Ion Mureļan


The Poem that Cannot Be Understood


I work on the poem that cannot be understood.

Itís a black and shiny stone

out of which the wiry hair of thirty-three wild beasts suddenly starts to sprout.

Itís the green marsh that takes over the town squareó

among its reeds a lonely fox barks gently, soothingly.

Itís the wooden bride (oh, the wonderful wooden bride!)óthe bluish dress, the
herb-strewn mouth,

the whimpers coating the window like white moss.

Itís the canyon in the sky and the cloud of blood snarling in the skyís canyon.

Itís the flock of crows circling cheerfully around and around my forehead,

the black frost of my forehead: the tongue is ice cold and almost brittle in the mouth,
like a medal bestowed upon the prophets by God.

Itís the wine that thickens into sand in your mouth.


Oh, times when our home bloomed on the shores of a slippery language!

On words emerging from talking caves,

when the words emerging from the talking caves

crawled up the walls like snails...

Then, the calm, dusty archives of the madhouses

where I studied the signs designed by lunatics,

where I compiled their great history,


which, being written in those same parched signs,

I myself could never read.

That is why I put it into the poem that cannot be understood.

I see the round head, like a gold balloon, moving away over the high shelves.


I hear the waves of the sea pounding against the walls of a tall and yellow warehouse,

and nearly old, nearly hunch-backed,

with my halo folded under my arm,

I get on line, behind hundreds and hundreds of people,

in order to see, at least towards the end of my days,

the poem that heals,

the poem that cannot be understood.



                                                                        translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Liviu Bleoca



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