Adela Greceanu in translation

The title of my collection, which preoccupies me so much        (1997)

                      When you retype/edit my texts, please start each line with a capital letter, even if your capital letters do not match my capital letters, even without paying attention to the latter. This way, each text will expect to be retyped a certain number of times, which it holds within itself, in its essence. It will always be another (something else). Each text is a little monster. The number of ways it can be written probably stands for the age it will die at.

           ***

                      Perhaps there was a primary fund of events – The given ones – and we, from an excess of zeal, Added some others. Of course, they can not be Compared with the given ones but – what an irony! – We don’t even know how to distinguish between Them anymore. The first, and actually the only valid Events, are clear as daylight.

                       We are amazed: no, events cannot be but Individual, no matter how invented, how perfected They are.

                       Events can turn their back on you, can mind Their own business, even if you invent them, they Hold their own.

               ***

                       I have sweet water fingers. I poured home-Made syrup over them. The fingers are shared among The flowers, each of them has a yellow flower. There Are many yellow flowers. Some of them taller, some Shorter. The short ones look for something in the Grass. In fact, they are also tall, but they bent to one Side or the other, they sank a little in the ground. When they don’t want to grow – when they are Looking for something – so that nothing is lost, their Roots grow, in the opposite side. And they are also Yellow and beautiful, as if they’ve just sprung now for The first time.

                      My fingers are shared among the flowers. Now, with these sweet fingers, I think I’ll cause a Great joy to the yellow flowers. I’ll strive to delight all Of them at once, both the tall ones, and the short ones, Although these latter ones are a little more difficult to Please. Their joy will please me just as much.

             ***

                      Last summer is a house painted in yellow and Red and other similar colours. The people inside the House are silent. They just smile, like in a photograph. Their words have long ago grown silent, since I don’t Live there anymore. I don’t know when exactly this Happened. I assume it was like this: while I was still Living inside the house, just as soon a word happened To be born, it was immediately turned into a flower, Grass, sun, so that the summer grew. That is, the Walls of the house grew, and by growing, they got Further and further from me, I who was there, Between the four of them. I didn’t realise what was Happening and I talked a lot and very beautifully. Still talking words-flowers, the walls kept getting Further in the four directions until I ended up outside. Outside was Summer.

             ***

                     Opening a window, a butterfly can come in the Room. But an open window is no longer a window. It Can be a door, for instance. When it enters the room, The butterfly actually remains outside, and only its Flight enters, and it is the flight that we see. The Butterfly remains near the window hovering in place, Until its real flight returns to it and they leave Together. That’s why they say: “The butterfly takes its Flight” – and leaves, we could add. But this happens Only by opening a window, which then does foolish Things, in the sense that it believes itself to be either An open door, or an open eye, or even a butterfly – Who’s to tell? – a butterfly, which remains outside and Only its flight enters the room and it is the flight that We see, and then it returns to its butterfly and they Leave together while somebody quickly closes the Window, lest other butterflies entered the room.

           ***

                     We stand face to face. I begin by breathing Clean air in my chest, imagining that I fixed one of its Ends inside, then I let it out. You receive the air I Breathed out, like a kiss, breathing it in, and you tie its Other end in the depth of your lungs, like planting it. You respond to me, letting back out the air you’ve Received, as if the root in the lungs flowered. And I Gather the air between us, I hide it quickly at my Back, and I ask of you to guess in which hand I caught It. You make desperate signs that you have no air to Breathe, I insist that you guess. You haven’t guessed, Instead you greedily breathe in the air I let go of my Hand. You breathe in, you breathe out, all by yourself. You forgot about me. You seem happy, free, but I say You breathe in vain. Eventually, you look down – I Was at your feet. I was not breathing for a long time.



Translated by Adrian Urmanov

Read more of Adela Greceanu's writing on Poeticanet


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At the Sofia Poetics festival, which was organised by Word Express participant Ivan Hristov, Scottish based poet Ryan Van Winkle caught up with fellow festival guests SJ Fowler and Tomasz Rózycki. To hear Fowler and Rózycki discussing their work and reading some of their poetry, listen to the Scottish Poetry Library podcast here.

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