No. 8-9


Ilya Bernstein   

Strange Eventful History

I stood on the bank of the river
With my arms stretching upstream and downstream
And inhaled the spirit of the current...
A child is born and contradictions that might arise
Are thrown far, far away
Warded off by all that weaving of muscle and bone
That took place in the womb.

The child opens his eyes and smiles and speaks
And day by day the mild repetitions run.
The sun circles the earth, the earth the sun.
His blood is harmonious and thick
And carries with it something like a wind
That blows and blows and indefinitely postpones
Whatever contradictions might arise.

He grows into a man and now the history
Of his individual flesh is long and complex.
The weaving that began in the womb
Continues now problematically apace
And now there is less transparency to his days
But still his metabolism delays
Whatever contradictions might arise.

But age comes to him and his flesh
At last is involved in so many lines
That inevitably conflicts must arise.
His blood delays a while yet and pushes them off as it can
But tomorrow becomes today
And so the impasse must be faced
And contradiction in the flesh breaks the old man.




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