self-portrait as giallo murderer
“They Call Me”, Yehuda Amichai (translated by Assia Gutmann)
And angels above
At one and the same time
They call me
With a terrible voice.
I’m coming, I am
I’m coming down,
I’m coming up!
“Una foto del momento”, Juana Bignozzi (in “La Ley tu Ley”)
mi vida es un decurso de ceremonias incumplidas
no enterré a mis padres
no tuve hijos
no tengo por delante un abismo en el cual perder mi vida
no pasé de la casa de un hombre a la de otro
en silencio el verdadero
que me sostiene detrás de tanto ruido
preparo una eternidad
esa foto tomada por la amistad de tus ojos
la ceremonia no fallida de mi vida
siempre dirá que estuve viva en un lugar que amaba
excerpted from Yehuda Amichai’s “To Summon Witnesses” (translated by Assia Gutmann)
“shelia” — atlas sound
‘cos no one wants to die alone…
Michel Deguy (translated by Clayton Eshleman)
Poetry is the weeping eye“Poetry”, Nichita Stănescu (translated by Thomas Carlson and Vasile Poenaru)
it is the weeping shoulder
the weeping eye of the shoulder
it is the weeping hand
the weeping eye of the hand
it is the weeping soul
the weeping eye of the heel.
Oh, you friends,
poetry is not a tear
it is the weeping itself
the weeping of an uninvented eye
the tear of the eye
of the one who must be beautiful
of the one who must be happy.
Madame von Bartmann laughed again, but stopped abruptly.an excerpt from Djuna Barnes’ short story “Aller et Retour”, in “Spillway”.
‘Life’, she said, ‘is filthy; it is also frightful. There is everything in it: murder, pain, beauty, disease – death. Do you know this?’
The child answered, ‘Yes.’
‘How do you know?’
The child answered again, ‘I don’t know.’
‘You see!’ Madame von Bartmann went on, ‘you know nothing. You must know everything, and then begin. You must have a great understanding, or accomplish a fall. Horses hurry you away from danger; trains bring you back. Paintings give the heart a mortal pang – they hung over a man you loved and perhaps murdered in his bed. Flowers hearse up the heart because a child was buried in them. Music incites to the terror of repetition. The cross-roads are where lovers vow, and taverns are for thieves. Contemplation leads to prejudice; and beds are fields where babies fight a losing battle. Do you know all this?’
There was no answer from the dark.
‘Man is rotten from the start,’ Madame von Bartmann continued. ‘Rotten with virtue and with vice. He is strangled by the two and made nothing; and God is the light the mortal insect kindled, to turn to, and to die by. That is very wise, but it must not be misunderstood. I do not want you to turn your nose up to any whore in any street; pray and wallow and cease, but without prejudice. A murderer may have less prejudice than a saint; sometimes it is better to be a saint. Do not be vain about your indifference, should you be possessed of indifference; and don’t’, she said, ‘misconceive the value of your passions; it is only seasoning to the whole horror. I wish—’ She did not finish, but quietly took her pocket handkerchief and silently dried her eyes.
‘What?’ the child asked from the darkness.
Madame von Bartmann shivered. ‘Are you thinking?’ she said.
‘No,’ the child answered.
‘Then think,’ Madame von Bartmann said loudly, turning to the child. ‘Think everything good, bad, indifferent; everything, and do everything, everything! Try to know what you are before you die. And,’ she said, putting her head back and swallowing with shut eyes, ‘come back to me a good woman’.
Joni Mitchell “In Concert” live at the BBC in 1970.
“the game” — dory previn