from Letters from the Dark

Moikom Zeqo

Third Letter

You, forked world in my hands! Ineffable beauties!
You, secret motion of years, backward orthopedics
of childhood and of time! I am nothing but a celestial seaman
with comet-like gray hair and electric blood.
I can freeze the rain and turn it into
glass for my own room of solitude.
The swallows pluck on the sea
because of God's intolerable hands.
It's my hair! Who dares escape
the secret labyrinths of Love?
The Sun painted by van Gogh
is not the sun shining now.
Raindrops fall on nude statues;
marble males and females now urinate,
astonished at performing
a marvelous act
of the living. There is no watercourse
in the Sahara of hate.
Twilight appeared on my doorstep:
it's the emperor's purple shoe—
the shoe is here, but the emperor is not!
An eagle flaunts a century, heraldic,
hovering in mystery. Why do I often feel empty
like eternity with no millennia? Why did Scheherazade
survive every morning by telling
the lie called Art? Why is clock an absurdity
wound up consistently? Why do I swallow
metaphorical bread and have a hungry Zodiac
instead of a stomach? Why does every statue
contain my holy mummy?
Why are vaginae
made of angel hair?
Why does this dried angel crumble in my fingers
like the wings of a butterfly? Why are waves
like motion stones made of sea glass?
Why did Zeus turn
into the Caucasian Eagle,
the flies that drove Migjeni mad?
Why do I take steps forward
if my body is motionless?
Why are proverbs little tales?
Why is Nothing my tachycardia?
Why do words have meandering endings
as if Chimera? Why are seasons
embellished like global brothels?
Why have heroes now become refugee clowns?
Why did so much time elapse to find us lonely
as water and oil on a glass of genesis?
Why is this metaphysical dramatization
dispersed by the wind? Why are leaves gold-plated
by the Moon's surrealist blood?
Why did wounded Eros
drive the Sea crazy?
Why do I not want to be a Jehovah
but a poppy?
Why do winds—Gulliver's passions—
die and turn into
thunderbolt skeletons? Why do I steal jewelry from Paradise
for you, my dear? Why do painted portraits
also serve as epitaphs?
Why do objects loan
monumental endlessness? Why does ecstasy
carry our accidents like an ambulance?
Why is the universe a verb—"to be"—
with no future tense? Why do icebergs
dream about gardens of metempsychosis?
Why does he—the poet—come from the desert
like the last of the ancient Gods?
Why does my soul squirm,
suck in the cobweb of astral twins?
Why is it that God, God himself,
does not fit me like the clothes I wear
but shrinks? Why are people amazed at
clogged brain engines?
Why is this cliff a Mourning Siren
in the attic hut of my books?
Why do some infant princes ask for
the Morning Soul? Why does animal marrow
lie in human remains?
Why do other people
fill glasses of
the Eucharistic century
with my wounds?
Why does a closed door look like
a monk unwilling to confess?
Why are dead saints the only ones
to read my manuscripts?
Why? Why?
I tear off pages from the Book of Genesis
thrust them and cast them away—
dead birds
with no way out!

Fifth Letter

When I am close to you,
ten centimeters
separate me from eternity.
Why do I have Nothing in front of me
as soon as I wake up?
Why do we call hallucinations history?
A dead person is a sunken ship;
nobody is able to make it float again.
Why do wind sculptors
display memorial storms
to remind us of death?
Why does the image of you
make my soul
Why is death less than
a firework?
I have been waiting a thousand centuries—
waiting for a wonder word!
I would make the Moon greener
to pasture there
Swift's horses!
A bud of agave bloomed
like the scream
of a woman giving birth.
Oh, ironies traveling through emptiness
like polar wolves in a jungle!

Eighth Letter

Our fathers' bodies are underground,
yet their faces are hidden under the stars.
The three Magi arrived at another Bethlehem
among Nazi helmets.
Their coats
are made of holocaust
and of bank credits.
Computer cannibals
dance around the Moon's skull.
Rhetoric is like a ship
unable to hold cargo.
Meanings explode
out of the very words.
Here it is, this tiger-like lily
wants to tear me to pieces!
Go crazy, you gray-haired Cabalists!
I want no more books,
no more sterile metamorphosis.
I am a common man,
free of mysteries,
and thus,
more real than ever! 

translated from the Albanian by Loredana Mihani