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Karl Ruprecht Kroenen
Everything goes to hell...
...anyway!
Poem for this week ... 
28th-May-2014 07:22 pm


Dear Oh dear Robert ...






IF YOU ONLY KNEW

Far from me and like the stars,

the sea and all the other traditional trappings of  poetic mythology.

Far from me yet present nonetheless although you're unaware of it.

Far from me, and even more silent than you are distant,

since I keep on endlessly imagining you

Far from me,

my gorgeous mirage and my perpetual dream, in ways you just can't know.

If you only knew.

Far from me and perhaps all the more so because you not only ignore me,

but ignore me more each day.

Far from me because undoubtedly you don't love me, or, what amounts to the same thing,

because I doubt so strongly that you do.

Far from me because you so methodically ignore my each and every desire.

Far from me because you're so cruel.

If you only knew.

Far from me, O blissful as a flower dancing in a river at the tip of its underwater stem

O melancholy as 7 pm and sunset in a mushroom-cellar.

Far from me and therefore still more silent than if you were actually present,

yet more blissful still than some lucky, stork-shaped hour that falls down from above.

Far from me at that moment when the stills are singing,

at that moment when the silently foaming sea curls back up on its white pillows.

Far from me,

O my ever-present, constant torment,

far from me and lost in the magnificent noises of oyster-shells,

crushed by footsteps of some night-owl at the harborside,

passing cafe-doors at dawn.

If you only knew.

Far from me, O my deliberate, material mirage.

Far from me there's an island turning around as ships pass.

Far from me,

a herd of docile cattle wanders off a path, then obstinately stops at the edge of a steep cliff,

far from me, O cruel one!

Far from me a shooting star lands in the poet's nightly bottle. He promptly corks it up again, and for a long time afterwards gazes through its glass at the captive star,

glimpsing constellations forming within its walls,

far from me, you're that far from me.

If you only knew.

Far from me a house long under construction has just finally been completed.

At the top of a scaffold a bricklayer in dusty white overalls

sings a sad little song to himself and then,

in the leftover cement in his mortar tray, sees the entire future of the house:

the kisses the lovers and the suicide pacts,

nakedness in the bedrooms of beautiful strangers

and their most intimate midnight dreams,

together with various voluptuous secrets caught in the act

and revealed by squares of polished parquet.

Far from me,

If you only knew.

If you only knew how I love you and --even though you don't love me-- how happy I've become,

how empowered and proud, for being able with your image in my mind to step out into this world,

and able even to step out of this entire universe,

and for being so happy, moreover, even to die for this.

If you only knew how I've conquered the world.

And you, so beautiful, and so seemingly unconquerable too,

how completely you've become my prisoner.

Oh you, who from so far away, completely conquer me!

If you only knew.

Robert Desnos

the reading days
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