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.