Translated by Adam J. Sorkin and the poet
you need a starting point
life begins with the newborn placed on a scale
with the weight of an envelope sent far away
the dead are heavier than the living
if it weren’t that man’s weakness is easily influenced
there would be no muse
no mrs. first-grade teacher whispering the poem from behind the curtain
and no slow and even-tempered GPS voice either
working wonders in busy traffic
doesn’t indulge in idle talk doesn’t hide boredom
what an effective way to make a living a monotonous voice can be
when everybody else counts on competence;
no cabbie questions her authority
although she’s in the minority and doesn’t welcome a first-name basis
what you can hear through the static are only the dialed numbers
and the exact address
a dispatcher doesn’t let inappropriate words slip out doesn’t sign her own death warrant
doesn’t flaunt her frankness
doesn’t have to fight for her image
immune as she is to any form of seduction.
there’s a dispatcher in poor countries too
as well as on computer consoles in sci-fi movies
such civility is a superhuman feature
bags could replace lamp shades
intravenous feeding with light appears to be imminent
it’s artificial respiration that i’m afraid of
emotional download should take place in secret
like pirated movies
she suffers from chronic indecision
with one eye she weeps with the other laughs
he’s used to both eyes functioning in parallel
My poetry is inspired by everyday life in its typicality, especially my domestic existence. There is no social or political message; I just enjoy the act of writing as a constructive and sometimes a performative way of self-mockery, having in view that some women are too serious and complain too much about their condition. I think that poetic consciousness has within the language the masculine power to control excessive emotional flow and gives the poet the opportunity to be more objective and playful at the same time. There is nothing more ridiculous than feminist hysteria and the way women sometimes identify with the image of the victim. I feel the need of being more relaxed and ironic in relation to all these claims or assumptions. Some people have gained so many rights, if not privileges, that their discourse is no longer credible, while others still have no rights and are silent. Poetry is listening hard to the latter while speaking to everybody.
Also, sometimes I think that the poet is both a gambler and a rambler, betting on the lost black sheep, and moving around from one place to another in ways that trick people into believing this is about what is familiar and what is (at the same time) uncanny about the everyday… while in fact this is the poem; and thus the poem performs, becomes, and at the same time misses the everyday, the home, the people. It is a joke with a censored punch line, an awkward prank on a loved one, an instruction manual on how to laugh when tickled with your amputated finger. The poem is not (about) poetry, it is what could never have been done otherwise and yet is, all the time.
(written in English)
Teodora Coman (born in 1976 in Sibiu, Romania) published a collection of poetry titled Cârtița de mansardă (“The Attic Mole”), which came out in Bistrița from Max Blecher Press in 2012.
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