clad in a white shroud
with pale blue ribbons
Still now riveted in her fetters and with the bloody nose
of lovers I say, filled with her blossoming spring:
“Death, torture the earth no longer, do not wait, dear death,
for me to come, but do as she does and strike now!”
I dreamed I pulled off my eyelashes
and gave them to you, merciful one,
and you blew on them as on a dandelion,
oh, hold back your punishing hand!
to your pleasure
I donned my wig of cunt-hair
and topped it with my dreaming cap
with circle, stars, and stripes,
and then I recited my formula of murder
from the Catalogue of Changeable Signs
The elephant was an instant corpse.
Without a sigh he fell on his rump
and rumbled, crumbled, tumbled into ash,
the two of us dance on just one leg.
When I kneel at your knees
and I bring you to your knees
we are fragments full of pity and danger
for each other.
With chains around their necks
the dogs of love come.
*I have since discovered on the translator’s website that the poems include the works of Claus’s
ik schrijf je neer with the exception of two poems. Irons is indeed the author of the “Pa Poems.”
I believe readers would have been better served to know this information and the fact that John
Irons has translated a great many other Dutch, Danish, and Swedish and Norwegian poets as well.
Reprinted from Jacket, No. 31 (2006).
Reprinted from Green Integer Blog (March 2008).