Love Is a Fire

Love is a fire
It burns everyone
It disfigures everyone
It is the world’s excuse
for being ugly

L. Cohen

Ovo sam prepisala bila iz knjige poezije L. Cohena pre nedelju-dve. Ne mogu da se setim šta sam nameravala sa tekstom, ili šta sam mislila u tom trenutku. Znam da me je kraj privukao, ostalog se ne sećam. Znam i da sam tada osetila plamen o kome pesnik govori; danas ne osećam ništa.

Tek sam se jutros setila da sam prepisala nedavno neke stihove, i nisam znala koji su, kopkala me je ta mala misterija, a kad sam ih pronašla – iznenadila sam se. Nisam očekivala ovo. Malo sam se zabrinula nad time. Bude te brige sumnju u meni da se svakog dana odvija neka metamorfoza, više puta, i sve više, i sve brže, i češće, i zbog nje sam umorna. I lako zaboravljam. Malo sam se i razočarala. Očekivala sam nešto, ne znam šta – nešto drugo. A tad kad sam ih pročitala bili su savršeni, ovi stihovi, izjava i sud. U knjižari, na nogama, u tesnom prostoru između stolova i polica, sve je bilo drugačije. 
Nisam trebala da ih iznosim napolje.

Two-Three Poems a Book

On Thursdays my baby and I
go to Kumon, her math class, and if
I am in the mood or on the edge –
she is a teenager and I worry about
money – I go to the bookstore three doors down
It is old-fashioned (without comfortable chairs)
and has a narrow shelf with poetry
There I look usually for Frank O’Hara or
Charles Bukowski, open randomly the volume
I’ve pulled out and start reading

Sometimes all I need is one poem
If I’m lucky I’ll spin the pages again
and find another. It is pure bliss to experience
the disengagement from reality the way
it happens to me with only a handful of words
But I rarely walk out with a purchase
It is not sustained therapy that I want

I notice then and dislike that poems are so tightly
packaged, like produce or window dressing
So neat and conventional they look laid out in their
idiosyncratic form I feel sympathy for the poets
whose royalties must have  grown
substantially since the days of their beginnings
and are now collected by relatives or
foundations when they toiled for years for this
If recognition came only in certain styles they
had no choice I suppose but posterity appears not worth it
the longer it goes on malleable and corruptible as it is

Right then the bliss I found earlier dissolves at the junction
of double s into something liquid, still manageable
but the moment is gone and I muse on new design
for books of poetry – two-three poems a book
and many empty pages between for breathing space
notes and messages
or drawings for those good with a pencil
Does anyone need more

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