Alien Landscape II

Дата: 04-01-2005 | 22:32:46

Far mountains vibrate like quaking jelly
upon the plate of vision: we could touch them,
but that would be too different from touching
something solid, settled, a stray image
with its wide-spreading retrospective plumage
that has become inalienable, almost inherent
to its unshaping composition. It would be
as if there is nothing much to see,
just colours forming patterns, in the same way
as memory forms patterns of daring and remorse
upon the vastness of the buried world
which we more often do not dare to know.
Like a ghost of a dead relative,
sitting in the corner of the living-room,
not taking part in the conversation,
not replying to the questions we ask each other,
but rolling his forsaken eyes from right to left,
from the underside, caressing children’s heads,
which makes them itchy, this soaring array
of mountains and lakes and twisted rivers,
all dappled with the full-stops of the birds
does not participate in our hasty inquiry
of things we do not want to hear about
but ask because we feel we must. The hordes
of moons are flying so low
the whole ocean groans and rises,
we can see the hills of water, we can hear
long creatures trapped in them and then escaping
loudly when billows break apart.
The heaven swells and swoons like bellows
of an organ, like the chest of a tired out beast,
splashing coastal cliffs with a heavy brush of rain
secreted by the glands of black inflated clouds.
The moons are hanging in the humid air,
all strange and distant worlds. It’s like
a presence in the room when somebody begins
to notice the movement of the curtain,
or trembling of a tea-spoon, or
faint sounds one is never certain
about, or a shifting silhouette within the eyes
of a dazzled mirror. Then the fear creeps in
with the sensation of a string that is about to
snap, one cannot breathe, there is no air,
the images are gallopping like a mad gazelle
through our heads, and everyone falls silent,
expecting this fear to be somehow resolved,
but it isn’t, it just persists with the determination
of an infant breaking all his toys, then the only
desire - to escape, to open, to slam the door,
to rush into the street full of people and lights
and snow and fresh wind, but the legs don’t move,
the bodies are trapped in their arm-chairs,
the cups of tea are frozen by the lips,
the fingers are so stiff they would have cracked
the porcelain if clenched. It has always
been there and we didn’t see it,
it has been always there, this green
addictive world, whatever meaning our questions held
all gone, all crushed under the fingers
of slow and confused persistence. Then
someone suddenly asks: what time is it? - and
the whole construction crashes down, splashes
roaring and whistling like a hundred tempests
broken loose, we are sitting with our heads down,
counting we know not why to a hundred,
outside, in the opposite building, somebody
is playing the piano, going over and over
the same passage, silence, the pigeons are cooing
upon the window-sill, distorted through
the dirty glass, their heads move up and down
like tulips growing from the mud. We take our coats
and go outside, we walk along the street,
wrapping the coat over our chest, screwing up our eyes,
all shaking, trying not to think, not to let out
the giant, boundless, exploding landscape
locked inside us, then all at once
we look back over the shoulder,
it seems that someone calls us, we see
the empty street behind, soaked
in the quietness of rest and afternoon,
a crumpled sheet of paper
dancing in the wind, two people arguing
in front of a shop-window, then they stop
and look at us.

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