i will have to begin

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I Will Have to Begin
Yehuda Amichai

I will have to begin to remember you
When someone else begins to discover you, the inside
Of your soft thighs above the stockings and when you laugh,
Developing the first pictures for his future dreams.

And I will have to forget you.
When someone else begins to remember you
When some other elses begin to discover you.

And my life is empty like a flower when they plucked
All its petals: yes, no, yes, no, yes.

And to be alone is to be in a place
Where we were never together, and to be alone is
To forget you are like this: to want to pay for two
In a bus and travel alone.

Now I shall cover the mirror like your pictures
And lie down to sleep. The birds of the sky will eat
The flesh of my sleep. The dogs will lick
My blood inside. You won’t see a thing outside.

prose poem

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Prose Poem
Aleš Debeljak

Your story’s simple. You won’t see many loved ones when
you return, like an otter surfacing in a lake to catch its
breath. You won’t find words for short greetings, the seasons,
unsuccessful missions, white phosphorous lighting the
passion in soldiers’ eyes, a distant whistle on steep hillsides
you never climbed, children’s cane baskets floating silently
across a river basin, the way you have a constant burning
pain, the constellations discovered in a premonition,
Oriental love songs, the disappointment of everything we
were and will be. Believe me: this is your story. Later, I’ll tell
it again — only better.

Photo by Daniel Tong on Unsplash

describing paintings

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FROM Describing Paintings

Adam Zagajewski

But we’re alive
full of memory and thought,
love, sometimes regret,
and at moments we take special pride
because the future cries in us
and its tumult makes us human.

house on stilts

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Untitled

Bella Dizhur

Here is an island. Here is a house on stilts.
A black log house,
With a window open wide.
Green waves wash up to it,
But no one lives inside,
Not for many years.
Only I live here,
Drying seaweed
To cook for meals,
And I have lived for thousands of years.
But there where I used to live,
Where they used to love me,
They think that I have died,
They mourned and then forgot me.
But I live on and on …
under the thundering green,
I call my friends to meals
on a voiceless telephone.

Original
-Белла Дижур

Вот остров. Вот дом на сваях.

Черный бревенчатый дом

С раскрытым настежь окном.

Зеленые волны его омывают,

Но в нем никто не живет

Вот уж который год.

Лишь я одна здесь живу,

Сушу морскую траву,

Варю из нее обед

И мне уже тысячи лет.

А там, где я раньше жила,

Где раньше меня любили,

Решили, что я умерла,

Оплакали и позабыли.

А я все живу и живу…

Под грохот волны зеленой

Друзей на обед зову

По оглохшему телефону.

Photo by Guillaume Baudusseau on Unsplash

spring

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Spring
Elfriede Jelinek

april breath
of  boyish red
the tongue crushes
strawberry dreams
                                  hack away wound
                                  and wound the fountain
and on the mouth
perspiration white
from someone’s neck
a little tooth
has bit the finger
of  the bride the
                                  tabby yellow and sere
                                  howls
the red boy
from the gable flies
an animal hearkens
in his white throat
                                  his juice runs down
                                  pigeon thighs
a pale sweet spike
still sticks
in woman white
lard
an april breath
of boyish red

 

Photo by Isaac Quesada on Unsplash

paths of the mirror

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Paths of the Mirror

Alejandra Pizarnik

And above all else, to look with innocence. As if nothing was happening, which is true.

But you, I want to look at you until your face escapes from my fear like a bird from the sharp edge of the night.

Like a girl drawn with pink chalk on a very old wall that is suddenly washed away by the rain.

Like when a flower blooms and reveals its heart that isn’t there.

Every gesture of my body and my voice aimed to make myself into the offering, the bouquet that the wind abandons on the porch.

Cover the memory of your face with the mask of who you will be and scare off the girl you once were.

The night of us both scattered with the fog. It’s the season of cold foods.

And the thirst, my memory is of the thirst, me underneath, at the bottom, in the hole, I drank, I remember.

To fall like a wounded animal in a place that was meant to be for revelations.

As if it meant nothing. No thing. Mouth zipped. Eyelids sewn. I forgot. Inside, the wind. Everything closed and the wind inside.

Under the black sun of silence the words burned slowly.

But the silence is true. That’s why I write. I’m alone and I write. No, I’m not alone. There’s somebody here, shivering.

Even if I say sun and moon and star I’m talking about things that happen to me. And what did I wish for? I wished for a perfect silence. That’s why I speak.

The night is shaped like a wolf’s scream.

Delight of losing one-self in the presaged image. I rose from my corpse, I went looking for who I am. Migrant of myself, I’ve gone towards the one who sleeps in a country of wind.

My endless falling into my endless falling where nobody waited for me –because when I saw who was waiting for me I saw no one but myself.

Something was falling into the silence. My last word was “I” but I was talking about the luminescent dawn.

Yellow flowers constellate a circle of blue earth. The water trembles, full of wind.

The blinding of day, yellow birds in the morning. A hand untangles the darkness, a hand drags the hair of a drowned woman that never stops going through the mirror. To return to the memory of the body, I have to return to my mourning bones, I have to understand what my voice is saying.

Original

I
Y sobre todo mirar con inocencia. Como si no pasara nada, lo cual es cierto.

II
Pero a ti quiero mirarte hasta que tu rostro se aleje de mi miedo como un pájaro del borde
filoso de la noche.

III
Como una niña de tiza rosada en un muro muy viejo súbitamente borrada por la lluvia.

IV
Como cuando se abre una flor y revela el corazón que no tiene.

V
Todos los gestos de mi cuerpo y de mi voz para hacer de mí la ofrenda, el ramo que abandona
el viento en el umbral.

VI
Cubre la memoria de tu cara con la máscara de la que serás y asusta a la niña que fuiste.

VII
La noche de los dos se dispersó con la niebla. Es la estación de los alimentos fríos.

VIII
Y la sed, mi memoria es de la sed, yo abajo, en el fondo, en el pozo, yo bebía, recuerdo.

IX
Caer como un animal herido en el lugar que iba a ser de revelaciones.

X
Como quien no quiere la cosa. Ninguna cosa. Boca cosida. Párpados cosidos. Me olvidé.
Adentro el viento. Todo cerrado y el viento adentro.

XI
Al negro sol del silencio las palabras se doraban.

XII
Pero el silencio es cierto. Por eso escribo. Estoy sola y escribo. No, no estoy sola.
Hay alguien aquí que tiembla.

XIII
Aun si digo sol y luna y estrella me refiero a cosas que me suceden. ¿Y qué deseaba yo?
Deseaba un silencio perfecto.
Por eso hablo.

XIV
La noche tiene la forma de un grito de lobo.

XV
Delicia de perderse en la imagen presentida. Yo me levanté de mi cadáver, yo fui en busca de quien soy.
Peregrina de mí, he ido hacia la que duerme en un país al viento.

XVI
Mi caída sin fin a mi caída sin fin en donde nadie me aguardó pues al mirar quién me aguardaba
no vi otra cosa que a mí misma.

XVII
Algo caía en el silencio. Mi última palabra fue yo pero me refería al alba luminosa.

XVIII
Flores amarillas constelan un círculo de tierra azul. El agua tiembla llena de viento.

XIX
Deslumbramiento del día, pájaros amarillos en la mañana. Una mano desata tinieblas, una mano arrastra
la cabellera de una ahogada que no cesa de pasar por el espejo. Volver a la memoria del cuerpo,
he de volver a mis huesos en duelo, he de comprender lo que dice mi voz.

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

 

 

nakedness

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Nakedness
Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Translation

Nudez

Photo by Eilis Garvey on Unsplash

vierge moderne

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Vierge Moderne

Edith Södergran

I am no woman. I am a neuter.
I am a child, a page-boy, and a bold decision,
I am a laughing streak of a scarlet sun…
I am a net for all voracious fish,
I am a toast to every woman’s honor,
I am a step toward luck and toward ruin,
I am a leap in freedom and the self…
I am the whisper of desire in a man’s ear
I am the soul’s shivering, the flesh’s longing and denial,
I am an entry sign to new paradises.
I am a flame, searching and brave,
I am water, deep yet bold, only to the knees,
I am fire and water, honestly combined, on free terms…

Original

Jag är ingen kvinna. Jag är ett neutrum.
Jag är ett barn, en page och ett djärvt beslut,
jag är en skrattande strimma av en scharlakanssol…
Jag är ett nät för alla glupska fiskar,
jag är en skål för alla kvinnors ära,
jag är ett steg mot slumpen och fördärvet,
jag är ett språng i friheten och självet…
Jag är blodets viskning i mannens öra,
jag är en själens frossa, köttets längtan och förvägran,
jag är en ingångsskylt till nya paradis.
Jag är en flamma, sökande och käck,
jag är ett vatten, djupt men dristigt upp till knäna,
jag är eld och vatten i ärligt sammanhang på fria villkor…

Photo by Luis Graterol on Unsplash