Blesok no. 95, March-April, 2014

On Some Days
Translated from German by Richard Martin

Jürgen Nendza

Buzzing flight

BUZZING FLIGHT, and in it your gaze
turns and stretches and twitches

in this daytime shimmer of wings:
your dress flows from your skin back

into the room of drawn out vowels,
their bows without beginning or end.

Fluttering and fragile between sound
and light, your horizon bulges

into a blood vessel: we stand barefooted
at the open window. Condensation drips,

the saliva samples of one night.
You stick your whispers

in my hair: a clasp
for separate ways.


You lean against the poplar, against its upright
rustling.  The river flows peacefully past you,

complete in itself, like a swimming prayer.
A name is scratched on its trunk.  Perhaps

it touches an annual ring beneath the bark
or some other way in which we think ourselves

into reality with a metaphor.
That famous smile is also registered

in poplar wood, thin and complete in itself.
When that smile was stolen, lots of visitors

crowded into the Louvre to see its empty
space.  On the water the reflection of the poplar.

You find it difficult to say where you’re staying.

On some days

ON SOME DAYS it appears
like happiness, the shadow
that wanders through the room

above unfinished matters. Outside
the dress pattern of the trees
is full of a sense of possibilities.

We've been eating blueberries
from overgrown graves,
and no-one knows how much

time lapse is contained in one word.
The light synchronizes us with the whistle
of dolphins which can see hidden things.

I can see a flock of birds flying
from your skin and imagine
a rationalist wearing a sombrero.

Apple and blackbird

EYELASHES rustle, your look drifts beneath
thin ice. Daylight crouches above us.

We get up and neither knows which face
will waken with them. The window is a huge garden.

Silence opens in the air, and sleep
still glows, is warm, is coloured with apples.

The morning turns with the earth, and a blackbird
hops through your first sentences: that's how trust grows

in the repetition that forgets you. The light
tells us we're awake. We get up. Time

is unreachable between breaths. And this feeling
for your hand when the sentences lose the way.

Every day

EVERY DAY the edge of memory shifts
and what we wanted to say: the apple

doesn't know that time recites us. In our hands
a huge lake sweats, and the world

begins again as fine as a whisper
over the garden gate, like a spider's web

that hangs up a centre in the air, lying in wait
for a connection. We think ourselves in sequences

the table laid, and when silence opens,
in the street love goes to the baker's

dumb as a deer. A shiver crosses the wallpaper.
What´s difficult now is the blackbird.

Our own breath

OUR OWN BREATH stands roundabout us
by the door to the garden. We step into the rain

open its shirt: the air behind lies like
naked skin on the branches. It's damp

and wet, the landscape threads your voice.
Droplets arch together with sky and lake.

In every word the earth turns, and you don't know
how it looks at you beneath the noise of your tread

from out of your footprints, filled with subjunctives
and with sand. The centre shines, the multiplication

tables march ahead of us. I repeat: a man
and a woman and a blackbird are one.

We meet inside

WE MEET INSIDE the apple, tell each other stories
in its house where small blackbirds ripen

and wait for a tree that will turn with
the earth; which we’ll recite and drink,

because we are thirsty: a whole ocean
is silent within us like the fruit itself

is silent inside the apple, as silence in stillness
is silent and enquires; and with its yes

inside it wears white like a bride.  We are the ones
who shop in the centre of town. After breakfast

the window is a shelf.  We get up, we put
things away. We are the ones.  We are not.

The day filtering

THE DAY FILTERING through cracks in the blind
and every movement generates wavy lines, itineraries:

where the shadows fall, the watery membrane. You

crouch in a picture, archaic, with eucalyptus oil
on the edge of the bath, think yourself into the rainy
season: they´ll be cutting the bark

now, on it the journey revolves concentrically
around places, and always directing someone to some beginning,
to some suspicion, some order:

borderland tension

has divided you into bird´s eye views
and body painting
on soaking finger-tips.

Then the water drains away. Outside the window,
motionless, the parallelograms. You stay
in the room, you´re an archive

that´s getting cold.

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