Gellu Naum

Only when beginning at the end are we able to understand
the nostalgic mechanics of daily events the fury of layers preceding and
                                                                                               following us

this is when the usually called "there" wears on its body the tree's bark
carries with it
the arrogant scale with isolated limbs balanced there sleeping the statue
              of the Dog a confusing calculus born persistently
              in the grass's fear the land's green silence
while all mothers may wake up each with a different moan

this is how many perished while we returned
it was a farewell with no parting an unrest in the mist's magnet
                          in the deep dark and its answers
we were mere black leaves swept outside and fluttering in the soft wind
we were the small feet of a child forsaken and left all alone sleeping
we were in love with the rustle of the greenery underground bearing
                                                    witness to a desperate question
with the piety indecency and plenitude of our aggressive candor

and beyond millions of dark-years through the vainglorious black holes
                                                                              in the human psyche
there with live and dead seeds ants and justificatory novas sequoia
            trees ablaze sleepo-pithecines caterpillars and rocks gold
            granite copper kangaroos butterflies knives rains nightingales
                                                    the genus chair boot and the clouds
electronics swallowing the logic of intuition
and each of those with its poets forming a language using signs
                                                    long forgotten by our sick species
I emotionally and respectfully salute the insects' poet his
              psychedelic colors I watch with my panicking blood
while listening to the signs of his insurgency

so the psychedelic colored insect
waits for me
with its shape reminiscent of triangular bombardments
the insect-poet looking at me with its deep blue-green eye
struck dumb on an unripe raspberry
the sole survivor of a long extinct species
the newly arrived insect-poet set to witness crazy
death by tragic multiplication
as I am certain it recognizes me
as far back

as when the times got tangled
I sit on a rock and look forward
through tangled times
as a psychedelic age arrives while the rest is merely
a golden blue-green ethereal triangular insect
trying to communicate words

but I can feel the winged heel of tangled times
I feel my leaf sliding across boundless deserts
sitting on a bank on a blue rock where I stopped long ago
like any other pilgrim ready to leave
I left and here I am crammed up in the night
within everybody
and there is a bridge boiling lava flowing under it
the olive trees along the riverbank bear bitter fruit
birds in gold-colored furs and foxes in feathers of all colors pass by
those beautiful fox-witches
and we press our knees into each other our eyes blurred after all the days
                                                     we left silent together
in the humans' blue crypt under the night's obscure seal
and we make those modernly likable gestures at all crossroads
with snail shells and wing-cases breaking under our steps

one minute less after all those tangled times
gazes that save of life and death of fighting roosters under a cobalt sky
ignored and indestructible understanding inertia inquietude
breasts of warm fog the steam of walking shortly spotted through the bus window
the black panthers leaping grateful ferocious
why should I look forward or back where the stray dogs greet me
             full of expectations and avalanches of snails
millions of ants in swarm after swarm whirring along while
             a four or five hundred year old tree rots piercing the sky

but I say words that contain millions
I read the things within them my hair is ablaze I see it burn inside the words
my hair hovers and burns as if in a mirror the color of the wood I dwell in
well hidden a perpetual solitude a sort of sonorant mist irresistible
                                                                             and imbued with written sounds
I see with my ear with my eyes I hear sounds that are creatures and things
                                                                                            and fire and lime pits
I believe in the acoustic vision of the magnificent black panthers
giving them strongly colored shapes
beyond that vision everything is black
I am almost alone amidst the bizarre shapes within the great magic of
I complement the atrocious game of the peace-giving shapes they collapse
                                the nocturnal sun the moon hovering higher and higher
a dog leashed to the wind I would say almost cuffed by the gusts stuck
             to the withered windows I am looking through listening to his
                                        ashy howls written over with lunar powders
the great expectations of those lying on the cliffs or drowned in the ocean
reef dwellers clad in silver armors
explorers of that drowned city they prefer to call EUTYCHIA I don't know
with those deceased whales floating above

knock with a butterfly on my window
bring your breasts near my face I am in agony keeping silent with a death
lying on bed-sheets
I look above and see our whispers though it could be something else
so let the explorers come the archeologists of  kisses the divers
those who listen to every wave's cry of terror those who see the dirty blood the memory
     of fish the lilac chiaroscuro of tired frigates lost in the deep under the
                                                                                                            stinky salt
     sky of starfish the somnambulist propeller the sails made of Paradise Bird
the sand garlands' seductive rosette

my knees have blossomed my comb lamp the bowl I eat from
my secret force is the rain the iron
the giraffe stretching its neck towards the moon the cold in you
in vain you cover yourself with four blankets in vain you light up the fire
along with theat feeling of no longer being
comes the dried zebra hide on the workshop floor
and all of a sudden the planets stop revolving everybody's lions startled
                 and intently watching flocks of flames rise from the de-scribed
which is the sound of refining

and there is also the flower EUTYCHIA a sort of carnation
                            that does not exist yet it is only a name
but it will be
before worlds collapse and our ashes drain into chaos
afterwards after this after the early apparition of the beautiful burnt flower
                                                                  EUTYCHIA once and for all
I have become petrified I mean as time went by my blood has assumed
                                                                  an enigmatic stone-like shape
a pyramid sarcophagus or sphinx that is
in any case impressed upon wood in capital letters
and as time goes by the wind my life and death enemy gnaws at my cheeks
and sometimes I happen to fly or keep silent which is one and the same

a beautiful levitation a nostalgic burial up among the spheres
                                        in the rough roar in the everlasting cold
and someone sleeps there on the grand astral catafalque
but that doesn't matter anymore
someone like a pyramid a sarcophagus or mostly like a sphinx sleeps there
his eye lines desperately inscribing convulsive signs obscure hieroglyphs
and lo comes EUTYCHIA descending the black marble stairway
covered in ruby velvet
and the rush of herds is heard under my window

bring your breasts near my face I am in agony I tell her
keep silent with a death tongue

translated from the Romanian by MARGENTO and Martin Woodside