acchikocchi: (spirited away // at sea)
ending as we began.


Dedications

I know you are reading this poem
late, before leaving your office
of the one intense yellow lamp-spot and the darkening window
in the lassitude of a building faded to quiet
long after rush-hour. I know you are reading this poem
standing up in a bookstore far from the ocean
on a grey day of early spring, faint flakes driven
across the plains' enormous spaces around you.
I know you are reading this poem
in a room where too much has happened for you to bear
where the bedclothes lie in stagnant coils on the bed
and the open valise speaks of flight
but you cannot leave yet. I know you are reading this poem
as the underground train loses momentum and before running
up the stairs
toward a new kind of love
your life has never allowed.
I know you are reading this poem by the light
of the television screen where soundless images jerk and slide
while you wait for the newscast from the intifada.
I know you are reading this poem in a waiting-room
of eyes met and unmeeting, of identity with strangers.
I know you are reading this poem by fluorescent light
in the boredom and fatigue of the young who are counted out,
count themselves out, at too early an age. I know
you are reading this poem through your failing sight, the thick
lens enlarging these letters beyond all meaning yet you read on
because even the alphabet is precious.
I know you are reading this poem as you pace beside the stove
warming milk, a crying child on your shoulder, a book in your
hand
because life is short and you too are thirsty.
I know you are reading this poem which is not in your language
guessing at some words while others keep you reading
and I want to know which words they are.
I know you are reading this poem listening for something, torn
between bitterness and hope
turning back once again to the task you cannot refuse.
I know you are reading this poem because there is nothing else
left to read
there where you have landed, stripped as you are.

-- Adrienne Rich
acchikocchi: (spirited away // morning shadows)
Things Ended

Possessed by fear and suspicion,
mind agitated, eyes alarmed,
we desperately invent ways out,
plan how to avoid the inevitable
danger that threatens us so terribly.
Yet we’re mistaken, that’s not the danger ahead:
the information was false
(or we didn’t hear it, or didn’t get it right).
Another disaster, one we never imagined,
suddenly, violently, descends upon us,
and finding us unprepared—there’s no time left—
sweeps us away.

-- C.P. Cavafy

(tr. Edmund Keeley & Phillip Sherrard)
acchikocchi: (stock // chaos theory (credit fluidic_ic)
right under the wire, not new but much-loved.


Don't Ask Me For That Love Again

That which then was ours, my love,
don’t ask me for that love again.
The world then was gold, burnished with light –
and only because of you. That’s what I had believed.
How could one weep for sorrows other than yours?
How could one have any sorrow but the one you gave?
So what were these protests, these rumors of injustice?
A glimpse of your face was evidence of springtime.
The sky, wherever I looked, was nothing but your eyes.
If You’d fall into my arms, Fate would be helpless.

All this I’d thought, all this I’d believed.
But there were other sorrows, comforts other than love.
The rich had cast their spell on history:
dark centuries had been embroidered on brocades and silks.
Bitter threads began to unravel before me
as I went into alleys and in open markets
saw bodies plastered with ash, bathed in blood.
I saw them sold and bought, again and again.
This too deserves attention. I can’t help but look back
when I return from those alleys –what should one do?
And you still are so ravishing –what should I do?
There are other sorrows in this world,
comforts other than love.
Don’t ask me, my love, for that love again.

-- Faiz Ahmed Faiz

(tr. Agha Shahid Ali)

npwpm 4

Apr. 26th, 2012 09:24 pm
acchikocchi: (misc // kachoufuugetsu)
third lopes of the month no regrets.

I don't like books

I don’t like books
as much
as Mallarmé seems
to have liked them
I’m not a book
and when people say
I really like your books
I wish I could say
like the poet Cesariny
listen
what I’d really like
is for you to like me
books aren’t made
of flesh and blood
and when I feel
like crying
it doesn’t help
to open a book
I need a hug
but thank God
the world isn’t a book
and chance doesn’t exist
still and all I really like
books
and believe in the Resurrection
of books
and believe that in Heaven
there are libraries
and reading and writing

-- Adília Lopes

npm

Apr. 25th, 2012 02:09 pm
acchikocchi: (stock // winter)
sorry i've been slipping!


Black Postcards

I
The calendar is full but the future is blank.
The wires hum the folk-tune of some forgotten land.
Snow-fall on the lead-still sea. Shadows
scrabble on the pier.

II
In the middle of life, death comes
to take your measurements. The visit
is forgotten and life goes on. But the suit
is being sewn on the sly.

-- Tomas Tranströmer
acchikocchi: (Default)
Late

The cormorant still screams
Over cave and promontory.
Stony wings and bleak glory
Battle in your dreams.
Now sullen and deranged,
Not simply, as a child,
You look upon the earth
And find it harrowed and wild.
Now, only to mock
At the sterile cliff laid bare,
At the cold pure sky unchanged,
You look upon the rock,
You look upon the air.

-- Louise Bogan
acchikocchi: (Default)
At A Certain Age

We wanted to confess our sins but there were no takers.
White clouds refused to accept them, and the wind
Was too busy visiting sea after sea.
We did not succeed in interesting the animals.
Dogs, disappointed, expected an order,
A cat, as always immoral, was falling asleep.
A person seemingly very close
Did not care to hear of things long past.
Conversations with friends over vodka or coffee
Ought not be prolonged beyond the first sign of boredom.
It would be humiliating to pay by the hour
A man with a diploma, just for listening.
Churches. Perhaps churches. But to confess there what?
That we used to see ourselves as handsome and noble
Yet later in our place an ugly toad
Half-opens its thick eyelid
And one sees clearly: "That's me."

--Czesław Miłosz
acchikocchi: (stock // color my world)
Candy

She dropped the photograph
and when a stranger ran up from behind
to give it to her
she refused to touch it
but you dropped it miss
I couldn’t have dropped it
because it isn’t mine
she didn’t want anyone
and especially not a stranger
to suspect there was any relation
between her and the photograph
it was as if she’d dropped
a blood-soaked handkerchief
because she was the one in the photograph
and nothing belongs to us more than blood
which is why when someone pricks their finger
they stick it right in their mouth to suck the blood
the stranger understood
it’s a picture of you miss
it may be a picture of someone who looks just like me
but it isn’t me
the stranger was a kind person
he didn’t insist
and since he knew beggars
don’t have money for taking pictures
he gave the photograph to a beggar
who ate it up like candy

-- Adília Lopes

(tr. Richard Zenith)
acchikocchi: (stock // chaos theory (credit fluidic_ic)
(I changed my mind, you get what was originally here later this month.)


Furies

Banished from sin and the sacred
Now they inhabit the humble intimacy
Of daily life. They are
The leaky faucet the late bus
The soup that boils over
The lost pen the vacuum that doesn’t vacuum
The taxi that doesn’t come the mislaid receipt
Shoving pushing waiting
Bureaucratic madness

Without shouting or staring
Without bristly serpent hair
With the meticulous hands of the day-to-day
They undo us

They’re the peculiar wonder of the modern world
Faceless and maskless
Nameless and breathless
The thousand-headed hydras of efficiency gone haywire

They no longer pursue desecrators and parricides
They prefer innocent victims
Who did nothing to provoke them
Thanks to them the day loses its smooth expanses
Its juice of ripe fruits
Its fragrance of flowers
Its high-sea passion
And time is transformed
Into toil and the rush
Against time

-- Sophia Mello de Breyner Andresen


(tr. Richard Zenith. original.)
acchikocchi: (stock // winter)
so national poetry month started but i've been way to out of it to post this year. i'll try and get a few up over the month, though.


For the Dead

I dreamed I called you on the telephone
to say: Be kinder to yourself
but you were sick and would not answer

The waste of my love goes on this way
trying to save you from yourself

I have always wondered about the left-over
energy, the way water goes rushing down a hill
long after the rains have stopped

or the fire you want to go to bed from
but cannot leave, burning-down but not burnt-down
the red coals more extreme, more curious
in their flashing and dying
than you wish they were
sitting long after midnight

-- Adrienne Rich

poetry

Jun. 30th, 2009 11:43 am
acchikocchi: (stock // chaos theory (credit fluidic_ic)
I first read this at [livejournal.com profile] incandescens' journal a few days ago, and it's been in my head ever since.

The Ballad of the Imam and the Shah )

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