BALKANI
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BOYKO LAMBOVSKI

Boiko Lambovski was born in Sofia in 1960. He is a poet and essayist. Poetry books: Messenger (1986), Scarlett decadence (1991), Edwarda (1992), A Critic of poetry (1996), God Is Commander of the Guard (1999), Heavy Machine-Gun before the Dream (2004)

MARINA

Marina, our holidays are our punishment.
Our holidays are merciless exotic suns,
suddenly rising and suddenly setting,
and shame burns our faces.

Marina, our holidays are fragments
of the days when we were gods.
Love is a test to remind us
that we are wholly mortal.
And yet no wholly.

Which is why we must not pass each other by
as a miracle passes by
unbelieving eyes.
Let us once more, for a minute, be overwhelmed!
Let us for one minute be silent as a bell!

Marina, our holidays are our shame...
They make us great and we make them pitiful.
Whats terrible is not that I am left alone.
The most terrible thing is that I love you
too little.

FABLE OF THE DELPHIC ORACLE

The day we heard
that the ill-favoured slave Aesop
was rattling on with his senseless parables
before the people in the square
we simply walked away.

The day we learned
that the impudent slave Aesop
was accusing us of greed
we were astonished.

The day we killed
the repulsive slave Aesop
no one came to the temple.

AS THE PENSIL DANCES OVER THE PAPER

Thus a child pulls off
a dolls head
and from curiosity rips off
a tanks turret,
cuts an unread magazine
into strips
and builds
castles in the sand.

Thus an uncouth savage
angrily re-examines
the gnawed bones
after a finished meal.
Thus he looks askance
at his sleeping brothers
and with droppings of bats
he defiles the limestone.

Thus does a pensive Caesar
frown and scowl
before making an imperious
hypnotic gesture.
And cities are born
and tribes perish,
and someone curls his lips
with skepticism.

Thus a young man in love
walks down a lonely path
while emotion with terrible force
grows in his chest.
Thus grows the grass.
Thus grows the universe.
Thus life with measured tread
dances on death.

Translated by Ewald Osers

SUN
In their craned throats sing nostalgia and triumph.
Roosters are live sparks saved from the great
explosion by a miracle. They serve celestial fire.
Dinosaur-doom in their combs being latent.

THE LAND OF SATIATED DOGS
1

whats following you?

I kiss your golden hair,
I kiss your soul so serene
my artless sphynx,
my carefree
wretched girl.

whats following you?

Youre puddled of the same clay,
and the same sun
ran bit by bit into you.
The same wind
tossed you
along the road.

a molecular fate for the meek

We advance en masse,
Were sought after
like generous natives.
For a handfull of beads
we leap about together,
we sell the old idols.
We scrape up gold sand,
we clear wise jungles,
we take off the old furs.

our hands breathe separetely.

2
we broke all taboos
and were still alive!
whats following us?
By the road theyve left
heaps
of rusty cans,
celophane rolls,
empty bottles,
discarded amulets,
crumpled newspapers
and many useful objects.

We walk on
and walk on.

our feet breathe separetely

3
Across violet brooks we walk,
along bridges stretched tight,
along asphalt rivers,
to the call
of the iron horse

We sleep under huge letters,
we eat to the rhythm,
and love on the way.

whats following us

Whenever one looks back
he roars with laugher:
how
damned
funny
that there hangs in the museum
the thinned out beak of the totem.
4
I kiss your golden hair,
I kiss your saul so serene.
You have no doubts, darling.
Youve only weariness.
I would have carried you along
but Im not
the strong warrior I was
who took upon his back
the sins of the tribe
and met all threats
with a wry grin.

Have a little patience,
my weary waif.
Where we go, they say,
theres rest for all.
For everyone therell be
immense hunting grounds.
There, everyone is given
a ramshackle hut, a motley shirt,
a radio and a cask of whisky.

There,
/and you may not believe it/
even the dogs
eat their fill.

our heads breathe separetely

5
And weve been walking for so long.
I wish
someone could return from there
to tell us what he saw.

who returns from there?

They say so many chieftains
lead the sons of their tribe
in that direction.

who returns from there?

With grey heads
old people walk beside us
and push their grandchildren.

who returns from there?

Like signs of an important
but obscure languge,
mounds rise along the road.

Translated by Belin Tonchev

THE CLAY MAN

Hey, Doctor,
what shall we do with
the clay man?

He doesnt want to study.
My eyes, he says,
crumble from the letters.

His eyes look like
frightened drops.

Unfit for a soldier.
Wearily the military committee
found dove disease
in his brain.
No good for a clown
he trembles
badly,
trembling to the right
trembling to the left
his smile

Hey, Doctor, what
shall we do with the clay
man?

The doctor raised his hand to his forehead.
Earth after drought thats what his forehead is.

The doctor doesnt believe
in Gods mastery.

The strong one doesnt believe the weak.

The fish doesnt believe that the nets hugging it.

The healthy one doesnt believe
the sick.

The tree doesnt believe
in the saws kiss.

The living one doesnt believe the dead.

He doesnt believe in the doctor,
the clay man.

FREEDOM
The king shouted to his vassals: Hey, listen:
The absurdity
of my absurdity
is not my absurdity!
We are all human...
i.e. mammals.
I order you: Live
according to nature!

But the Fool laughed
disguised as a bat
and flew away from the tower.

BULGARIA STATION

Near the kiosk with pumped up tits
a dog, a donkey and a man are grazing
The dusty forehead of the Earth
is darkened by a Balkan cloud

A mouse amalgamated in the scenery
has lived a century beside the rails
Up on a matchbox a little mousie gives
a squeaky and an intoxicating laugh

progress leans down on a stick
knock-knocking on the black-oiled platform
then sitting on the bench to rest
forgets about his paper
Schoolboys
inside the cafe knit the sublimation
game, that is, rock, self-consciousness,
aggression against anything vulnerable

the yearning coils down like a snake
silently cuddling in the sesame rings
Where did you get lost, white engine
Where headed, black world

a young guy in a seraphs coat
pulling his cart across the sky
ransacks its piss-soaked corner
and dies to kick its golden ball

with such a poignant, thorny love
someone has smeared the tranquil picture
that theres no way to pass through it
but healing inside it like a scar

motherland pretends to be stoichkov
and sells us nuts beside the gents.

Translated by Kristin Dimitrova

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