Diabel

barbarersimulerar-coverI received this week from Niklas Nenzén a copy of his new book, Barbarer simulerar samspråk (Barbarians Simulating Conversation), published by Styx förlag in Stockholm, further details of which can be found here.

At the beginning of 2012, I had been invited by Niklas to contribute a poem or text to accompany one of the images from a section of a book that he was working on, so sent a poem provoked by an image entitled ‘Diabel’.

NN-Diabel

The poem I submitted has been translated into Swedish and included in the book:

Diabel

Xylofonbröstkorgens lösöre hålls samman
Av gökspott, ektoplasma och lavar
Min sista vilja mitt testamente proklameras från ett badkar
Fyllt av tomma pratbubblor
På ett fält av brinnande halm
Skorstenarna från gamla oceanångare
Kastar långa skuggor som inramar La Santa Muerte
Hennes karmosinröda strumpeband, midnattsspetsar och sidentyger
Vi var älskande en gång, numera gamla vänner
Som utbyter kvickheter vid kaptenens bord
Träben promenerar, ett stim av undsatta bestick
Passerar genom mina benknotor
Då jag skeppsbruten skär loss de drunknande stjärnorna
Så att de driver bort från sina stjärnbilder
Är allt jag har kvar krogprat och en skallig papegoja
Alla hans fjädrar rökte jag i min pipa, varenda en

Kenneth Cox
Januari 2012

The original English version is as follows:

Diabel

Inheritance of xylophone rib-cage held together
With cuckoo spit, ectoplasm and lichens
My last will and testament read out from a bath-tub
Filled with empty speech bubbles
In a field of burning straw
The funnels of old ocean liners
Cast long shadows that frame La Santa Muerte
Her crimson garter, midnight laces and silks
We were lovers once, now old friends
Exchanging pleasantries at the captain’s table
Wooden legs walking, a shoal of salvaged cutlery
Passing through my bones
Cutting the drowning stars adrift from their constellations
Shipwrecked, all I have left is tavern talk and a bald parrot
I smoked all his feathers in my pipe, every last one

Kenneth Cox
January 2012

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