Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Galina Rymboe

My father sleeps on the floor

My father sleeps on the floor, and we’re waiting
for his salary, like a miracle, like the messiah, like when I was little, like the end of the world,
when we’ll all eat ourselves sick and die
and we’ll see the flashing of a world without time – that’s how we wait,
in the evenings pressing our stares into the one window
of our one room, which is covered in grey foil to keep out the summer sun;

my father sleeps on the floor
in the kitchen, and mom and me are in the room with my son, and it’s
like our breathing is synchronized, and we hear each other when we wake in the night;

they’re clearing the smokestacks at the power station again, and their hum, and sometimes the roar
of the biggest stack, spreads across our neighborhood – as if it’s
jumping out of the sky and racing across our rotten earth,
like an evil spirit. and August
drives its blue bulls across the dark sky, along the nervous hills
of landfills, overgrown ponds, and the palaces
of provincial supermarkets – toward our strange communities,
crammed into a single building, a single swarm of intellect,
washing the earth with our dumb tears,
as we wait for my father’s salary and curse,
because it still hasn’t come, and we can’t just kill the people responsible
or ask them to go away; because sometimes
we want to kill each other,
when August rips your brains apart with its black glow,
when the trees come alive and embrace
the drunks at the edge of town, singing them lullabies, like little ones,
setting them down quietly into dumpsters,
when the old cat in the kitchen is gnawing at dried dill and howling for who knows what
something animal;

we want to kill each other, like loved ones, but we go back to sleep,
and even in our dreams mom and me are waiting for papa’s salary,
so we can buy shampoo and shower gel,
so we can take my son for a ride on the boats,
so we can get a bus into town and see the garden show,
and so we can finally just eat what we want and eat and eat,
as long as there’s time; and papa is sleeping in the kitchen and coughing,
his lungs don’t open like a crimson flower, like in poems, but rumble
and slosh inside,
and the night smells torment his skin;
he’s asleep and he doesn’t know anything about his salary,
he’s talking in his sleep, saying something in Moldavian to his brother.

Mijn vader ligt te slapen op de grond

mijn vader ligt te slapen op de grond en wij zitten te wachten
op zijn salaris, als op een wonder, als op de Messias, als kleine kinderen,
als op het einde van de wereld,
het moment waarop we allen samen zullen vreten tot we barsten en sterven
en het aureool van de wereld aanschouwen buiten de tijd – zo zitten we te wachten,
avond na avond onze blikken persend door het enige venster in onze enige kamer, bedekt met een grijze folie tegen de zomerzon;

mijn vader ligt te slapen op de grond
in de keuken, terwijl mijn moeder, mijn zoon en ik in de kamer liggen en het is alsof we synchroon ademhalen en elkaar horen als we ’s nachts wakker worden;
in warmtekrachtcentrale TETS-5 gaan ze opnieuw door de schoorstenen
en weerklinkt hun gebulder,
en bij momenten ook het gebrul van de dikste schoorsteen
het verspreidt zich over onze wijk – alsof het uit de hemel gesprongen komt
en over onze rotte aarde raast, als een boze geest. en augustus
jaagt zijn blauwe stieren de duistere hemel door, langs drukke vuilnisbeltheuvels,
langs overwoekerde vijvers en pompeuze paleizen
van afgelegen supermarkten –
tot bij onze complexe gemeenschappen, opeengepakt in één huis, één verstandelijke stroom,
die de aarde omspoelt met idiote tranen,
en wij zitten te wachten op vaders salaris en bekvechten
omdat het er nog steeds niet is en wij de schuldigen niet gewoon kunnen vermoorden,
vragen weg te gaan; daarom willen we soms gewoon elkaar vermoorden,
wanneer augustus met zijn zwarte flonkering ons brein openscheurt,
wanneer de bomen tot leven komen en aan de rand van de stad dronkaards omhelzen,
hen wiegen, als kleintjes, om hen daarna zachtjes in de vuilnisbakken neer te laten,
wanneer de oude kat in de keuken op gedroogde dille knauwt en jankt, onduidelijk waarom net als een dier;

wij willen elkaar vermoorden, als gezin, maar slapen opnieuw in,
en zelfs in onze dromen zitten mama en ik te wachten op papa’s salaris,
om shampoo en douchegel te kunnen kopen, met mijn zoon bootje te kunnen varen,
de minibus te nemen, de bloemententoonstelling in het centrum te bezoeken,
en tot slot ook nog om te kunnen eten waar we zin in hebben, eten en nog eens eten,
zolang er nog tijd rest; en papa ligt te slapen in de keuken en te hoesten,
zijn longen openen zich niet als een scharlaken bloem, zoals in poëzie, ze klotsen vanbinnen dof, de geur van de nacht pijnigt de huid;
hij ligt te slapen en heeft zelf niets te melden over zijn salaris,
hij spreekt in zijn slaap Moldavisch met zijn broer.

Мой отец спит на полу

мой отец спит на полу, и мы ждём
его зарплаты, как чуда, как мессию, как в детстве, как конец света,
когда мы все вместе обожрёмся и умрём
и увидим сияние мира без времени, -  так мы ждём,
вечерами вдавливая взгляды в наше единственное окно в единственной комнате,
покрытое серой фольгой от летнего солнца;

мой отец спит на полу
в кухне, а мы с мамой и с моим сыном в комнате и, кажется, дышим синхронно
и ночью, просыпаясь, слышим друг друга;

на ТЭЦ-5 опять пробивают трубы и слышен их гул, а временами и рёв самой большой трубы,
рассеянный по району – так, как будто бы он выпрыгивает из неба
и несется по нашей гнилой земле, как злой дух. и август
синих быков своих гонит по тёмному небу, по нервным холмам мусорных свалок,
по заросшим прудам и дворцам
пригородных супермаркетов –
к нашим сложным сообществам, сбитым в один дом, один рой ума,
омывающий землю дурацкими слезами,
когда мы ждём зарплату отца и ругаемся,
потому что её всё нет, и мы не можем просто убить, попросить уйти
тех, кто виноват в этом; поэтому иногда мы просто хотим убить друг друга,
когда август разрывает мозги своим чёрным свечением,
когда деревья становятся живыми и обнимают пьяных людей на окраине,
баюкают их, как малых, опуская потом тихонько к мусорным бакам,
когда старый кот на кухне грызет сухой укроп и плачет неясно отчего чем-то животным;

мы хотим друг друга убить, как родные, но засыпаем снова,
и даже во сне мы с мамой ждем папиной зарплаты,
чтобы купить шампунь и гель для душа, чтобы покатать моего сына на лодках,
чтобы сесть на маршрутку и поехать в центр на выставку цветов,
а еще, чтобы, наконец, поесть то, что хочется, есть и есть,
пока не кончится время; а папа спит на кухне и кашляет,
его легкие не распускаются алым цветком, как в поэзии, а глухо бултыхаются внутри,
кожа мучается ночным запахом;
он спит и сам ничего не знает о своей зарплате,
он говорит во сне по-молдавски с братом.
Close

My father sleeps on the floor

My father sleeps on the floor, and we’re waiting
for his salary, like a miracle, like the messiah, like when I was little, like the end of the world,
when we’ll all eat ourselves sick and die
and we’ll see the flashing of a world without time – that’s how we wait,
in the evenings pressing our stares into the one window
of our one room, which is covered in grey foil to keep out the summer sun;

my father sleeps on the floor
in the kitchen, and mom and me are in the room with my son, and it’s
like our breathing is synchronized, and we hear each other when we wake in the night;

they’re clearing the smokestacks at the power station again, and their hum, and sometimes the roar
of the biggest stack, spreads across our neighborhood – as if it’s
jumping out of the sky and racing across our rotten earth,
like an evil spirit. and August
drives its blue bulls across the dark sky, along the nervous hills
of landfills, overgrown ponds, and the palaces
of provincial supermarkets – toward our strange communities,
crammed into a single building, a single swarm of intellect,
washing the earth with our dumb tears,
as we wait for my father’s salary and curse,
because it still hasn’t come, and we can’t just kill the people responsible
or ask them to go away; because sometimes
we want to kill each other,
when August rips your brains apart with its black glow,
when the trees come alive and embrace
the drunks at the edge of town, singing them lullabies, like little ones,
setting them down quietly into dumpsters,
when the old cat in the kitchen is gnawing at dried dill and howling for who knows what
something animal;

we want to kill each other, like loved ones, but we go back to sleep,
and even in our dreams mom and me are waiting for papa’s salary,
so we can buy shampoo and shower gel,
so we can take my son for a ride on the boats,
so we can get a bus into town and see the garden show,
and so we can finally just eat what we want and eat and eat,
as long as there’s time; and papa is sleeping in the kitchen and coughing,
his lungs don’t open like a crimson flower, like in poems, but rumble
and slosh inside,
and the night smells torment his skin;
he’s asleep and he doesn’t know anything about his salary,
he’s talking in his sleep, saying something in Moldavian to his brother.

My father sleeps on the floor

My father sleeps on the floor, and we’re waiting
for his salary, like a miracle, like the messiah, like when I was little, like the end of the world,
when we’ll all eat ourselves sick and die
and we’ll see the flashing of a world without time – that’s how we wait,
in the evenings pressing our stares into the one window
of our one room, which is covered in grey foil to keep out the summer sun;

my father sleeps on the floor
in the kitchen, and mom and me are in the room with my son, and it’s
like our breathing is synchronized, and we hear each other when we wake in the night;

they’re clearing the smokestacks at the power station again, and their hum, and sometimes the roar
of the biggest stack, spreads across our neighborhood – as if it’s
jumping out of the sky and racing across our rotten earth,
like an evil spirit. and August
drives its blue bulls across the dark sky, along the nervous hills
of landfills, overgrown ponds, and the palaces
of provincial supermarkets – toward our strange communities,
crammed into a single building, a single swarm of intellect,
washing the earth with our dumb tears,
as we wait for my father’s salary and curse,
because it still hasn’t come, and we can’t just kill the people responsible
or ask them to go away; because sometimes
we want to kill each other,
when August rips your brains apart with its black glow,
when the trees come alive and embrace
the drunks at the edge of town, singing them lullabies, like little ones,
setting them down quietly into dumpsters,
when the old cat in the kitchen is gnawing at dried dill and howling for who knows what
something animal;

we want to kill each other, like loved ones, but we go back to sleep,
and even in our dreams mom and me are waiting for papa’s salary,
so we can buy shampoo and shower gel,
so we can take my son for a ride on the boats,
so we can get a bus into town and see the garden show,
and so we can finally just eat what we want and eat and eat,
as long as there’s time; and papa is sleeping in the kitchen and coughing,
his lungs don’t open like a crimson flower, like in poems, but rumble
and slosh inside,
and the night smells torment his skin;
he’s asleep and he doesn’t know anything about his salary,
he’s talking in his sleep, saying something in Moldavian to his brother.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
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