Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vasko Popa

Give Me Back My Rags

Just pop into my head
My thoughts the better to claw your cheek
Just step in front of me
My eyes the better to snap at you
Just open your big mouth
My silence the better to crack your jaws
just remind me of what you are
My memory the better to dig a hole beneath your feet
That’s how things stand between us

Give me back my rags
My raglets of pure dream
Of silken smiles
Striped premonition
And my lace-like sinews
My raglets of polka-dot hope
Of filigreed lust
Calico glances
And the skin off my face
Give me back my rags
I’m asking you nicely

Listen you freak
Off with your white kerchief
Don’t we know each other
Together from childhood
Lapping at the same bowl
Snoozing in the same bed
With you evil-eyed knife
Walking this strange world
With you snake in the shirt
Listen double-crosser
Off with your white kerchief
Why lie to each other

I won’t carry you piggyback
I won’t take you where you tell me
Even if I were shod in gold
Even if I were harnessed to three wheels
On the cart of the wind
Even if I were bridled to a rainbow
Don’t try to grease my palm
I won’t even with my feet in my pocket
Threaded through a needle tied into a knot
Or whittled into a simple stick
Don’t try to scare me
I won’t even roasted or overroasted
Raw or salted
Not even in a dream
Don’t go on kidding yourself
It doesn’t work I won’t

Get out of my walled-in infinity
The dancing ring of stars around my heart
Out of my morsel of sunlight
The rollicking sea of my blood
My flow my ebb
Out of my marooned silence
Get out I said get out
Out of my living pit
The bare father-tree within me
Get out how long do I have to shout
Out of my head bursting into pieces
Out out just get out

You get kewpie doll notions
I bathe them in my blood
Dress them in the rags of my skin
Make swings out of my hair for them
Toy carts from my vertebrae
Gliders from my eyebrows
I make them butterflies from my smiles
Wild beasts from my teeth
To hunt to kill time
What kind of game is this anyway

Damn your root blood and crown
And everything else in your life
Every dried up image in your brain
Every shifty eye burning on your fingertips
And every step you take
May you sink into three kettles of grumpy water
Into three stoves of omen-fire
Into three pits without name or milk
An icy breath against your throat
The pebble beneath your left tit
And the bird-razor in that pebble
Swoop the blackest of blackbirds to the lair of nothing
To the hungry scissors of beginnings
To the womb of heaven I know so well
Damn your seed sap and glitter
Darkness and dot at my life’s end
And everything else in the world too

What happened to my raglets
You won’t give them back you won’t
I’ll scorch your eyebrows
You won’t be invisible forever
I’ll mix day and night in your skull
You’ll come beating your head on my back door yet
I’ll pare your screeching fingernails
You won’t chalk hopscotch through my brain anymore
I’ll hound the fog out of your bones
Slurp the hemlock off your tongue
You’ll see what I’ll do

So you want us to love each other
You can make me out of ashes
The trash of my belly laughs
Out of what’s left of my boredom
You can doll-face
You can grab me by the hair of my short memory
Hug my night in its empty shirt
Kiss and kiss my echo
And you don’t even know how to love

Run freak
Our footprints bite one another
In the dust behind us
We’re not meant for each other
I see through your iciness
Pace your extremities
This is not much of a game
Why did we ever mix our rags
Hand them over what do you want with them
They are just fading on your shoulders
Hand them over scram into your nowhere
Run freak from a freak
Don’t you have eyes
There’s a freak here too

May your tongue blacken
Your noon your hope
Everything black only my chill white
My wolf at your throat
May the storm be your bed
My fear your pillow
Wide the meadow of your sleeplessness
May your every morsel be fiery
Your teeth of wax
Come on glutton chew all you want
Dumb your wind your water your flowers
Everything tongue-tied
Only my grinding teeth still loud
My hawk at your throat
One less horror for your mother

I wiped your face off my face
Tore your shadow off my shadow
Levelled the hills within you
Crumpled your plains into hills
Made your seasons quarrel
Kicked the earth’s corners from you
Tied the path of my life around you
My overgrown my impossible path
Now just try to meet me

Enough of your sweet-talking immortelles
Of your candied trifles
I don’t want to hear to know
Enough enough of everything
I’ll say my final enough
Stuff my mouth with earth
Grind my teeth
I’ll shut up skull-lapper
Shut up once and for all
I’ll stand just as I am
Without root branch or crown
I’ll lean on myself
On my own bumps
I’ll be the stake driven into you
Into you party-pooper
Into you muddle-head
That’s all I can do
May you never come back

Don’t fool with me freak
You hid a knife under your scarf
Stepped over the line tripped me up
You spoiled the game
You wanted my heavens to turn over
The sun to break my head
My rags to be scattered
Never fool with another freak
just give back my rags
And I’ll give back yours

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