[English translations of the original Slovenian poems reprinted from New and Selected Poems, 2010 with the permission of the poet]
“Earth Blue As An Orange”
1. “Earth, blue as an orange.” (Well you have to start somewhere). A shattered man of irrelevant years, I am still one of those immortals trapped in a worm’s body, trapped in this earthly orange until he pays his dues. He totters along with Orion’s spear in his stomach, laughs in his heart like a clown, not the happiest laugh but the most sincere, kick-starts a moped, coughs into the autumn morning. Something blue nevertheless — we ought not get too tangled in brambles of sentences, and anyway I don’t give a toss. My heart is a bleeding lump of meat On a butcher’s or anatomist’s table. And also, if you wish – I mean you who have the privilege of sunning yourself in the shadow of this worm — it’s also an umbrella for tears and a sewing machine of tied hands. This should be read as the fate of Christ, a man with the sky in his heart and the body of a little cripple — and in fact it was here I really wanted to start with the crippled little man who is laughing a bitter green laugh, a metallic green guffaw the likes of a stinging nettle; the little man looks into himself as into a mirror. Licked by a gust of silence. We will now listen to a radio show, set the dial to the station of olive trees and lavender and wait for the broadcast to begin… But what will begin that I don’t know inside out already, you infernal worm? A duck flies past the window and there’s the question of a galleon which I capsized on a beach, a wreckage under my bum and I think nothing will explode in this mouth-organ music of purple cacophony. Waiting for my clown-like gust my heart is watching me as if I’m a criminal. What kind of light is this, to weave all this into a coat For a funny little man? But at least I’ve bitten the bullet True, I don’t know what I’ll eat but October is grey and we know November is the cruelest of the twelve angels. The wind is gnawing at my island: one must stand firm! I watch this place-in-a-bottle of green glass catching light here and there not all of us are made for happiness, what a stubborn turtle plodding away but not content to play with pain So the bottle being must be made to face facts for a start Autumn fog is an invigorating draught, I stick my finger into a star and bleed as it becomes a grown man. 2. This is meant to be a letter. But where’s the typewriter? How can a man wipe his wounds if he has no cloth? I am trying to recall the buffeting of the wind in the labyrinth of narrow streets in Starigrad on the Isle of Hvar. I am losing my mind thinking about that Italian café from the novel whose title I forget. Something the Mediterranean shares with my heart. Of course it is not the only thing my heart is after in its battle with the world. But where is my boat? I don’t have a boat, and here in this place that makes me by definition a sailor without a boat. Therefore let us consider this febrid insect in my limbs. It must be some digestion hormone, turning me live into cloud-fodder. This side of the universe is a leap from the frying pan into the fire. Freedom is something green. A man is walking along the street in prisoner’s clogs. His chains rattle and the man is smiling. This Martini is bloody strong. The man is of course myself. A traveling shop, on its shelves the happy nattering of exotic spices, a truck rumbling along the potholed road through the Starigrad green. What are those pitted fruits called? Zizula? Forever they will mean my happiness. Only let me dig it up out of the earth, blister my hands. Love is always linked with a man who is bleeding, but this one is rather more stocky. And if anybody here thinks he is about to crawl, they are mistaken. Of course he will. I am speaking of that Italian café from the time between the wars, a café in winter with its lights already on in the morning and almost empty. I wish I could sit by the window with an unread newspaper spread across my knees, a refugee from the Bora wind and the whistling that dances through the streets, but there is a lot to be said for pulling up your collar, pushing your hands into your pockets and strolling around with an unwritten book, freeing the most intimate of your dreams, speaking what I know full well cannot be silenced with any silence. Milk is white. 3. To speak from a place where silence speaks. Seven hearts of mine have put on Greek armor, they are running across the plain of Kopais below the Chitheronia of my imagination. How to catch dreams that have untied the hands? From letter to letter I open out the shutters on a little house like a children’s toy, on a little house in a little house, in which there is another little house and one more and it sings like the songs of Strniša. To see and feel something for the first time as a man counting little stones. The shadows had frightened me off, I shut down the computer and went to the shopping mall. I drove around town, in my left pocket a folded piece of paper, a piece of iron a man carries in his heart. And drinks from. And eats from. Fog is a beautiful thing to a man who cannot sleep. It washes his eyes, kisses his soul. The land inside is green. The sky green. Green sea. Green city. Green moonlight. Everything green up to the zenith. Green centipede. Sea undulates against the morning, sadness shimmers in glasslike depths. Green boots on my feet ran down there among the olive trees and cicadas. At night I dived into a fountain, came out with some little stones that warm my heart. Morning light feels a face and shapes it into a delicate blossom. I walk. The sky touches the rooftops gently. A green hippopotamus is swimming, seagulls screech. If you touch me your knees become tendrils springing flowers. Water is clean as honey. Lavender bushes nestle on my life’s crossroads. Light is thinner than a rosemary stem. A hazy field of lavender. Aroma of coffee. Translated by Ana Jelnikar and Ciaran O’Driscoll
The Sky Over Berlin
(a German poem)
A modern-day poet talking into a mobile phone about life in a big city. Very interesting, he says, to lose a thousand Deutschmarks. You sit in a bistro, guzzling dark wheat beer, it is a late in the evening. Lively conversation. You bend, and the vinyl cards fall out of your pocket. This story about globalization is a load of crap, says Jun, telling us instead about the civilization, which is based on a thirty-six-hour-and-twenty-minute long day. The world can be understood through a different concept of time. Alexandra runs off. Irina is all in a flurry about the football match Ukraine vs. Germany. The equalizer got her interested. She has no idea what this means for Ukraine. Football’s been introduced as a compulsory subject in schools all over the country, she tells us. One must go with the times. Join the consumers, cheer on stadiums and turn it all into poetry. And why not? I will throw Versace vests into the bin. On Friday night we’re going for sushi. Jun carries on talking, explaining about the upside-down pyramid. Just think, he says, how these things were worked out when there were no Crays, PCs, Macintoshes, lap tops, notebooks, working stations. Imax, Cinemascope, grand pianos, digital sound systems, creditcards, phonecards, plastic hotel keys, health insurance and ID cards, holograms and chips that give the exact bearings of their owner. But who to? Cameras in front of banks, traffic lights, on borders, road signs, in corridors, foyers, entrances, bathrooms, kindergartens, lifts, cars, boats, trains, buses, computer screens, airports, airplanes. Long live democracy. Long live control, censorship. The poet feverishly whispers into Nokia, Motorola, Erickson, Siemens, throwing suspicious glances, but secret agents are invisible, made of chips and processors, like a spider, they are one with the web, everywhere present, in all the phones, hidden in invisible electromagnetic waves. Listening out for the buzz words. The poet records them on the hard disc of his poetry collections. He won’t let himself be distracted, he goes on talking, credit cards, yes, live today, pay tomorrow, it’s all in your head really, in your guts if you go for it; who loses, disappears, a poet leans over the sink and spits out blood, yesterday he got rid of his old computer and got a new one, none of his old discs worked in the new program environment, no worries, connect to the internet, one hour and thirty minutes for two Deutschmarks in Easy Everything, the internet cafe reminds you of a Las Vegas gambling mansions with one-armed bandits or of Pachinko Halls in Japan, its only limitation is your head, your ideas and your understanding of things, though even these are no longer yours; their copyrights are in the hands of Bill Gates, Warner Brother and Sony, America on Line and New York Times, Church, Compaq and CNN, which – at bottom – are one and the same opinion machines gigantic network, so, why bother going against the flow and trying to create something truly yours, much easier is just to sink in the glorious images, to throw yourself into the wave of ever-new gadgets, lovers, marriages, children, cafés, clothes, jargons, trends – yes, it all seems to depend on your interpretation of things, your consumption’s ability on your status; though occasionally, from somewhere, from the deep-end of your soul, a wee panic bug shoots up, and you sit on the subway thinking, yes, it’s true, a man it means a body, a social status, a bank account, all the tongues he speaks, and so on. You put down your paper, look up, stop staring at the woman opposite you, you are trying to guess how she lives, what sort of a life she’s got, if there’s something you don’t like about her, no worries, there’s another one sitting right next to her, there are plenty in a city like this, but neither does she quite satisfy your expectations, and besides, why do they have to be wearing trousers, true, they feel more comfortable in them, trousers are practical, leather trousers stick to your thighs, constant irritant to the shaved skin, but men want to see legs, skirts sliding up the thighs, men need a visual aphrodisiac to excite their imagination, but the woman stares ahead like a wax doll, doesn’t bat an eyelid, who can tell what legs she’s hiding in those trousers under the coat, but why the strange feeling that she wants to get up and scream yes, that’s what I’d want, I’d want to strip naked and throw myself onto the bike of life, I’ve had enough of this shit, shopping, preparing organic food, have your soy burgers and yoghurtless yoghurts, I’ve had it, enough of decaf coffee and nicotine-free cigarettes, of fitness, hair-dressers, fat-free cholesterol, of a man who’s never at home, yes, much like the one next to her, an almost exact copy, flicking scattily through the newspaper, glaring headlines, almost no text, color photographs of football players, impossibly expensive cars you can buy on credit or by installments, advertisements, notices, offers, promises of happiness and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, who for years hasn’t had the courage to look a woman in the eyes, and who, between phone calls at work, secretly leaps to the erotic internet pages to look between the legs of the digital Natasha; and even before he gets to the end of the paper, his phone rings, war is a serious matter, shares have tumbled by sixty percent, disaster, why didn’t he sell them a week ago, they were rising rapidly then, give it another day or two, he thought, then I’ll sell them, and now this. Of course, his wife hasn’t a clue about his problems, she’s commissioned a new bedroom, bathroom, living room, balcony, kitchen, a dining set out of the finest porcelain for the very good price of ten thousand Deutschmarks, apparently Lady Di ate from it before she was pushed off the road and her car crashed into the tunnel, it was awful, Prince Charles mourned her death terribly, and possibly for the last time had sex with that cross between a horse and Fernandel, with that chamomile freak, but then had to rush off to Scotland for the highest-ranking golf tournament, Jun called it the club of the three hundred, but the biggest hypocrite among the Slovenian poets shook his forefinger, saying: Iztok, watch what you read, it’s all lies, Rosthchilds are good boys, have you tried their wine, but he couldn’t finish the sentence, having sped off to greet an eminent new Nobel Prize committee member, a shit on two legs, as one would say, but he’d never let himself use such language, or if he did say shit, it would sound extravagant, almost witty, but the guy whose phone prevented him from getting through to the end of the newspaper to find out the latest on how to obtain an hour-long hard on, a seven-minute ejaculation and perfect bliss with some Polish woman in the latest BMW roadster, stared ahead into the virtual landscape of uttered words and his super-sly thoughts, not to mention his major interest to wheedle his partner out of his share and make up for the difference he had lost at the stock exchange. Suddenly his face contorted, the voice on the other side had just informed him, very sorry, they did not opt for his company, but do recommend themselves for the future. He who had been watching the woman opposite him, trying to turn her into the object of his erotic screenplays, had some thinking to do. He looked out the window, the train was speeding across a huge building site, whining amid heaps of concrete towers, half-built overpasses, bridges, through a tunnel, past office blocks, the sky crisscrossed with yellow and orange cranes, a watch tower standing solitary by the side of the tracks from the time the wall was still dividing the town into the section of the living and the quarter of the dead, somewhere at the end of the compartment the digitalized opening refrain of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony sang out, he jerked, the train shook as it went over the switchpoint and disappeared underground. There’s the inner world too. You have immersed deep within yourself, which is not saying much. Being within yourself means having at least three, if not more, of you gathered around the campfire of your empty self. The one who is keeping a fatherly watch over everything, directing the traffic, and whose caring hand is ever in command of the situation, not always rosy. Deep down, below, wedged into a slit, a lava of sorts is glowing white-hot wanting out, to spout all over, a surge of panic, bordering on insanity. Things are unraveling double quick, you’ve lost your head or let dissatisfaction go rampant, and the calming father has a difficult time of keeping it all in check. Some third party formulates explanations, not necessarily false, on the contrary, they can clarify very precisely what is going on, but they lack the power to influence, let alone change anything. Man, looking into himself as though he were a well, knows that beneath the narrow slit, dangerous stress has been accumulating for years, made up of small sacrifices and suppressions, but the separate elements have long ago melted into a red-hot broth, into a sizzling little fiend with only one thing on its mind: to break the armor and disgorge. The pressure he is creating is not wholly destructive, destruction as such does not interest him, all he cares about is breaking out. The sight of the flaring slit of panic unfolds like a movie. In a flash all the scenes reel off one after the other, everything that has been pushed under, into the dark. Too much has amassed, it lights up, now threatening to blow the telephone man to smithereens, so no one will piece him together again. But there are pills of all kinds and variety, sedatives, stimulators, stoppers, accelerators, for sleeping, for staying awake, against depression, headaches, steroids for muscles, viagra for a continual erection, he could stuff himself with these, and the slit would fill up for as long as it took him to finish this or that business, get through this or that book, pay this or that bill, jump this or that secretary, co-worker, might as well jump them all, and one way or another await the New Year’s Day, only to collapse into bed, never to wake up again. But no, man observes that point which seethes with the sense of utter panic, he watches his quickened, angry and headless rushing here and there, he listens to the furious hissing and cussing, and ponders the odd fact that even though he understands perfectly well what has happened and why it is all happening, there’s nothing he can do to free himself of the mounting pressure and untie the inner knot strange that in spite of his honest coming to terms with what has so disagreeably brought on his fits of panic, the pressure won’t ease, no, it remains a vicious threat. The devil’s lava has no intention at all to spout, keeping the pressure, stirring panic, just that. The anger you felt can hardly be put down to any more serious form of madness. But he saw more, he saw what withdrew into itself and was silent. And ate up the words and thoughts and simply was. The dark sky over Berlin, which didn’t just hang over the city, but engrossed everything and drew all of man into a form of deafness, into something that did not answer back. And a little bewildered, man shrugged his shoulders, coming to terms with what was more powerful than him, no pressure, no consequence. And man was looking into himself, sensing the dark, deaf sky staring at him with all the faces of his own skin: his absent other, five times his size, staring, as it were, with all the pores of his being. Man watched aghast: the fiendish slit that had been disgorging anger and panic, suddenly seemed a puny yelping dog, but the pressure refused to give way. And man stopped looking into himself and looked outside, at the world rushing past the train windows, and thought how the world incorporated the speeding train, which, like his inner world, was immovable on the inside, at which point his cheap mobile phone whistled twice in his hand and then died in his palm, its battery flat a useless, redundant object. An end of transmission. Berlin, November 2001 Translated by Ana Jelnikar
There’s a hotel that they shut down. It stands on the corner of St. Ann’s Street and Green Lanes. The poem entitled Salisbury Hotel I wrote once before. But – this awful, this always present ‘but’ – the poem didn’t survive the snow that that night covered the Welsh town of Swansea. I feel like I’ve had a spontaneous miscarriage. The poem had been written – I remember the evening, Peter and Ana were waiting in the lounge for me in vain, the poem was stronger and all that I won’t be able to write again was staring at me from the computer screen, waiting to see what I’d do. It happened because of programs that had downloaded themselves from the net, waiting in ambush for me to fly off to England, far from access to the server, to upload themselves. When I turned on the computer, they demanded I activate them through the net. Unless they were activated, it was impossible to save the text. And there it was, superb, sharp, full of energy, and, as is the case with all of them lately, long, encompassing everything I wanted or did not want to write. Over a thousand kilometers of driving on the left side of the motorway, the snow, a night cut across, like the English flag, with strips of paranoia. The creaking of doors, comments on our reading tour of England, the blackness of the open ocean in the Brighton midnight. America on the other side. Hotel corridors in London like a ship’s interior. A special freshness in the air. I tried finding a way of saving the poem in whatever form I could. It wasn’t possible. I left the computer on and rushed for the reading in the Dylan Thomas Literary Centre, amid the seamen, amateur poets, drunken enthusiasts in the snowy evening, as the sharp wind swept the smell of the port off the streets. The town turned into a milky wood, through which our taxi drove recklessly, a tiny bus winding through the narrow streets with a double mix of accelerated heartbeat and contentment at being human. A memory of the morning when I stood in a cold, wet wind in front of the Salisbury Hotel, wondering what I could turn it into. First, I thought, I would move it to Rozna dolina, put it in a park closed in by a tall black fence. I would invite the gang and maybe others to join me, take up their roles, inject it with life, open a youth hostel, a hotel, a cultural centre, in which I would host international gatherings, tie it all in with publishing, music, blue skies over Kilimanjaro and bread dumplings, from the streets of Prague, but rather than with ham, which is actually not bad, with sauerkraut and the music of my hunger, my plaintive lament because of which I am not worthy to consider myself a grown man. But now I know I would leave it where it is. The Salisbury Hotel means life, it means cinema, it means love, it means anonymity in a six-room flat with a giant glass wall, which blossoms in the middle into a Secession style stained-glass window and turns the flat into a studio, a workshop and library. A private entrance, inaudible circling around the city at night, a growing feeling of homelessness in the face of pain, the broken language of an immigrant from the Third World. To whom no one pays any attention, regardless of the color of the lines on his face or wrinkles created by lamentation. I felt the smell of a moldy office and the creaking of the bed in a small hotel with two faces, where Allen Ginsberg, president Carter and I stayed over, as we were told that night in a taxi by David Woolly. The Salisbury Hotel therefore means a kind of pain or the nostalgic openness of a poem I was forced to erase without a trace. I was wondering whether to copy it out by hand; now I’m sorry I didn’t, because no other poem will capture so well the wet cold and the silent presence of Dylan Thomas as that one had done, but I didn’t, I didn’t imagine it would hurt me so or drill such a hole in me, an empty draft, something gnawing. Sometimes an unuttered word tells more than seven sentences, sub clauses included: that poem told many things, one big gap of silence, a successful symphony of unspoken things, a story impossible to utter. The Salisbury Hotel therefore means closure. With a heavy heart I opened the computer case, turned off the electricity, wound up the cable, put away the mouse, scanned one last time the lines on the screen with tired eyes, lost deep in thought, then sadly clicked on Don’t save. Click, a week of a life, an entire universe lost with a touch of a key. The Salisbury Hotel means a house of desire, for which it is not possible to clearly make out whether it’s just a dream of a man in the wet wind or something else, some unworked trauma from early childhood, which reminds one of a Dickens novel. Who wouldn’t be familiar with that flash on the computer, when the program window shuts in a split second, leaving behind a taste of bitter coffee? Truly, I feel like a dog crawling on its stomach, trying to scrape off his ribs an impossible need, but then I remember that the game of reality has its own logic anyway, impossible to predict, and that this cushion of impossibility is only some kind of foam from one’s moment, a scream, with which you tell things impossible even to think, a secret letter intended for an unknown reader. The Salisbury Hotel means to be living, to realize yourself in language, to turn it into the sharp gust from a lotus flower, to have one’s blood pumping. It means the morning shadow of dreams that have died. It means my own pastoral of a homeless man, a look back on all such similar moments, a silence and a smile, a future that has possibly already happened in one of one’s previous lives. Translated by Ana Jelnikar and David Brooks
There are no oak trees in the valley anymore. I am, though. I look around in wonder. Where have all those dunes come from? Here, where the Earth splits in half. I like this place, the silence of a truck, moaning up the steep hill, the screaming of a Swedish chain saw. There are no eagles anymore, local guys sold all their eggs to Italians, every spring there is a procession of baskets, commuting to the fish market in Trieste, of course they carry no fish, it is mostly nightingales and owls, night singers that make plumbers mad (do you remember Turdus aonalaschkae pallasii, the hermit thrush, Eliot heard in Quebec Province. Its “water-dripping song is justly celebrated”, he says, “though not by all”). But I wanted to comment on the dance of death, the second reality of the valley. Sometimes on horse backs, black devils, monks of Satan, the Ottomans, maybe one should write them down like Ottomen, Otto, born 1111, the half-brother of the Hohenstaufen German king Conrad III and uncle of Frederick I Barbarossa with burnt crosses they flooded the valley, though the Ottomans came much later. They were the reason that the local people built this wall, ramparts, high towers, bastions in caves and on the ledges of overhanging rocky walls of the valley. Ancient people who were well aware of death, they needn’t wait until the beginning of the 20th Century to turn the notion of it into basic ontological postulates (Heidegger, Jankelevitch, Levinas I have in mind, and the holocaust). I love the rustling of dried oak leaves. This faithful sheets of rusty breeze pierce my ears with the sword of some natural satori. I know this country is awake, it watches me. And suddenly I am transported into the living dream and my body is gone and my wordy perception is blown away by the blast of the reality volcano. Colors are sharp razors, my eyes are cut in two, my heart is stolen by a Peruvian mummy, my voice is as dry as a desert. Now I understand where the dunes came from. They came from me, winds carried them out through the holes in my bones, now the valley is full of monsters and my skin turns into a sail and we sail down the sea of oak-woods, now long gone. And the Turks and the eagles turned into bush trees, drops of blood, birds three and half centuries ago. This is a dangerous land. Spirits are vicious. They attack you and cut you in half and transform your knees into grapes. They abuse their magic alphabet, they decorate foreheads and portals with ancient inscriptions as they too belong to the universe of books and use formulae. But they are just filters, guardians at the doors of perception, custom officers of dreams. Before we disappear into the ninth basement of barbers we have to leave a book, a child, an oak tree and a bastion behind. It is only then that our horse of love could transform himself into a hedgehog. Or a squirrel. I don’t remember any more. Three and half a century has been a long time ago when I was still alive and in love. Winds have blown my dust away, and my spirit was eaten by moths and oak trees now gone. Who could understand that? Not me. The reality bird resembles some kind of a bottle. With an unreadable message in the belly of its non existence. Painted all over the (outside) walls of this bastion church.
Reverent Richard L. Jackson, The Gentle Monster
Is a reverent Richard L. Jackson a real person or just a literary character? A fair question, due to L. in his name, I mean. What does it mean to be real? Do we talk about a real person as of one that exists, a living human being with two legs and a bank account in some Southern bank? Are there any Southern banks? Or is it the Yankees, old chums who got it all? Waiting like vouchers for Katrina to hit New Orleans and then happily enroll themselves into some real estate business they call charity or humanitarian aid. By organizing some live aid concert in the North, Carnegie hall or Coliseum East. I remembered Jim Morrison on stage, he said. It was before Christ, in a different universe. We hitchhiked all over, from Atlanta on the west to West Indies on the East. How do you call that jelly fish? Something Portuguese, I don’t remember. But I remember the day quite well. It was windy, sunny bright morning. We had Italian pasta and some white wine, Pinot Griggio I think. I was ready to fall in love, but the sun was too bright and I could not see. Was the third man at the table the reverent L. Jackson? Of course he was. He doesn’t say anything, keeps everything inside him, never tells a lie, nor a joke. He reminds me of George Bernard Shall, the Irish soccer player with pimples on his face who later started the Irish film industry. Train spotting, To kill a Mocking Bird, With Cool Blood, One Flew over the Cuckoo Nest, Soul on Ice, Portnoy’s Complaint. Who would not remember those? We stayed friends for life though I admit that my English never really grasped the spirit of the Britt’s. The glorification of Lawrence of Arabia, the personification of Prospero in his inability to understand the Talibans. Or, for God’s Sake, W. B. Yeats! Green is the color of the morning sun, sang Donovan. Who the hell is Donovan? Is he real? The hero of the Sixties that nobody remembers anymore. I remember him because I just found one of his LPs. I still keep my collection of LP records. It is difficult to realize that most of the living world today refer to those in the same way I referred to T.A. Edison’s invention of a phonograph. Would this pass at the creative writing workshop as a piece of poetry? How about Mr. Richard L. Jackson? Would he mind it? Why did I turn him into a reverent R. L. Jackson? And what does L. stand for? Questions, questions, questions. It’s the spirit that counts.
According To “Winter Yaps”
The urine of the red fox smells more like skunk musk than the urine of the gray fox, as stated in “Winter Yaps.” So, how could a man of lower skills turn this kind of the beginning into a poetry of some value and common interest? We deal here with matters of animation and recruiting of large crowds of educated humans that we identify with artistic success. Or simply put it this way: how do we know that we’re watching a great player? If we don’t get it we don’t know it. It is intuition, a feeling one has or one doesn’t have. We don’t know whether we have a sock full of grasshoppers in front of us on our comfortable sofa until we untie the knot, said Alexander. But what about crowds in the Third World? Do they read their poetry on sofas? I doubt it. They probably listen to some duke with some weird instrument, plucking the strings as if they were cherry flowers. My God, I can even hear the sounds. They resemble the tapping of rain on the roof of my cottage. Soft, or even better, light and silky as a wish. Now this time it is my hesitations controlling the rhythm of my poem. What to do with all the quotes? To be or not to be them? Basketball experts clearly appreciate basketball. Imagine that! Imagine all the people living in the world of peace. Imagine that! Was your father a war hero? Yes, he was. He attacked Nazi tanks with a sword. Now, what is the purpose of a good poem? What should it do to millions and millions of readers all over the world? Should it tell them about their suffering? They know it well. Should it sympathize with them? No doubt. But that is just a part of it. Should it disclose some deep wisdom? Or fart? I think that farting is good for poetry. It makes it genuine, monstrous. What is my role in all this game? Should I turn into Fannon or Che Guevarra? Take a gun into my hands and start some humanitarian project for UN? Rimbaud did that. He humanitarianly aided some arms’ dealers. According to Alain de Botton it was the London physician Bernard Mandeville who proposed that it was the rich who are in fact the useful ones, because their expenditure provides employment for everyone bellow them and so help the weakest in the society to survive. I would not mind laying that woman on the front cover. I like her slender long legs. This Alan de Botton has to be some bourgeois pervert. Not that I object. Do we poets stand for meritocracy? And what about beautiful landscapes, love songs, drinking out in the open in the ocean midst of glowing moonshine? Imagine it! Billions of nebulae glowing over my village with some fields of cabbage casting razor sharp shadows into the night. Hauling of wild animals, winds bringing the smell of urine of the red fox, that reminds a poet of skunk musk rather than of the urine of the grey fox, as also stated in “Winter Yaps.” Whatever that may be.
whenever you say you are going to leave me I immediately start writing poems in English and that is every half a year, usually around Christmas. Quite, or even too often, I would say to keep my heart pounding and me suffering but yes, I do understand, oh, yes, I do understand, and of course I understand there is nothing I can offer but bitter words of love and love itself, but that, though a strong argument, doesn’t count for enough, you need a family, a cup of chocolate, the warmth of one’s arms when you come home, you need home. we recycle one and the same scenario. do you remember the movie about the same day being repeated every morning anew. the main hero played by a famous actor whose name I forgot, after the third or fourth repetition he knew it well and all. it was only him who knew it (and you in our movie) the others involved in the proceedings of that day kept looking suspiciously at him, because he kept saying funny things about what it is going to happen in a minute or so I don’t remember the end but every single repetition of the one and the same day concentrated on the unhappy love affair, the breaking of a relationship, the sadness of it it must be terrible to wake up in the morning still deeply in love knowing it will all end soon, as many times before in the afternoon with enough day to be left for suffering and an endless nightmare just before he wakes up again in the same circulus vitiosus. you too, you know it well basically we talk about three locations: the metropolis, the province and the island (they all have their names but for the sake of an artistic impression we shall skip them) and basically two times of the year: summer vacations (extended well into the fall), and Christmas when you come visiting us, back to the province again. Thus up and down goes the wheel of fortune. few short days of happiness and bliss followed by a long curvature of distancing finally to be told that it is over, an arctic winter and a long era of slowly warming up, first the daffodils pop up and then explosion of vegetation in the desert, flowers of zillion different colors and bees, and flies, and mosquitoes of course (and ticks when we make love in the forest or tall grass). am I a heavy drinker, a lost soul, an unfaithful bird? of course not. regardless how many times before I have passed through it, it is new every next time, and it is always awful, final, and completely real again and again I am a helpless wreck, a fish caught in a net and hauled to the shore tossing and turning and gulping for water and air (and a little bit of love and a kiss) I know there is sincerity and suffering on your side of the mountain too. I blame neither one nor the other nor gods or merciless fortune or Venus, jealous as I am, I am not a believer in god nor a Gnostic nor anybody of the sort (I am not an atheist either). I could say that we are the living proof of the Post-Nietzschean world, where time is cyclic, the affairs mythic, even tragic. I know all this. I wonder though whether this is the dream world of the Arabian nights, a story from Alf Laylah wa Laylah with screams and tears and with all the expected paraphernalia of it. how not to suffer and to love happily at the same time and not to sour the sweet lament every three or four months I should know it better, you say and I know you’re right…