from Figures of the Day

Dvoyre Vogel

Glass Flowers

The moon is a white cherry blossom.
Sorrow smell of viscous longing.
The seven years.

Yellow glass tulips
under the streetlamps
planted on street one, street two, street three.

Yellow glass
smell of cold hands
and the amber coral of going without.

You can go down the first street.
Down the second.
Let drops of blue moon flow into you,
smell of viscous longing
and the coldness of the yellow lamp glass.

What more can each night bring
besides the smell of viscous waiting,
besides the glass smell of going without.

Advertising Panels in the Rain

Today the rain colors grey buildings with a second layer
of its matte grey tone.

You’re far away
everyone is far away now
and no one can go to anyone.

I lean against
an advertising panel covered
in lemon-yellow and red-orange paper.

The rain today has garishly washed
the vermillion letters that read:
Today some movie theater is showing
a film about the ballerina, the red one.

The red lines are hands that caress
and hands that fall heavily
on yellow paper building bodies.

The yellow- and red-covered board
between ten grey buildings
is the only colorful body.
And you can unite with it
like with a human body
that’s far away now:
impossible to reach.

A Poem about Colorful Neon Signs

A poem about colorful neon signs
about red yellow blue letters
about stretches of text that are snub-cornered suns.

The multicolored, swooping shoe and fur signs
are a poem written by a sweet poet
on the grey boxes of city walls.

Cherry red glows and tugs like someone else’s body.
Navy blue caresses like the never-known hand.
Lemon yellow cools with its cold metallic light.

Red blue yellow stretching bodies
can go for twenty-four hours,
can turn on five, ten times a day.

You shouldn’t count the days
under the electric advertisement suns.

Just suck at the colorful light-flesh.
Just breathe in its glowing smell.
And turn.

In a square. In a circle. In a parabola.
Four times a day. Five, ten times a day.
Countless times, going, going
from one body to another
fuelled by the round, multicolored lamp eyes.

Grey Streets

The streets are like the sea,
reflecting the color of longing,
the burden of waiting.

Now they are grey
like pearls of abstention.

Like lemon-yellow faces
are extinguished
in the windows of pale yellow houses.
Like pale, transparent street lamps
that are extinguished at 4 o’clock in the morning.

In the milky grey streets
the lost days are no longer counted:
they run out like sweetened condensed milk.

Faces are extinguished by the color of abstention
like grey streets with yellow lamp-moons
that don’t want anything anymore.

Grey Buildings

One grey building.
A second grey building.
A third a fourth grey building.

They walk together.
For a day.
For a second day.
For 7 weekdays.

They walk 20 or 30 meters.
For 12 hours.
On the first day. On the second. On the seventh.

A light turns on. In the first building. In the second.
A light turns off. In the first building. In the second.
7 o’clock in the evening. 10 o’clock in the evening.

On the second day
they keep walking for a distance of 20 meters:
two three four grey buildings.

The Lament For Courtyard Walls

Are the back walls guilty
for never being sealed
just smeared in greasy yellow paint:
duplicitous advertisement scripts.

Each evening 1000 suns rising
from the other side. By 4 o’clock in the afternoon
the opening of round electric eyes. Red, navy blue, yellow-orange.
They create elastic bodies with breasts like the searching eyes of people.

But there, 7-days-a-week the flat sun hanging
caressing duplicitous advertisements
and maybe that’s why the legend can still flourish
of the one and only yellow sun.

translated from the Yiddish by Jordan Lee Schnee