Oana Avasilichioaei

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Borders on Madness

It happened over a game of dice. A die fell through the tombstones. Up in the steeple of the wooden citadel, the bell gonged into a deafening clang.

We challenged the dice, became travellers of mirages.

Time strolled incandescent through its gardens of foliage, swamp and frozen lake: a contagious fire ignited all hours, melting them into a single number. To be its comrade in a new clock, grasping the crush of one night passing.

On the south side of the dial, the train tracks heard the shrill of a locomotive. The air was metallic. Rafael, dragging me after him, hindered by an immense swarm of large, black butterflies, turned: They alone know the hour! Where is the sky? Where?

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Shouldering

we’ll slowly unfasten incessant roots, wind, foliage
sprout on our shoulders where the slow can’t take root

skirmish of the great azure boulevards
if i stir depends on you

luminous shoulders, silent and with gestures, flaunt the incessant
a despair similar, where is the firmament?

if tonight i summon you will the season be hourless?
if i shoulder your season’s nights will the hourless summon?

though lacking a handrail, i flood the house with spectacular pleasure
hand pointing to yesterday’s hour, embracing all hours, a time much larger, heightitude, ramifications

offer my shoulder, translucent with this exploratory season
waves flood, sleeves hoist, scramble up a bloom, sprout a shoulder scorched

a leafed wing rambles hearing your answer
the only constellation gashing at dawn

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Note from the author: These poems, excerpted from Limbinal, are plucked and composed out of the field of my own translations of Paul Celan’s early Romanian poems; they border, transgress and traverse the porous body of our languages.

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bio

Poet, translator and editor, Oana Avasilichioaei’s books include We, Beasts (Wolsak & Wynn, 2012, winner of the QWF’s A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry) and feria: a poempark (Wolsak & Wynn, 2008). Her most recent translation is Wigrum, a novel by Daniel Canty (Talonbooks, 2013) and she was the editor of the Quebec poetry feature in Aufgabe 12 (New York, 2013).

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