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Following Black

If with one hand you
made me a king, god,
with the other you
brother have taken everything else
in return.

My wide eyes travel alone
towards colour.
They all stare at my crown.
But words do not weep
and nor do you.

We both have wet muddy hands,
under your skin, new silver,
under mine, a whole new town.

The familiar surrounding of yet
another road to Jerusalem
which I follow
as I follow black.

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Conversation with a Stone

(‘Perhaps this is not a poem…’ C. Milosz)

And because I was made a poet
a lot of blood is spilt
on the neat grass, when I walk.

For fear that I will have
nothing to give back
I collect old books.

My word confesses to its imperfection
with the honesty of a fractured second.
Not that I mind,
not that I have high hopes,
only tall steps.

Because of this self deluded truth,
it happens that waking up in a desert
is not a surprising coincidence,
but a certainty, like a niggling pain in a missing limb.

I am not grateful to sleep facing the wall
but hey! someone needs to show a bit of courage
and say nothing
when nothing is to be said.

And though no one will remember
the poem once written but me,
after all, forgotten things are
the only possessions worth keeping.

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Photo: John Stadnicki
http://www.johnstadnicki.co.uk/Site/Welcome.html

Poesis

Let’s sit down this time
on uncomfortable wooden chairs
and listen.
For once, the poet standing in front of you
is loose in the city
with no clothes on.
The circus is over,
the laughter has now replaced
the thick-white silence in which
you hear each other breathing.

Let’s sit and look up
at the stretched rope between cement and glass
and observe the holding hands soldiers
flying into the cracked sun.

I follow them slowly
with measured jumps
thinking that poetry does exist
by itself.

My words leave tiny reflections
on your naked bones and
once I am completely gone,
absorbed by the rarefied air,
each of you will remember only
the dust particles which
used to have my name: noun.

Now they returned to the womb
sharp verb, consequence
of listening
of reflection
of explosion
of language.

I am what none of you can face.
You are all going in different directions
looking to find me
in nothing.

The Flesh of the Word

The danger with hiding a poet from sunlight
is that you can never tell if he, the poet,
will ever grow to see
the walking stone up the hill,
the fall which always follows
very soon after.

His bones will never solidify
to carry well the memories
of lost days,
the echoes of mourning
in this deserted city.

There, where he exists, camouflaged
by the old rags you wear to work every day
he looks so familiar
you can mistake him with ease
for a younger version of your self,
the one which has something to say
to the world
but no voice.

Trapped, both of you, in a
permanent sunset
faithful imaginary friends.

Nothing moves forward,
nothing goes backwards either
without the ripen flesh of the words.

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Duel

I do not happen to know
the purpose of our war
but I’m working hard to
remember the words you
scribbled on the piece of paper
which set fire to the entire land.

Then I could not catch
the imagined rain on the glass roof
nor the light of the earth
so
the battle just happened.

Out of the blue, both of us
ready, awake,
on the horse’s back,
measured with precision
the distance between
the polished guns.

The bullets hit my left arm,
my knee,
hit open my skull;
the flesh exploded in thousands of pieces,
covered the yellow sky
with hair and skin.

At the end,
the music kept playing again,
you followed the clear road,
I followed you:
nothing more than a perfect, unfinished poem.

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Cubes and Other Lessons (V)

For a while you kept feeding me
ink pots instead of water.
My mouth locked in a bud
could only touch black fruit
and blue.
The language came afterwards
to check my vital signs;
my weak pulse made the world see
I existed at last
in words:
unspoilt spring, not creature, not flower, not cloud.
Stone.
But when you stopped,
I vanished.

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Photo: Maria Butunoi

Thought

I will say it again,
with the risk of repeating myself:
the poet does not exist really,
do not wait for him, do not.

The words themselves, not the tears, will choose to
get out in the world and
find you.

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Photo: Maria Butunoi