Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Traveler

Open this door where I'm knocking in tears

Life is unsettled as Euripos straits

You were watching a cloudbank descending
With the orphan steamship toward future fevers
And all those regrets and all those repentances
    Do you remember

Waves arched fish surmarine flowers
One night it was the sea
And the rivers spread wide there

I remember I still remember

One evening I stopped at a gloomy inn
Near the Luxembourg
At the back of the room a Christ was flying
Someone had a ferret
Someone else a hedgehog
We played cards
And you had forgotten me

Do you remember the railway stations’ long orphanage
We passed through cities that spun round all the day
And vomited the sun all the night
O sailors o dark women and you my comrades
    Do you remember

Two sailors who never parted
Two sailors who never spoke
The youngest died capsized

Dear companions
The railway stations’ electric chimes the reapers’ song
A butcher’s sled regiment of countless streets
The bridges’ cavalry nights livid with alcohol
Towns I’ve seen living like madwomen

Do you recall the suburbs the plaintive flock of landscapes

Cypresses cast their shadows under the moon
That night at summer’s decline I heard
An inflamed languorous bird and
The eternal sound of a wide dark river

But dying & spinning toward the estuary
Were all the glances all the glances of all eyes
The banks were deserted grassy silent
And on the other side the mountain stood clear

Then soundlessly without seeing a living soul
Living shadows passed across the mountain
In profile or suddenly turning blurred faces
Keeping their lances’ shadows always forward

These shadows against this sheer mountain
Grew or now & then abruptly shrank
And these beard shadows wept as if human
Gliding step by step along the clear mountain

Who do you remember in these old photos
Do you remember the day a bee dropped into the fire
It was you recall at the end of summer

Two sailors who’d never parted
The elder wore an iron chain round his neck
The younger kept his blond hair in a pigtail

Open this door where I'm knocking in tears

Life is unsettled as Euripos straits


translation, Jack Hayes © 2010

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