The Romanian Riveter: EXORCISM by Tudor Crețu, translated by Antuza Genescu

this entity
blind and swarthy
locomotive coal steam
something stuck on the inside like a sticker
a wild beast chased away with the shovel
let me invoke it spit it between the eyes
it is nothing but a ball of fur
and a leper’s grin
steam rising from a gory wound
let me call it hit it with the poker
we clash in gardens
in open air
where are you come out
where are you come out
a smell of charred cauldron
        of a funny gypsy coppersmith
soot and ashes of an old hut
come out crawl and go back
to the opened manhole
I shall poke the effigy deep into your flesh
the effigy burning on the grill
I shall scorch your fur your fat rolls
you will run like a mutt
hit with an old shoe
your hiss
louder than any brake screech
come out
this is a kind man’s shelter
it is the lord’s house and the town in the postcards
(red candles burning instead of furnaces)
you are a whirlpool a toxin
deluge and tremor
come out
these are the teachings on the whitest sheets of paper
come out
let me spit and wring
my shirt my dirty rags out
you do not exist you do not exist you do not exist
you’re but a painting on the carpet we wipe our feet on
come out
shrink wriggle and spring out
through my ears my nostrils or better my head –
in that moment
under a ceiling covered in bronze candelabra
shining in broad daylight
I’ll stand smiling fainting
and if need be of tremor let it be now
and if need be of an earthquake let the shore collapse now
and if need be of a fire let my barn burn down now
it is the lord’s meadow here and the sundays have only mornings
come out
the clean air will suffocate you
come out
the women’s scarves are – all – white
come out
the sound of the keys is the invocation
the little hammer that drives you crazy
that flattens your skull
come out
of the smoker’s lungs and the darkness of the smoking houses
come out
you old hag you shrew wagging your tail
leave a round hole behind in the window
like a bullet like a projectile

this is the house of honeycombs and kindness
of plain garments and clean asses
come ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut
you have come out

By Tudor Crețu

Translated by Antuza Genescu

Read The Romanian Riveter in its entirety here.

Tudor Crețu is a writer and the manager of the ‘Sorin Titel’ Timiș County Library. He writes prose, poetry and literary criticism, and organises cultural events such as the International Festival LitVest. His poetry collections include Dantelăriile Adelei (Adela’s Lacery), and Fragmente continue. Poeme live (Continuous Fragments. Live Poems) won the Poetry Book of the Year award of the Romanian Writers` Union, the Banat branch. His fiction includes Casete martor (Witness Tapes).

Antuza Genescu (b. 1968) is a freelance translator, teacher and writer. Besides several volumes of Romanian poetry and art albums, which she has translated into English, her work also includes translations into Romanian of various poets around the world (Sudeep Sen, George Szirtes, Fiona Sampson, Jean Portante, Alice Notley, Erkut Tokman, Kama Sywor Kamanda), as well as science fiction authors like Gene Woolfe, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Vernor Vinge, Orson Scott Card, Robin Hobb, Stephen King.

Category: The Romanian RiveterTranslationsSeptember 2020 – The Romanian Riveter


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *