Ruxandra Cesereanu
Crusader Woman
Black Widow Press, 2008

Translated by the poet and Adam Sorkin with an introduction by Andrei Codrescu.
Afterwords by Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu.


Letter to American Poets
A panther is writing you, American poets,
men and women with knives and trees in your heart,
red teeth and violet tongues telling poems
about disemboweled solitude,
smoky days and Saturnian nights,
leaves and peppered harbors.
You are there, in the fountain of ashes,
I am here, in the highway of my brain,
trying to enter your heads through a warm surface,
playing the guitar and singing with my tobacco voice,
taking you near the moon in a game of hide and seek.
You have amnesia, I have amnesia,
we are both old flying through membranes and disasters,
while purple angels play trumpets
and the Apocalypse arrives sweet as a forgotten breeze.
I am pushing you up against the wall of lullabies,
shadowing sorrow, entering the yellow tunnel.
Hah, I am pungent and alone,
you are in the city traffic like no Gods delivering.
I would have liked to feel your touch,
my young-old skin is disappearing in these noisy days,
but I am undamaged and unafraid
of yesterdays coming like beheaded queens.
You are there and I, here,
cyanotic gates are climbing on my bones,
I am writing about your lives and dark sides without knowing them,
only because from thousands of miles away
I smell rains and dreams as they are not.
The lizard of my poem gets you from within,
you are there and I, here,
but all of us tumbled in the big washing machine of the world,
with sunflowers for hearts
and landscapes of eyes as electric skies dancing lost rock and roll.
Hah, I would have liked to bend over America like a whirling dervish,
trembling bridges with my temples,
crossing stars with my hair,
breaking birds with my walls,
hot waves, hot waves in brains
and the ribs where an angel has fallen like a magician's hat.

Ruxandra Cesereanu & Andrei Codrescu
Forgiven Submarine
Black Widow Press, 2008

Translated by Andrei Codrescu.


The Forgiven Submarine
for sometime now I felt the need to dive down to a submerged submarine
to willingly lose myself inside of it not alone but with a drunk fool in tow
to feel clothed in angels bleeding from their lips
to feel my hair electrified by a hurricane a mystery of curls
with a drunken fool in tow we'd make of this a forgiven submarine
but forgiven by whom for chrissakes
by god by animals by creatures stinking of something nameless
I had no idea but I kept humming about this forgiveness stuck in my throat
panting for wanting to lock myself inside this submerged submersible.
for sometime now I've been feeling the need for a a co-pilot
because of the original two who'd begun their journey in the submarine
one died in the library under a bookshelf that fell on him
when the submarine hit hard gray matter
the god of boredom walking madly to and fro on the ocean bottom
seized by an appetite for icarus for submarines and depth seekers
the other had barely escaped being devoured and was now dying of hunger
and my need for a wingèd companion was growing unchecked
I had a license to drive in the depths
but since I'd been pacified somewhat by fleshy folds and spirals
I sang the praises of depths only telepathically
depths unentered that my calls reached only superficially
to where thousands of idiots covered the great ocean scribbling
with phosphorescent ink on the foam
but one day the electricity failed and a velvety darkness descended
a deep and nameless forgiveness born of itself.
here is the precipice I've been dreaming of
this is what the living diver in me fluttered and whispered for
even if my other was still living in the rubber fossil of his hungry other
here it is the journey through the acrid-sweet water tasting of apple peel
here is the abyss the vertigo the funnel of death baring its teeth
here are the sharp salty nails sharpened in the dark
look here is terror looking at herself in the melting mirror a faithful dog
or an unsubtle and a bit brutal lover
here is the hidden wall without a single crack
a fetus in the submerged submarine known also as the forgiven
the two divers were a shook-up pianist
and a nearsighted drunk amerikan beatnik
banding together for dives to greath depths
a pianist with hair from neverland and an amerikan
with transylvanian moustaches sensitised by the imminence of nothingness
his head and armpits shaved one earring in his ear new age aimlessness
gold chains jingling on his ankles setting the ocean foaming
and setting minds to work chewing the cud
ahoy there forgiven submarine
we are diving your way out of submerged and unadorned time.
ahoy there submarine you are far very far
happily you are far but already we feel the suffering
of your being wedged within the tight entry
to the ocean's infinite subconscious
we taste each fathom and for each we invent a game
joined by the creatures and flora of the sea who love to bite
and caress our divers' bodies or maybe they want only to understand
the objective of our game which is to kill them with hunger and mystery
to light up their tentacular mouths with the futility of knowing you
pianist with multicolored hair and anklets spirally clinking above
their bulbous eyes
inexplicable remains also your travelling companion
dried in the deserts of arizona
he catches fire from his cuts & burns with a greenish flame.

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