Tuesday, November 27, 2007

One Missing Rib Cage

from When They Slip Out Through the Churchyard Grate
By Gunnar Ekelof

...Oh, these homeless dead!
They do us no harm
they only keep us awake
It is only that they are missing
a finger, a toe, an arm
perhaps an entire rib cage
which ancient and modern witches stole
and crushed to dust for new love powders

The living ones do us evil often
The dead ones do us no harm
The living ones are consuming us
The dead ones, they are nourishing
The dead ones are nourishing

Translated by Robert Bly

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

One Modern Tearduct

from Love Tokens
By Tran Da Tu

I'll give you a roll of barbwire
A vine for this modern epoch
Climbing all over our souls
That’s our love, take it, don’t ask

...I'm still here, sweetie, so many love tokens
Metal handcuffs to wear, sacks of sand for pillows
Punji sticks to scratch your back, fire hoses to wash your face
How do we know which gift to send each other
And for how long until we get sated

Lastly, I'll give you a tear gas grenade
A tear gland for this modern epoch
A type of tear neither sad nor happy
Drenching my face as I wait.

Translated by Linh Dinh ~ More

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One Cruel Moon

Anniversary of Death
By Onitsura

Rising autumn moon
Lighting in my lap this year
No pale sickly child

~Translated by Peter Bielenson

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

One Hooked Eyeball

You Have What I Look For
By Jaime Sabines

You have what I look for, what I long for, what I love,
you have it.
The fist of my heart is beating, calling.
I thank the stories for you,
I thank your mother and father
and death who has not seen you.
I thank the air for you.
You are elegant as wheat,
delicate as the outline of your body.
I have never loved a slender woman
but you have made my hands fall in love,
you moored my desire,
you caught my eyes like two fish.
And for this I am at your door, waiting.

Translated by W.S. Merwin