Sunday, March 31, 2013
Con su filoso argumento lame la fina
piel del tomate. Desarma así, desviste,
la voluptuosa consistencia de la fruta
sobre la tabla de madera. El cuchillo
una y otra vez enfila en dirección correcta
-rotan como ebrias las rodajas, dispersas-
hasta que rudo embiste en otra carne.
Sangra el dedo entonces, también rojo.
Un fracaso cada intento, todo día
una tragedia: algo sin nombre duele
y luego duele otra cosa
que sí tiene lugar en el lenguaje.
Fiesta del alimento ensayada con alegría,
ahora ruptura. ¿Quién sana
las hendiduras del corazón hambriento?
¿Cómo exculpar a los gajos
que de mí se extirpan?
Ah, el dedo clama el ritual de la venda.
Lo demás, se intuye:
resignación y tiempo.
With her sharp argument she licks the fine
skin of the tomato. Thus she disarms, unclothes
voluptuous consistency of the fruit
on a wooden table. The knife
threads consecutively in the right direction
— slices roll tipsily, scattered —
until the rude tool bites another flesh.
Finger bleeds then, red as well.
Every try a failure, tragedy
all day: something nameless hurts
and then something else hurts
that does find a place in language.
Festival of nourishment taken on with joy,
now rupture. Who’ll heal
fissured crevasses of the hungry heart?
How to exonerate the tomato slices
I myself lacerated?
Ah, the finger wants a ritual band-aid.
The rest is easy:
time and resignation.
Tr. John Oliver Simon
Saturday, March 30, 2013
The advantage of speaking a dialect is
that words are spoken and lived, before they are
thought and written. Dialects have no other
purpose than to handle the endless stream
of things and situations reality
is screwed together from.
All talk that isn’t about real things
is actually nonsense. And pathetic nonsense
doesn’t thrive well in a dialect.
All dialects have inbuilt nonsense detectors.
That’s why very few people with political
ambitions speak with a dialect.
For the same reason it would probably be useful
to translate some new poems into dialect.
The ones that stand up to that treatment
are prob’ly not s’bad..
Of course even in dialect
it is possible to call a shovel
a spade or a spade a shovel.
But it wouldn’t work for long.
Most people who speak a dialect
have held one in their hands.
Tr. Per Brask & Patrick Friesen
In the dialect I spoke as a child
we couldn’t say “my love,”
“I love you” or “beautiful.”
We saw concepts like that as
expressions of hysteria;
besides, those words were too classy for us,
they didn’t suit the work clothes
we wore. Much later I learned
that beauty is a reality,
and that feelings can be expressed directly in words.
But to see yourself as a victim
is only self-delusion. Certain words
still cause difficulty.
Tr. P.K. Brask & Patrick Friesen
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Requiem auf einer Stele
] thou comest
] thou com[es]t
with perfect precision ·
] · [
] quae tanta fuit tibi causa vivendi?
Neque vita causa fuit!
] scribant de te alii [
] iamͺ petraeͺ sumite vires!
] quamve bibistis aquam? 
] bl[es][se]d ·
] but of space and time ›1.5‹
[ ] ·
Есть только небо
das ist eine im feld gefundene stele
das ist ein im fluss gefundener stein
dies die im körper gefundenen knochen
dies materiales fuerunt  ›1.4‹ shortestͺ infrequent
] carboniferous tubers awakening [of] ›1.3‹
] black alluvial fingers
] veins winding along
eye-pebbles and flints [ͺ curving the fields where there is no endͺ [ ›2.2‹ did not want to end
to the abandoned land
] · I’m the old riverͺ the whole riverͺ
the understanding of it
] река‒это я 
fr. 2 A.
] und das sind die polierten knochen
der poeten in meinem fleisch 
] как лес 
] redeemer of waters [
[bla]ck old tree-line in the flicker of storm ·
fr. 2 B.
carved on the names of the dead and on the short amen of grassͺ when the river freezes ten degrees below zeroͺ and its voice grows old in the parable of thunder · ¦das hart gefrorene licht ¦ a peat-pit under-earͺ where a closer shout could not be heard · the birdsong left mute hearts in a cage of wings · curved images lie beneathͺ awaiting old oak roots to be sucked up from hollows · ¦das wort schwitzt durch das eis ¦ · cormorants hanging over the moor pecked up patches of schist · ›2.1‹ you too lost yellow bonesͺ black paws and twigsͺ dense nerves left on rocksͺ ¦wie raues heuͺ totes gelbes gras ¦ sweeping plectrums through the light cry of springͺ when rain was typing on April waterͺ flowing slowly beneath us or close by · ¦mein gesicht geht von mir weg und bleibt fern ¦ · something forever gone in the work of words · ¦vor mir steht ein alter unfruchtbarer apfelbaum · meine müden hände zittern ¦ · [ -12-] lithe ants slowly climbͺ weighing nothing in the invisible discipline of leavesͺ of the grass which makes the wind articulate · ¦es ist zeitͺ die stunden schweben voraus ¦ · all falls onto the seasons of your faceͺ for all comes as a seasonͺ ¦aus dem waldͺ meinem oeden kopf ¦ · spring time is yet as perfect for death as the winter thresholdͺ hacked by the axe on the river’s edgeͺ where the moon-gap moves forward one millimetre each night · ¦oh wie leise tropft das licht aus jeder ader! ¦
[the] tongue of the dead in the mouth of the living speaks the numbness of exileͺ a heavy brow of such severe mercy · the tips of fingers gather numberless creases encompassing a new black hole when the day’s done · its odd twist and the continual straining makes time move straight on the skin-line and time succeeds timeͺ neat as expectedͺ powderedͺ ¦von stern zu stein ¦ͺ a thousand ages per minuteͺ under silent graniteͺ unheard and reconciled · I have myself removed the finest minutesͺ seconds maybeͺ the last few thousand blinks of your eyelids · may you live or die nowͺ off time · ¦blinde rosen sind ohne dornen ¦ · [ -5-] vowels bloom on the stems of dead flowers · bones spelled out upon the grass · ¦du spürst das wortlose wasser in allen deinen knochen ¦ · ›2.0‹ ear-trapͺ mouth-wellͺ gravitatingͺ sinking · the whole river’s pressure on the weirs of veins ·
Rules and tips about symbols
Words and signs between open-closed square brackets have been either recovered (when hardly decipherable) or restored according to the closest reliable meaning (when completely missing).
Blank space means that a whole single line is missing.
Open square brackets on different lines span the whole surface of some missing and unrecoverable text.
Numbers between open-closed square brackets indicate the length (inches) of a fracture-erased set of words (unrecoverable).
Isolated closed square brackets indicate that we can gauge that a consistent part of the text has been lost from that point backwards, but that we can’t exactly delimit it.
Isolated open square brackets indicate that we can gauge that a consistent part of the text has been lost from that point on but that we can’t exactly delimit it.
Words between two vertical broken bars indicate those more deeply carved in the stone.
Numbers between right or left-pointing angled quotation marks indicate the depth (inches) of a hole in the stone (deeper than 1 inch).
Lower short vertical strokes indicate evident scratches on the surface of the stone.
Interpuncts indicate moss spots and other stains.
1. ...] quale fu il motivo tanto grande della vita?/ Non la vita, certo!// ...] altri scrivano di te [...// [ ]/ ...] e voi, pietre, rianimatevi!/ ...] che acqua mai beveste?/ …]
2. this is a stele found in the field/ this is a stone found in the river/ these are the bones found in the body
3. [those] were material days
4. I’m the river
5. and these are the polished bones/ of the poets within my flesh
6. like a wood
7. the light frost hardened
8. the word oozes from ice
9. as rough hay, dead yellow grass
10. my face goes away from me and keeps far
11. before me an older fruitless apple tree stands. my weak hands shiver
12. it is time: the hours hanging overhead
13. out of the woods, from my wasting head
14. oh how quietly light drips from every vein!
15. from star to stone
16. not a thorn on a blind rose
17. you experience wordless water in all of your bones
Thursday, March 21, 2013
for John O’Connor
each i dotted by a stone
in the Lake District there is a mountain we cannot see the lake
a realtor’s glimpse of geese flying over it Godzone on a jetski
language rarely gets things right things are lost for words
when it does we dive off the mountain the mountain without a name
each stone dotted by shadow
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The date is vital
to the process, keeping a journal, since you asked.
Enough about meme. All you meant to convey is me, me or même.
Let's talk about you, making an effort. Rise and shine to strange bird song in mid-winter.
You are warmer, if not warm. The date is departure, conclusively starting over.
Collection of rubbish should be top of the agenda, on the job gossip amongst postmen.
Fuel consumption somewhere near pathological, pardon my footprint.
Once upon a time were a number of highly trained ears. It takes years to sift through the debris.
There's a solitary and singularly ugly high-heeled shoe (one of a pair) near the path.
Have you noticed what must be a rather large woman, limping?
I don't know how to begin to answer that question in a text. A phone call will have to suffice.
Face to face. Date, time, place. Fine, if you are into pool parties. It doesn't stop raining.
Did you know the city is built on marshlands?
One misses the sound of a voice.
marriages fray at the edges
when visitors are more interesting than spouses.
The year ended with introductions to a whole untapped universe,
more exotic fish in the sea than ever came out of it, uncommonly mild temperatures,
rivers in spate, precipitate bird song.
Cast wool, complete first complex rows, toss dice on six houses.
obscure stone strewn railway receding to vanishing point.
Forensic display links one beginning to In the Beginning.
gold teeth, hair, tired wire-rimmed spectacles.
How thin can you stretch synchronous destruction before it succumbs?
I think (in your words, your mind's eye) binds nihilism with threads,
tightening ribbons of bodice, fastening Lilith's indiscreet gossamer gown.
What instrument deciphers geodes at distance?
How do we read residue of burnt offering?
Removal strategies vibrate pensively,
poke at past,
sheared close, our seasons rough,
from rich vaporous revolution.
Coffee seems thinner today,
factual lines waver, cut onto canvas.
You appear off-center, visibly stirred,
speaking behind a screen of green foliage.
Lost countenance escapes and re-appears,
often enough to serve my self, not yours.
Cast a key before entering endurance of the same old question.
Are you with me?
Instructions for Writing Poetry
Gather up the flattened intimacy
of a stark flame. Or gently use the
candlelight quivering through
humanly observable wavelengths.
Illuminate the fantasia of night.
Coax the goddamned thing out of
the muddy ground by wire, by book,
by telepathy if necessary. Use memetic
devices. And dirty bed sheets.
Flesh is occult, covered in
starry countenance. Bats hover
lovingly around the streetlight
near my window. I sought a broom
to chase them away, danced with
a forlorn semblance of bad thoughts
as sleep overtook me. Grand.
Promiscuous. Our dreams are only
small fishes. Kiss them while pressing
my thumbs into your busy hands.
Sit under the apple tree again.
Watching a small fire bleed
away, into the night. The wind
howls much like Ginsberg
predicted; words will be
exchanged. On the morning
of the fourth day, at
approximately Queen Jane’s
version of 8:06 AM, the system
can be astronomically restored.
Every icon will dance as it crawls
from cryptic folders, tumbling
across the screen. Finally,
the moon will fall from
your true sky, onto the
filthy keyboard. If you don't
have a car to ride around, then
judge the summer with hot ash,
reckoning the days’ passage
with burnt symbols of pleasure,
mostly forgiving paper and luck.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
dust covers everything
faded New Holland
an already sandy landscape
a city built of rock
nothing but dust
for its inhabitants
it is so new
grows with the same uniformity
trees at the same height
each bush as bushy as the next
turns to humid
bus with sun and yellow flowers open
greener and new after rain
the devout women made more devout
with prayer beads
to accent the abaya
one rides the bus with us
through the desert
paved now with asphalt
side of the road littered
with broken signs
of deep excavation
all nautical nonesuch
of the nascent atmosphere
shrouded in particularities
cranes on the horizon
a bright smudge above
where the sun was
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Liner notes: empty, for an era
Fabled. You are wheeling, out. A record of arrangement:
strings, the bass drum, horns. I thought we had it all, until
we found it. Basements, filled with stone. Such orange light
glows singular. A chorus: laundry wheeze, an opening night,
unfolded. Outraged, the slaughtered, downs. Foreign smoke
comes trickling in, with spring. We blame the neighbours.
Moving into town
Through thirty years
my waking window
drew my eye
to Channons Wood
across the changing fields.
Blue wheat lumpen sugar beet
fragrant beans in May
acrid rape spiking barley
assaulted the senses.
Cloud shadows raced
across the fields
bare brown after ploughing.
And all above, the open sky.
Now my sky is cut about,
enclosed by hard edges,
mullion and transom
chop the light,
angled roof lines slice
this sky into a square root.