curated by Adam Fitzgerald

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Carnation’s Misfortunes

The next day the ocean seemed to me even more enrapturing than an operating table. With frowning locks flung over my shoulders, this outmoded mantle from which I never separate, I board this raft without first forgetting to abandon on the shore the two oars, futile to my thirst for carnations, to my hunger to have been tenebrity. Prone on my spine with my stalking dog supine upon my lungs, I stare nostalgically into the sky, enumerating to the thousands the stars, the moon, the wolf’s lair, the vermilion, the Danube, the plague, etc. Over my brow creeps the slashing lip of a saber and two globules of plasma trickle on my cheek recalling the illustrious internal episodes which I am about to intersect like the mysteries of a circus. Monocle fitted to my eyeball, mustache twisting with panache, I stride forth, reckless and viraginous, spellbound and entrancing, slurping with cheeks inflated this magnificent viperous broth which is our internal life. You are a fawn stalked by the swift hunter within me, yes, you! the most enrapturing idol I ever pursued, you who transmutes the macrocosm into the unsurpassed trope of our internal murmur. With temples glued one to the other and both glued to a marble statue, we roam across a palpating byway and our steps disinter cities, rivers, hawks.

I hoist you on my humerus as you would hoist a horseman and with palms lifted above the eyelashes in the mimick of eaves I spy on the sap surging upwards in the distant trees, murder a bird in flight, darken the horizon. Your lashes transmute into a pillow of locks that I plunge my fingers into all the way up to the elbow joints as I might bathe them in a cauldron of plasma and haul out an armorial helmet missing only the skullcap. O! enrapturing idol with the unruffled breath of escargot, with the clamor of bones malefic like a foreshortened fright, I ferry you in my arms like a cauldron for bathing cobras. How tender are the unconcealed symbols and how many tears I would shed over the tiny superstitions misplaced in tiny provincial towns if my eyeball didn’t boast of a retina that could spin an image about nine (or even ninety-nine) revolutions. A limestone retina where they dump empty tuna cans left behind by negligent tourists. Inebriated to vertigo by the spin of this beguiling costume drama, where the entrancing and the odious, tact and impudence, transgression and atonement assemble in your smirk, the retina transmutes into a green mustang with mirroring knees. I myself a mirror, a horseshoe mirror, and your trotting canter appears to be perused across the glowing surface of a mountain lake. Massive rocks engorge us at the precise instant I tether my ascot. O, the tenderness of unconcealed symbols, o! o! O, my idol, o! the unconcealed symbol of this idol, the symbol’s symbol inflaming reality’s realities while the unreal, entrancing as a vampire, beckons me with secret ciphers, from without and within, with a gloved hand or merely with her skeleton.

by Gherasim Luca (1913-1994)
Tr. by Julian Semilian