Blesok no. 32, May-June, 2003

Change of the Night Guard

Georgi Rupchev


Summer was fading away with lingering violet bells –
Sound after sound from invisible churches
Through the long town we walked dizzy and in sweat,
Neither alive, nor dead.

We were hungry, the dusty street dreadfully resounded
The early evening air struck by you
And we stopped at the bridge and straight towards us
There appeared a funeral.

They shuffled by with empty faces, shivering in the broiling heat,
They passed by then quietly vanished behind the comer
And we were left, breathing heavy and strenuous,
Strangers once again.

And heaven threw about accurate cast-iron blows
Over us, over our shoddy heresies
And there we stood overwhelmed, exhausted by the miracle,
With no faith in it nor ourselves.

Still Life

A cello on the bed –
An expecting nude body.

    (At the piano, bought for a mere song,
    A bow in your hand, you are like the Madonna with her infant,
    Among the candles breathing above the key-board,
    You thought the neighbours would protest again,
    I stood still damned, and still sluggish,
    Outside the December buses have been rumbling for an hour,
    And the mournful “la” crept in between the two of us
    And huddled itself to Rahmaninov photo,
    The wardrobe moaned, the walls began to moan –
    An infrasonic messa for all redeemed
    Like a nosy neighbour the morning intruded trough
       the slats of the Venetian blinds,
    I had not yet put on my sweater, I think
    I was smoking and contemplating about music and things of that kind,
    Relaxed, listening and gazing at your legs,
    A coffee pot, a clock, two steaming cups,
    A musician in a nightgown
    Was bidding me farewell.)


Grown faint with swelter, the Earth withdraw,
The sea grew thick, we get out to it.
Beautiful fish and lurking medusas
Were shaken by the fog with red tentacles,
The sky rose over us – colourless and splendid,
The engine stopped,
The engine stopped and the silence embraced us.
The morning grew up, weaved into muscles,
Digging its nails in our backs,
It roared in our ears, it squeezed our breasts
And we were getting dry – lonesome end happy…

My friend then lay prone on the wooden floor,
Burying his eyes in his hand, he became unreal,
I gave him a cigarette, we were lying still wet,
We were laying terrestrial, sunburn and skinny,
We smoked in the haze, in the ramshackle boat
And we spat in the sea, spread out all around,
And in the heat a semi-felt danger
Vibrated obscurely between us.

Change of the Night Guard

In one of the dark corners of the room
hangs the portrait of a man
with a dagger in his hand.
He is unknown and is rarely noticed
by the visitors milling around.

         The rooms grow slowly dark.
         They clean the gallery and close it,

                The man
jumps nimbly out of the picture –
he's twenty seven, his clothes are dark,
a chain of gold flashes around his sinewy neck;
he goes to the window and pulls the curtain slightly apart;
he stands there all through the night
waiting motionless and open-eyed
till the first signals of approaching light.

from the book 13 Bulgarian poets, Blesok 2003

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