fredag 20 januari 2017

An American Noir

  Ikväll blir det dystert i överkant, inga musikslingor i bakgrunden - bara Charles Simic gråskaliga bluesdikter.


At the night court, by Charles Simic (f. 1938)
(From Unending blues : poems. San Diego : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986.)

You've combed yourself carefully, 

Your Honor, with a small fine-tooth comb 
You then cleverly concealed 
Before making your entrance 
In the splendor of your black robes. 

The comb tucked inside a handkerchief 
Scented with the extract of dead roses - 
While you took your high seat 
Sternly eyeing each of the accused 
In the hush of the empty courtroom.

The dark curly hairs in the comb 
Did not come from your graying head. 
One of the cleaning women used it on herself 
While you dozed off in your chambers 
Half undressed because of the heat. 

The black comb in the pocket over the heart, 
You feel it tremble just as ours do 
When they ready themselves to make music 
Lacking only the paper you're signing, 
By the looks of it, with eyes closed.


The fly, by Charles Simic
(From Unending blues : poems. San Diego : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986.)

He was writing the History of Optimism
In Time of Madness. It was raining.
One of the local butcher's largest
Carrion fanciers kept pestering him.

There was a cat too watching the fly,
And a gouty-footed old woman
In a dirty bathrobe and frayed slippers
Bringing in a cup of pale tea.

With many sighs and long pauses
He found a bit of blue sky on the day of the
         Massacre of the Innocents.
He found a couple of lovers,
A meadow strewn with yellow flowers.  .  .  .

But he couldn't go on.  .  .  . O blue-winged,
         shivering one, he whispered.
Some days it's like using a white cane
And seeing mostly shadows
As one gropes for the words that come next!

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