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No. 4 & 5

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Ewa Lipska  

Translated from the Polish by Ryszard J. Reisner  

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CHRISTMAS TIME

During Christmas itís possible at last
to unplug the phone.
If God comes to be born
the neighbour will pop in. 

Iím watching Casablanca 
with the same as usual
appetite for digression.

Iím partying with loneliness.
Adding hot milk with honey.
My sixth finger
types out the letters.

I wonít write a thing any more.
The next part of the evening
is untouchable.
 

JUICE EXTRACTOR

So many saints
they now obscure the sky.
We will still purchase a plastic Jesus.
Holy water soaked up
by the blotting paper of sin.

They observe us carefully
disbelieving thoughts.

Converted by love.

Carefree juice extractor
squeezes out of us shy confessions.

Yes.
 

IF GOD  EXISTS

If God exists
- I'll be at his place for dinner.
Instead of light: a red hawthorn berry.
An angel will come for me in a car. 
Doves of fat clouds
will flutter on a folding table.
From empty jugs we'll drink
holy water and free will.

Even if God is short on ideas
he can still make them up for ever.
If God is a polyglot
he can translate holy verse 
for an anthology even holier
than the holiest of all first drops
from which a river sprang. 

Then we'll go for a ride on our bikes
with God over the cherry tree. Over paradise landscape. 
Earthly bullrushes in vases.
Birds of prey lie fallow.

Finally God will get off his bike and say
that he in fact 
is God. 
Take out the binoculars. Tell me
to look the world over. Explain
how it came to be. 

For as old as this is his practice 
heís been unfailingly failing the world
casting little paper plane ideas into the wind. 
If God is a believer
he prays to himself for eternal faith. 

Oxen worship the sun.
The folding table totters on its legs. 
I'll get some medicine from God
and recover
just after my death.
 

A SLIP OF ATTENTION

Not one poet.
There is only a slip of attention.

Play on words in busy traffic.
If by accident
a poem.
 

SOMEWHERE ELSE

I would like to live Somewhere Else.
In hand embroidered hamlets.

To meet with those
that donít come onto this world.

We would be finally happily alone.
Not even one stop would be waiting for us.

No arrival. No departure.
Passing in the museum.

No wars on our account.
No humanity. No army. No weapons.

Death when tipsy. That would be fun.
In the library voluminous time.

Love. A mad chapter.
Would turn in a whisper the pages in our hearts.
 

CAFE MUSEUM

Gone now that cafe.
There is show-off gold.
In a rush they made a reproduction.

Gone now the boys: filatelists
savers of stamps postcards and letters.
Collectors of white-black health resorts.

Catalogued by time.

Gone now the Saturday mornings.
Of dogmatic fog.
Short-haired sportsmen
lost in well muscled vowels.

I donít forgive the beauty 
of those passed moments
when we would sink
into red leather armchairs
and would add clouds to coffee.
 

SOMEWHERE THERE

We stood Somewhere There.
On love periphery.

No taxis.
We went by foot.
How many kilometres?
Many years.

We passed searching gawkers.
They made it. But how?
In the distance a dramatic tenor 
Franco Corelli
sang the choral parts
of our happy biorythyms.

At times we ran out of breath.
We have to take a breath.

On the earthly dance party
our steps mark time.

Casting a glance at us
inquisitive
immediate Future.
 

HE HOLY ORDER OF TOURISTS

Landscapes in advance doomed for success.
Devotional coastlines.
Crowd of practising believers.

For those
who swarm
the church of Maria della Salute
to marvel at Titian and Tintoretto
solemn vows : vota sollemnia.

For others
strict observance of heat-baked sin. 
A swooned figure of desert
peopled with a crowd of faithful.

Startled animals are fleeing
the monastic jungle. Boiling point
at vertical dimension
in the holy order of tourists.
 

HELPLESSNESS

Life that he received in the testament
grandmother would say
you call that an inheritence ?

Drags days behind him
that heíd prefer not to know.
Camp childhood.
Toys out of barbed wire.

The suitcase from those days
sent airmail luggage
still pretends itís a bird.

Received a second chance someone quips
he manged to survive

To the very end heíll be in his own
minority.

Who can make sense of this. Even God
who asks you for a light in a park set in darkness
is just helplessness that turns to ashes.
 

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