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[personal profile] exbentley
Dreamwidth.org opens for general use today! (has opened, I should say, I wrote this last night.) if you have an OpenID or are on the mailing list you'll be recieving an invite code, but feel free to ask me if you need one.

my entries over at amber are going to be pretty consistently public, and once the bandwagon feel wears off and i work out who'll be there permanently, i'll re-evaluate my posting and reading habits. but for now, farewell! from _greenie_ through stiletto through bentley, it has been a really fun ride and i've enjoyed reading the entries of and interacting with every single one of you. i hope we won't lose touch. ♥ my final entry is a poem.

national poetry month is over. i've seen a lot of my favourites posted around (ozymandias, crane's "because it is bitter" extract, e.e. cummings) but here is one that has stuck with me enough that i have typed it up directly from my Rattle Bag of poetry since i can't find it on the internet. it's a translated poem, and something about its darkness and simplicity makes it one of my absolute all-time favourites.


before play.

One shuts one eye
Peers into oneself into every corner
Looks at oneself to see there are no spikes no thieves
No cuckoos' eggs

One shuts the other eye too
Crouches then jumps
Jumps high high high
To the top of oneself

Thence one drops by one's own weight
For days one drops deep deep deep
To the bottom of one's abyss.

He who is not smashed to smithereens.
He who remains whole and gets up whole.
He plays.

the nail.

One be the nail another the pincers
The others are workmen

The pincers grip the nail by the head
Grip him with their teeth with their hands
And tug tug tug

To get him out of the floor
Usually they only pull his head off
It's hard to get a nail out of a floor

Then the workmen say
The pincers are no good
They smash their jaws and break their arms
And throw them out the window.

After that someone else be the pincers
Someone else the nail
The others are the workmen.


Someone hides from someone
Hides under his tongue
He looks for him under the earth.

He hides in his forehead
He looks for him in the sky.

He hides in his forgetting
He looks for him in the grass.

Looks for him looks
Where doesn't he look for him
And looking for him loses himself.

the rose thieves.

Someone be a rose tree
Some be the wind's daughters
Some the rose thieves.

The rose thieves creep up on the rose tree
One of them steals a rose
Hides it in his heart

The wind's daughters appear
See the tree stripped of its beauty
And give chase to the rose thieves

Open up their breasts one by one
In some they find a heart
In some, so help me, none.

They go on opening up their breasts
Until they uncover one heart
And in that heart the stolen rose.


Some bite off the others'
Arm or leg or whatever

Take it between their teeth
Run off as quick as they can
Bury it in the earth

The others run in all directions
Sniff search sniff search
Turn up all the earth

If any are lucky enough to find their arm
Or leg or whatever
It's their turn to bite.

The game goes on briskly

As long as there are arms
As long as there are legs
As long as there is anything whatever.

the seed.

Someone sows someone
Sows him in his head
Stamps the earth down well

Waits for the seed to sprout.

The seed hollows out his head
Turns it into a mouse hole
The mice eat the seed.

They drop dead.

The wind comes to live in the empty head
And gives birth to chequered breezes.


Some are nights others stars.

Each night lights up its star
And dances a black dance round it
Until the star burns out.

Then the nights split up
Some become stars
Other remain nights.

Again each night lights up its star
And dances a black dance around it
Until the star burns out.

The last night becomes both star and night.
It lights itself.
Dances the black dance around itself.

Vasco Popa
from the Serbo-Croat (translated by Anne Pennington.)
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May 2011

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