1 Two poems by Dimitra Kotoula translated from the Greek by Maria Nazos Escape or the Words She has only to wait. They will find her. Streaming over her like delicate fingers that outlasted the wait exhausting the density between pauses until time becomes space again (inner space;) until she can listen to the garden work quietlyagain. Meanwhile they ripple the air and are gone exposing her brutally to the birds singing tormenting the atmosphere with long creeping strokes. Imagine them in eternal walkabout against the symbolic (or the beautiful) beyond that which hesitates (or awaits in anticipation?) studies in incarnation feathered creatures that inexplicably succumb to their transformation. They have their own way to pain her. They have their own way to leave. Each time more stubborn and more intimate they abandon her. I watch. They flood their absence and leave they grant her silence and leave
2 as if something beyond their roots is calling for them something fated more sheltered than the low relief of springtime sea that has always been or rather was (?) (the dew will gather like grapes and she won t be there) (cold rain will light the night) It is important to entrust everything to this flight. To let them mercifully finish their work. "a page full of words is a page drowned in ragweed" Fiery leaves of elms shimmer small bright red screams on my windowpane. We know nothing about the ending. We cannot see through to the end. We cannot see beyond it.
3 Φυγή ή οι Λέξεις Δεν έχει παρά να περιµένει. Θα τη βρουν. Ρέοντας πάνω της σαν ευαίσθητα δάχτυλα που ξεπέρασαν την αναµονή εξαντλώντας την πυκνότητα των διαστηµάτων έως ότου ο χρόνος γίνει πάλι χώρος (χώρος εσωτερικός;) µέχρι να µπορεί ν αφουγκραστεί τον κήπο να εργάζεται ήσυχαπάλι. Εν τω µεταξύ ρυτιδιάζουν τον αέρα και φεύγουν εκθέτοντάς τη βάναυσα στο τραγούδισµα των πουλιών τυραννώντας την ατµόσφαιρα µε τις βαθιές µακρόσυρτες κινήσεις τους. Φαντάσου τεςσ αιώνια περιδιάβαση ενάντια στο συµβολικό (ή το ωραίο) έξω από εκείνο που διστάζει (ή αδηµονεί) µελετώντας την ενσάρκωση φτερωτά πλάσµατα που ανεξήγητα ενδίδουν προς τη µεταµόρφωσή τους. Έχουν τον τρόπο τους να την πονούν. Έχουν τον τρόπο τους να φεύγουν. Κάθε φορά και πιο πεισµατικές και πιο οικείες την εγκαταλείπουν τις παρατηρώ. Πληµµυρίζουν την απουσία τους και φεύγουν τής παραχωρούν τη σιωπή τους και φεύγουν λες και κάτι τις ζητάει έξω απ τη ρίζα τους κάτι πιο αναπόφευκτο πιο ασφαλές από το χαµηλό ανάγλυφο αυτής της ανοιξιάτικης θάλασσας κάτι που απ ανέκαθεν
4 ήταν (;) (η δροσιά θα µαζεύεται σαν το σταφύλι κι εκείνη δεν θα είναι εκεί) (κρύα βροχή θα φωτίζει τη νύχτα) «Φτερό- [σαν οπερατική χορεύτρια που η σκηνοθεσία ξεχνάει να αναγγείλει στη σκηνή] εσύ, που ήξερες την πτήση σου πού µεγαλώνει τώρα ο ίσκιος σου πού οργιάζει τώρα ο ίσκιος σου και ο δικός µου o ουρανός αργά παλιώνει» Έχει σηµασία να εµπιστευτεί τα πάντα σ αυτή τη φυγή. Να τις αφήσει φιλάνθρωπα να ολοκληρώσουν το σκοπότο έργο τους. «µια σελίδα φορτωµένη λέξεις είναι µια σελίδα πνιγµένη στο αγριόχορτο» Πυρωµένα τα φύλλα της φτελιάς ιριδίζουν µικρές κατακόκκινες κραυγές πάνω στο τζάµι. Δεν ξέρουµε τίποτα για το τέλος. Δεν µπορούµε να δούµε µέσα στο τέλος. Δεν µπορούµε να δούµε πέρα απ αυτό.
5 Landscapes I It s an icy day. A lifeless wing of morning light hangs there, mundane stubborn. The smell of frost and the red leaves of the plane tree steaming. Fresh furrows of soggy raw material. My hands held straight out before me devout and servile worn by desire sullied by the mud of self-indulgent nostalgia gather their bearings. Staying faithful to this light I learn myself more clearly I remember myself more clearly beyond prediction or truth. The autumn smoke rises serenely. The forest of my troubled thought rustles above me. A sound fades red in my mouth. Close your eyes Close your eyes well to I you and this. A handful of grief is scattered across the sea. The sea is glorious. We have no glory. Only our hands a couple now white hands amid green worn down by desire sullied by the mud of self-indulgent nostalgia borrowed hands live for a moment almost bright then eclipsed a small violent army of regal frivolity only our hands a couple now -but without wingswrapping and unwrapping promises forcing back the decay
6 while we lie silently in the dark looking at each other while we hold each other silently in the dark and the heart asks for nothing -for we are poor- just breathes the rhythmical breath of its own relentless pounding.
7 Τοπιογραφίες I. Είναι µια παγωµένη µέρα. Μια άψυχη φτερούγα πρωινού φωτός αιωρείται κοινότοπα αντιστέκεται. Μυρωδιά πάχνης και τα κόκκινα φύλλα της πλατανιάς αχνίζοντας. Νεαρά αυλάκια υδαρούς πρώτης ύλης τα χέρια µου κατευθείαν δοσµένα σε µένα διαβρωµένα από επιθυµίες δοκιµασµένα από λασπώδεις τρυφηλές νοσταλγίες εντεταλµένα προσανατολίζονται. Μένοντας πιστός σ αυτό το φως µαθαίνω πιο σωστά τον εαυτό µου θυµάµαι πιο σωστά τον εαυτό µου έξω από κάθε πρόβλεψη και το πραγµατικό. Ήσυχα που καπνίζει το φθινόπωρο. Το δάσος της ερεθισµένης µου σκέψης ταράζεται πάλι. Υπερίπταται. Ο ήχος ένα κόκκινο που σβήνει µέσα στο στόµα µου. Κλείσε τα µάτια Κλείσε καλά τα µάτια στην- Εγώ εσύ κι αυτό. Μια χούφτα θλίψη σκορπίζεται πάνω απ τη θάλασσα. Η θάλασσα έχει ένα θρίαµβο. Εµείς δεν έχουµε κανένα. Ένα ζευγάρι µόνο τα χέρια µας άσπρα µέσα στα πράσινα διαβρωµένα από επιθυµίες δοκιµασµένα από λασπώδεις τρυφηλές νοσταλγίες δανεισµένα χέρια ζουν για µια στιγµή λίγο λαµπρότερα ακυρωµένα ο µικρός βίαιος στρατός µιας επιτακτικής ασηµαντότητας ένα ζευγάρι µόνο τα χέρια µας -χωρίς φτεράχέρια που ξετυλίγουν και τυλίγουν υποσχέσεις αναγκάζοντας τη φθορά σε παραίτηση.
8 ενώ πλαγιάζουµε σιωπηλοί στα σκοτεινά και κοιταζόµαστε ενώ κρατιόµαστε σιωπηλοί σφιχτά και δε ζητάει η καρδιά γιατί είµαστε φτωχοί µόνο ανασαίνει ρυθµικά σε αέναο σφυροκόπηµα.
9 Maria Nazos is the author of A Hymn That Meanders, (2011, Wising Up Press). She received her MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has received fellowships from the University of Nebraska, Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work is published or forthcoming in The Florida Review, The Southern Humanities Review, The New Ohio Review, Poet Lore, The New York Quarterly, The Sycamore Review, Main Street Rag, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere. She is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She can be found at Libation: I love drinking my Prosecco! Love raising my pale glass in a toast to the sunset, while the living room walls gradually fade from tawny to indigo, to black. Dimitra Kotoula is the author of Three Notes for a Melody published by Nefeli Editions, Athens. Her poetry, essays and translations have appeared on line as well as in poetry anthologies and journals in Greece, Europe and the Balkans. Her poems have been translated in English by A.E. Stallings, Fiona Sampson, and David Connolly. Currently, she works as an archaeologist and lives in Athens, Greece with her daughter.
10 Two poems by Arseny Tarkovsky translated from the Greek by Philip Metres and Dmitri Psurtsev Eurydice Each person has only one body, like a cell. The soul is bone-weary of this fated shell. With ears and eyes the size of a dime and skin made of scars stitched on a carcass. It flies through the pupil into the heavenly well, onto the icy needle, onto the bird s hearse. It can hear, through bars of its living jail, the woods and fields rattle the seven seas trumpet. It s a shame for a soul to be without the body s clothes, with no intentions or designs, no actions or lines. Here s a riddle without the answer: who will come again having danced on these planks when there s no one to dance? I m dreaming of another soul in other clothes: it burns, rushing like a spirit fire from shyness to hope. Shadowless, it walks into the distance, unseeable, leaves the table a cluster of lilacs. Run along, child. Don t mourn poor Eurydice. Tap your copper hoop with your stick, across the world as long as I hear one-fourth
11 of its noise, the earth echoes the dry joy of every plodding step. 1961
12 Эвридика У человека тело Одно, как одиночка. Душе осточертела Сплошная оболочка С ушами и глазами Величиной в пятак И кожей шрам на шраме, Надетой на костяк. Летит сквозь роговицу В небесную криницу, На ледяную спицу, На птичью колесницу И слышит сквозь решётку Живой тюрьмы своей Лесов и нив трещотку, Трубу семи морей. Душе грешно без тела, Как телу без сорочки, Ни помысла, ни дела, Ни замысла, ни строчки. Загадка без разгадки: Кто возвратится вспять, Сплясав на той площадке, Где некому плясать? И снится мне другая Душа, в другой одежде: Горит, перебегая От робости к надежде, Огнём, как спирт, без тени Уходит по земле, На память гроздь сирени Оставив на столе. Дитя, беги, не сетуй Над Эвридикой бедной И палочкой по свету Гони свой обруч медный, Пока хоть в четверть слуха В ответ на каждый шаг И весело и сухо Земля шумит в ушах г.
13 Pigeons Seven days of the week seven pigeons devour our leftover crumbs and wing away. Other pigeons fly down, to replace them. We live to count by seven but this final flock s only five. Who would want heaven in exchange for these old backyards? Here, too, our gray ones coo, waddle in circles, mourn, complain, peck at the asphalt grains, and at funerals, sip the rain Голуби Семь голубей семь дней недели Склевали корм и улетели, На смену этим голубям Другие прилетают к нам. Живём, считаем по семерке, В последней стае только пять, И наши старые задворки На небо жалко променять: Тут наши сизари воркуют, По кругу ходят и жалкуют, Асфальт крупитчатый клюют И на поминках дождик пьют г.
14 Arseny Tarkovsky lived from 1907 until 1989, and spent most of his life as a translator of Turkmen, Georgian, Armenian, Arabic, and other Asian poets, publishing his own poems only after Stalin s death (beginning in 1962). Of a younger generation than Akhmatova, Mandelstam, and Tsvetaeva, he both absorbed the Silver Age tradition and hearkened back to the simple and primordial music of Pushkin. He was wounded in World War II, lost a leg to gangrene, and wrote some of the most powerful poems about the Second World War. Later, his son Andrei became an internationally celebrated filmmaker; in a number of his great films, Andrei features his father s poems, demonstrating the aesthetic continuation of the Russian tradition from poetry to film. Philip Metres is the author of a number of books, most recently Sand Opera (2015), A Concordance of Leaves (2013), abu ghraib arias (2011), To See the Earth (2008), Come Together: Imagine Peace (2008), and Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront, Since 1941(University of Iowa Press, 2007). His work has appeared in Best American Poetry, and has garnered two NEAs, the Beatrice Hawley Award, two Arab American Book Awards, the Cleveland Arts Prize, and five Ohio Arts Council Excellence grants. He teaches literature and creative writing at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. Libation: when I lived in Russia, I learned to survive a winter by beginning with tea and end with vodka; the tea spreads its obvious warmth--from the hands and mouth into the stomach--but the vodka works its secret warmth from the inside-out. Dmitri Psurtsev is a poet and translator from Moscow, with two books of his own poetry (Ex Roma Tertia and Tengiz Notebook) and numerous translations from the English. He teaches at Moscow State Linguistic University.
15 Three Poems by George Vulturescu translated from the Romanian by Adam J. Sorkin and Olimpia Iacob The Dog of the Earth I carry no more than the poem can bear: my life wrapped inside it as in cellophane. Enjoy lunch, worms! I put there all that has been better. Witchcraft can be seen after every word, beginners: the reptilian scales fall from it. The dog of the earth within me remains: its trembling, its barking. In truth, it belongs to me: free mole through the clay of my fears.
16 The Time of the Sands I have invented the Stones of the North to meet you. Lord, I ripped them out from my brain cells the way You plucked the stones from the sea An aged man, I enter the village abandoned long ago. I rest upon a stone. People and animals go by, cars and children, soldiers and whores. One of them crouches down. I touch my hand to her rosy skin but feel only reptilian scales. I cannot see the wine of beauty in her eyes and I swear: Rimbaud, who is bearer of the living water? The stone is real the graveyard real the ghost appears to you in your own image you let him pass for a while he will proceed in the opposite direction for a while the wind will howl through his mask until he fills her void with your face as molten gold fills the mold for a coin A blind man goes by and picks up the stone from the mud of the street: Foolish stones, whoever entrusted you with the sand beneath the rind? A god s traces are impregnated in its dust. I go after it, cover it with my foot, warm it. But it is written in books that the traces cannot be hatched like eggs. In good books it is written that the North is baneful, it exhales epidemics out of the clays and the stones. And in evil books it is written that there are stones on which the hemlock grows, snakes bake the venom warming it with their scales. There are people who cannot live without hemlock. They pay well for it, kill for it Lord, save him from his North, a stranger says, overhearing him. The blind man turns to him: And you too are from the North but the time for you to find out this truth has not yet come.
17 Grace Alexia disappears for three months high on the Mountain. No one knows what she does there. Village women whisper in dark places that she makes love with wolves, that she feeds herself on herbs and honey from the hives of the wild bees. Pale and weak Alexia resumes her work in the yard: she spins the wool of sheep, sews and goes to the river to wash the embroidered shirts. Why do you not come to church, Alexia? the girls ask her. I do not want the grace of icons, only my right to grace
18 Căţelul pământului Nu car mai mult decât poate să ducă poemul: viaţa mea înfăşurată în el ca-ntr-un celofan. Prânz bun, viermilor! Am pus tot ce era mai bun acolo. Vrăjitoria se vede, începătorilor, după fiecare cuvânt: cad solzii de reptilă de pe el. Rămâne căţelul pământului din mine: Tremurul lui, lătratul lui. El îmi aparţine cu adevărat: cârtiţă liberă prin lutul spaimelor mele.
19 Vremea nisipurilor Ca să te pot întâlni am inventat Pietrele Nordului. Doamne, le-am smuls din celulele creierului precum ai sumeţit Tu stâncile din mare Bătrân, intru în satul părăsit de mult. Mă opresc pe o piatră. Trec oameni şi animale, maşini şi copii, soldaţi şi curve. Una mi se aşează pe genunchi. Pun mâna pe pielea ei rozalie dar îi simt solzii de reptilă. Nu-i văd în ochi vinul frumuseţii şi înjur: Rimbaud, cine este aducătorul apei vii? Piatra este reală cimitirul real strigoiul vine spre tine cu chipul tău îl laşi să treacă o vreme va merge în direcţie opusă o vreme prin masca lui va hăui vântul până va umple golul ei cu chipul tău precum lichidul aurului va umple formele monezii Trece un orb şi o ridică din noroiul străzii: Cine v-a încredinţat vouă, pietre smintite, nisipul de sub coajă? O urmă de zeu e impregnată în pulberea lui. Mă iau după ea, o acopăr cu talpa mea, o încălzesc. Dar urmele nu pot fi clocite ca ouăle, e scris în cărţi. În cărţile bune, e scris că Nordul e maladiv, exhală molime din luturi şi pietre. Şi-n cărţile rele stă scris că sunt pietre pe care creşte cucuta, şerpii îi coc veninul încălzind-o cu solzii lor. Sunt oamenii care nu pot trăi fără cucută. Plătesc bine, ucid pentru ea Mântuieşte-l, Doamne, de Nordul lui zice un străin auzindu-l. Orbul se-ntoarce spre el: Şi tu eşti din Nord, dar încă n-a sosit vremea să afli
20 Graţia Alexia dispare câte trei luni sus pe Munte. Nimeni nu ştie ce face acolo. Femeile din sat spun pe la colţuri că face dragoste cu lupii, că se hrăneşte cu ierburi şi miere de stupi sălbatici. Palidă şi slăbită Alexia îşi reia munca în ogradă: deapănă lâna oilor, coase şi se duce la rîu să spele iile. Tu de ce nu vii la biserică, Alexia, o întreabă fetele. Eu nu vreau graţia icoanelor, ci dreptul meu la graţie... George Vulturescu, who was born in the province of Satu Mare, in northern Romania, is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, among them The North and Beyond the North (2001), Monograms on the Stones of the North (2005), Other Poems from the North (2007); The Blind Man from the North (2009); and Gold and Ivy (2011). Among his many prizes is the Romanian Cultural Order of Merit for Literature granting him the title of Cavaler ( Knight ). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Parthenon West Review, Connotation Press, Asymptote, UCity Review, Inventory, Bitter Oleander, Rowboat, Lana Turner, Poetry Ireland, Poetry Wales, Tupelo Quarterly, Ezra, and Notre Dame Review; Gold and Ivy/Aur și iederă, translated with Olimpia Iacob, was published in Cluj, Romania, by Eikon. Adam J. Sorkin is a translator of contemporary Romanian literature. In 2011, he published Liliana Ursu s A Path to the Sea, Ioan Flora s Medea and Her War Machines, Ion Mureșan s The Book of Winter and Other Poems, and The Vanishing Point That Whistles: An Anthology of Contemporary Romanian Poetry, all with co- translators. In 2012, two chapbooks appeared, Dan Sociu s Mouths Dry with Hatred and Ioan Flora s The Flying Head. In 2014, Sorkin published Rodica Draghincescu s A Sharp Double- Edged Luxury Object (Červená Barva), Marta Petreu s The Book of Anger (Diálogos Books) and Mihail Gălățanu s The Starry Womb (Diálogos Books), all with co- translators. Libation: The Romanian plum brandy, ţuică ( tsuica ), is my libation of choice, and I m pretty sure that the poet would agree.
21 Olimpia Iacob is Associate Professor in Modern Languages at Vasile Goldiș West University of Arad, Romania. She graduated from the Al. I. Cuza University (Iași), from which she earned a Ph.D. in 2000 with a dissertation entitled Translation Theory Applied to the Poetry of Nichita Stănescu. Her book- length translations include prose and poetry by Cassian Maria Spiridon, Gabriel Stănescu, Gheorghe Grigurcu, Petre Got, Mircea Petean, and Magdalena Dorina Suciu, as well as George Vulturescu.