Face to Face

Face to Face

Useless Gifts
On the Usefulness of Music
Snow in your Shoes
Beautiful Dead Seas
Face to Face
Spring Trade

No sooner had a time of upheaval started
than the director of the opera opted for irony
by closing himself inside a concert piano,
having shot four air-holes in it with a Beretta

For a while the walls of the empty hall
echoed his soliloquy
sent into the air through the music barrel –

On the usefulness of music, in a time of upheaval –

The gong is to be placed in the field in place of a cauldron,
the bells are to be lowered onto the sacks of flour and salt,
the gold coin and buttons into the yawning openings of trumpets,
while the jars of jam and lard are to be placed into the pianos
lined up in well-lit entrance halls
like black turtles frozen
in the act of pulling their heads into their shells;

Notes containing secret messages are to be strung
along violin strings piled up and tossed
among the fishing rods;

A child without a cot might be placed
inside a modified double bass;

The Army, too, would be much happier if rations
were handed out using tambouritzas*
instead of small ladles;

Drumsticks are to be offered to the local police force
for there is always skin stretched tighter than drums;

For better control of the melody
jingle bells are to be moved from sleighs onto caps,
even music evolves when moved from lower to upper regions;

The greater the silence the more loudspeakers there are,
tape-recorders to record the unrecognized vibration;

The silencer market is to be busted,
flags are to be hung on bows;

And the privileged domain of sound carriers,
multipliers of the already-vanished tone,
is to be left to the silent rocks alone:
the distance separating their states of amnesia
will never be violated;

Music gives instruments up easily
in a time of upheaval, the whole world belongs to it
should it forget its tools –

Thus rattled he, a dry seed inside the piano:
the director of the empty stage and curtains
forever raised like folded-up sails …

No sooner had he opted for irony than he was lowered into the cellar
on the backs and by the hands of stokers and porters,
for polished wood is good for kindling
when the hall needs to be warmed up
for the coming of the choir

And the piano keys – like dominoes – are to be stuffed into a sack,
someone is bound to come up with
rules for a new game.

Translated by Novica Petkovic

*tambouriza (tamburica) – (pronounced /tæmˈbʊərɪtsə/ or /ˌtæmbəˈrɪtsə/) or Tamboura (Croatian: Tamburica and Serbian: Тамбурица/Tamburica, meaning Little Tamboura, Hungarian: Tambura, Greek: Ταμπουράς, sometimes written tamburrizza) refers to any member of a family of long-necked lutes popular in Eastern and Southern Europe, particularly Croatia (especially Slavonia), northern Serbia (Vojvodina) and Hungary. It is also known in parts of southern Slovenia and eastern Austria. All took their name and some characteristics from the Persian tanbur but also resemble the mandolin, in that its strings are plucked and often paired. The frets may be moveable to allow the playing of various modes. The body of the instrument is made of a hollow gourd.

2018-08-21T17:22:52+00:00 August 1st, 2011|Categories: Poetry, Blesok no. 77-79|0 Comments