20100914

Scott MacLeod


from FIREFLIES IN ZABŘEH

1

I was so happy to receive your letter
I was sure you had forgotten me
long ago

of course I remember your departure
from the railway station, I remember
that sad and beautiful feeling
of being the last

for me it is hard to live without it
because I don’t remember songs by heart

sometimes it seems to me I remember nothing

or that all that was like a seed in me
has bloomed

you cannot imagine how I will be pleased
to get another letter from you


2

excuse me, excuse me, please excuse me
I couldn’t prevent writing it here:

I bathe in our Black Sea
read books, meet with old friends
in short, I am idle

nothing happens in the streets
but if you were here the girls would wake up
from their eternal sleep

it seems quite stupid to me to write to you
that there’s a sun here, that we bathe in a sea
that it’s a holiday for us to be here

the heat is terrible, I live in the sea as if in Beverly Hills
I feel as if I’m on the way to something good these days
it’s not optimism, more like appetite….

there is just a small step dividing us from radiating

but our personal mood changes quite often, rises
or falls down, practically due to nothing
a good dinner or a wrong intonation
and the whole project is in jeopardy

I learned that I am scared when night comes
and I still do not have a place to stay
and no cafe open until morning
the moon has the same face here as it has in Vienna
I read in its light a poem I know by heart
but as for other things it is hardly bright enough

my feelings begin to function slower
almost remembering unpleasant things
happening to me when I was younger

I’m longing for relief, the feeling of not reenacting
accustomed behavior, habits, situations (failing to)

this has already been too broad a hint
that I, unable to write properly
am still looking forward to hearing
from you, in a plain language


3

greetings from our beautiful country
now free after long and lost 40 years

Stalinism died, oho!
now the only thing
not uncertain is uncertainty

still the same sort of old Bolsheviks
it’s going to take a long time
before everything “sets in normal rails”

reform goes no better
it’s but a bunch of dilettantes
striving to look like experts
while they parasite society

it’s going to take some time
for us to make an honorable end
to these bothering insects

but my opinions are not important in these cases
at least there is beer when we want it

mostly it’s three mouths to feed,
dress, wipe the sick off the bib etc.
okay hey look it’s Friday night
so I’m out for the dance with my baby
in the city of the damned


4

at the moment things are chaotic, I’m literally falling
apart, my back messed at my construction job
osteopathy for it twice a week
then the middle (front) tooth
bent out during performance
(and a few fistfights too)

I will be wandering around in a toothless state
for some weeks yet, confused,
unable to earn my usual money
as low class worker

I eat (carefully) once a day, I sleep
a lot, I swear a lot

as any artist and poet, I am seen
as some kind of dust on the money-cake

it is not the right time for art, no, not the right art
for this time, no, art is never really right
the artist is the rainforest of the mental world

my train is passing along the coast
I feel a part of someone else’s dream


5

maybe it’s not the best time to write

I cannot change anything: what’s all ambivalent
uneasy, etc., such a dragon’s wind outside
eastern wind, almost breaking the glass

at Masada I met two dark birds, a tender couple
now it’s getting dark and everything’s so white
outside, taking part metaphysically in all that
all that machine for Endlösung
in snowed-in Europe

not the best time for anything,
if you consider the asthmatic baby girl, the weariness
I cannot do anything but survive as happily as I can
if you can understand this taoistic way
of doing nothing, I’ve accepted the idea
of no angels in my kitchen: loneliness isn’t tragedy
but a basement, a usual and normal background
for any activity

I am lucky to touch the bottom
motionless, tired, without radiation

sometimes I can see somewhat
of a sculpture we are making
of this end of XXth century, upside down
no economic invention, no solid basement
only a great transparent sculpture
over this horizon of wires

future holds certainly something for me
if not as a reward then at least as a relief


Scott MacLeod has been presenting live, time-based, conceptual & static art work in the San Francisco Bay Area & internationally since 1979.

His fiction, poetry, theater & critical writings have been widely published in the USA &, in translation, in Russia, Yugoslavia & the Czech Republic.
 
 
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