Not a Thing about Survival Technique

/, Blesok no. 86/Not a Thing about Survival Technique

Not a Thing about Survival Technique

Not a Thing about Survival Technique
Our Love Has Gone…
A Motorcycle Parked Beneath the Stars
Oh, Natalie …

’80-’81, what a winter!
a cloying swamp of coffees, cigarette lighters, “dire straits,” literary circles, glasses
and at night a quagmire of painful jelly: faces, calves and petty gossip
sometimes a glance out the window, at the traffic hardly making its way through the snow.
but here’s the sun! has spring understood us at last?
the windows in the obor market are gleaming, and the colentina highway looks yellow
the asphalt stinks of tadpoles more seductively than ever, there are gasoline rainbows,
there are albanian sardines in oil, and women and schoolgirls
stare contemptuously at the shop window with kitchen appliances.
further on, the trees in the courtyards have burst forth into bud
the traffic signs now appear like folded newspapers
like doves of rust. yes, the powerful sun lighting up
all these factories, water towers, schools, the cemetery…

—and me? I’m playing my part in the general happiness.
here’s how: I got off the 109 bus one stop early
and I devoted myself to mindless wandering in the grass along the highway’s shoulder.
the dump trucks, the TIR international transports, the semis roaring back and forth
in their steel armor, carrying pipes, sacks, mortar
the trams gliding past as in dream…
such that I had to sit down on the curb and study the sparkling grass.
here, take a look, a bee defiled with dust
a cellophane candy wrapper
a beetle with a crushed elytron, fleeing lopsidedly, these things happen
at the root of a blade of grass, trembling
in the balmy breeze blowing out from the window of the wire factory.
a blue sky, the sun, shadows interwoven, engine-exhaust sounds
golden tram-rails, green grassblades, earthworms, beetles…
could Tao and Bodhisattva have yearned for more?

The Hill was rising up softly with pillars, houses, limousines, the highway, I no longer loved anyone…
I finally had to stand up, because some guys wanted to park a truck
I stayed and watched them:
“let it out!
go on, go on, go on, go on…
a little more…more, more, more, more, more, more, more…
hold it! some more to the left…yo!
go on, yeah…keep on, keep on, just a little more…
that’s it!”

the sun was afloat in the arch of heaven.

translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Ileana Ciocârlie

AuthorMircea Cărtărescu
2018-08-21T17:22:47+00:00 November 6th, 2012|Categories: Poetry, Blesok no. 86|0 Comments