Nature Morte (J. Brodsky)

Discussion in 'Music, Movies and Entertainment' started by qxr1011, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. qxr1011


    Verra la morte e avra i tuoi occhi.
    C. Pavese

    "Death will come, and she will have your eyes"
    C. Pavese


    Things and people arise
    Amongst us. And both are stark,
    and both are hard on the eyes.
    It’s best to live in the dark.

    From a park bench, I spy
    a family walking in-stride,
    that quickly passes me by.
    I am repulsed by light.

    It’s January. Calendars mark
    winter time. It is bleak.
    Once I’m fed up with the dark,
    I will begin to speak.


    It’s time. I’m poised to begin.
    It matters not where. Lips part.
    I could as well keep it in.
    Perhaps it’s better I start.

    Of what? Of Nights. Of days.
    Or – nothing of any kind.
    Or, maybe, of things. To raise
    things and to leave behind

    people. None of whom will remain.
    And I will die with them all.
    This labor would be in vain.
    A writing upon wind’s wall.


    The blood in my veins is cold.
    Its chill is more feral than
    a river iced to its core.
    I’m not very fond of man.

    I don’t like their look. I shun
    all people. Faces appear
    to graft onto life an un-
    ending, horrid veneer.

    Something I find in them all
    encloses my mind in gloom.
    Something that tries to cajole
    God only knows whom.


    Things are nicer. They’re not
    made out of evil or good
    outwardly. And if you prod
    into them – at their root.

    Inside of all things – is dust.
    Wood-borer beetles and
    brittle mosquito grubs.
    Uncomfortable to the hand.

    Dust. Flick on the light,
    and only dust is revealed.
    Even if, to our sight,
    things are hermetically sealed.


    The old cabinet, too,
    inside and outside, for me,
    looks identical to
    Notre Dame de Paris.

    Darkness upon its shelves.
    Dust mop and bishop’s stole
    can’t wipe the dust. Itself,
    the thing, doesn’t care at all,

    it doesn’t try to refresh
    or wipe clean a dusty spot.
    For dust is surely time’s flesh;
    time’s very flesh and blood.


    Lately I simply collapse
    to sleep in the light of day.
    It is my death, perhaps,
    trying to lead astray,

    although I am breathing air,
    bringing the mirror beside
    my mouth, - how will I ever bear
    not-being out in the light.

    I am unmoving. My two
    hips are ice-cold and thin.
    Veins of a clear blue,
    shine on my marble skin.


    Surprising us with its form
    and angles, the thing resorts
    to quickly fall out from
    the world order of all words.

    A thing can’t stand or be on
    the move. It’s absurd to think.
    The thing is the space, beyond
    which, there is no thing.

    A thing can be dropped, burned,
    pulled apart, or struck.
    Thrown. But the thing, in turn,
    won’t yell loudly: “Fuck!”


    A tree. A shadow. The earth
    for the roots underneath.
    Monograms that curve.
    Piles of rocks. Clay. Leaves.

    Roots. Interweave and blend.
    A stone, whose weight at once
    frees from the prevalent
    system of knots and bonds.

    Unmovable. It cannot
    be lifted or moved once set.
    Shadow. A man in its spot,
    just like a fish in a net.


    The thing. And its brown
    color. Its outlines blurred.
    Twilight. Nothing around.
    Nothing else. Nature mortes.

    Death will come, discover
    the body, whose calm will reflect
    death’s visit like a lover’s,
    with the same effect.

    Skull, skeleton, sickle in hand –
    this absurdity, all lies:
    “Death will come and
    she will have your eyes”


    Mother to Christ, at a loss:
    - Are you my God or son?
    You’re nailed onto the cross.
    Tell me how to go on?

    How can I go, having not
    understood, grasped, derived:
    are you my son or God?
    That is, dead or alive?

    He, in turn, explained:
    - Dead or alive, this time,
    woman, it’s all the same.
    Son or God, I’m thine.