duminică, mai 25, 2014

Fairy tales and dragons

I dream of myself in the neighborhood.
my neighborhood
where the grass did not grow
just reinforced concrete
among sea-saws of shriveled wood.
a crazy geometry structered everything for us
the buildings ordered us.
there were narrow alleys
like wrinkles on a forehead
we meandered through them
like drops of sweat
always looking for a new place to hide


I see myself on the stairs by the elevator
the small manufacturing flaws
in the sandblasted glass door
gave me the priviledge
to understand the world and how it was born
when my young neighbors made claustrophobic love
waking up dazed in a spacecraft
taking them to the 10th floor
the blue floor where they vowed to each other
to stay together forever
surrounded by concrete

nothing was a joke

I slide on the red iron tobogan
forged in an infantile form
that marked us for misbehaving
to the market place with all the people
at the the rapist-murderer’s public sentencing
then queuing for meat
where we heard the echo of sighs
from a young woman
who had an illegal abortion
in the basement
in her family’s storage space...
that night a silver bowl rose
through the ventilation holes
changing into sequins,
the girl had become sparkly
like a dazzling gown
my memories also glitter
precious beads on my patriotic necklace

I see myself on the bulding terrace
where in summer tv antennas were poles for hammocks,
then fractals to capture
extraterestrial movies and games
from other worlds
the hot tar smelled of freedom
like spiced meatballs on grills
while we the building’s children
with thousands of guitars
matched the nation’s voice from stadiums.


my song about you and your history
sadly trickling down the buiding’s lip
slipping through the precast joints
into my teenage room
where posters stood for furniture
and the phone was
as now, a red ear

in my neighborhood girls ran with their lovers
straight from the beach,
leaving their towels as decoys
they would send me their letters with no addressee
so I failed the high school entrance exam
then, what a scare
the interview with
the charming plainclothes officer
a heavy 24 carat chain
to carry to the death
people were workers and glissened in the sun
a national-naive painting
the building had stairs of steam
and peepholes
the elevator doors were kept open for me
even without a car
I’ve been afraid of depths ever since

when the games were finished,
fairy tales began
from the mouths of the stories
dragons with seven heads appeared
smiling our way
people on my street wore colored glasses
I remember how fashionable stickers were
each window had one character assigned
there was a huge crack in the building
on my alley
late evenings or mornings at dawn,
my rebel friends would pass though it
I never saw them again
though during humid summers
their silhouettes appear in the hot air
like templates for ghosts

from the cubed houses, cut in concrete
human mammals emerged.
the shoemaker ran out of glue
and lifts and heels
because we all wore wings and claws
in my neighborhood joy was best friends with death
and my world rested
on an imported crutch
on words without sound
in an alien world
from neighborhood tales alone

in my neighborhood
natural periscopes grew among the buildings
like tulips and chrysanthemums on patchy grass
so we had calligraphed signs
"do not pick the flowers"
my neighborhood was a fairyland
but in each tale
as in a perfect matrix
dragons with seven heads appeared
and from story to story
in thousands of pages
how many dragons
were split in two and multiplied?
and what I say now
is a never-ending story...

translated by Adrian G Sahlean

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