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POETRY

poems of the month

fish

vagabondage

measuring my face

ostracism

old clothes

modern iranian poems

my hero

face at the bottom of the world

perhaps (maybe)

the diogenes sequence

where to store furs

i am and am not:
      fragments of rumi

destiny and destination

the zen of no-enlightenment

the iraqi monologues

already backwards

a light in ruins

separate amputations

the sexy jihad

awaiting the barbarians

the smell of possibilities

ultimate leaves

rejoice in the dog

post-millennium maggot

the book of nothing

dispatches from the war against the world

albanian poems

french poems in honour of jean genet

the hells going on

the joy of suicide

book disease

foreground trouble

the transcendental hotel

cinema of the blind

lament of the earth mother

uranian poems

haikai by okami

haikai on the edge

black hole of your heart

jung's motel

leda and the swan

confession from belgrade

gloss on rilke's
ninth duino elegy

jewels and shit:
poems by rimbaud

villon's dialogue with his heart

vasko popa:
a shepherd of wolves ?

the rubáiyát of omar khayyám

genrikh sapgir:
an ironic mystic

the love of pierre de ronsard

imagepoem

 

TRANSLATIONS

 

 

BETWEEN POETRY AND PROSE

good riddance to mankind

the maxims of michel de montaigne

400 revolutionary maxims

nice men and
  suicide of an alien

anti-fairy tales

the most terrible event in history

the rich man and the leper

disgusting

art, truth and bafflement

 

SHORT STORIES

godpieces

the three bears

three albanian tales

odorous underwear

a little creation story

 

ESSAYS & MEMOIRS

a curious and peculiar
kind of queer

the ivory palace

helen's tower

extortion through e-bay

schopenhauer for muthafuckas

are doctors autistic ?

single track in the snow

never a pygmy

against money

did franco die ?

'original sin' followed by
crippled consciousness

a gay man's guide to soft-willy sex

the holosensual alternative

tiger wine

the death of poetry

the absinthe drinker

with mrs dalloway in ukraine

love  and  hell

running on emptiness

a holocaust near you

a note on the cathars

happiness

londons of the mind
& dealing death to the caspian

genocide

a muezzin from the tower of darkness

kegan and kagan

being or television

satan in the groin

womb of half-fogged mirrors

tourism and terrorism

the dog from sinope

shoplifting
in britain & america

this sorry scheme of things

the bektashi dervishes

a holy dog
& a dog-headed saint

fools for nothingness

death of a bestseller

vacuum of desire: a homo-erotic correspondence

a note on beards

translation and the oulipo

the visit

 

 

Two Stories

from

THE DRAGON'S HEART

AND OTHER STORIES

by

Viggo Stuckenberg

(1899)

 

 

translated from the Danish

by

Anthony Weir



_____

 


1. AUTUMN EVENING


A tower stands by the edge of a wood, an old weathered tower with moss and creepers growing across the peepholes, with green moss in the cracks and corners, and withered woodbine hanging like stiff, dry hair down over the red stone. High up on the east side is the only window in the crumbling walls.

Up there behind the deep-set window a woman stands gazing out at the coming night. She is small and thin, and her hands resting on the window-sill are as white as moonlight, and her chin as pale and curved as an arum-lily. But her eyes shine black as pitch which drips from a burning torch. She stands gazing out at a plain as open as the sea, while the rooks from the wood fly off over the trees and wheel and tumble down over the crowns and cry deep in the wood. Behind her the tower room is as cold as stone in the half-light, and a cricket chirps shrilly in a crevice.

Out over the plain there is nothing but the brown grass of Winter lying as if the melted snow had flattened it, and in the grass lie pools of water here and there. Near to the tower they reflect the red western sky, while farther off they are as grey as the clouds.

While she looks out over the plain where the sky darkens and is stilled by night mists, she listens for the winding stair to sound under a footfall. She listens for the groping of a hand over the lock of the iron door. She listens for the sound of another living body in the dead tower. And she hears nothing but the cricket and the hollow whine of the wind through the empty rooms beneath.

She bends farther forward, and leans her elbows on the windowsill. They are cold from the cold stone, but she does not notice. She does not see that the red sky has faded in the pools in the grass, nor that the plain which was as open as the sea has drawn itself together. And she does not notice that the rooks are silent.

For she is thinking of him who came one night and tied up his horse at the door, climbed up to her room, slept in her bed - and was gone before daylight. Of him who came to her like a squall, and whose speech was like the wind soughing in a wood, and whose embrace set all her dreams alight and brought the warmth of the sun into her heart. Of him who left her alone with the marks where his horse had pawed the ground at the foot of the tower. Sleepless, dreamless and restless, she stares into the night.

It is Lonely Yearning who sits mute at her window with the endless plain of a wasted life before her, and a withered wood behind her - Lonely Yearning, sick of her memory and as immortally young as the madness of Hope.

The sun has set. Around the tower creeps night's forest of darkness.

 

 


 

 

2. SNOW


It is a long way, a long way away in the land where all the Fairy Tales happen.

Out on a flat, snowcovered, endless barren field squats a tumbledown hut, and in the hut's only room sits a bent old man breathing on the ice on the windowpane. He is staring out over the lonely snow-plain which is empty, cold and trackless, while and sterile all the way to the frost-blue clouds on the horizon. The old man's breath spreads like thin steam over the pane, and freezes. The frost creaks in the woodwork. The cold steals in from outside through cracks and chinks, and long icicles hang down from the eaves like a lattice in front of the window.

The old man does not move. He scarcely blinks his eyes, so fixedly does he stare out at the horizon. Farthest out there where the flat white snowfield draws a straight horizon-line with the darkling sky, it runs down like the edge of a sea that rolls wave after wave, slowly and endlessly along a shore.

It is Mankind's Youth rushing to the Castle where the Princess and half the Kingdom are to be won.

The old man stretches his hands towards the cold window. He presses his forehead against the ice-covered pane, and his mouth quivers as if he is speaking. But no sound escapes his lips. He is as dumb as one whose soul bears a sorrow no-one and nothing can alleviate. His gaze is as fixed and tearless as in one who sees life withered and wasted and can do nothing about it. Only his brain is alive. It struggles desperately and monotonously with ever the same useless, futile thought: to stop that host.

But even if he had a megaphone they would not hear him. His voice would sound like a bird crying above their heads. For out there where they walk, the white snowfield looks like a meadow decked with poppies and cornflowers, and his house looks like a jasmine-covered abode of kisses and embraces and dreams, and the winter sky's leaden clouds like the summer's clearest air. And the dead stillness of the frost on the white field sounds like the song of unseen larks. It is green and fertile and blossoming all around, while far in front stands the castle with the Princess and half the Kingdom like a song upon the lips.

Day in and day out the old man sits and stares. The crowd never stops, and no-one ever rides to the castle. But round about him he sees only barren fields and lonely huts, huts that stand empty and waiting, and huts where old men sit like he does, staring out of frozen panes into a changeless winter, always the same, cold and white - like a memory of what is forever dead...

...out into that winter which is the Dragon slowly swallowing those who never won the Princess.

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry

is an attempt to communicate

what we haven't the words

or the ability

or the insight

or the guts

to express.

 

 

 

 

 


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