THE WRONG QUESTION
(Jan Asgard, 2016. Pubblicato in 25 copie numerate e firmate, fuori commercio.
We were old in this town
We sat near the Temple writing words of war
No one persuaded Dionysius to ruin Atreus’ House
… yonder … there …
hot winds in a desert land
dusk on hollow faces
One day we fought against Tyche and won
The ambassador came
Messiah revealed himself
Near the lost harbor
sacred sailors were looking at stars
A silent god gave no answer
Against the arrival of the gods I pray
Against the coming of the light I pray
Against Zarathustra’s descent I pray
Let’s move towards our Fate
Let’s face the heavy frost of winter nights
May our name be invoked three times
It was that night I had to join a strange wilderness
a flame shot up with a circle of light
« Come along, follow me … »
[ with reverence and affection, no abiding memories,
no great spirit of the past ]
I have a pale complexion and feel meditative …
I have an ascetic aspect
I am fit for nothing but stillness
DANTE’s brilliance …
Then «mi volsi al segno di maggior disio»
and a change came over Stigian water:
I was lost there, but I could feel that brilliance
I had sailed from a place in nowhereME
a dream of empire, a seed of humanity.
Now it seemed at all surprising, something
to accept in silence
ME, I was a running hero on that plain:
imagine ME there, a sky the colour of pain,
No Virgil there, no going ashore.
Face the darkness
Keep your eye on a chance
(once I was a young man in a toga, someone
told I was the long-expected child)
Incomprehensible, no initiation rite,
just a Valentino’s blazer and a roaring red AR car …
I longed to escape along the sleepless river,
it was only after a long silence
that the ebb began to run … not very clear …
I try to remember, the river
seemed to break in hemispheres.
I gave my name to the guardian and opened the first door
( I realised I was in a city, some water-surrounded kingdom,
with strange men handing contracts …
« I’ve been walking with you since you left.
Do you remember my name? »
The light was … oh, the great man himself! or …
[« Souvent, pour s’amuser …» ]
… are you a poor sort of apostle ?
All had its reason, no contact with reality.
I excused me for being there, I supposed
I was some young-man-of-war
with wild soldiers at Canne
… defeat? …
nowhere did I stop long enough to … what?
Then it was a godsend! No harm this time. Where’s the voice?
Suddenly the waves rushed at us
(are you still walking beside me?) and there was no universe,
everything was enveloped in vapours.
Can we make an attempt?
Or are we going to learn wisdom, finally?
We are making our way through a deluge of words,
searching for a promise of truth.
Now I am blind, a cold wind ripples,
I feel the smell of vegetation, like in a strange dream.
No sound. Is there any life?
Three times I invoke your name
looking at a strange sea in my head …
I hear no answer, just a sigh
from somewhere, inside.
Next day He called us, no more coming out.
We made our way through sheltered places
and oh it was a crawling on (good or evil?)
then I remembered the old village church
and it was clear: we have to try. Remember …
I was lying crosswise, all my youth burnt off
a kind of easy left-handed bleeding. What next?
Going to Cuma? Look for the golden bough?
Let me see Carthage and then I’ll proceed
on my voyage, free-minded and strong,
my hands full of salt, shaking fist at the sea.
Can you understand this?
An inborn, everlasting fear of living
something subtle, fascinating
like a strange devil
but solid like an instinct.
It was that night my eyes saw
the first coming of the gods:
it was like a never-ending dance
(Oh I read about this
in Dante’s Paradiso: or is it a projection of my will?)
Is there anything … ? Real ?
A great silence above. Let’s turn
to our work. The dance is over.
Maybe I asked the wrong question.
A renewed interest in Religion,
poisoned by a sense of loss
at the vanishing of this night.
I heard this …
… it was like a spontaneous-masked-rhyming
words were single pieces of evidence, the only way
to get out was to perceive unity of mankind,
refuse the false life a strange god promised us.
Long time ago we built a sacramental image of man
a lithurgical proclamation of flesh and brain
There are elements of corruption all around,
identity is in danger, a small-almost-muttering bleeding.
We need a sort of primitive rite
awareness of dual nature of man
there’s no God outside us.
Heraclitus rose and vanished.
He took away a small book,
some of us noticed he was smiling
we couldn’t understand it was a new beginning
so every of us went home drinking
and laughing. No philosophy, the war was over,
it was a time of joy and celebration.
End of first act.
No one dared to speak. All seemed over.
“We perne in a gyre”,
Heraclitus said, “towards a hidden God
our ancestors concealed in an endless Saga
but … think! Everything lies
in man’s veins …”
no more water, just blood dripping
The witch-doctor scrubbed my skin
a pain-ruled one, leechy … I rised up
in search of those high-screaming nights
in the claw of an open-minded universe.
are dropping right into my head
Here in the usual morning well known freaks
are standing still, their lips stirred… Dig …
Our clay-skinned youth is crawling
in the backdoors of life. No noise upstairs.
I am a potsmoker. I’m telling lies.
Phallic symbols lead to a vagueness of truth,
screwing the evening sky.
My bag is there, beneath the porch.
I’m not able to go.
The bums wake up at six a.m.
They wander in grey clothes
borrowing life from the very voice
of us all, they cannot hear
the far cries along those narrow roads.
Cast our shadow upon their guns!
Let’s whisper to their ears
the word to enter the final door!
Think of us as the last poets
of our time. A private music continues to cruise
through those false-life-full buildings.
Look out upon the coming voice …
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No, this can’t be the new vision of reality!
The midnight street has the melancholy
of the misterious permanence
of the world
© 2016. Riproduzione vietata