Four-timely Poems

"just as a spider may wander in a deserted cellar where nobody has come for a long while, in the dark mouth of a great, empty jar, aimlessly (according to you aimlessly, but according to him...)" Ritsos


If where nobody has come for a long while
in a deserted cellar (in the dark mouth
of a great empty jar) I wander aimlessly,
what could be the absent aim of my presence
(which the day tires and the night feeds) except
to look at the shadowed face of
life (often weighing heavily on me)?

This web that I spin, i do not know how many.
If the God who gave each his space
had not forgotten mine, would I
write with my saliva-tongue the emptiness emptily?

If where nobody has come for a long while
in a deserted cellar I wander
emptily, so can I myself fill
and myself empty the great jar of meaning if need be:
In the night, in loneliness, in the shoreless bottomless sea,
with this heart-beat that flows into my boundless body,
without counting time and dice, I can light lanterns
how many.

Translated by Oruc Aruoba


The old man apparently wanted to renew one single cell,
he has no desire, no obsession for the child-like woman.
The young man puts up with the night: If only it would end!
The woman is a rough sea wrongly risen between
the two of them: She doesn't want what is given to her,
she did not have the strength to pick what she reached for.
Her tongue and her hands are wandering awkwardly,
her dispersed voice, rising off and on, searches for impossible octaves,

the next table is apprehensive of a storm soon to break,
they look at the waiter, and then
at the proprietor waiting behind: The patient warden.
Whereas, the throbbing rowdy vein in each of them
passes from one hour to the next defeated,
the make-up runs into a massive static silence,
from all the faces slide clowns into emptY armchairs
each one of them watching everything blankly.
Sponge, the night -- in this broken triangle
constructed by an inverse movement of the hand
a much belated "if only!" meets: With its naive plot
adapted from Marguerite Duras.

Translated by Yurdanur Salman