Adina Dabija

       translated by Claudia Serea


Impossible to make sense

Everything could ultimately be reduced to an idea,
you figure walking down the street,
parting the world in halves with your chest.
The juicy, impenetrable world
seems rather a hard piece of cheese
you cut into pieces in order to chew on it easier.
You yourself are an idea
disguised as a man on the street.
You turn left and right like a wolf
with your whole body,
parting the air with your elbows.
In the back of your mind, you carry
death's fixated eye
and many, many little drawers
sorted in rows, two-by-two:
good, evil, beautiful, ugly.
The binary machine that makes sense of it
ticks deep into your veins,
its cold metal slowly replacing your blood.



The vortex zone

I walk through the city eating streets,
eating people. One look it's all it takes
and they enter my vortex zone,
they mix with my fever.
One look--
and the stray dog inhabits the same verse
with that man in the car.
Reality rushes upon me, but I know
it's only steam over my pot,
and the steam's hottest dream
is to condense.

Nobody and nothing ever existed
other than in the shape of an elephant, a sheep,
or a seven-tailed dragon,
because all of us are clouds,
and the clouds' dance is the essence of human nature.
Only a hot vortex can disperse the rain clouds.
At this high temperature, the poetry flows away
then it returns to me.
If I climb on the roof of the apartment building,
maybe I'll be safe from this huge, unexplainable erection
that tickles God's toes.
(Am I a woman? Better a bird!)
A huge mushroom grows under my feet
as soon as the rain starts.
I slide on its umbrella
and crush the earth.



A horizontal line is a vertical line

I travel across the ocean,
but I'm not coming home.
I am moving continuously toward you, though,
careful not to get too close,
careful to always fall,
to give you the chance to save me.
The ocean between us is not as important
as the way we drink it.

The plane took off at 7:20 p.m.
Now it's midnight and I see its wing through the window.
My room has lifted high over the city.
The plane waits its turn.
What country is the one without me?
What country is the one I just left?
The pilot desperately signals to board the plane.
He throws me ropes and dreams from the sky
and I blow him kisses.
The cork from the champagne bottle I opened
is the secret handle among my flight instruments.
It's New Year's Eve of 2002
and the distance between Canada and Romania
lifts off and levitates,
then slowly tilts, until it becomes
the axis between earth and sky.


Riding my bike

I'll learn to ride a bike
the day my bike will learn to ride by itself.
Two suns with their rays as spokes will pull forward the universe
without my knowledge,
rising and setting between the mountains
of my legs.
My hat's ribbon will not sway in the wind
because I'll be a statue.
The universe will ride along
without scratching my knees.
My heels will not get stuck in the pedals
and my bike's chain, the one that ties yesterday with today,
will not fall.
The universe will be ok without me,
as impossible as that sounds.
This means I'll never ride a bike.
Without me, my bike will ride alone.



How I flunked the auto exam for the second time

I live on the moon.
Please, mister policeman,
if I licked the dust from Victory Avenue,
would you let me fly instead of driving?
Nope, said Flashy the Cop,
with his tongue dipped in the road's blood,
as he squeezed the lemon grown on my windshield
into his tea
(and whispered: That would cost you three whiskey bottles
and a Kent cigarettes box.)

Kiss the stray dogs,
adore the road signs,
and the 45-degree angle of the parallel parking.
You must have a man's naked body
hanging from the rearview mirror.
You must cede the right of way to the piss
that flows through the roadside ditch
and you must drive around the dog shit,
be mean, get on it, come on, now, right now!

Suddenly, he realized I have taken flight
and I was floating already over the clouds.
So he flunked me, without a look to the sky.
He didn't even stop to listen to the wind.
Flashy never became a real lightning bolt.
In fact, I could say this about Flashy: he was missing a button.
He simply opened the door and crashed into the sea,
together with his receipt book.
So I marked my own exam sheet with Passed,
but beware: I have a passion for accidents.



How I turn into an old wine

Your lips are the fruits that make me turn into wine.
Come, step down to the cellar
to drink me directly from the barrel.
Your eyes are open, but you can't see me.
Look for me blindly, feel me,
speak Chinese to me,
search for me through life and death.
Underground, the time stops
and my nightly gaze drops
over your naked shoulders. In the dark,
gravity disappears and we float. We're blind.
We don't mind that we don't live in the attic.
My head is under the clouds
because my feet are on the moon.
Come, bend a little and pick me up.
I am made of earth and thrills.
We climb with the day and we scream
a shrill sound with the dawn.
I stand in front of the window
as in front of God.
I'd like to tell you something, but I can only watch.
I can only be silent and get
40 rays in a bouquet
that turn me into an old wine
with a fine fragrance, a secret
that guides you, the poet without words.
In the darkness, I comb my hair and wait
to become your sweet tomb.



The well

The well is reflecting her lover's face.
As always, his image waits deep inside.
The water trembles
and his image, too,
when he overlaps his body with its reflection.
He pulls back, scared,
and feels his body, even shakes.
The image waits for the real object
which is just an alibi.
The water waits for thirst.
In this bar, if you feel like drinking,
go ahead and order a drink.

He sits on the well's brim,
arguing with his own thirst.
He tells himself that a well like this one,
without a bucket, must be very dangerous.
Maybe the poisonous water gnawed at the bucket,
or maybe the last victim's mother tore it off
to make a cross from it.

The well is very deep and cunning,
or maybe very alone and sad.
Maybe it doesn't even exist, because, in this bar,
thirst is sold by the bottle or by the glass.
Thirst is such a simple thing.

Suddenly, the well stands up from her table
and starts dancing.
She muddies her waters.
She wipes off her reflections.
His image dives into the deep.
He takes off a snicker and throws it over the well's brim,
trying to fish for his own face,
but the shoelaces can't reach the bottom.
He throws himself into the well
and drinks.




Love and the world

Here we are, on the same side of the fence:
us, the ones who used to fall into each other's arms.
Us--and the world.

Here we are, in the same boat, looking forward.
We used to be the North and South Poles.
We used to meet somewhere on the moon
and throw pebbles from above
to make waves into the ocean.

Here we are now, facing the world.
We used to fall within ourselves, eye to eye.
Here we are now, next to each other,
with our backs against the wall.
The ants climb onto our bread and cheese,
as you venture outside of myself, on a monstrous walk.
We're perfectly free.
We even have names.

From time to time, our eyes meet
in a point far away on the horizon.


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