Friday, September 10, 2010

Absentia Animi

From the Swedish of Gunnar Ekelöf

In autumn
In autumn when we say farewell
In autumn when the gates are all open
to meaningless pastures
where unreal fungus rots
and water-filled ruts run on the path
to nothing, and a snail on the path
a torn moth on the path
to nothing, as is a rose past its bloom
the tiniest and ugliest. And a daddy long-legs
stupid fragile-
legged bastard, drunk in the lamplight of the evening
and the lamp itself like languishing light
whistling over the sea, the thinking polar sea
of long waves
silent rustling scum
in a series divided by the series
from nothing through nothing to nothing
Set opposite composite abrasax abraxas match
(like the sound of a sewing machine)
And spiders spin their nets through nights of silence
and crickets rasp
Unreal. Meaningless.
In autumn
the rustle of my poem
words at its service and there is
Dust fallen over them, dust or dew
til the wind swirls up and affixes them (down)
(and) elsewhere
The sharers shall seek the meaning of all things
understood long ago
that meaning rustles with rustling
which in itself is something quite unlike
wet rubber boots traipsing leaves
distracted footsteps through the park’s carpet
of leaves, endearingly adhering
to wet rubber boots, forgetful step
You wander off, forget yourself
Don’t hurry
Hold a while
In autumn
In autumn when all the gates
then it happens in the last late slanting sun
after a day’s rain
with long pauses hesitating
as if caught
a leftover crow sings at the peak of a tree
for nothing, for the sake of his throat. You see
his treetop stands against heaven’s bleached bank
next to a solitary cloud. And the cloud floats
like other clouds but also like leftovers, off season
with its Being flown elsewhere long ago
and of itself (its song) is already something
other than

Eternal peace
Senseless. Unreal.
Meaningless. I
sit singing here
in heaven in a cloud
I wish nothing more
I will myself a far, far way
I am far away (among the echoes of the evening)
I’m here
Sets opposites abrasax
You as well as I

O far far away
swimming in the bright sky
over a treetop a cloud
in blissful ignorance!
O deep inside me
Reflected in the black surface pearly eyes
of happy half awareness
an image of a cloud!
It isn’t what is there
It is that something other
It is within what is
but not it that it is
There is something else
O far far away
in what is distant
there is something close!
O deep inside me
in what is close
there is something distant
something distantly close
in what is this side of the distance
something neither nor
in what is either or
neither cloud nor image
neither image nor image
neither cloud nor cloud
neither neither nor nor
but anything else!
The only thing that is
is something imagined!
The only thing that is
in that which is
is something else!
The only thing that is
in that which is
is what in this
is something else!
(Oh soul’s lullaby
song of something else!)

non sens
non sentiens non
terque quaterque
vel abracadabra

Abraxas abrasax
Sets opposites composites that becometh sets again
Unreal. Meaningless.
And spiders spin their nets through nights of silence
and crickets rasp

In autumn