Imaginary Poems in Translation

everyone burns at once in the Mirror of Other
reflecting flecks refracting fractures
culture moves in waves through culture
and yet I am a particle, up against the glass

campfires tremble across the darkening valley
drunken fever howls in the twisting wind
I vex at the clatter of spoon in cold soup
bats cleave black against the sky

An Imaginary Poem in Two Translations

1. Rings of fire brand the sinners’ scalps:
our blood, the brood construes, betrays the God.
Who stop the spring of life-sustaining love
will hungry reck on gods begot in flesh.

2. A halo limns around our mortal crown:
divine unveil of lively human truth.
Who barely bless a dog with food or drink
abode divine if animal ate words.

O! Coronary star, shimmering past the moonshadow,
whose strange light stopped sound, I basked aloud in your umbra,
in Oregon, ah! August, solo, wife accident'ly—
then wept—"what if… it never returns…?“—'til you showed—but shouldn't—

“Coronavirus” clockwork-creeps to conscious
thought: Word of Doom, thing immaterially
thinking. Matters not the manner—when? The
thinging ring of fire is ringing (-inging, -inging)—when?

Listen seers, turn leaves in scarlet
darking deeps, in hut in window mirrors.
Ring the bell: as rulers fruit and ruin,
letters witness questions read aloud.

("Rings of Fire")

Brian Brock, summer 2020