(In the issue with my poem Travel by KLM about the despair of Antillian smugglers, our poems apparently met in the ulterior theme-scheme of the editors.)
link to Against Progress http://balkanist.net/against-progress-a-manifesto/
Curiously, the manifesto uses a language that is partly the oppressing jargon of progress, though not necessarily the kind of progress meant by the Kremlin officials.
My poem on the courtship of Anya Frank in The Stockholm Review of Literature!
Originally posted on The Stockholm Review of Literature:
A EUROPEAN COUNTRY SEEN FROM AN ARUBAN FLYING CARPET
the usual beating buzz-words, carrion-birds of language
gauged, jargon-jammed, call it anything you please, save censorship.
Young liberals in europe monitor
discipline each other, inter-voyeurs,
They spit coins into each others mouths.
Draw mocking portraits
on the tables of pub bars, catharsis dead as the sun
as their catch-phrases.
Their envy is for the darkest browed, the shovel-armed
and the idle laborer’s sons who know how to be Barbaros,
the Greek word learned
1 as in the soul
does not dare rear its obscene ruby or emerald parakeet head
in their eyes
or gloat in their faces. They are correct
civilized. No symbol of the phallos may be written on the wax
surface of cork, as it once appeared
on bathroom wall mosaics, all of them once
pubescent, male or female before rites of passage and voyages…
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Multilingualism. In Dutch, the word We, Ons, is possessive: Ons, We or Us in Dutch, usually is followed by what belongs to We, it is also the word for the measurement (an ounce). There is no frequently used word to set a difference from soul and mind, ‘Geest’ and Geestelijk, like in German Geist, ghost, is the soul, spirit, most often spoken of pragmatically, as in geestelijk gezondheid, mental health. To not speak of the geist, the word ‘spiritual” was imported.
In Spanish, unlike other Romance languages, the grammar and intonation of a sentence can alter in such a way to make clear that the I, yo, is speaking–allowing the I, yo to disappear from a sentence. I, yo can be omitted in Spanish while a sentence remains grammatical, unambiguous–such an omission of the je in the more modern romance cousin-language French is never allowed. Spanish is feudal, mystical, whereas French is liberal, a doer: there is always an insistence on je, the self-identifier when the self speaks. In Spanish, the self can speak from a hidden place and be understood–like when the moon stands behind a mountain range, the light on the frays of the mountain tell us where the moon is, the moon is there, and range is charged with a different light. The yo can be submerged, like the moon or like a child when playing at making itself invisible stands behind the curtain in a room and starts talking, pretending the elders in the room will not see its feet under the textile hem. The sentence allowing the I a hidden place is not thereby headless merely by the fact of omission.
The moon allows the mountain to eat her like a shining fruit. The yo surrendering allows itself to be consumed, overpowered, completely altering the body of the eater, perhaps as in the ritual of eucharist or in a pagan or Indian rite. The self-identifier in Frankish je, in Dutch ik, in English the capitalized I, stands upright, enlightened from the cannibals’ practices, self may never be savagely eaten or passively consumed. Such a sentence grammatically determined by I, je, ik, but without the marker of self-identifier, will be treated as an insane or idiot sentence, in these more modern languages that wrote the principal texts of liberalism.
Link to the French translation by Marie Moore of my poem Pavane, a poem inspired by the cause of the gypsies in France. Thanks to the translator and editors of La Revue Des Ondes.
Originally posted on La revue des ondes:
Une gitane est allongée près d’une fontaine
(dans son esprit) une balle entre les dents
et une balle dans chaque pli de sa robe.
Le ciel est vide de vautours
mais plein de France.
Des mains noires font tourner l’horloge qui rassure
de l’appartement au bureau
par les mornes parkings
ils arriveront à l’heure à leur travail
insensibles aux prières des mendiantes
à leurs jupons de sarabande
aux jeunes garçons qui dansent.
C’est l’heure de la messe, la vigne est abondante
mais personne n’est caché sous la treille.
Le pays, une pomme acide, coupée en deux
avec dedans un ver blanc
et un mille-pattes beaucoup plus sombre
chacun défends ses droits pour ne pas être dévoré
deux moitiés, l’une scrutant l’autre férocement
Dans ce pays à odeur de savon
sculpté dans la graisse d’un cygne borgne
on vote à couteaux tirés, c’est devenu sport de combat
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