Sunday, July 3, 2011

Anfisa Osinnik

Anfisa Osinnik
(Russia, *1957)
Five poems in translation by Johannes Beilharz

Amok II
Bio note

Renoir liked to enlarge women's eyes,
giving roundness to cheeks and lips.
Renoir liked to play with women's hair.
Excellent painter and magnificent hatter,
every hat in his pictures shouts:
I'm the spirit of nature!
When he mixed crimson, cobalt and cinnabar on his pallet,
the oil in the paint turned solar,
the sun took unceremonious walks on his canvases
without noticing the frame.
The day he died
was gray, gray, gray,
or maybe it wasn't,
or maybe he died at night.
But I think that his spirit,
looking at his own portrait
in the frame of the coffin, thought:
Here's my worst picture.
Then the spirit fled,
surely towards the sun,
surely to step on women's hats,
surely to portray angels
with enlarged eyes,
with round cheeks
and fleshy lips.
Of course the angels
wear hats now;
the angels like
natural beauty turned spiritual.

Amok II

A Malay with a face of withered leaves
appeared in my dream.
Piercing my heart with a spear,
he said:
"This is amok."
Midnight is impenetrable.
I am midnight.
The stars
are my wounds,
the moon is my throat ...
Give me, Malay,
the medicine
to heal my wounds
and silence the moon's
painful lament.
No medicine,
said the Malay,
will cure amok.
How do you heal wounds
when they are stars?
How can you silence the voice
when the moon is your throat?
I know all that, old fellow,
don't tell me ...
The solo of the moon in my throat,
in the dark star anise,
the bird
composes a chant
for me:

My hemispherical world,
between complexes of filth
and queen.
And your right-handed world,
and your global
oedipal mind ...


With Eve's putrefaction,
with Eve's depravity
Eve's apple becomes
the sapphire-colored
hermaphrodite flower,
the impossible
flower ...

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