THE CANE

Poem By Damir Šodan

I wonder whether I'll ever have a cane
that blind men old men gentlemen use
a cane I can test the ice with like Yeats
or tap on the sidewalk, scare bugs
and pigeons when the disquieted times
come, those gaunt old downhill years
I'll need that cane
something of a cane of rosewood or
some other wood, a cane of pastimes
and even an exclamation cane
which is indeed a clothespin of a cane
joining the earth to a hand,
their interlocking pair of pliers
where you loved me once.

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Other poems of DAMIR ŠODAN

O ČEMU NE GOVORIMO KAD GOVORIMO O LJUBAVI

nakon svega
njegov traktat o iskupljenju
završio je u crnim vrećama
među razbacanim dijelovima
namještaja gdje jedna djevojčica
sjedi i lista slikovnicu
o algama. ubrzo će se i vrata
odlijepiti od kuće
(barem to tako izgleda)
i krenuti pravo niz utrinu
za nevidljivim tobolcima.
ali kada jednom uđeš
u tu mjeru za blato
u to mutno obećanje proljeća . . .
(skoro da je i tako nešto
prevalio preko jezika)
uglavnom nastoj ne umirati dugo
kao Violetta u Traviati
na stranicama novogodišnjeg programa.
ovo nije vrijeme za salve i proroštva.
dođe mu da se ukrca
na plastičnu gondolu
i posveti se oštrenju olovaka.
da - olovaka.

WHAT WE DON'T TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT LOVE

All said and done
his treatise on redemption
ended up in a black plastic garbage bag
amid the scattered pieces of furniture
where a little girl sits leafing
through a picture-book about algae.
Soon the door will unhinge itself from the house
(at least it looks that way)
and walk away across the meadow
trailing along behind the invisible quivers.
But once you've entered
that measure for mud
that muddled promise of spring . . .
(his tongue almost mumbled
out something like that)
anyway, try not to go on dying for so long
like Violetta in La Traviata
on the pages of the New Year
edition of a TV-guide.
This is not the time for salvos and prophecies.
He feels a sudden urge to embark on a plastic gondola
or get down to sharpening pencils.
Yes, pencils, why not?

PISMO DIVLJEM SKITU

Je pense à toi
divlji Skite koji lutaš stepom
s neprijateljskim ušima u torbi,
ali ne mogu se, da me ubiješ, sjetiti
gdje te ono točno spominje Herodot
‘reporter', kako je u ono vrijeme
znao reći naš stari profesor M. S.,
stručnjak za Stari vijek, zakonodavca
Solona i agrarne reforme braće Grakhi,
za kojeg su brucoši zlobno iza leđa
govorkali da je bio partizanski harmonikaš
i da ima vanbračnu kćer . . .

. . . jer povijest
kao žustra pipničarka
(magistra pipae)
zdušno briše svoju najbolju
i najgoru djecu i gura ih
poput dobro počišćenog
svadbenog pladnja
u ono svima znano
Opće mjesto
(locus communis)
toliko razvikano i prazno
da bi u njemu eonima mogao
sasvim legitimno dosluživati
takozvani obavezni
križni rok.

A LETTER TO A WILD SCYTHIAN

Je pense à toi
the wild Scythian who roam the steppe
with enemy's ears in your purse,
but I can't - for the life of me - remember
where exactly you figure in that quote
by Herodotus, ‘the reporter', as he was called
by our old professor, M. S., an expert
on Old Ages, Solon the law maker and the land
reforms under the Gracchi brothers,
about whom the freshmen maliciously
gossiped behind his back
that he was the partisan accordionist
who had an illegitimate daughter . . .

. . . because History
as a speedy barmaid
(Magistra Pipae)
dutifully wipes off her best and worst
children from the face of the earth
pushing them like wiped-clean
wedding plate
into that Common Place
(Locus Communis)
so notorious and empty
that you could, for eons on end,
perfectly legitimately
serve the remainder
of your so-called compulsory service
to the Cross there.

TEORIJA OBLAČENJA

ujutro je ( . . . )
zakopčala wonderbra
i pomislila kako je dobro
to što ona zna da je ona ona
a ne nijedna druga.
na primjer, neka doktorantica koja zna sve
o templarima i kumranskim rukopisima,
ili žena koja čisti stubište i ima blizance
koji ne silaze s rošula.
sad kad sam to shvatila, čini mi se
da bi bilo dobro kad bih u skladu s tim
i djelovala, a ne samo riječi, riječi, riječi . . .
riječi koje imaju moć da povjeruju i u ono
što ti nije u glavi (ali je tu negdje).
i onda ostaneš sama s rubljem na žici
i svemogućom tugom pokislih majica.
izložena mutnoj vodi neznamčega
koja grgolji u ustima zločestih tajnica.
i što reći toj pametnoj djevojčici?
je li ta žena pogriješila?

A THEORY OF GETTING DRESSED

this morning ( . . . )
put on the wonder-bra
thinking how good it felt to know
that she was herself
and none other than herself.
for instance, a PhD candidate who knows
Templars or Qumran scrolls
inside out, or the cleaning lady
whose twins hardly ever get off their roller skates.
now that I have put that straight
it would be nice if I could only act
accordingly and not just words, words, words . . .
words that have the power to believe in what is not
even inside your head (but it is somewhere close).
and then again it's you alone and the laundry
on the string and this supreme sadness of the wet T-shirts
like standing before some turbid water of I-don't-know-what
gurgling in the mean secretaries' mouths.
and what will you say to this smart girl?
has this woman gone wrong?