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WHENEVER I GO
(translated by Boris Peters, Hans van Eijk In de Bonnefant, 2003
with serigraphs by Jan Hendrix
www.bonnefantpress.com.mk/inprint_mak.asp )

in “Poetry London” (spring 2004)
ISBN 1479-2591-47

1 Journey

Then, at last
I get moving
notwithstanding
the urge to stay
as closely as I can
in sight of what I know.
But against that, I leave
only to return.
Nor do I know
what is so true
and convincing
which thought on earth…
a strong intuition
a sixth sense
driving me,
the sudden realisation
of a paradoxical
revelation,
that to truly find yourself
you must first
lose yourself.


2 Tunnel

And all at once
inside the tunnel
that goes on and on,
in the dead air
that tickles your throat.
All those journeys
that have led me here before.
And yet, no, it's no use
recalling or coming
forward once.
I knock into the wall
and thus become aware,
during the blind
and selfsame passage
like a reflection
of a ghost of myself,
of what has been
of how, deep down
and against my very will,
I have quite changed.

3 Whenever I go

It may be I've felt
it each time the same
and never has it been
something abstract
but clearly marked
on my skin, an action
become material
that attacks and
cleanly removes
a painful carving
a scrap removed
and wholly gone
filings in
a specific spot
a minimal reduction…
It may depend
on my own nature,
but I sense just it
in the act of leaving
which more or less
is a bit like dying.


4 Nowhere

How many times
have I left
before daybreak or
in the dead of night
and often reluctantly
all irritation lost
and my mind on
the threshold of return.
Could they be piled
one on the other
all those roads
and those destinations
stacked, leaf upon leaf
what a continual drifting
what a monstrous tangle
of distances
would be formed
on a map…
it would confirm
your sentence
of life without rest,
and would show
how you will never
advance a span,
that the more you go
and the less you find
you never arrive
anywhere.

5 Love

Thus, I suddenly
catch myself in the mirror
in a stifling embrace
while I project myself
beyond me:
a cramped desire
and tormenting of someone
that mimics the fusion. But
breaks the illusion, the dream
of a complete union,
just the hard
object that, even now,
rises up between
the two of us
thus raising, foreign
body, an objection
to its own assertion.

6 Desire

I think of myself
whose hand caresses
the willing body
lying open to any assault
and meanwhile listen
supine on the throbbing
of your heart
to the grating voice
that squeaks
the word
'love'.
I think of myself
quietly counting your
every crevice and bump
open and hiding place,
on whom I prod
and grow thin
and chase and hunt
weighing in earnest
the cause
of so much desire.


7 Destiny

It is in that remote rushing
within the heart
that each recognises
his proper destiny.
A most forbidden dream:
the idea of infinity
even a quotidian one
by chance bequeathed
to the body of love.
Caught and locked up
to preserve its
taste intact,
subtracted from the void
kept long but vainly
between the thighs,
like water
slipping at any rate
from your hand.


8 On your throat

The gentle curve of the throat
when you deliver a word,
the shadow on your breast and
the outline of the hand
sliding up your side,
that whiteness incarnate
almost nuanced
in a pattern of fine lines.
Minimal, but pure, features
like points linked in a segment:
form, colour, texture.
Only the detail,
in becoming the object
and the fixed place
of our senses
renders a present
no longer fleeting
or lost or futile
the instinct to oppose
to time an immanence
pretending for a moment
the world eternal
before the trace
escapes you and
falls into the deep.

9 By way of nose

I saw you in a dream
running towards me
surprised and pleased
to have found me again,
I happy as well
yet sensing
you were aware of me
persuaded by the deceit
and that the impulse
was especially my own.
And in the crystal
of my vision
by way of nose
It was, meanwhile,
I kissed you against
a yellow wall
holding your scent in my arms.
Awoken with a gasp
desire filled me
and burnt inside
the whole day long,
I didn't care to put it out
happy to remain
roasting in that oven.

10 Life

How life
begins and ends
(by chance perhaps?)
the luminous vestige
the wake that leaves
behind all
that was loved
or unloved
or at least unknown
joy and mourning:
all is cast into
the blind vessel
into the arms of darkness.
Yet the faded trace
of every thing,
all along,
flourishes anew.
The shadow and the smell
less so than colour
the evoked thought
of the rose.

Boris Peters


  Paolo Ruffilli Mail: paolo.ruffilli@alice.it