Nava Fader

Faux Translations of Rainer Maria Rilke

Straining so hard against the strength of night (I)

linebacker helmeted shoulder to the wind will not
let us pass wayfarer draws
your breath out siphoning wheeze
to a mouthless laughter. Take that countess
infant your fear hinges on unanswered questions
the eggs are furred and the walls are forts.

Grunts and kings alike rabbit still for a blink
join the dancing

Everything tempts.

prompts portends tricks and offers.
polyphemous cliffside asking
coals or jewels? journey home
or a hot stick
in the eye? bedridden riders homer
keeper of the winds
moves you bedpan bread
and water bleat out
prayer to the mutest
of gods steaming
temptress coffeecup summon
shofar call answering
machine avatar made
an image of

Straining so hard against the strength of night (II)

to errands to unburned
ends to match fuse becoming
flicker offering back to us
confirmation firm to our frivolous
assert a certain we know you are

dreamed up rent of these
filament filigree all lacy like
constellation a message

tinsel night you whore
lipsticked sodden droop breast
we’d welcome
even you

Nava Fader is the author of All the Jawing Jackdaw (2009), which has each poem beginning with a line from somebody else, and two chapbooks—The Plath Poems and Stone Soup. Her work has been in Shampoo, Sawbuck, No Tell Motel, Coconut, and others.
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