Blesok no. 50, September-October, 2006
Poetry


The Nonexistent Spaces
translated by:Peter Boreas
from Across the Fields"

Hans van de Waarsenburg



Colour is hardly a diversion here. The transparent light


Colour is hardly a diversion here. The transparent light
Does not play under the old bricks. We’ll forget the columns, for
What is so close to you is like carrying without arms, breathing
Without lungs. On and off bridges, water that clings salty
To your clothes. Here dialogue is a one-sided age-old
Image. Thus we float on in wine and glasses.




The way through is the space of dogs sniffing marble


The way through is the space of dogs sniffing marble
Ice floes. Get cold noses filled with grit,
Stretch themselves like powerful cats: armed fighters,
Spears at the ready. Attack! Chase the sightseers
And the desperate from this arsenal of invisibility. This
Danzig of data, for the dreams will remain in eternity.




We were the ships, we were built, we departed


We were the ships, we were built, we departed.
Wine drew us between the columns, a straight course of sweet discourse.
Wood that bent against petrified bones. And always the question who
We were when all was said. I saw the columns, rooms,
Without a centre, weeping ruins. Mother, someone has to be first,
Recount the battle, cover the war and weep on marble.




How to fill a space that has been lost, has sunk


How to fill a space that has been lost, has sunk
In water. Graveyard of lost beams and barques.
A midriff that shackles itself to the laguna like an old mariner’s
Body. Do not talk to me. Her charming view is there
To rest, rest against her, sloshing in lullaby rhythm. And how
Venetian sirens dive lithely into the forecastle.




There is a language that cannot be suppressed: may I adopt


There is a language that cannot be suppressed: may I adopt
Your form or am I a stone confessional, the eternal
Grip on the throat, but also perhaps a wing that can
Fly without duplication? Accommodate the lonely brush stroke,
Its horizon bordered by columns. Ship moors, the water
Rises and comforts itself, the songs must be sung.




The wind blows through you hair, columns hide the years


The wind blows through your hair, columns hide the years
Of growing older and how everything could happen in a
Stone that held your head so tightly from up high.
You showed a blushing cheek. There you are, while the
People gape, cough and became a child again, was that child
Girl with the darling small breasts, and I my timid self.




Nifty Matron, with sensuous hair and breast, the gondola will


Nifty Matron,  with sensuous hair and breasts, the gondola will
Overturn, the water will rise, the plaster will itch
At the edges of the town. Almond eyed one, chaste as
The line of your mouth, you fill a non-existent
Void, in the head, between the eyes, while the sea scours
The stones, waits for your final dance. Tango, Maestro.




The nonexistent spaces in the Arsenale! The swaying columns


The nonexistent spaces in the Arsenale! The swaying columns
And how everything toppled, while the poet’s dry-as-dust hand
Intervened. Ave Maria, he mumbled and jumped into a pool of
Old polished marble, filled with holy water. Are we afloat? No,
We gloat, hold each other tight. Until the foghorns sound
And the black gondola approaches us and we drift towards San Michele.




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