Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Marius Burokas (b.1977)

Three Poems

Marius Burokas

powerlessness, vanity—
i repeated

                         —the city was oppressed
                            by a stone of heat

i cut down
those words
pulled out
syntax’s cartilage
ripped out the bones
of phonemes

reality wavers
language breaks
into the throat
with ache and lightning

                       —the city was oppressed
                          by stones of heat

only its labyrinths
and butcher shops,
only its graves, morgues,
and churches

are cool

language unplugged

like a drop of wax
on a stone wall


The capacious lungs of wind
blow through bones and meat. Letters
are no longer mine. I won’t be
scooping a handful like tadpoles.
At least my fingers won’t hurt
in the water of words. But the pool
holds no image of me. No voice.
Nothing chirrs in the heat,
nor wiggles by the roots. I don’t
believe in you. No. Only the wind
wheezes. It scratches the sky
with its horns, before tipping
down, breaking firs,
ripping off roofs. It blows
through bones and meat
with the last scent
of my soul.


God is
dark water
that scoops me up
with my mouth full
of crustaceans
myself a shell
a cuirass
filled with God’s water
that washes
and subsides

it leaves me chapped
of what I cannot catch
a shell
or empty armor
God is dark water
carrying me

God is the dark water
of my city’s stream
translated from the Lithuanian by Rimas Uzgiris

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