Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Corpse’s Birthday

by Séamas Carraher

Savage fatherland,
brute in this peace, industrial in hypnosis,
both more and less our own impersonations:
still, with all them educated accents
up comes that voice!

To be dead at the beginning then,
time after time. To be so much corpse,
to know our place, knowing these limits,
their entrance and exit already worked

then there is no change. With all these
answers (and not a single question), with
all them suffocating silences, religious
and civilised,
with all them personalities, them celebrities,
all salvage and rubble,
even the freedom to lie – unattainable!

So prolific is our courage in whiskey,
our children in the future tense,
such is a desire, born on one breath
dead on the next
(O practical convulsion, that i don’t
swallow your tongue, tied as it is
to these old men in chairs!)

So solid is the site of our crimes,
our savage motherland,
so solid is our suppression, our situation,
our censorship, then another
courage! (to have such a thought!)

This ordinary day, like any other
begins the same, these
weak legs kicking in air,
here is our Long March, unstoppable, suspended,
both motion and withdrawal, our departure and entry,
its ascent and deficiency, fortress and sentry,
all criminal and trespass our transition.
Here, we storm heaven, returning.

Tell me another story, schoolmaster,
while i beat my own head into timber.

Look what you left us, father, and proud,
(here in this hospital we call home,)
the small pieces of your life left unravelled,
your socks and prayerbooks, sealed up in
a drawer,
all utter death without dreaming,
now abandoned by its boss,
equal and immutable,
these dead things in chains still
awaiting permission.

Look what you left us?

And somewhere there are people no one owns.
There, we are rocked by winds, our speech
like a sea, both wind and water in speech
in our most murderous articulation
(another explosion! to have such a thought!
to taste it, touching its tongue to her lips).

And this homeland is full of such whispering,
this homeland more like an eviction,
here we are heroic, we are numb, it is this crowd,
this is each need and its surplus
in our mute actions
this voice with 2 heads
crying to be i.

Here is where your lips got burned, and here
is where your charity burned others,
but this is no more than a murmur, unspeakable,
to be battered by love in its kindness,
to be chained by its loss, by its lack.

Then there is still no change. Like a nail.
Struggling like a nail in hard wood.
Not even the savagery of faith left to lose,
my conscience in code like your own,
this is what it means: eat your heart out.

Like a nail in labour
i am like a nail in labour,
to imagine the impossible,
her wild working of limbs and brain.

Here is where we have come
to be here all the time!

This country is cruel.
Brutal in its stones
and loud in its empty promises,
both more and less our own blind lies,
our fierce collusion.

This is how we have come nowhere. Listen
to it. Listen carefully.

Here is a place in a language not all theirs,
here is an empty place, not anywhere.
this is a point of departure, like a nail,
here is where we leave from, and always
guttural, spontaneous, forced, silence.
(In this populace mass all mortal function,
like its inversion,
its torture and interrogation)
here is where we are free, tomorrow, carefully,
ungovernable, irrepressible, raging.
Here we are rocked by winds not ours, both wind
and water in speech, our speech like a sea.

Drown in it. Twice! And again, comrade!

César, 50 years after your delirium,
and now no more than 5,000 miles away
there is this movement to be made,
as if a nail could have brains.

in the dead stillness of your corpse
there is more to this than meets the eye,
there is more to this than the uncertainty
of contradiction
there is more to this than all their dead noise,
(our rippling, murmuring, agitated,)
and there is more to this than my mother’s voice
(savage in its praying! to love our assassins!)

There is more to this world than its
solid nature, its impregnable politics,
there is more to the brutality than its law.
Here is each history in our hesitation,
this is where we are suspended, in this
womblike paroxysm where we all wait.

And there is more to this outside of this
and there is more to this out of it
as there is in it,
and there is more to this eye than
its mirror
and there is more to this “no more than this”.

This is where we hesitate
in our nail
in here
where we are sealed labouring in such cold savage speech
(so savage is this love, Mother, that i may capitulate before i destroy!)

And finally, lords,
there is more to this than eternal longing,
than the mystery of god,
than all these closed doors,
there is more to this than vowels
and consonants,
there is more to this than all them

Finally, brothers, in our mutilation,
there is more to this than all our speechlessness,
there is more than this flood, we imagine.

There is much more.

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