fredag 25. april 2008

Little Ocean Cathechism - and other poems

Uncle Albert teaches

the beginning was
the constellation
of The Sower

from where
the sower himself
set off on his

he slipped off
his boots outside
my door

and patiently
to give me lessons
in time-space´s


When you sharpen a knife
with another knife

Which is the sharpener
which the sharpened

A wait in between trains

A victim
of third degree
I float
at the end
of the night platform
closed in
by the rails´
narrowing landscape

and long
for the locomotive
which the timetable said
should have hauled me
to the freedom
of the rails´end

A prisoner
in this void
between departure
and arrival
I try
to dispel
the image
of our bitter parting
where the rails began

which of a sudden
made of me
a traveller

Little ocean catechism

The surf´s roar
and devouring
the coastlines
of our humble planet
is supposed
to be comparative with
the rage of
our long forgotten
God Poseidon

The salt-bearded
who made
Odysseus from Ithaca
atop the constant rock
of the grey green floor

Or is he -
Kronos´son -
beyond rage
the dripping
drenching master
- - -
maybe he´s but an observer
of dihydrogen-oxide´s
strict pattern -

Late summer

summer in
a landscape
of abandoned lots

by the sun´s greedy fingers
that have hammered
their sensual rondo
on a keyboard sky

Bent summer
at game´s end

exhausted mother
who lets the child drop
from her bosom
between drooping hands


With upturned
waking face
in place
in The House of Night

unending branches

almost comprehensible
when ever-so-close

almost burst
into accepted truth
behind your eyes

already collapsed
by dawn

Borderland 1

The wind

the heart
at its beat

Labyrinth of the day

As one who treads cornices
I am not unaware
of the nature of slipping

- can smell tragedy
beyond the back-yard
kilometres away

tragedies passing cars
in the night
can never see

sure as a cat
I pad clear of the slingshots
of angst
paw between
grey houses propped
against black bicycles

weave arabesques
around consumed hopes

only to indifferently steal
away along the thread
from end to end

Sailor boy and longshoreman

slowly through life
with dream aglow
almost ignites
on the gruff sunny afternoon

with clipped wings
over steel cables
like unmanageable
on alien shores

only to wake again
to the harbour
of paper boy and milkman -
with the clap
courtesey of Venus

in fear at queer
bloodshot eyes
in the mirror
at sunrise
to sett off for
Rio de Janeiro

but ending-up
as usual
unnoticed unheard-of
in seaside shacks
stink of rotten copra

left astern
with a hung dream
pounding inside
behind the temples

Bjørn Willy´s lullaby

Dedicated to the painter
and graphic artist Bjørn
Willy Mortensen who
died at St. Emmillion,
France, on 19. dec. 1993.

I sing an elegy
over your immobile body -
the way the survivors
have sung for their dead
since before Orfeus´s time

set thought at liberty
form the here and now,
let it run and lose
its way in the woodlands
of the past

where we wandered with wolves
and grazed with calves, kids, lambs
in landscapes
suspended between conception
and doom -
pursued by our own
baying hearts

I sing my last cry
for you who finally
and for all time
are shorn of the power
of eye, brush, etching needle
and gum arabic
for you
who lie there
and are so unspeakably
tired of being
- - -
You were
an impatient
and at times
doubled bear
who prepeared
your last plate
for a journey
without return

The sea at Trieste

of grey green

with spray
from Aeolus´
siphon bottle

snort away
at the sun
setting west

Borderland 2

At first
I could not believe
my own eyes
when your hair
suddenly floated
down the sheet
and cataracted
to the floor
with heaving motion
sweeping aside
everything that was
in the way
before it
(your dear hair)
shattered the walls
of the room
and stood
trembling in the quivering
sun outside

But later
you explained
you had suddenly
found me dead
one morning in bed
at your side

Off day for Cupid

my bow springs
wild shoots
with string

Dear aching heart

tell me once more
about my yearning for
the sound of your vulva

about the tone you
called for when you
my whistling arrows
on their wild
zenith-bound course

Spring Thaw

For the seventh day in a row
I left my room on Panic Street
melancholy, tango-like,
I walked into that crisis
pulled existence from under
my feet.
In an attempt to fetch
merriness I ran like mad
to the Pernod Palace
to have a glass, some glasses,
that is. It did not help.

When my then almost-dissolved me
half stumbled out of the Palace
and by pure chance ended
in the park across the street
came the revelation - and the miracle.
A generous, unsuspecting
fauna of toothless crocodiles,
vertigous condors, stooping giraffes
and aquafobic carps suddenly
showed up between the elm trees
and conferred upon me
power to pull myself
by the hair out of the cess pool.

There is room for everybode
in Grandfathers garden
was the message that ticked out
in my new high-spirited heart.
A Tibetan laughter (that in my
bewilderment I hid inside my hand)
surged from the brim of being -
to my lips. This must be what they call
a walk in the park, I thought
as I stood extant under the sky´s
vast circus dome.

Rock Coast in Spring

by months of darkness

you suddenly
sit there

at the grass´ edge

where the bear rock
plunges to the sea´s underworld

tuning the pulse again

The Thief´s Day Off

Just between us,
today I shall
steal a piece
of my life
as a thief
and that is all
I shall steal


I shall pay dearly
for goods I don´t need

I shall also give tips
yes overtip
to the point of folly

I shall help
white-haired ladies
to cross the street
and willingly carry
their bags that
yesterday I would have
snatched with a wry

all at the risk
that my life as a thief
may never again be
what it once was

Proposition 1

The art lies in


A dizzying project

to go
on a life´s walk on Earth


the blood-warm
labia´s temple


the glazed
eye´s back room

Rowing class

You dip the oars
in water

a small grey bird
perched on the gunnel

Legless woman

travelling shows and
circuses with COUNTLESS
gold medals from
for instance
World´s Fair, Antwerp,
Golden Fair in Leopard Town
had a legless woman
on show

To say that I
is perhaps to go too far

but I would still
very much
like to know
where she has gone –
legs or none
but the show must go on

The night wooer´s trip home

It smells of day
along grey roads

large houses
are turning small again

the night´s enchantment

Masturbation polka

Roger took Rita
down from the cupboard
where Rita always lay

and didn´t Roger ever
so carefully open Rita´s
rosy popocatepetl

and didn´t Roger pour
mild tender words
down into Rita´s
magma chamber

he did it steadily
and evenly until
the crater´s rim
closed in around
his quickened
voice –
& he was done


I sat distracted somewhat
and lazy
at the kitchen table
observing the drawing
on the wall beside the pantry

It shows a yellow dog
carries a bag for an old lady
across a green field
under an as yet partly uncreated
deep blue sky
while she flies bagless
and helpless above the horizon
as elderly ladies often do
in drawings like this

it says in a spastic
child´s handwriting
in the right-hand corner
of this kidlike drawing

As I still distracted somwhat
and lazy
moved my glance
towards the window and saw
you out in the courtyard
with bag and all
on your way home
from the store
I suddenly
had this
resisistable urge
to run out and meet you
with an amorous yelp

because it´s the kind of thing
one isn´t supposed to do

The pictures

For the artist Eva Lange

To the undepicted
where the limits to
the colours´ and surfaces´
graze the boundary
between darkness and light

To these frameless
where the landscape´s lines´
sulkiness weighs against an
almost blooming ferociousness
in the figures´ hinted gestures

To these pictures´
borderless landscapes
I heard my eyes
rest and


If it is
a fact
I thought
the other day

that my mind
enables me
to think
about cosmos

is it not then likely
that a possible
or contingent
cosmic mind
is thinking about me
at the same time

If so
what would happen
in the self-same moment
these to thoughts
met there
and then

or has it
already taken place
I thought

not without
a certain anxiety

Delayed fun

The comic element
inside the tragic

really swings
at its best
in forgotten

Litterary Consultation

An egg and anchovy
is not very good
said the editor
and chief critic
to the poet

Filet of veal, truffles
on the other hand
he said
is good
starched damask
he sighed
silverware (no silver plate)
but -
let us say
a bottle of Chateau Petit-
Faurie-De Souchard -36
said the editor
and chief critic -
they don´t make wines
like that anymore
he said and stared
accusingly at
the poet
sadly almost


Today I shall
buy a dozen

lock the door

draw the curtains

sit down
and weep
over my unhappy
and long-forgotten

Proposition 2

the Categorical
only to


The other day I saw
a rock -
brought here from
the surface of the Moon

it was placed under
a powerful magnifying glass
in Eastman Kodak´s
in Rochester,
New York, U.S.A.

apart from that
it was just like any other

Notes after the Midsummer Party

Midsummer green beer bottles
in midsummer grass

Swift sparrow voices
eagerly perform
a foliage symphony
in the shrubbery
guides your thoughts
to the red currants
and gooseberries too
actually -
grow towards
redemption and jam

Not to speak of
semi-dry white wine corks
in dewy groundscape

where you can sense
even the earthworm
must struggle to survive

Rigmarole on Eternity

The scissors take the paper
The Paper takes the ashes
The ashes take naught
The Naught takes all

Status Quo

ad infinitum

three crosses
on every hill-top


Rising love fever
running with seven-mile steps
cutting the fawn´s pleasure short

Intuitive Assumption

The moment
of death

the fall
from time
to untime

has a
nutmeg scent

Verse for dead and other living poets

William C. Williams
Diane di Prima

did not lift a finger
to be here in these stanzas

they wrote them themselves
said the cat


This is a small world
she said
can you imagine
I met Owen
in Crete
this summer

This is a large world
I said - -
- larger than words can tell –

Elsie called
from Newcastle

and told me, I said
that Annie was dead - -


I always walk
new platforms

Leave foreign
train stations

Never the same
as when I last left

In the beginning is the end

The omnipresence
of death creates
distinct figures
in birth´s
subtly wowen

© Erik Frisch 1993
Translated by Nail Chiodo

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