of love, grain of wheatMeaning so much.But, my garden withers.
DIMITRIS LYACOS / SYLVIE PROIDL Dimitris Lyacos is one of the leading figures in new Europeanwriting. His seminal trilogy Poena Damni (Z213: EXIT, Nyctivoe,The First Death), originally written in Greek over the course ofeighteen years, has been translated into English, German,Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese and is widely performedacross Europe and the USA. The work has had an increasinginfluence over the years, inspiring a wide range ofinterdisciplinary projects ranging from drama to contemporarydance, video and sculpture installations as well as opera andcontemporary music. Extracts, in the different versions of a workin progress, have been published in, mostly English-speaking,journals around the world and there is a growing bibliographyexploring the various facets of Lyacos’ complex work: The trilogyboldly straddles and crosses perceived boundaries of literary form– from the journal-like prose in Z213: EXIT, to the ellipticalmonologues of the distinctly dramatic Nyctivoe, to the pareddown poetic idiom in The First Death, Poena Damni builds aworld beyond postmodern dystopia that engrosses the reader. Formore information visit: www.lyacos.net.SYLVIE PROIDLIn the German-speaking world, the announcement of someone’sdeath differs considerably from region to region. The thick blackmargin of mourning that once adorned every obituary notice isnow provided on special order only. The very descriptive Swissterm for such obituaries, namely “circular of suffering”, was a keytrigger behind Sylvie Proidl’s series “memento mori”, whichcalligraphically deals with the transitory nature of life. The wordsobituary notice, death, mourning and pain are repeatedlyinscribed in various languages on stuccolustro plates. Thenarrow horizontal or narrow vertical formats are designed torepresent slices from the in- to the outside. The pastel hues andthe open structure convey the past and the subtle colorsunderscore the transparency of bygone epochs. The paintingswere first exhibited in the poetry reading “Nyctivoe” by DimitrisLyacos, whose book focused on the issue of finiteness.www.sylvie-proidl.com
Poena Damni(Translated from the Greek by Shorsha Sullivan)Z213: EXITExcerptsTell those who were waiting not to wait none of us will return.The sky is leaving again, the newspapers dissolve in the corridor,the same trees pass again darker before us, those who wrenchthe doors looking for a place, who are coming in at the next stop.The light outside cutting the evening to pieces, harsh eveningsthat fall among strangers, the story shatters within you, pieces,fading away in the ebb of this time, that melt one into the otherbefore you sleep. And the snail hurries to go back on its tracks, atale you remember unfinished, wrinkles that still hold a colour onmemory’s transient seed, birds that awake the dew on their wingsand you leave with them into the all-white frozen sky, but youwake and are baked again. Not the fever, the remembrance ofsorrow exhausts you you don’t know why, before you are wellawake and the barren feeling comes back again to your hands,the rest suddenly fades away at once, you are one recollection abroken box emptying, after the tempest this calm, you search forsupport, get up like an old man, feel cold, remember birds’ wings,magistrates’ sticks decorated with feathers the bones of an angel,sink again images and words monotonous prayer.……………………………………………………………………….. Withcotton wool or toilet paper which crammed your mouth, soaks upyour saliva, you are scarcely able to breathe. But mainly you arethirsty, this wakes you up and the glass beside you empty. Nightstill but what time, you will get up to ask for some water, thecarriage deserted, farther back, drops on the window, you wetyour hand to wet your mouth, further still further back thecarriage deserted, and one more, shudder, like voices that swell,
a carriage of voices. They give you water. Their animals sleep atthe back, they ask you questions you sit among them. You drinkwater again. Laughter, voices ask you would say something butyou feel dizzy. A piece of meat from hand to hand, you go and liedown at the side, they give you food, a bottle from hand to hand,wine, a circle further back singing, the others between theanimals sleep. Dark faces, voices fraying in bitter carnival, theirheads, changing animal heads, the lamb’s body ends in the headof a man with eyes shut. They put someone, between twowindows and he raises his hands, tall and broad, they bind himby the wrists to the bars, left right. Lamb’s head, they put on hishead the skin from its flayed head. They speak to him. He sings.Slow, disjointed song. Dark the cross of the man as day breaks.They dress him in a blue garment, beside you someone wasturning a torch on and off from joy emotion their eyes were wet.The alien joy of children, your smile with them for a while, andthen as if someone had gagged you but you calm down again andbreathe freely. And they were showing the livid scars on theirfaces, victories that had conquered the world, our faith, they weresaying and our body one body in Him, you could hear themsinging, it won’t be long until the day comes, the season willchange. Around you all red. And outside, along the view of theriver beating up to the windows, slower now the train in its bend,and wherever they could, all together, a closing circle, the nativewomen trying to climb aboard.Lorries pouring tons of mud mounting up. Smell of the coffee,boiled in a pot, they gave me a cup, you answer their same wordswith your hands, you don’t know how else. From the window theriver like sending out light from within, blinding you. Your eyelidswith all the weight. The line of the horizon. Blurs. A wavespreading out of control with nowhere to cling to turning backand cascading to the expanses of snow. The workmen of a gangraising a dyke, and building. Bridges, one almost finished. To thecrest of the mountain out of control and shuddering upwards.Wine again. Every so often they would fill up, once they washedthe eyes of the cross of the lamb that was looking around. Theywere touching and they were singing. As if your hands were
pierced. And the nails not to rust from the blood, singing. Andsomething like: the crosses, the crosses ill-omened. With rhythmsthat made you dizzy again, in the slow whirl of the light growingstronger, in the carriage spinning round with you.……………………………………………………………………….The slow bells from the church which must be near me I stoppedfor a while and waited and now they were chiming again. Andhere where I sat, like stains below the slabs as if blooded. Whowas there ringing, guesses confused not made clear, who wasthere ringing the bell waves going down the dome, the echo of anocean that licks on it and drips here. And the flashes through thewindow from the one to the other like a searchlight turningaround seeking me out. Here, in a flooded pit full of bodies,branches that cover and float leaves that float on faces unknownfunerary gifts on the side, phrases by him and the Writ mixed onthis page, and further down sea tombs and then somethingbetween the frozen palms. Gestures of the walls that invite you.A hole high up opposite, you can hold on to the shoots of the ivyto climb up and see where exactly you are. You don’t care, thetracks hold you the people they brought here, something of whatthey lived, and the pain they felt like you and they came and sathere together like the leaves that came in where from you don’tknow a pile that gathers in front of the saints, and them alltogether, one by the other, side by side, opposite all together tolook at them kneel, a circle, that will hold them a while. But,release, and what’s left, yellow mouths leaving again from thosearches which covered them and they dream still for a while ofcourtyards where the souls find rest, a flower sequence of angelsawaiting them there. And then the illusion dries up and it is anempty uninhabited house. The icons below the colour thatchanges the same shape the same face painted again on all thewalls. And there in the corner the body demolished, like metalplates sunken within it, until dark falls completely leaning outfrom the last fading saint his face pressing lips tight.…………………………………………………………………………………Nobody is coming after me. Surely they have forgotten about me.Nobody will ever come here to find me. He will never be able tofind me. Nobody ever. And when I fled they didn’t even realise.They took no notice of me no one cared no one remembers. Now
they will remember neither when nor how. Not even I. Tracksonly, a hazy memory and those images when I look at what I havewritten, tracks of footprints in the mud before it starts rainingagain. Uncertain images of the road and thoughts mumbledwords, and if you read them without the names you won’tunderstand, it could have been anywhere, and then I spoke withno one and those who saw me no chance that they remember me.Every so often a face seeming familiar, from another time,someone looked at you, you recognised him, no, a part of anotheron a stranger’s face. Or the rhythm of the steps that soundbehind you, the rhythm of your own steps, which occasionallyyou think follow you, they stop when you stop, or for a momentyou think he is coming behind you, or you think that someone isbreathing behind the door and will now come in. And thennothing, and then back again, and you suddenly turn your headas if you had heard him. But no one. You are far away, no oneknows you, no one wants to find you, no one is looking for you.And tomorrow you will be somewhere else still farther away, stillmore difficult yet, even if they would send someone. They don’tknow the way and before they find out you have decampedsomewhere else. They know how to search but they don’t knowwhat way. And even if they set off from somewhere they will stillbe quite far. And they will not be many. Perhaps just one. One islike all of them together. Same eyes that search, same mind thatcalculates the next move. Same legs that run same arms thatspread wide. Ears straining to listen, nostrils over their prey.Always acted like that. Two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, twoarms, two legs. The symmetry of the machine that pursues you.A net that thinks decides and moves ahead. The head a fishhookthe body a belt. All the same. Me too. One behind the other.Forward back further back, to follow the road. And if you don’tknow you run ahead anyway, because someone is always comingbehind you. Sooner or later he comes. And sometimes therecomes a hand taking you by the shoulder, or a worm that climbsup on your hand. It rolls on a pillow of saliva. Forward. And as itrolls it is growing and wrapping around you. A flat tongue on itssaliva with two eyes that rise up to see you. Maybe not you, theylook for a comfortable place to start from. Like him that, thatnight we were hungry, that had etched an open mouth on hisstomach. Likewise this stomach has a mouth, it is a mouth,about to open. From there you go somewhere else, on the innerroad opening up, in the twists of the gut, there of course you are
unconscious by now, unconscious you take the road of returnand when you wake up they have brought you inside there again. The First Death Extracts I Sea of iron. Moon silent as pain in the depth of the mind.A body swept here and there on the rock like seaweed or a lifeless tentacle, fruit of awomb ship-wrecked by the winds, ensanguined and flesh-filled mire. The left arm cutshort, the right to the end of the forearm, a rotted stick raving amid the water’s lungs.Of the ravaged mouth there remained only a wound which closed slowly. From theeyes a blurred light. The eyes
without lids. The legs down to the ankles – no feet.Spasms. IIJudgment of the sea, shackles from broken sobsbeneath the dry bowl’s split eyelidsan unseen prey –plunder from passions’ tombs, litanies to the senseson the point of crumbling, inarticulate melodies, lavafrom beheaded riversblades of the waves cut deeply into the screen;development of an hour-glass, epidemicunmixed visions of heroes leaninginto the drunken veins of the lightthe tempest that winters on the marshes –shedding its leaves the returnof a dismembered body in the spring. IIIDead jaws biting on wintry streamsbroken teeth where the victim’s tremorhas disinterred their roots before adoring the hookaround the imprints of the ecstasy and the desolationamong the hecatomb’s aged branchesthey are spread like a net towards the pallid sky
which like a trembling kiss falls from your lips;regiments of the dead whispering unceasinglyin a limitless graveyard, within youtoo you can no longer speak, you are drowningand the familiar pain touchesoutlets in the untrodden bodynow you can walk no longer –you crawl, there where the darkness is deepermore tender, carcassof a disembowelled beastyou embrace a handful of bed-ridden bonesand drift into sleep. IVKeep moving among the remnants of the feastslike the sheepskin which flutters on the improvised gallowskeep waking amid the fragments of the nightwith the Nightmare’s bitter betrayal in your moutheyes burning like the sick man’s bedaware that all men have drowned within youand just as the umbilical cord stretches- and you feel the heavenly hand which nowdraws you with all its might –keep wondering without drawing breath
when will you reach the enda bereft body, a crippled embracewhen will the hangman put you downa limping soulan old woman despoiled by the questuprooted by weepingwhen will you give up the ghost inthe vomit of your misery(and you ascend into flowersof the tree where you were hanged)
Πες σε κεινους που περιμεναν να μην περιμενουν δε θα γυρισεικανεις απο μας. Ο ουρανος φευγει ξανα, οι εφημεριδες λιωνουν στοδιαδρομο, τα ιδια δεντρα ξαναπερνουν μπροστα μας πιο σκοτεινα,αυτοι που σερνουν τις πορτες ψαχνοντας θεση, που μπαινουν στοναλλο σταθμο. Το φως απ΄εξω που κοβει το βραδυ κομματια, σκληραβραδυα που πεφτουν στους ξενους αναμεσα, η διηγηση μεσα σουσπαει, κομματια, που σβηνουν στην αμπωτη τουτου του χρονου, πουλιωνουν το ενα στο αλλο πριν κοιμηθεις. Και το σαλιγκαρι βιαζεταινα ερθει πισω στα ιχνη του, ενα παραμυθι που θυμασαι ατελειωτο,ρυτιδες που ακομη κρατουν ενα χρωμα στην προσκαιρη φυτρα τηςμνημης, πουλια που ξυπνουν η δροσια στις φτερουγες τους καιφευγεις μαζι τους στον κατασπρο παγωμενο ουρανο, ομως παλιξυπνας και ψηνεσαι παλι. Οχι ο πυρετος, σε εξαντλει της θλιψης ηθυμηση δεν ξερεις γιατι, πριν ξυπνησεις καλα και γυρισει η στειρααισθηση στα χερια ξανα, σβηνουν τα αλλα με μιας, μια αναμνησηεισαι ενα σπασμενο κιβωτιο που αδειαζει, μετα την καταιγιδα αυτη ηησυχια, ζητας ενα στηριγμα, σα γερος να σηκωθεις, κρυωνεις,θυμασαι φτερα των πουλιων, βακτηριες δικαστων στολισμενες φτερατα οστα ενος αγγελου, βουλιαζουν εικονες ξανα και λογια μονοτονηπροσευχη.
ANTHANASE VANTCHEV de THRACYAthanase Vantchev de Thracy a écrit plus de quarante recueilsde poésies (en vers classiques et en vers libres) couvrant presquetous les spectres de la prosodie.Il publie une série de monographies et une thèse de doctorat sur« La symbolique de la lumière dans la poésie de Paul Verlaine ». Athanase rédige, en bulgare, une étude sur le grand seigneurépicurien Pétrone surnommé Petronius Arbiter elegantiarum,favori de Néron, auteur du Satiricon, et une maîtrise, en languerusse, intitulée « Poétique et métaphysique dans l’œuvre deDostoïevski ».Grand connaisseur de l’Antiquité, Athanase Vantchev de Thracyconsacre de nombreux articles à la poésie grecque et latine. Lorsde son séjour de deux ans en Tunisie, il publie successivementtrois ouvrages sur les deux cités puniques tunisiennes :« Monastir-Ruspina – la face de la clarté », « El-Djem-Thysdrus – lafiancée de l’azur », « Les mosaïques thysdriennes ». Pendant sesséjours en Syrie, en Turquie, au Liban, en Arabie Saoudite, enJordanie, en Irak, en Egypte, au Maroc et en Mauritanie, il fait laconnaissance émerveillée de l’Islam, et passe de longues années àétudier l’histoire sacrée de l’Orient. De cette période date saremarquable adaptation en français de l’ouvrage historique deMoustapha Tlass « Zénobie, reine de Palmyre ».Il consacre entièrement les deux années passées en Russie(1993-1994) à l’étude de la poésie russe. Traducteur d’unepléiade de poètes, Athanase Vantchev de Thracy est distingué parde nombreux prix littéraires nationaux et internationaux, dont leGrand Prix International de Poésie Solenzara et le Grand PrixInternational de Poésie Pouchkine. Il est lauréat de l’Académiefrançaise, membre de l’Académie européenne des Sciences, desArts et des Lettres, Docteur honoris causa de l’Université deVeliko Tarnovo, Bulgarie, lauréat du Ministère des Affairesétrangères français, membre du P.E.N Club français, membre dela Société des Gens de Lettres de France, etc.
Il est décoré de la plus haute distinction de l’Etat bulgare, l’OrdreStara Planina. Il est membre de l’Académie brésilienne des Lettreset membre de l’Académie bulgare. Ses poésies sont traduites enplusieurs langues. Marc GalanEBLOUISSEMENTMinuit déjà ! Minuit ! Et cette douceur de l’heureQui coule dans vos pupilles comme un poème d’Homère,Comme l’âme d’Albinoni où l’Ange crépusculaireA soudainement trempé son cœur et sa splendeur !DazzlementAlready midnight! Midnight! The sweet hourthat flows into your eyes like a Homeric ode,like the fragile soul of Albinoni into which the Angel of Twilightsuddenly plunged his heart in all its sad sublimity!translated from the French of Athanase Vantchev de Thracy byNorton Hodges31.12.05.Notes:Homer: the greatest Greek poet, born 900 BC, died 850 BC, bestknown as the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey.Tomaso Albinoni (1671–1751): Italian violinist and composer.He wrote more than 50 operas, 40 cantatas, and instrumentalworks of many kinds. His orchestral music was admired by Bach,who used several of Albinoni’s themes in his own compositions.
Albinoni’s surviving works include violin concertos, trio sonatas,and oboe concertos.AUTRES POEMES :15.Tu ouvres toutes les fenêtresPour mieux entendreLa musique des champs,Pour mieux voirLe spectacle divinDes peupliers penchésSur les eaux émerveilléesDe l’étang.Chaque tremblement de feuilleEst une note angélique,Un voluptueux morceau de ciel.English :15.You open all the windowsBetter to hear
The music of the fields,Better to seethe divine visionOf poplars leantOver the wonder-struck watersOf the pond.Each tremble of a leafIs an angelic note,A voluptuous piece of heavenTraduit en anglais par Norton Hodges Атанас Ванчев де Траси(Translation into Russian) :15.Ты все распахиваешь окна,Чтоб слышать музыку полей,Чтобы получше разглядетьПейзаж божественный,Где ветви тополейВ немом восторге преклонилисьНад водами заросшего пруда.
Листочка каждого движеньеТо ангельская нота,Кусочек неба вожделенный. Атанас Ванчев де ТрасиВариант:Ты окна отворяешь настежь,Чтоб слышать музыку полей,Чтоб видеть лучше и вернейПейзаж, что создал Высший Мастер:Склонились ветви тополейНа восхитительные водыПруда…Там шелест каждого листаЗвучит, как ангельская нота.Проглянет небо неспроста, -Его ведь вожделеет кто-то…Traduit du français russe par le poète moscovite Victor Martynov
NUIT PROFONDE DE L’ETE« Célébrant cette divine et sainte fête de la Mère de Dieu, venezfidèles, battons des mains,glorifiant le Dieu qu’elle a conçu.Très sainte chambre nuptiale du Verbe divin, cause de notrecommune divinisation, réjouistoi, ô Vierge immaculée, gloire des Prophète qui t’ont célébrée,ornement des Apôtres,réjouis-toi » Ode VI chantée le samedi de l’AcathisteNuit profonde de l’été, tu descends dans nos âmes fascinéesAvec la grâce d’un pétale de pêcher porté par les baisersparfumésD’une tendre brise amoureuse. Tu touches les cimes des cyprèsEt ils s’habillent de pourpre et d’ombres, plus dignes et plusélégantsQue les empereurs porphyrogénètes de Byzance !Tu viens comme l’Archange Gabriel,En ample robe mauve ornée de mille broderies précieuses,Tes longs cheveux rayonnantsFlottant autour des humbles pétunias du jardin,Le regard innocent, vierge de tout désirEt l’odeur du ciel infini dans tes prunelles étoilées.Ô Nuit, ta voix soyeuse remet sur nos cœurs palpitantsDes doux rosaires de mots translucides
Et la silencieuse musique de mille rêves remplis de grâcemerveilleuse !Tu touches nos visages purs et la clarté d’une pudeur inconnueSoudainement envahit nos mouvements élégiaques.Et nous nous évanouissons lentementDans l’eau tranquille d’une tendresse inattendue.Tu respires et sur ta lèvre inférieure tremble l’éternité !Tu souris, ô Nuit, et fais courir une fraîcheur transparenteAu coeur de chaque chose, dans le sang de chaque être vivant !Toute proche, la mer nocturneEmbrasse les paroles des hommes sur les lèvres !Petites vagues faites de courbes lumineuses, d’élans et de repos,D’hésitations enfantines et de pauses élégantes.Ô Nuit qui fais remonter les hauts souvenirs vers nos cœurstaciturnesComme des frêles petits bateaux chargés de trésors inouïs !Ô libre Nuit, nous te rendons grâce, en tremblant dereconnaissance,De cet instant indicible où la fragile, la silencieuse perfectionTâche d’élever nos pensées jusqu’à l’étreinte frissonnantesDes mystères !
Fais nous vivre, ô Nuit immortelle, dans les jardinsOù fleurissent les pages d’un poème à la clarté moirée,Fais-nous boire la lumière de ses lettres pleines d’âmeEt caresser leurs lignes en forme de fleuve de cuivre !Ô Nuit, protège-nous de l’effeuillement de nos propres visages !Saint-Raphaël, le 15 août 2004, fête de l’Assomption de la Vierge.Glose :Acathiste (n.m.) : hymne à la Mère de Dieu que les fidèles, lesoliste et le chur (la petitechorale) chantent debout par respect pour les mystères qu’ellemédite. Le mot hymne dans lalangue de l’Eglise est du féminin. Poème acrostiche alphabétique,chacune des 24 strophescommençant par l’une des lettres de l’alphabet grec. On attribuece texte à Romanos leMélode (mort en 560).Porphyrogénète (adj.) : du grec porphurogenêtos, « né dans lapourpre ». Se disait desenfants des empereurs de Byzance nés pendant le règne de leurpère. Exemple : ConstantinVII Porphyrogénète. Pétunia (n.m.) : de pétun, « tabac ». Plante dicotylédone(solanacées) herbacée, ornementale,à fleurs violettes, blanches, roses ou panachées. Moiré, e (adj.) : de moire, terme provenant de l’anglais mohair,« mohair », étoffe en poilede chèvre. Qui a reçu l’apprêt, qui présente l’aspect de la moire.Synonymes : chatoyant,ondé. Moirure (n.f.) : caractère, aspect d’une étoffe moirée.Moirer (verbe) : rendrechatoyant. Moirage (n.m.) : opération par laquelle on donnel’apprêt de la moire à une étoffe.
MARY ANGELA DOUGLASEschewing all commercial contacts and considerations, and thusnot widely known outside her circle of admires, Mary AngelaDouglas is one of the most authentic, and prolific, lyrical voices ofour time. The editors are then more than delighted that she hasgiven us these poems to publish. Hopefully she will receive thecredit and recognition which her work fully merits.Listening for the beginning of snows, white flowers, celestafor the poet Elinor Wylie (1885-1928)listening for the beginning of snows, white flowers, celesta-I bowed my head far downinto the very velvet of God;putting the jeweled sword back in the cupboard, carefully-by the last of the fairytale cheese-the plum-starred jam.who knows what music heldfor those who appear no longer;wind the music box anywayand don’t despair,your heart like a cloudstill does not driftand it is a wonderjust to breathe the airthat later, snow will inhabit-22 december 2011
Speaking Englishcourting the fair lost wonder of the skiesthe ghosts of English poets stood out in the rainwondering what happenedto the world edged all around in gold;edged all around in gold,who bartered what for whatand keyed it all downso softly, by degrees, in the pearl smudged daywe hardly noticed when the Wordleft glistening, aloneas though it had never beenspoken into green.let the fairy ferns bend down their fronds throughthese wrecked dells, now out-of-the-wayand the musk roses sigh in the Borderlands-that even light dwindles, dividing itselfinto itself and praising nothing.O eglantine! O mild musk roses blowing…brief Tyrian clouds above the foaming cliffswere mine, but they swept by my childhood’s achingthat denied-not real enough, was said.leaving me nothing more to say at school butto hobble on, ever-after with theclipped birds from my hocked fairytalessmall scissors sawed part-through
I’ll never bereal without them-who wants to be baked inside a very tasty gingerbread by thewitchy expertsstealing the names that color the soul – this has always been,oh my little little childpretending to grow wiser you’ll escapeeven further into the woods of gold and silver embossing-pure silence gathers stars.and treasured there, you’re a better country without bitterness…this is the part of the story where you disappear, like a pearlin the pearl of mist or cloud still owned by Godand safe from lies. It shall be so.till the day you can come backwith all the light-rescinded years, the hollowed out rinds of sunsand snows, the wayward sparrows glinting in the shadows not invogueoh God what’s singing foror speaking-if it isn’t this:to brand on the wasted heart incessant amazement-to be leased by God-you’ll wake to wonder, too, so all- at-once to seeeach drowsing castle in familiar mists of rose :
ever after, having been spoken-the small house in the clearingbrimmed with Christmas lights,the bright fields sownof the full-throated music you did not disown-11-12 december 2011Walking on the Jewels of Your Silence walking on the jewels of your silenceI saw the winter sky come downenfolding a long-ago radiance.a child turns the pageand traces the angels.you scattered amethyst on the snowturning my pockets overnightinto Christmas or mother-of-pearl.brightness, you called it:will it fly away?once I was living on the fair islewhere I learned to say:those must be angels coming downwith diamonds in their hands…there are deeper ripples in the airwhere music was before.my dreams are banked so highwhere could I turn to start againthe porcelain beginning of the measure?
the first rung in the sidewalk.my dreams are banked so high.my dream is leaving this wayjust as the glaze begins to fall aparton a pale green piano piecenot yet memorized-november 28-30 2011Dress Codeweaving the fabric made of cloudsand of the retreating armies-I whisper to myself, again-maybe it’s not too latefor the new-spun colours in my head-the cherry velvet ravels swept aside;a silver tack of wondering again,never setting sail-who lost the Age of Rose?I count the last goldin the cornersand count again, sweetpolished cotton dresses with no seams:the sprigged detailsfor the diffident dayon a simple field of honour.not knowing the pearl of minutiaeas You do, oh God-
I’m turning this inside out to find You-and twining the dreamy-treadled threadthat keeps on breaking yet still shinesin tiny roseate crystals stitched on snows.piano music’s sateen on the windand seems to disappear, pure lemon verbena.but sparkles do not dwindle, lily-of-the-valley minethough I’m so small and slide off of the benchnever reaching the pedals by the chiffonierewhere it’s always almost spring;you won’t disturbthe shawl of dappled roses on the doll crib-the childhood fortitude so pear wepttwig by twig, the same;remember me, and, if not-the pale green earrings-my geranium gown…I turn the diamond spackled keyof an antique conversation:who lost the pockets of thechildren filled, the little sashes made ofwhite violet velvetisles?6-8 november 2011
Not Wanting the Story to Endto my mother, Mary Young-Douglas and my grandmother, LucyWhite YoungAshputtel has the loveliest dressmade all of stars or tiny spangleson a peach background;against an aqua cloudshe leans, or aquamarine-in my first Storybook.how can she stop herself from dreamingin tulle that is aglow with suddenmarigolds?she’s folding a sapphire fan justlike a cake, not wasting anythinghumming “La Traviata”.or in a tarlatan whispering“violets, like the twilight hour”that she believes in-while I go on just readinglilies in a mist.and everything she saysis only waiting to be:A diamond or aperidot embroidered on the airin the distance between dream and dream.it’s God knows bestwhen she’s blubbering over the parsnipssnipped too fine-or snapping the clothespins off theapricot crochet of cloudsor carnation petticoats-
how her shadow’s pale pink silkis dyed to matchHis favorite orchids, orchards, sighs-oh how could it beany other way than thiswhen she glides out in the froth ofplinking moonlight unaccountablehappinessthat I have stored insideto keep from cryingwhen the stitching’s wrong-the seed-pearls scattered-and daybreak errands woundingon a crooked-not a crystal,stair-she says, “God will take care of you”and she should know.before your melting vision soonhow gently she will step into the snows as into blue-belledmeadowsholding onin her glimmering house shoes;decorative and true-and spilling stardust as she goesmore beautiful than the mirroring seain my jump rope rhymes of green taffeta.let the jeweled clock weepthe lucent tatters back-the yellow gold pumpkincrank itself up the hillbeside the little house with the rick-rack curtains andthe apple treelet the raggedy rosebushin the Mama’s gardenburst into everlasting rubiesRaphael’s cherubs gather still…
Weeping Coins of Chocolate in the Snowweeping coins of chocolate in the snowthe sugar-plum tree still shimmerswith its long-ago.I’ve castled all my castledon the checkerboard afternoonand all the pieces arepure crystal.I can’t begin to say howmuch I’ve missedthe flurries of hard candieswith raspberry centers-the lemon sun.open the windowso the pink lighton the floorwill grow into a rosewe will not trample.15 december 2011
GEORGE MOOREI’ve published poetry in The Atlantic, Poetry, North AmericanReview, Colorado Review, and internationally now, in Blast,Orbis, Dublin Quarterly, Antigonish Review, and elsewhere. Mysixth collection, Children’s Drawings of the Universe, will be outnext year with Salmon Poetry Ltd. (Ireland). In the last two years,I have been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, two Best of theWeb awards, two Best of the Net, The Rhysling Poetry Award, andwas a semi-finalist for the Wolfson Poetry Prize. My collectionshave been finalists for The National Poetry Series, TheBrittingham Poetry Award, The Anhinga Poetry Prize, and TheRichard Snyder Memorial Prize. Much of my work grows out oftime I spend in Europe and Asia, and in the last few years I’vedone artist residencies in Spain, Portugal, Iceland and Greece. Ihave also done a number of collaborative projects now withpainters and textile artists, and have had exhibitionsin most of these countries. I also have a website which listsrecent activities and publications:http://spot.colorado.edu/~mooreg/Site/About.html.I teach with the University of Colorado, Boulder.The Dogs of Calcuttedo not live long, no longer than the childrenor the adult males in their thirties who lie down on the streets,no longer than the woman who give birth to the worldonly to leave it with a breath as singular as a blessing,no longer than cats or rats, as they are all of one population,but they do not live as long as the young man traveling,
from across airconditioned deserts, through cresting waveson even keels, through the air in the silent turbo darkness,for no good reason on earth is his life longer than theirs.My Moment in HistoryAfter I’m born, two days later,Adolf Eichmann arrives in Argentina.He’s driven to the palace of his friend,El Dictador,for tea and crumpetsfor they are so terrible English.They talk of a general amnesty.Fifty years later, in Syria,Alois Brunner drinks sweet Arabian teaand swims at seaside in his private pool.But the Mossad want to knowwhy he does not swim with the fishes.This is my personal history,this parallel universe that exists only within me,
the terrible vantage point of nowin a nameless time.In Palagrugell, the chateauof Aribert Heim is known by its nymphson the gates that do not allow entrance.Luise Danz, too ill to have her day,ten years later goes on living,but the girl she stomped to death in Malchow campgoes on living only in memory.And I’m home writing checks to Amnesty International,my birthday a new celebration of the dead.End GameWhen the fire dies out, the coldness creeps in like a line throughtime from a black hole, and the right way to go, considering theway things have gone, would be to dive, warp, twist into a longstretched-out wholeness of yourself, over history. But whosehistory? What is this final day if not a daze, the final finial orfilleted, or what has the word word to do with the vacuum?When the last star collapses it runs like this. Photon decay,which takes so long, so many cosmological eras that we can onlytalk of it in passing, lights nothing, the white dwarfs won’t warma room. The galaxy of stars like these are miniature pinpricks in
the ancient fabric, and then are gone. We talk of cosmologicaldecades as if we knew. Against all our efforts to stop by the roadand smell the sweet decay, the process proceeds; we weep for thepositrons and pions, and they drift off into damn gammaradiation, as if that were an end. But energy knows better, failsto falter until there is far less of it than we can see. The couplewho most make apocalypse complete are the electron and itslover, who meeting, annihilate. Now we have a vacuum. The starso dwindles that it cannot compete, and falls into itself, stumbleshome drunk, drives its engine into a cosmic tree, that is notgrowing, but rather mirrors the roots of nothingness, dark trailsin the quantum absence. And no matter what you’ve heard,nothing begins again. The thermodynamics of haphazard gravity,that warp without the benefit of perspective, comes back like theserpent to bite its tail, and for awhile there is nothing to do butwait. But at the last, in the final scene, we see the absoluteblessing of degeneracy, as the darkness talks to itself, completeand unannoying, and the things left out on the beach fortomorrow are washed at last into a sea of radiation.ArtifactWandering fields on the Alentejowas a dolman propped on finger stoneswhich collapsed into a petal, sometimelong ago, fungus gray, spread out liketime does from the momentof the unnamed in the grave.What will the farmers be doing,the cattle milling among the cork oak,
the pigs rutting the fields to dirt,four thousand years after my namewill be silently fostered by some stonein an abandoned field?Here Near the Center of ThingsThe day ends when you stumble across itwearing the same clothes you thought you’d thrown awaya decade before. Or was that simply a way of wishingthe next life? The day ends when the suddenness of thingsdisappears, when the walk heads itself home, whenthe first light turns from red to yellow to white withoutyou knowing it, suspended in the medium of your own thoughts,like a bug in amber, or in someone else’s drinking glass.But this is where life really begins, the mesmeric, secrettransplant of self into self, grafting the best of you intoa future which stands so close you can smell almost it,
and then, with a light wind, the day really begins.Reflections on the End of TimeAn afternoon at restall natural things moving naturally upand away, the geese lift off the lakein a north Saskatchewan fire haze,clearing the trees slowly, thisis our cosmology, aftermathof the Big Bang, preludeto a blackhole universe,at time’s end, the fact a vacuumfluctuation brings it all into beingout of hot magma, heat without thingness,particle-less, only the assumptionof order, as the prophets surmised,not to reincarnate but to cycle outand back into the milk soup of pre-being,the whirling mess of thingspassing into other states or out of statesentirely, into the rich nothingnessafter a beautiful, brief vibration of strings.
Translating CavafyWhat have you heard of the othersin their far off lands, places you would callhome, but for the distance love makes?The incredible desert between youand your Greek histories, those young imagesof failed moments, or stalwartly survivals,is a desert of sea, stretches of linen, a sunthat is relentless in its difference. Whowere you before the names were setin foreign soil? The gods abandonedonly those who could not keep up.Pulling you through by a thread of inkis impossible, so much of the fabric runswith those who have died then,and the others, who continue to live.
Moose to MotorcyclesThe body does not moveit emergesat full speedhead first–which is alwaysthe problem–the body needs to followfor the head leadsmissing the thread of dangerin-between, even as the bikecareens within an inchof her broad snoutas she angles up out acrossthe wet Park highway
frantic with a fear of engineinvasion noisethe two of ussmelling the Other as closeas kin, as evolutionarylink with the wildernesswith the citywith death in lifethinking I am nothing herebut an accident ina parallel universeand nothing really separates usunless because waitthe word moose doesfor the poem as departure
snags on the worldwhere we flew by life.An Existential Treatise on MistakesMuch has been missed.The trees crowd in amongtrees like fingerlingsof a kind of perpetuity.Wind rustlesand sounds like a car approaching.The children look up the roadwaiting, that old dictionaryhuman expectation.Today the call of trafficreplaces the aeolian harp.No noise so purethat it escapes our reason.
Burial at SeaSeawind and shoreestranged, terra gritpenetrates the air, tidepools go turbid, thattang in the air,beautiful corpses,a dead seal on the sand.Nostrils transgresstheir nature to revileand reverence. The sandopens itself to a wave.Nothing sudden standson ceremony. Gulls’caw interpenetratesthe surf, the thoughtcutting off words,dunking them in the sea,in the past, like lovelets regret outlast onlya single wave.
What we were thenfalls to foam, comes up& back like broken shellsrolled in the motions.The coast like a handtaking the pulse of night.It has come on that fast.The sea’s inlet is bloodnow, the white capsbandages, with strongsalt air, a healing salve.The Old Man of HoyThe sea stackoff Orkney Islandbent like an old man,plume-haired in surfto skirt his kneesis earth old, andfailing. Now base-jumped and iron-
mongeried. The ferrytilts in acquiescenceto slant of the galaxy,autos slide side to sideand into your gut,in the great bellyof the beast, metalbeneath slamdancing.On the third deckthe gunnels risingand falling thoughthree stories upmeet grey matterof a watery worldlike a wall of stone.Sea and sky fuseto gunmetal, and thissurface, a double-edgedGaelic claymoreheld above our heads,is the Old Man’scrumbling blade too.And as my breath
is crushed to pulpand stomach churns,the earth echoes backthe voyage and ourbrief achievements.
I only mowed my lawn three timesthat summer, one man told anotherand three women with behinds as bigas trucks could not stop the passageof time. The world coming to its endand everyone outside enjoyingthe summer of December.MY VISIT TO VIETNAM IN A DREAMSCAPEThe soft eaves of snow, leverage,the feeling to do good, this mountainthe last stretch of the journey,its snow exhaust gray and empty.Cleanliness has little to do with any of this.Bunched grass crumbles underfoot,stale and dying, brown and useless.Nor can cleanliness change a crowscape.This path may be the last one for the sageor it may be the beginning steps for the fool.I cross country ski in this park.The tracks I make remain where I make them.
ON RETURNING TO AMERICAMorning came into America with a green haze,jaundiced, vicious shadows from the sky.It was early, I had jet lag, nothing could make me sleep,rain swelled the stream behind the house,the air turned yellow, violent, a cockroachwalked across the kitchen counter top,and I waited inside of myself for myself. Everythingtook longer. Everything would have to wait.I put my head on the pillow on the couchand knew the wait for daylight was forever.