Paule di Puccio
translated by Gary G Gach
from T H E C R I M E O U T O F T I M E *
The being I'd been following was, without question, a window
to a narrow room. Neither patricide nor fratricide nor
incest dwelt in his flesh, nor rape nor theft (except maybe
a couple of cherries from his neighbor's orchard). He had
neither a propitiary genie nor blinding law nor obsessive
passions nor illimitable courage nor ridiculous goodness.
Should the occasion arise, he'd kill a flea in his shirt, &
those of his dog, squash snakes, weed flowers, earn bread.
He wasn't alcoholic yet, nor initiated into the rules of
love. He wanted a car, one or two children, a good
position, a two-story house, his son to be a doctor, a
pension plan, flowers on his grave on All Saint's Day,
vacations, a garage, and Social Security. Health. He feared
madness worse than death. He'll acquire little belly and
take of its gills bordering his body handed down from
generation unto generation like a noble heritage cleaving
In the livid surface of the pond, the waterlilies spread
their fat glimmering leaves and flower-precursors of future
I'd followed that being. What do we have for baggage? All
our looks in dragonflies eyes. What have we for wealth?
Complete trust in a sunbeam. What have we for thoughts?
We didn't think. Unfeelingly we'd walked, drawing our
bodies closer in a possessive, generous hyperbola. We
entered a long gang of adults, grand sex reuniting this
boisterous parade and insanity of self-satisfaction.
Through all the bodies he'd had
Through all the bodies I'd had
We loved ourselves in the fury of storms. One squeezed
against the other, anguished, happy and unhappy, with more
furtive leaps or vast panicky breaths, we crossed the
alienating and alienated mobdom with the same age as our
lives, the same quiver of desire, the same imperious and
fleeting law. I'd read in great books that life is a
majestic poem. But it's an epic, tracing the seven circles,
lived like heaven and hell with an alternation blowing
unforgettable words, such sacred speeches, that the world's
anguish congeals in a few sentences recited with long
dashes. All historicity is accumulation of natural dramas.
What's use of the itch and hunger, deliria and lying and
betrayal and war? What's the use of a walk and the dew, the
rose and the given word, and ecstasy and childbearing?
Everything has its place, since you must be told it,
impatient person. Everything has its reason to live in a
world where everything is penetration. Inextricable
articulations must be described to you for a very long time,
or you must be lead back to the origins which are swarming
like caterpillars to leaves. But beware lest the changes
won't take place before your arrival and, returned to
chrysalis, you forget nearly all of your wrinkled periplus.
Neither beautiful nor ugly, stupid nor smart, rich nor poor,
alike, in every respect alike. No. Blue eyes against
black, male sex against female, force against refinement,
opposed and complementary.
Looking in the mirror of each other, so little would it take
-- a banal exchange, a toe for a town, each the same density
but differently iridescent, to make of us woman-man,
man-woman, androgynes of the future. Soon nature might make
Our looks interpenetrated like razor-sharp blades. But soon
our eyes would lose their absolute blue of crystalline water
and black of the bottom of wells, tranquilly becoming
bluish-gray, absorbing all the eyes we've yet to love.
Life and its iron collar of habits was making a sign,
without malice, to my trick, ignorant of my refusal. In the
distance the city was smiling, enclosed in the frippery of
its ramparts and towers.
One day, we must enter the copper door ajar in the world of
irony, in the magicians' tavern, in life's closet ...
Copyright 1994, Gary G Gach