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Κομνηνός Κασταμόνου

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piątek, 20 kwietnia 2012

Komnen: English is spoken here

Kurt has gone mad

I have a newspaper photograph stuck to the fridge
 - two fingers pressed against the spot where the temple
brushes wit, and the thumb for the hammer of a gun,
and a tiny blotch which signals the next move.

Although a smile’s breaking through the stubble,
fear’s filling the eyes (surfacing)
and all those apologies; sure.

He already knows that one can drink half a glass
and feel emptiness instead of satiation.
Kurt has gone mad, only he doesn’t know it.
I honestly envy him this ignorance.


The word fragility makes me anxious.
This deceitful
weakness besets everything slowly, persistently.
One can’t escape it. It reveals itself.
I’m clenching my fists hard, watching it lurk.

When I suddenly notice the lightness of my mother, the bird-like
structure of her bones, I feel she’s going to fly away soon
and take the best part of me. She’s practicing
her last role (now she’s going to toss and turn in bed).

I notice her flaccid senile skin, scantily filled
with breath, and a cobweb of thin blue lines 
underneath. Fragility - a bitter prediction
of loss and grief. All the rest is just a shell.

and now I lay me down to sleep
(a Victorian postmortem gallery)

our eyes are open, but we can’t see
deeper than the length of a fingernail. but they can see
the illusive signs of the dusk. the smiles,
full of confusion, when we slide on the surface
of life, like silent mercury setting on slabs of glass.
in the morning we’ll take our own fingerprints.

the only thing that separates us from Sunday walks together
is a lens and a glimmer of magnesium in a narrow gap,
the rustle of dead lace, a metal stand.
the rest will be extinguished by stiff silence. we’ll lose it irretrievably
as soon as we open our mouths. a keyhole or a slot.

the picture is clear, it says: death is a place, not a moment in time


 translated from Polish by Jarosław Fejdych and Maciej Froński

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