Antoine Cassar:Two Poems

C’est la vie

Run, rabbit, run, run, run, from the womb to the tomb, / from four to two to three, from the river to the sea, / play the fool, suffer school, the wasp goes round and round, / get involved, lose your faith, learn the rules,

eat and fast, shit and piss, chase the moon, meet your doom, / walk on ice, roll your dice, with destiny dance, / metro, work, sleep, the sun rises, you get up again, / to say always tomorrow and never tomorrow reach,

try to fly, touch the sky, hit the stone, break a bone, / sell your soul for a loan to call those bricks your home, / fall in love, rise above, fall apart, stitch your heart,

what will be? it will go well, nothing more of us will be, / from bed to bed we run a race against the void, / until our soul is swallowed by the dark womb of the land.

Nota bene

Come, armageddon, come! The skies are cold and bleak, / step after step I repent and postpone myself, / night of storm, savage cry!, it’s the self against the self, / I whine and pant doggedly, and shout, and scream, and shriek…

No my friend, don’t keep hope. It blinds you, it boils you, it screws you. / Yes, leave it empty, let run, let run the river / of life, of the verb, of the soul in summer! / I am left with the word. Without it, all is oblique.

It’s hard, to keep wearing an armour of steel, / a thought of stone, a conscience of crystal. / Nota bene: hope blinds you. Heed it not.

All right. Love is nothing more than the smoke of a cigarette, / the life span of a germ, the journey of a sperm. / But no, I will live. One day, perhaps, I’ll learn.

Translated by the author, from the Maltese poetry feature in The Drunken Boat Fall/Winter 2007



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