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Limerick

„God does not play dice” –
I do not take God’s ways in vain,
I only dream with an inert body-infinite
in the gardens
of the sleep(...),
And the waves of my verse
don quixote-like – charismatic
Are ▫ in an absurd way : ghostly
field lines,
curves or chords of segments,
knot-chain loops
or dogmatic
equations –
Holographic
eviscerations,
written in a
lattice-matrix.

poem by from Addéndum, inspired by Albert Einstein (April 2014), translated by Muguraș Maria PetrescuReport problemRelated quotes
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She Does Not Talk

She does not talk
To me any more
And does not look
At me
Just
Strolls about
All day long
With downcast eyes.

Today
I saw her
In the sunshine
Crouching
As only she can
With gentle hands
Touching
A flower stalk
And talking
To the petals.

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Death occurs, it does not exist

Death, as we all know
Marks the termination
Of a life process

It is the climax of a
Natural process
Where a life system takes birth
Grows, matures
And meets end

It only occurs
And has no existence as such

We fear death
As we know we are going to die one day
We fear most
The aftermath of our departure
Than what really is going to happen to us after death

Death takes not even a split of a second
To fructify
But we ponder over that
And its impact
Much much longer

We just need to know
That we cannot escape this ultimate end
And enjoy living as much as we can
In a fair and socially acceptable manner
Without troubling others around

Factually, living itself
Is indeed a preparation for death only
Because you are going to die the way you lived

A matured, well balanced living
Leads to a similar departure
A chasing, hurried living
Leads to a unplanned demise
Leaving behind others to chase and hurry
An ever complaining ways of living
Leads to a death
After which the near and dear ones
Have a lot to complain
A compassionate and considerate living
Leads to a death
Making others be the same with every one
Death is peaceful only
Health conditions may at times
Someone be hospitalised for long
And someone incapacitated
And some others becoming a real burden
All these have nothing to do with dying peacefully
As long the person to die
Remains in peace and comfort
No need to get reminded
That we die each time we breathe out
As we are not sure
Whether or not we are going to
Brathe in immediately after that

Let us live
Strengthening ourselves
With the understanding
That death does not exist
But, it is going to occur
Only once, somewhere, somehow, sometime

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Look Forward To Being Robbed

Great, now I have fever and backache and stiff neck
and a sore ankle and cannot sleep, covered my head
and neck with Vicks, rolled myself into an old sheet
lay down but cannot sleep, listening to the sound of
criminals proceeding outside - or so it seems -

Planning a welcoming speech so they would not feel
unwelcome - what sort of life do I lead when I look
forward to being robbed - realising no such luck I got
up, ready to watch bland TV, cheesy Ballande with
long stick insect legs balancing on stiletto heels

Women falling over trying to seduce with evocative move-
ments which make me wish for insecticide - wearing thin
strips of material, the budget does not allow for ball gowns,
contestants have to look great in remnants & feathers, men
wearing jeans - the chattering presenter's raucous voice

Like incessant machine gun fire, she is so pretty but makes
such a terrible noise - where are the criminals and burglars
and housebreakers and thugs when you need them, how
can I prove that I shall be good to them if they do not try
breaking and entering, what use is all we have learnt

About self-defence if we never get a chance to use these
techniques; why am I reduced to watching Ballando when
Lyall Watson's moon and electro-magnetic sunspots make
life unbearable?

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The Cloud Messenger - Part 04

The slender young woman who is there would be the premier creation by the
Creator in the sphere of women, with fine teeth, lips like a ripe bimba fruit, a
slim waist, eyes like a startled gazelle’s, a deep navel, a gait slow on account
of the weight of her hips, and who is somewhat bowed down by her breasts.

You should know that she whose words are few, my second life, is like a
solitary female cakravaka duck when I, her mate, am far away. While these
weary days are passing, I think the girl whose longing is deep has taken on an
altered appearance, like a lotus blighted by frost.

Surely the face of my beloved, her eyes swollen from violent weeping, the
colour of her lower lip changed by the heat of her sighs, resting upon her
hand, partially hidden by the hanging locks of her hair, bears the miserable
appearance of the moon with its brightness obscured when pursued by you.

She will come at once into your sight, either engaged in pouring oblations, or
drawing from memory my portrait, but grown thin on account of separation,
or asking the sweet-voiced sarika bird in its cage, ‘I hope you remember the
master, O elegant one, for you are his favourite’;

Or having placed a lute on a dirty cloth on her lap, friend, wanting to sing a
song whose words are contrived to contain my name, and somehow plucking
the strings wet with tears, again and again she forgets the melody, even
though she composed it herself;

Or engaged in counting the remaining months set from the day of our
separation until the end by placing flowers on the ground at the threshold, or
enjoying acts of union that are preserved in her mind. These generally are the
diversions of women when separated from their husbands.

During the day, when she has distractions, separation will not torment her so
much. I fear that your friend will have greater suffering at night without
distraction. You who carry my message, positioned above the palace roof-top,
see the good woman at midnight, lying on the ground, sleepless, and cheer her
thoroughly.

Grown thin with anxiety, lying on one side on a bed of separation, resembling
the body of the moon on the eastern horizon when only one sixteenth part
remains, shedding hot tears, passing that night, lengthened by separation,
which spent in desired enjoyments in company with me would have passed in
an instant.

Covering with eyelashes heavy with tears on account of her sorrow, her eyes
which were raised to face the rays of the moon, which were cool with nectar
and which entered by way of the lattice, fall again on account of her previous
love, like a bed of land-lotuses on an overcast day, neither open nor closed.

She whose sighs that trouble her bud-like lower lip will surely be scattering
the locks of her hair hanging at her cheek, dishevelled after a simple bath,
thinking how enjoyment with me might arise even if only in a dream, yearning
for sleep, the opportunity for which is prevented by the affliction of tears;

She who is repeatedly pushing from the curve of her cheek with her hand
whose nails are unkempt, the single braid, plaited by me, stripped of its
garland, on the first day of our separation, which will be loosened by me when
I am free from sorrow at the expiry of the curse, and which is rough to the
touch, stiff, and hard.

That frail woman, supporting her tender body which he has laid repeatedly in
great suffering on a couch, will certainly cause even you to shed tears in the
form of fresh rain. Generally all tender-hearted beaing have a compassionate
disposition.

I know that the mind of your friend is filled with accumulated love for me. On
account of that I imagine her condition thus at our first separation. Even the
thought of my good fortune does not make me feel like talking. All that I have
said, brother, will be before your eyes before long.

I think of the eyes of that deer-eyed one, the sideways movements of which
are concealed by her hair, which are devoid of the glistening of collyrium,
which have forgotten the play of their eyebrows on account of abstinence
from sweet liqour, and whose upper eyelids tremble when you are near: these
eyes take on the semblance of the beauty of a blue lotus that is trembling with
the movement of a fish.

And her lovely thigh will tremble, being without the impressions of my
fingernails, caused to abandon it long-accustomed string of pearls by the
course of fate, used to the caresses of my hand at the end of our enjoyment,
and as pale as the stem of a beautiful plantain palm.

At that time, O cloud, if she is enjoying the sleep she has found, remaining
behind her, your thunder restrained, wait during the night-watch. Let not the
knot of her creeper-like arms in close embrace with me her beloved, somehow
found in a dream, fall from my neck at once.

Having woken her with a breeze cooled by your own water droplets, she will
be refreshed like the fresh clusters of buds of the malati. Your lightning held
within, being firm, begin to address her with words of thunder; she, the proud
on whose eyes are fixed on the window occupied by you:

‘O you who are not a widow, know me to be a cloud who is a dear friend of
your husband. With messages stored in my heart I have arrived at your side,
and with slow and friendly rumblings I urge along the road a multitude of
weary travellers who are eager to loosen the braids of their womenfolk.’

When this has been said, like Sita looking up at Hanuman, having beheld you
with her heart swollen with longing and having honoured you, she will listen
attentively to you further, O friend. For women, news of their beloved that
brought by a friend is little short of union.

O long-lived one, following my instructions and to bring credit to yourself,
address her thus: ‘Your partner who resides at the ashram on Ramagiri, who is
still alive though separated from you, inquires after your news, madam. This
is the very thing that is first asked by beings who may easily fall into
misfortune.

He whose path is blocked by an invidious command and is at a distance, by
means of these intentions, unites his body with yours, the emaciated with the
emaciated, the afflicted with the deeply afflicted, that which is wet with tears
with that which is tearful, that whose longing is ceaseless with that which is
longed for, that whose sighs are hot with that whose sighs are even more
numerous.

He who has become eager to say what is to be said in words in your ear, in the
presence of your female friends, with a desire to touch your face, he who is
beyond the range of your ears, unseen by your eyes, addresses these words
composed on account of his desire, through the agency of my mouth:

I perceive your body in the priyangu vines, your glances in the eyes of the
startled deer, the beauty of your face in the moon, your hair in the peacock’s
feathers and the play of your eyebrows in the delicate ripples on the river, but
alas, your whole likeness is not to be found in a single thing, O passionate
one.

Having painted your likeness, with mineral colours on a rock, appearing angry
because of love, as soon as I wish to paint myself fallen at your feet, my
vision is clouded again and again with copious tears. Cruel fate does not
permit our union, even in this picture.

Watching me with my arms stretched up into the air for an ardent embrace
when you have somhow been found by me in a vision or in a dream, the local
deities repeatedly shed teardrops as big as pearls on the buds of the trees.
Those winds from the snowy mountains which having broken open the sepals
of the buds of the devadaru trees become fragrant with their milky sap and
which blow southwards—they are embraced by me, O virtuous one, with the
thought that your body might previously have been touched by them.

How can the night with its long watches by compressed into a moment? How
may a day become cooler in every season? Thus my mind, whose desires are
difficult to satisfy, is rendered without refuge by the deep and burning pangs
of separation from you, O one of trembling eyes.

Indeed, ever brooding, I maintain myself by means of myself alone.
Therefore, O beautiful one, you also should not fear. Whose happiness is
endless or whose suffering is complete? The condition of life rises and falls
like the felly of a wheel.

The the holder of the bow called Sharnga rises from his serpent bed, the
curse will end for me. Having closed your eyes, endure the remaining four
months. After that, we two will indulge our own various desires, increased by
separation, on nights lit by the full autumn moon.”

And he said further, “In the past you embraced my neck as we lay on our bed,
you called out something in your sleep and woke up. When I asked over and
over, you said to me with an inward smile, ‘I saw you in my dream enjoying
another girl, you cheat!’

Having ascertained from the telling of this account that I am well, do not be
suspicious of me on account of any rumour, O dark-eyed one. They say that
love somehow perishes during separation, but because there is no fulfilment,
the love for that which is desired with increasing desire, becomes a even more
ardent.”’

Having comforted her thus, your friens whose sorrow is great in her first
separation, return at once from the mountain whose peaks were cast up by the
bull of three-eyed one. Then you should prop up my life which flags like
kunda flowers in the morning with her words about her welfare, and an
account of her.

I hope, friend, that you are firmly resolved upon this friendly service for me. I
certainly do not regard your silences as indicating refusal. When requested
you also apportion rain to the cataka cuckoos in silence, for the response of
the virtuous to those who make a request is the performance of that which is
desired.

Having undertaken this favour for me who bears this request that is unworthy
of you, with thoughts of compassion for me, either out of friendship or
because you think that I am alone, proceed to your desired destination, O
cloud, your splendour enhanced by rainy season, and may you never be
separated like this even for a moment from your spouse, the lightning.

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Nazim Hikmet

Gioconda And Si-Ya-U

to the memory of my friend SI-YA-U,
whose head was cut off in Shanghai

A CLAIM

Renowned Leonardo's
world-famous
"La Gioconda"
has disappeared.
And in the space
vacated by the fugitive
a copy has been placed.

The poet inscribing
the present treatise
knows more than a little
about the fate
of the real Gioconda.
She fell in love
with a seductive
graceful youth:
a honey-tongued
almond-eyed Chinese
named SI-YA-U.
Gioconda ran off
after her lover;
Gioconda was burned
in a Chinese city.

I, Nazim Hikmet,
authority
on this matter,
thumbing my nose at friend and foe
five times a day,
undaunted,
claim
I can prove it;
if I can't,
I'll be ruined and banished
forever from the realm of poesy.

1928


Part One
Excerpts from Gioconda's Diary

15 March 1924: Paris, Louvre Museum

At last I am bored with the Louvre Museum.
You can get fed up with boredom very fast.
I am fed up with my boredom.
And from the devastation inside me
I drew this lesson;
to visit
a museum is fine,
to be a museum piece is terrible!
In this palace that imprisons the past
I am placed under such a heavy sentence
that as the paint on my face cracks out of boredom
I'm forced to keep grinning without letting up.
Because
I am the Gioconda from Florence
whose smile is more famous than Florence.
I am bored with the Louvre Museum.
And since you get sick soon enough
of conversing with the past,

I decided
from now on
to keep a diary.
Writing of today may be of some help
in forgetting yesterday...
However, the Louvre is a strange place.
Here you might find
Alexander the Great's
Longines watch complete with chronometer,

but
not a single sheet of clean notebook paper
or a pencil worth a piaster.
Damn your Louvre, your Paris.
I'll write these entries
on the back of my canvas.

And so
when I picked a pen from the pocket
of a nearsighted American
sticking his red nose into my skirts
--his hair stinking of wine--

I started my memoirs.

I'm writing on my back
the sorrow of having a famous smile...


18 March: Night

The Louvre has fallen asleep.
In the dark, the armless Venus
looks like a veteran of the Great War.
The gold helmet of a knight gleams
as the light from the night watchman's lantern
strikes a dark picture.

Here
in the Louvre
my days are all the same
like the six sides of a wood cube.
My head is full of sharp smells
like the shelf of a medicine cabinet.


20 March

I admire those Flemish painters:
is it easy to give the air of a naked goddess
to the plump ladies
of milk and sausage merchants?
But
even if you wear silk panties,
cow + silk panties = cow.

Last night
a window
was left open.
The naked Flemish goddesses caught cold.
All day
today,
turning their bare
mountain-like pink behinds to the public,
they coughed and sneezed...
I caught cold, too.
So as not to look silly smiling with a cold,
I tried to hide my sniffles
from the visitors.


1 April

Today I saw a Chinese:
he was nothing like those Chinese with their topknots.
How long
he gazed at me!
I'm well aware
the favor of Chinese
who work ivory like silk
is not to be taken lightly...


11 April

I caught the name of the Chinese who comes every day:
SI-YA-U.


16 April

Today we spoke
in the language of eyes.
He works as a weaver days
and studies nights.
Now it's a long time since the night
came on like a pack of black-shirted Fascists.
The cry of a man out of work
who jumped into the Seine
rose from the dark water.
And ah! you on whose fist-size head
mountain-like winds descend,
at this very minute you're probably busy
building towers of thick, leather-bound books
to get answers to the questions you asked of the stars.
READ
SI-YA-U
READ...
And when your eyes find in the lines what they desire,
when your eyes tire,
rest your tired head
like a black-and-yellow Japanese chrysanthemum
on the books..
SLEEP
SI-YA-U
SLEEP...


18 April

I've begun to forget
the names of those Renaissance masters.
I want to see
the black bird-and-flower

watercolors
that slant-eyed Chinese painters

drip
from their long thin bamboo brushes.


NEWS FROM THE PARIS WIRELESS

HALLO
HALLO
HALLO

PARIS
PARIS
PARIS...

Voices race through the air
like the fiery greyhounds.
The wireless in the Eiffel Tower calls out:
HALLO
HALLO
HALLO

PARIS
PARIS
PARIS...

"I, TOO, am Oriental -- this voice is for me.
My ears are receivers, too.
I, too, must listen to Eiffel."
News from China
News from China
News from China:
The dragon that came down from the Kaf mountains
has spread his wings
across the golden skies of the Chinese homeland.
But
in this business it's not only the British lord's
gullet shaved
like the thick neck
of a plucked hen
that will be cut
but also
the long
thin
beard of Confucius!


FROM GIOCONDA'S DIARY


21 April

Today my Chinese
looked my straight
in the eye
and asked:
"Those who crush our rice fields
with the caterpillar treads of their tanks
and who swagger through our cities
like emperors of hell,
are they of YOUR race,
the race of him who CREATED you?"
I almost raised my hand
and cried "No!"


27 April

Tonight at the blare of an American trumpet
--the horn of a 12-horsepower Ford--
I awoke from a dream,
and what I glimpsed for an instant
instantly vanished.
What I'd seen was a still blue lake.
In this lake the slant-eyed light of my life
had wrapped his fingers around the neck of a gilded fish.
I tried to reach him,
my boat a Chinese teacup
and my sail
the embroidered silk
of a Japanese
bamboo umbrella...


NEWS FROM THE PARIS WIRELESS


HALLO
HALLO
HALLO

PARIS
PARIS
PARIS

The radio station signs off.
Once more
blue-shirted Parisians
fill Paris with red voices
and red colors...


FROM GIOCONDA'S DIARY


2 May

Today my Chinese failed to show up.


5 May

Still no sign of him...


8 May

My days
are like the waiting room
of a station:
eyes glued
to the tracks...


10 May

Sculptors of Greece,
painters of Seljuk china,
weavers of fiery rugs in Persia,
chanters of hymns to dromedaries in deserts,
dancer whose body undulates like a breeze,
craftsman who cuts thirty-six facets from a one-carat stone,
and YOU
who have five talents on your five fingers,
master MICHELANGELO!
Call out and announce to both friends and foe:
because he made too much noise in Paris,
because he smashed in the window
of the Mandarin ambassador,
Gioconda's lover
has been thrown out
of France...

My lover from China has gone back to China...
And now I'd like to know
who's Romeo and Juliet!
If he isn't Juliet in pants
and I'm not Romeo in skirts...
Ah, if I could cry--
if only I could cry...


12 May

Today
when I caught a glimpse of myself
in the mirror of some mother's daughter
touching up the paint
on her bloody mouth
in front of me,
the tin crown of my fame shattered on my head.
While the desire to cry writhes inside me
I smile demurely;
like a stuffed pig's head
my ugly face grins on...
Leonardo da Vinci,
may your bones
become the brush of a Cubist painter
for grabbing me by the throat -- your hands dripping with paint --
and sticking in my mouth like a gold-plated tooth
this cursed smile...


Part Two
The Flight


FROM THE AUTHOR'S NOTEBOOK


Ah, friends, Gioconda is in a bad way...
Take it from me,
if she didn't have hopes
of getting word from afar,
she'd steal a guard's pistol,
and aiming to give the color of death
to her lips' cursed smile,
she'd empty it into her canvas breast...


FROM GIOCONDA'S DIARY


O that Leonardo da Vinci's brush
had conceived me
under the gilded sun of China!
That the painted mountain behind me
had been a sugar-loaf Chinese mountain,
that the pink-white color of my long face
could fade,
that my eyes were almond-shaped!
And if only my smile
could show what I feel in my heart!
Then in the arms of him who is far away
I could have roamed through China...


FROM THE AUTHOR'S NOTEBOOK


I had a heart-to-heart talk with Gioconda today.
The hours flew by
one after another
like the pages of a spell-binding book.
And the decision we reached
will cut like a knife
Gioconda's life
in two.
Tomorrow night you'll see us carry it out...


FROM THE AUTHOR'S NOTEBOOK


The clock of Notre Dame
strikes midnight.

Midnight
midnight.
Who knows at this very moment
which drunk is killing his wife?
Who know at this very moment
which ghost
is haunting the halls
of a castle?

Who knows at this very moment
which thief
is surmounting
the most unsurmountable wall?

Midnight... Midnight...
Who knows at this very moment...
I know very well that in every novel
this is the darkest hour.

Midnight
strikes fear into the heart of every reader...
But what could I do?
When my monoplane landed
on the roof of the Louvre,
the clock of Notre Dame
struck midnight.
And, strangely enough, I wasn't afraid
as I patted the aluminum rump of my plane
and stepped down on the roof...
Uncoiling the fifty-fathom-long rope wound around my waist,
I lowered it outside Gioconda's window
like a vertical bridge between heaven and hell.
I blew my shrill whistle three times.
And I got an immediate response
to those three shrill whistles.
Gioconda threw open her window.
This poor farmer's daughter
done up as the Virgin Mary
chucked her gilded frame
and, grabbing hold of the rope, pulled herself up...

SI-YA-U, my friend,
you were truly lucky to fall
to a lion-hearted woman like her...


FROM GIOCONDA'S DIARY


This thing called an airplane
is a winged iron horse.
Below us is Paris
with its Eiffel Tower--
a sharp-nosed, pock-marked, moon-like face.
We're climbing,
climbing higher.
Like an arrow of fire
we pierce
the darkness.
The heavens rise overhead,
looming closer;
the sky is like a meadow full of flowers.
We're climbing,
climbing higher.

.................................. .................
................................................. ..
........................................... ........


I must have dozed off --
I opened my eyes.
Dawn's moment of glory.
The sky a calm ocean,
our plane a ship.
I call this smooth sailing, smooth as butter.
Behind us a wake of smoke floats.
Our eyes survey blue vacancies
full of glittering discs...
Below us the earth looks
like a Jaffa orange
turning gold in the sun...
By what magic have I
climbed off the ground
hundreds of minarets high,
and yet to gaze down at the earth
my mouth still waters...


FROM THE AUTHOR'S NOTEBOOK


Now our plane swims
within the hot winds
swarming over Africa.
Seen from above,
Africa looks like a huge violin.
I swear
they're playing Tchaikovsky on a cello
on the angry dark island
of Africa.
And waiving his long hairy arms,
a gorilla is sobbing...


FROM THE AUTHOR'S NOTEBOOK


We're crossing the Indian Ocean.
We're drinking in the air
like a heavy, faint-smelling syrup.
An keeping our eyes on the yellow beacon of Singapore
-- leaving Australia on the right,
Madagascar on the left --
and putting our faith in the fuel in the tank,
we're heading for the China Sea...


From the journal of a deckhand named John aboard a
British vessel in the China Sea


One night
a typhoon blows up out of the blue.
Man,
what a hurricane!
Mounted on the back of yellow devil, the Mother of God
whirls around and around, churning up the air.
And as luck would have it,
I've got the watch on the foretop.
The huge ship under me
looks about this big!
The wind is roaring
blast
after blast,
blast
after blast...
The mast quivers like a strung bow.(*)
*[What business do you have being way up there?
Christ, man, what do you think you are-a stork?
N.H.]

Oops, now we're shooting sky-high --
my head splits the clouds.
Oops, now we're sinking to the bottom --
my fingers comb the ocean floor.
We're learning to the left, we're leaning to the right --
that is, we're leaning larboard and starboard.
My God, we just sank!
Oh no! This time we're sure to go under!
The waves
leap over my head
like Bengal tigers.
Fear
leads me on
like a coffee-colored Javanese whore.
This is no joke -- this is the China Sea... (*)
*[The deckhand has every right to be afraid.
The rage of the China Sea is not to be taken lightly.
N.H.]

Okay, let's keep it short.
PLOP...
What's that?
A rectangular piece of canvas dropped from the air
into the crows nest.
The canvas
was some kind of woman!
It struck me this madame who came from the sky
would never understand
our seamen's talk and ways.
I got right down and kissed her hand,
and making like a poet, I cried:
"O you canvas woman who fell from the sky!
Tell me, which goddess should I compare you to?
Why did you descend here? What is your large purpose?"

She replied:
"I fell
from a 550-horsepower plane.
My name is Gioconda,
I come from Florence.
I must get to Shanghai
as soon as possible."


FROM GIOCONDA'S DIARY


The wind died down,
the sea calmed down.
The ship makes strides toward Shanghai.
The sailors dream,
rocking in their sailcloth hammocks.
A song of the Indian Ocean plays
on their thick fleshy lips:
"The fire of the Indochina sun
warms the blood
like Malacca wine.
They lure sailors to gilded stars,
those Indochina nights,
those Indochina nights.

Slant-eyed yellow Bornese cabin boys
knifed in Sigapore bars
paint the iron-belted barrels blood-red.
Those Indochina nights, those Indochina nights.

A ship plunges on
to Canton,
55,000 tons.
Those Indochina nights...
As the moon swims in the heavens
like the corpse of a blue-eyed sailor
tossed overboard,
Bombay watches, leaning on its elbow...
Bombay moon,
Arabian Sea.
The fire of the Indochina sun
warms the blood
lie Malacca wine.
They lure sailors to gilded stars,
those Indochina nights,
those Indochina nights..."


Part Three
Gioconda's End


THE CITY OF SHANGHAI


Shanghai is a big port,
an excellent port,
It's ships are taller than
horned mandarin mansions.
My, my!
What a strange place, this Shanghai...

In the blue river boats
with straw sails float.
In the straw-sailed boats
naked coolies sort rice,
raving of rice...
My, my!
What a strange place, this Shanghai...

Shanghai is a big port,
The whites' ships are tall,
the yellows' boats are small.
Shanghai is pregnant with a red-headed child.
My, my!


FROM THE AUTHOR'S NOTEBOOK


Last night
when the ship entered the harbor
Gioconda's foot kissed the land.
Shanghai the soup, she the ladle,
she searched high and low for her SI-YA-U.


FROM THE AUTHOR'S NOTEBOOK


"Chinese work! Japanese work!
Only two people make this --
a man and a woman.

Chinese work! Japanese work!
Just look at the art
in this latest work of LI-LI-FU."

Screaming at the tip of his voice,
the Chinese magician
LI.
His shriveled yellow spider of a hand
tossed long thin knives into the air:
one
one more
one
one more
five
one more.
Tracing lightning-like circles in the air,
his knives flew up in a steady stream.
Gioconda looked,
she kept looking,
she'd still be looking
but, like a large-colored Chinese lantern,
the crowd swayed and became confused:
"Stand back! Gang way!
Chiang Kai-shek's executioner
is hunting down a new head.
Stand back! Make way!"

One in front and one close behind,
two Chinese shot around the corner.
The one in front ran toward Gioconda.
The one racing toward her, it was him, it was him -- yes, him!
Her SI-YA-U,
her dove,
SI-YA-U...
A dull hollow stadium sound surrounded them.
And in the cruel English language
stained red with the blood
of yellow Asia
the crown yelled:
"He's catching up,
he's catching up,
he caught-
catch him!"

Just three steps away from Gioconda's arms
Chiang Kai-shek's executioner caught up.
His sword
flashed...
Thud of cut flesh and bone.
Like a yellow sun drenched in blood
SI-YA-U's head
rolled at her feet...
And this on a death day
Gioconda of Florence lost in Shanghai
her smile more famous than Florence.


FROM THE AUTHOR'S NOTEBOOK


A Chinese bamboo frame.
In the frame is a painting.
Under the painting, a name:
"La Gioconda"...
In the frame is a painting:
the eyes of the painting are burning, burning.
In the frame is painting:
the painting in the frame comes alive, alive.
And suddenly
the painting jumped out of the frame
as if from a window;
her feet hit the ground.
And just as I shouted her name
she stood up straight before me:
the giant woman of a colossal struggle.

She walked ahead.
I trailed behind.
From the blazing red Tibetan sun
to the China Sea
we went and came,
we came and went.
I saw
Gioconda
sneak out under the cover of darkness
through the gates of a city in enemy hands;
I saw her
in a skirmish of drawn bayonets
strangle a British officer;
I saw her
at the head of a blue stream swimming with stars
wash the lice from her dirty shirt...

Huffling and puffling, a wood-burning engine
dragged behind it
forty red cars seating forty people each.
The cars passed one by one.
In the last car I saw her
standing watch:
a frayed lambskin hat on her head,
boots on her feet,
a leather jacket on her back...


FROM THE AUTHOR'S NOTEBOOK


Ah, my patient reader!
Now we find ourselves in the French
military court in Shanghai.
The bench:
four generals, fourteen colonels,
and an armed black Congolese regiment.
The accused:
Gioconda.
The attorney for the defense:
an overly razed
--that is, overly artistic--
French painter.
The scene is set.
We're starting.


The defense attorney presents his case:


"Gentlemen,
this masterpiece
that stands in your presence as the accused
is the most accomplished daughter of a great artist.
Gentlemen,
this masterpiece...
Gentlemen...
my mind is on fire...
Gentlemen...
Renaissance...
Gentlemen,
this masterpiece--
twice this masterpiece...
Gentlemen, uniformed gentlemen..."

"C-U-U-U-T!
Enough.
stop sputtering like a jammed machine gun!
Bailiff,
read the verdict."


The bailiff reads the verdict:


"The laws of France
have been violated in China
by the above-named Gioconda, daughter of one Leonardo.
Accordingly,
we sentence the accused
to death
by burning.
And tomorrow night at moonrise,
a Senegalese regiment
will execute said decision
of this military court..."


THE BURNING


Shanghai is a big port.
The whites have tall ships,
the yellows' boats are small.
A thick whistle.
A thin Chinese scream.
A ship steaming into the harbor
capsized a straw-sailed boat...
Moonlight.
Night.
Handcuffed,
Gioconda waits.
Blow, wind, blow...
A voice:
"All right, the lighter.
Burn, Gioconda, burn..."
A silhouette advances,
a flash...
They lit the lighter
and set Gioconda on fire.
The flames painted Gioconda red.
She laughed with a smile that came from her heart.
Gioconda burned laughing...

Art, Shmart, Masterpiece, Shmasterpiece, And So On,
And So Forth,
Immortality, Eternity-
H-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-Y...


"HERE ENDS MY TALE'S CONTENDING,
THE REST IS LIES UNENDING..."
THE END


Nazim Hikmet - 1929

Trans. by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk 1993


FOOTNOTE:
GIOCONDA AND SI-YA-U: Si-Ya-U, Hsiao San (b. 1896), Chinese
revolutionary and man of letters. Hikmet met him in Moscow in 1922
and believed he had been executed in the bloody 1927 crackdown on
Shanghai radicals after returning to China via Paris in 1924, when the
Mona Lisa did in fact disappear from the Louvre. The two friends were
reunited in Vienna in 1951 and traveled to Peking together in 1952.
Translated into Chinese, this poem was later burned-along with Hsiao's
works- in the Cultural Revolution.

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Dreamin On

I dont know but Ive been told
Theres a place where dreams are bought and sold
Id like to steal me a dream with you
Together we can sail the oceans blue
Do you feel like I do?
Dont get me wrong
But I need your love
And I feel like dreaming on
But I wake to find you gone
Hope you like the things I say
I look forward to the day
When I can take you into my life
One day you just might say youll be my wife
And I dont want to push
I dont want to rush you
But I need your love
And I feel like dreaming on
But I wake to find you gone
And I feel like dreaming ...
Throw this caution to the wind
Be my lover, be my friend
If it goes wrong well start anew
What else are we going to do?
And I feel like dreaming on
But I wake to find you gone
And I feel like dreaming on
But I wake to find you gone
And I feel like dreaming on

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yes, what if God does not speak english at all?

you were not born yesterday
and probably heard it before

that if your God does not speak english
then he must not be God

of course, something arrogant
hangs in the air
of this effortless superiority that
'englishers'
'english-plongplangs'
clai m, which, of course, we
always oppose and dub
as prettry dumb silly

but anyhow, yes, we are asked again
what if?
what if, this God, does not really speak English?

well, of course, he is still God
and he must not have considered the english language
that important

and i agree, even if i speak it,
i still have this language
of my soul,

albeit, in english, for you,
who does not speak my own language,

yes, of course, for you to perhaps
understand,

but i like it though, this thought
that God does not speak
the english language, lest, he may sound

so englishly, oh well,
arrogant.....

dear God
do you really...not speak english?

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Age and experience always does not count

You are much
Younger to me in age
Without much
Experience of life
But in any difficulty
I look towards you
I trust you
I respect you
I see
A true friend in you
Whenever
I am in distress
I take your advice
When depressed
I talk to you
You understand me
Motivate me
Console me
If you feel
I am not being
Rational
You scold me
Tell me to be patient
Remind me to
Have faith in god
You are
Very precious to me
Age and experience
Always does not count
I wish
Somebody like you
Should be there
In every life
29-02-2012
263-174-02-12

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The Almighty Does Not Sit In That Classroom of Tricks

When acts of evilness with intent are committed...
Do not revenge it.
It will hurt like pain never felt...
Or believed dealt with before!
Do not revenge it.
Even though it aches not to strike back.
Like some who believe,
They have been ordained to attack!
Forgive those involved!
That is the key!
And observe how God resolves your patience.
In ways you will witness in disbelief!
But hold onto your faith with a courage,
You should not chase or allow to leave.
No deed done goes ignored.
Believe!
What goes up...
Comes down eventually!
Believe!
And what goes around...
Has to come back.
And for millions observing,
The Earth is round and not flat!
Even thoughts that are tossed away...
Aren't lost to stay that way!
Understand what is said and to 'whom' you pray!
Believe!
When acts of evilness with intent are committed...
There is a higher power that knows just how to bestow
What is needed when the time is right!
Remember this...
Forgetting maybe something we are told,
And conditioned to believe we must do...
By those who chose to sell their souls,
To allow a brand of evilness to continue,
What it does to me and you.
As we weaken in droves!
But...
The Almighty does not sit,
In that classroom of tricks!

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Sometimes It Does Not Matter

Sometimes it does not matter
I feel neglected by you
I demand your attention
I doubt your loyalty
I expressed my jealousy

Occasionally, it is not! ... why?

If you do not like me to act so.. not again repeat that your childish attitude


Copyright © 2012 ℠

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She Does Not Remember

She was an evil stepmother.
In her old age she is slowly dying
in an empty hovel.

She shudders
like a clutch of burnt paper.
She does not remember that she was evil.
But she knows
that she feels cold.


Translated from the Polish by Czeslaw Milosz and Leonard Nathan

Anonymous Submission

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Fate Does Not Hear Me Cry For You

Fate does not hear me cry for you
Tears like trumpets so gently lament
Truth is I love you, you I love I do
I'll cry for you till love's tears are spent
On fate to bring me closer to thee
My love, a mystery,
In mystery my love is true…
Fate hears but does not know who I cry too?
In mystery I wait and leave fate up to you....

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The Morning Light/ Does Not Remember The Night

THE MORNING LIGHT

The morning light
Does not remember the night.
It opens the day
It makes us want to live again
It says
The whole world is waiting there for us
If we will only walk out into it.

The morning light does not remember the night
It gives us hope again
God bless the morning light
And life which begins again each day.

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Exit Does Not Exist

Does not exist, take an exit
I hear voices insinuating
Feeds me lyrics to this song that I am saying
Sunlight 7:20 pm, early september
Standing looking at a photograph
That you do not remember being taken
You look out of breath, and me like I am faking
As a matter of fact I dont recall this photo being taken
You dont even actually exist so I just started shaking
Does not exist, take an exit

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If the Moon on the skies Does not Roam

If the moon on the skies does not roam,
But cools, like a seal above,
My dead husband enters the home
To read the letters of love.

He remembers the box, made of oak,
With the lock, very secret and odd,
And spreads through a floor the stroke
Of his feet in the iron bond.

He watches the times of the meetings
And the signatures' blurry set.
Hasn't had he sufficiently grievings
And pains in this word until that?

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There Are Times When The Sun Does Not Shine

who argues
about the rainy days
when the sun
does not shine
like a child hiding
on the skirt
of her mother

who disputes
lean times
and hungry days
when we simply
bite our tongue
swallow our saliva
and say we
just had lunch

when this happens
we can do nothing
we let all these times
come and then wait
when they finally leave

for like the sun that
does not shine today
tomorrow it may come
and shine again so brightly!

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We Are All Going To Die/ And It Does Not Matter How Good

WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE/

We are all going to die
And it does not matter how good you are
Or how strong you are
Or how great you are
Or how kind you are
Or how wise you are
Or whatever you are
We are all going to die
And go away forever-

And I walking here
With the pride of my poem
And the pride of my name
And the anguish of what I have done and not done
Will like everyone else
Go away forever-
Whether I have written this poem or not.

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Life's Sadness Does Not Fade

Life's sadness does not fade-
It grows greater in time-
Older and no wiser
We weep for our earlier days,
And remember all we have lost
And have not been-

So much has happened
And we have achieved so little in it all-
And so much Beauty and Goodness is gone
And so many people we loved.

Life's Sadness does not fade
It grows greater in time-

Older and no wiser,
We play our games with words and thoughts and feelings,
But the Sadness remains and grows.

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Your silence does not surprise me

Your silence
Does not surprise me

Inability to meet me
Is keeping you away
From saying anything to me

I know
You have tried your best
Without any success

Nobody has bothered
Nobody has listened to you

Distance between us
Has not decreased
Agony on both sides
Day by day has increased

Left without any option
Talking or speaking
Would not solve the
Problem

Life now has to be lived
Like a living dead

Gracefully
Accept the poison of
Separation

Remaining silent

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Success It Does Not Matter?

it does not matter
to me
if I do not succeed
fly free

to try and not triumph succeed
is not to purpose fail
hope is joy ever undaunted freed
a maze convoluted tail

simple lessons of faith
do matter
lessons of vital experience
teach faster

God will upon this world not wait
silent forever
angels last souls do gather late
judgement nearer

each human soul chooses its fate
heaven or hell each soul will discover
sentenced not to years a thousand
patrol release earned forbidden forever


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