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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ken McCullough: Corvi


KEN MCCULLOUGH:

Sketch of a blackbird by Borisse


C O R V I


A spell of warm days,
unseasonable, no skin
of ice on the horses’ tank
Two gangs of crows
veer through the treetops
eyes black, eyes intent
on infiltrating
the penumbra of darkness
inside the barn
they fear
but never enter
They shine like dark stars
until I raise my left hand
and the youngest of them falls
almost to the ground
Outside the fence
stench of a fawn
they’ve pulled the tendons from
Can they hear my thoughts,
see the hollow bones beneath my shirt?
A week ago I came upon
their comrades
circled in the snow
the leader gurgling
the others cawing, dodging their heads
in anger or agreement

I knew a man once
west of here
who lived with a crow
He moved his body in crow fashion
and spoke only with
gestures of his head
Before the crow there was a woman
but she disappeared--
just a pair of elk-hide slippers
There is still black ice
under the snow--
they try to will me
to fall and crack my head
but I can hear their minds
look down the hallways
of their bodies

I put out things
for the pair of pileated woodpeckers
who greet me from a distance
I hide things for the crows—
slide a stale muffin
under a heavy shovel
a photograph
taken 50 years ago
inside a cracked ceramic jug
Disconcerted
they always find them--
a crow is a crow is a crow

This morning
two black tail feathers
on the steps
when I go to feed the horses










C O R V I



Nekoliko toplih dana,
vansezonski, bez kožice
od leda na konjskoj cisterni
dvije skupine vrana
bauljaju prema vrhovima drveća
crnih očiju, očiju odlučnih
spremnih za infiltraciju
u polusjenu mraka
unutar štaglja
kojeg se plaše
ne ulazeći nikad
Sjaje poput mračnih zvijezda
sve dok ne dignem svoju lijevu ruku
a najmanji od njih gotovo
pada na tlo
Van ograde
zapah laneta
s kojeg su raščupali tetive
Mogu li čuti moje misli,
motriti šuplje kosti ispod moje košulje?
Prije tjedan dana naletih
na njihove kompanjone
u krugu u snijegu
vodja krklja
ostali grakću, mičući glavama
bilo u ljutnji ili slažući se


Jednom sam poznavao čovjeka
zapadno od ovuda
živio je s jednom vranom
Tijelo je micao na način vrane
a govor mu je bio sačinjen jedino
od gesti glavom
Prije vrane bila je tu jedna žena
ali ona je nestala--
samo par šlapa od losove koze
Još ima crnog leda
ispod snijega --
pokušavaju me natjerati
da se poskliznem i polomim vrat
ali mogu čuti njihovo razmišljanje
zaviriti u hodnike
njihovih tijela


Ostavljam neke stvari
za par velikih djetlića
koji me pozdravljaju iz daleka
skrivam stvari od vrana—
zavlačim ustajali mafin
ispod teške lopate
jednu fotku
snimljenu prije 50 godina
unutar napukle keramičke čaše
Uznemireni
ali uvijek ih pronadju --
vrana je vrana je vrana

Ovoga jutra
dva crna repna pera
na stepenici
kad krenuh da nahranim konje





Translated into Croatian
by
Boris Gregoric

January 2015




Ken McCullough (1943) is a contemporary American poet laureate, fiction writer and translator living in Minnesota:



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In the Green Room


nowhere is one happy
but in this big room
when the light switch
comes on
after the centuries
of being turned off
the big green room
of light and chlorophyl
of not knowing
and not caring to know
of quiet mind
that could be no mind
and every mind
minding your own business
which there is none
nothing to do
nothing to not do

the snap of the fingers
a sandwich
a child in the cradle
it all starts again
from this big green room
 
on planet green  (paint, 2015, bg)
 
8/2015 
bg.