Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Ricardo Domeneck

DEATH BY INSTALLMENT

to Francisco Bley

 

The first time I died,
I stammered to my friend:
does one survive
that death by installment?,
and he, my friend long schooled
in death, replied: yes,
one does survive, one crosses the burning
room and emerges in the garden,
singed, muslin stuck to skin,
to skin like muslin,
but still alive, still more here
than in the beyond, when we have
not only learned the alphabet,
but also the psiomeg
in that vocabulary
of loss accruing like debt. 

These, these ought to console:
Persephone’s spring returns
from vacation in the underworld, and fish
return to devastated rivers, and whales
to oceans of plastic, and even the Arctic
sun returns after months and months
of night.
Though it feel like punishment.

The most freakish of allegories have
been used for this stubbornness.
The maddest of joys.
Almodóvar and the coma among the bulls,
Duras and the buds in Hiroshima soil.
Observe the daring. Does one survive?
One survives. 

Ra re-assembles his chariot,
Christ rises, Dom Sebastião
returns. The holothurian, the gecko’s tail,
the arm of the starfish, and on and on... 

And Hiroshima really did rebuild.
In Berlin, craters were filled.
Individual lives, collective lives
rise from the rubble of love,
the rubble of war.

Even if seaquakes brine the land.
Observe and respect the daring.
The stubbornness of the lungs. Of the heart.

DE DOOD OP TERMIJN

 voor Francis Bley


De eerste keer dat ik doodging
vroeg ik mijn vriend stamelend of
je die dood op termijn overleeft
en mijn vriend, al geschoold
in doodgaan, antwoordde: ja,
die overleef je, je loopt brandend
door de slaapkamer en duikt verkoold
op in de tuin, de mousseline plakt
aan je huid, de huid zelf net mousseline,
maar je leeft nog, je bent nog meer hier
dan aan gene zijde, als je het vocabulaire
van dat als schulden toenemende verlies
niet alleen hebt leren lezen
maar ook psychisch verwerken. 

Precies, dat zou als troost moeten dienen,
zoals Persephone’s lente terugkeert
uit de onderwereld, en vissen terugkeren
naar vervuilde rivieren en walvissen naar zeeën
vol plastic, en zelfs de zon naar de Noordpool
na een nacht die maanden duurt.
Zelfs al voelt dit aan als een straf. 

De meest excentrieke beeldspraak
werd reeds gebruikt voor die koppigheid.
Het meest freakerige vermaak.
Almodóvar en zijn coma tussen de stieren,
Duras en de loten in de bodem van Hiroshima.
Wat een lef! Of je overleeft?
Ja, je overleeft.

De Zonnegod stapt weer in zijn wagen.
Christus verrijst, Dom Sebastião keert
weer. De zeekomkommer, de staart van de
hagedis, de arm van de zeester, enz. enz.

En Hiroshima werd daadwerkelijk herbouwd.
De bomkraters in Berlijn werden gedicht.
Afzonderlijke levens, collectieve levens
die opstaan uit de puinhopen
van zowel liefde als oorlog. 

Zelfs als zeebevingen de aarde verzilten.
Wat een lef hebben wij toch, wat een lef.
De stugheid van onze longen. Van ons hart.

A MORTE EM PARCELAS

a Francisco Bley

A primeira vez que eu morri,
gaguejei ao amigo se se sobrevive
a essa morte em parcelas
e o amigo, já escolado
em mortandade, respondeu: sim,
se sobrevive, se atravessa o quarto
em chamas e se emerge no jardim,
chamuscado, a musselina pegada
à
pele, a própria pele qual musselina,
mas vivo, ainda, ainda mais para cá
do que para o além, quando hemos

de estar não só alfabetizados
mas psiomeguizados nesse vocabulário
das perdas crescentes como as dívidas.

Isso, isto deveria servir de consolo,
como volta a primavera de Perséfone
em férias no submundo, e voltam peixes
a rios devastados, e as baleias a mares
de plástico, e até o sol volta ao Ártico
após uma noite que dura meses.
Ainda que se sinta isso como castigo.

As alegorias mais esdrúxulas
já foram usadas para essa teimosia.
As alegrias mais estapafúrdias.
Almodóvar e o coma em meio a touros,
Duras e os brotos no solo de Hiroxima.
Notem a audácia. Se se sobrevive?
Sobrevive-se.

Rá monta de novo sua carruagem,
o Cristo ressuscita, Dom Sebastião
volta. A holotúria, o rabo da lagartixa,
o braço da estrela-do-mar, etc, etc.

E Hiroxima reconstruiu-se deveras.
Taparam-se as crateras em Berlim.
Vidas individuais, vidas coletivas
que se erguem de escombros
tanto do amor quanto da guerra.

Mesmo que maremotos salguem a terra.
Notem, notem a nossa audácia.
A teimosia dos pulmões. Do coração.

Close

DEATH BY INSTALLMENT

to Francisco Bley

 

The first time I died,
I stammered to my friend:
does one survive
that death by installment?,
and he, my friend long schooled
in death, replied: yes,
one does survive, one crosses the burning
room and emerges in the garden,
singed, muslin stuck to skin,
to skin like muslin,
but still alive, still more here
than in the beyond, when we have
not only learned the alphabet,
but also the psiomeg
in that vocabulary
of loss accruing like debt. 

These, these ought to console:
Persephone’s spring returns
from vacation in the underworld, and fish
return to devastated rivers, and whales
to oceans of plastic, and even the Arctic
sun returns after months and months
of night.
Though it feel like punishment.

The most freakish of allegories have
been used for this stubbornness.
The maddest of joys.
Almodóvar and the coma among the bulls,
Duras and the buds in Hiroshima soil.
Observe the daring. Does one survive?
One survives. 

Ra re-assembles his chariot,
Christ rises, Dom Sebastião
returns. The holothurian, the gecko’s tail,
the arm of the starfish, and on and on... 

And Hiroshima really did rebuild.
In Berlin, craters were filled.
Individual lives, collective lives
rise from the rubble of love,
the rubble of war.

Even if seaquakes brine the land.
Observe and respect the daring.
The stubbornness of the lungs. Of the heart.

DEATH BY INSTALLMENT

to Francisco Bley

 

The first time I died,
I stammered to my friend:
does one survive
that death by installment?,
and he, my friend long schooled
in death, replied: yes,
one does survive, one crosses the burning
room and emerges in the garden,
singed, muslin stuck to skin,
to skin like muslin,
but still alive, still more here
than in the beyond, when we have
not only learned the alphabet,
but also the psiomeg
in that vocabulary
of loss accruing like debt. 

These, these ought to console:
Persephone’s spring returns
from vacation in the underworld, and fish
return to devastated rivers, and whales
to oceans of plastic, and even the Arctic
sun returns after months and months
of night.
Though it feel like punishment.

The most freakish of allegories have
been used for this stubbornness.
The maddest of joys.
Almodóvar and the coma among the bulls,
Duras and the buds in Hiroshima soil.
Observe the daring. Does one survive?
One survives. 

Ra re-assembles his chariot,
Christ rises, Dom Sebastião
returns. The holothurian, the gecko’s tail,
the arm of the starfish, and on and on... 

And Hiroshima really did rebuild.
In Berlin, craters were filled.
Individual lives, collective lives
rise from the rubble of love,
the rubble of war.

Even if seaquakes brine the land.
Observe and respect the daring.
The stubbornness of the lungs. Of the heart.

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
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère