Стихи Чарльза Бернстина в переводах Яна Пробштейна


Charles Bernstein
Unready, Unwilling, Unable

Peerlessly literal,
We’re a little nearer than we were.
There is nothing I would rather see
than an angel dancing on a rhyme
or a unicorn playing Phaedra.
I love humanity; it’s people I can’t bear.
I am a Jewish man trapped
in the body of a Jewish man.
I love people;
humanity scares me.
If nothing is translatable, then
everything is.
Scars me.
Sob rule.
Boss is serrated.
Slush life. (The slope of the sloop is
spooked.
The revolutionary spectacle of a baby tearing off her diaper
or a crippled young boy casting aside his crutches cannot
help to move all those who yearn for liberation, a liberation
that is blocked by the cruel forces of fate and biological inequality.
Poetry doesn’t exist to be understood or to solicit accolades
or dismissals.
        It does what it does, what it can do.
When it comes it
        comes, when it
    goes it
            goes.
        This is the secret of rhythm.
For what leaves one person high and dry is for another as necessary as water. And can you have that necessity for one without at the same time sacrificing the availability to another? (And those two points of accessibility/inaccessibility may also occur for the same person at different times or even different parts of any one of us, odd as that may sound.) Poetry's power (some poetry's power) may be that its appeal is not universal but specific (not popular but partisan); we don't all agree.
If everything is translatable, nothing is.
)
        Then I came to a pork in the road.
Mediocre politicians campaign in poetry and govern in prose. Great politicians campaign in prose and govern in poetry.
Camp is a drag.
Sometimes at night when I can’t sleep I take down one of the volumes of my vast Yellow Pages collection. Too much light. So I go to "Draperies, shutters, and blinds." But which one? Draperies, shutters, or blinds?
I write to forget (or just
                not think
    about it
        too much
            ).
There ain’t nothing like a metaphor
            nothing in this world.

    There ain’t nothing you can name
        that is anything like a metaphor.
--Hold it. I gotta take this call. It might be from someone more important than you. (I don’t even know you.)
Infinite joy in finite time; finite pain in infinite time.
My little blurb must think it queer
To stop without a poem book near.
But I have proverbs still to write
To shore me ’gainst frightening night.
Grenier: "Green in green shines."
nowhere now here [[now here no where]] [Ronald Johnson]
Time’s loopy as a pretzel, salty as belly lox.
            A gift horse looks
        nobody in the mouth.
The more one turns away from a thing
        the greater the force with which it returns
    in the
            unconscious.
Tea Party: I love America so much I want to lock her in my basement to have her all to myself.
        We’ve come to take
            your country back
. (OUR
    AMERICA NOT
            Y
            
  OURS)
                (oars, pours, lores, ore, ors)
Nothing is done forever or everything
is done forever. Poetry often operates
in the spaces
between intention &
serendipity. Or it reframes/displaces/
replaces where the intentionality
lies.
But how readers interpret the result of randomization is not
random; we
project meaning, associate freely, symbolize the process/structure. Who decides what poetry ought to be? Historically,
            poetry's history suggests many radical swerves from
            such oughts and of course much
compliance as well. What some reject as empty
others embrace as visceral. And what some
embrace as rational/sensible poetry others reject as
empty, lifeless.
Poetry’s not about what it says but what it does.
"For where one finds commensurability with paraphrase, there the sheets have not been
rumpled; there poetry has not, so to speak, spent the night." [- Mandelstam, tr. Brown]
So in the end what is comes down to is
Can the truth handle truth?
            Wake up and smell the plasticine.