Hannah and Other Palindromes
Hannah Höch in 1919
A Dadaist says unto a Dadaist:
I know you like waving, but you don’t have to conduct
all the local windmills in one day.
This is as exciting as a conversation of lemons
or a dream that solidifies into a point of view.
More rules not to follow:
catholicise your cat.
Next to arise, a mincing mouth,
a newspaper ragout.
The marriage of crying eyes
and imperial wings.
Your tongue is an acrobat who jumps
into his wound.
Hail the year of the kitchen knife!
Unpacify symmetry into pieces;
construct an enemy.
Existence stems from death’s shadow.
Artaud on Aran, 1937
The dreamscape with de Chirico’s statues…
Was it doubling his doubts?
The eyes of the lunar calendar were watching him.
He sniffed the essence of absence; he
distilled sense from the bottled past.
Daily excuses were sticking out
from his Styx-themed saucer.
Near which abyss is your little crevice?
He was an oily weasel trying to get back
into a lush Rousseau’s landscape.
He saw his cane as the Staff of Jesus.
We confiscated some loony’s stick, Gardai reported.
In a poleless world, you rotate yourself
into a standstill.
An incognizant woman sitting next to him
kept petting her cat
Tristram of Cornwall
I don’t speak your eyes.
Whatever you lantern, I
We incur what we wizard.
A birdcage that sings to a belfry.
A silkworm of thrill.
Man is his own compass.
My sight, dispatched to peregrinate.
Lapwing me to the wind.
Happiness, static as beauty…
Brain is a substance creator.
Fortresses of dawn, my sentinels…
a squid in a bony cage
Rejoice, you mighty plankton!
He came to me with a bubble of ink
he inquired about death
his watch dancing a gigue
The sea pulls its skin
hearts pulsate for changes
as in squid pro quo
What is at work here?
suckers on tentacles
These shores will never contain time
The sky covers its neon
with its pale fingers
These stones overhead,
comets juggling omens…
What’s the distance between nothing
and “no other thing”?
We eye the sky thinking of a science
to replace it with. Has anybody flown
to holiness from a language?
To bliss from publicity?
You’re right, we should have counted
air balloons inside our heads
well beforehand. Do you know
that all our breezes are sung by vultures?
The sky creates cities and dominions.
Under the setting celestial persimmon, somebody
swaps the whole planetarium of glowworms
for a yarn receptacle.
Touch things turned to stone
silhouettes sitting in a circle
their candle eyes
touch your touch
Silent whirlwinds of essence
droplets of crimson and marine blue
juices of anger, panicking corals
What was mine is now detached
Every name has a body
sapphire thieves wear fire
cathedrals enter their minds
Mark the identity blush
Pity never comes back
Grade these granules of havoc
Tetrahedrons of your ages
walk into your walk
How it all turns to stone
I was sitting on the terrace talking clouds to the mountains
when it happened. A sudden visitasion by the muse.
She was wearing the lucidity of her thoughts, which somehow
resembled a doctor’s white coat. “Seems like you are
struggling with your writing,” she said.
“Well…” I muttered. “You are,” she completed her diagnosis.
“I can be of help, you know. Just tell me
what kind of poet you strive to be.”
I sank deep into the sink of my mind, and she continued:
“Some write poetry for poets, like Paul Celan.
Not exactly popular but infectious. Some others somehow
become voices of the masses. Remember Mayakovsky?
There are also poets who write solely
for themselves… So do you have a personal preference?”
“Erm I’d like to write what my friends would appreciate.”
A not-so-muse-like cackle followed. She grabbed my hand
and lifted me up to the sky’s shaken chrystal. We flew
over a rocky range and into the land
of beach-goers and mojitos.
“This is where you belong,” declared the muse.
These Flowing Moments
She called herself Princess Belle-Etoile
I called her Little Good Mouse
Her perfume was confusion
Sleepy-eyed memories in Cinema gothique
(part one: our youth
part two: our married life)
Could we ever land in part three?
We warbled in a gigantic war chest
Our address was 1939 Landgrab Street
That puddle around my feet…
To stop thawing, I cached away my heart
I am so sapped, she whispered
Don’t melt tonight, please, she whispered –
and defaulted into slumber
I petted my duck that was also a dog
I slid my heart back under my corium
and subsided onto the couch
My half-dissolved hand cuneiformed the words
end of part two
on a bibliography card
white as Silesian snow
Anatoly Kudryavitsky lives in Dublin, Ireland, and in Reggio di Calabria, Italy. He is the editor of SurVision poetry magazine. His most recent poetry collections are “The Two-Headed Man and the Paper Life” (MadHat Press, USA, 2019) and “Scultura Involontaria” (Casa della poesia, Italy, 2020; a bilingual English/Italian edition). His latest novel, “The Flying Dutchman“, has been published by Glagoslav Publications, England, in 2018. In 2020, he won an English PEN Translate Award for his anthology of Russian dissident poetry 1960-1980 entitled “Accursed Poets” (Smokestack Books, 2020).