April 13, 2008

Laksmi Pamuntjak (1)


By Laksmi Pamuntjak

Has nothing changed?
Oil lamps and torch lights catching
ellipsis in mid-flight,
preventing it from reaching the
moon: singed, already, by birds on heat.
Baked now, in the sun.
Flayed to pith
but hiding nothing.
Certainty makes fools of us.
She doesn’t know her crime,
only that she enjoys the increments
of the four seasons,
and the folds of un swept beaches -
No one telling you whether to sink
or swim.
And now the first waves of shadow
roll across the square. The fire-folks are gone
and the moon is chalk-white.
In the morning there will be a sentence;
a full sentence at last -
as if things were any different spelt out
from what is more or less known.

from Ellipsis

The Embrace

on the pain of Egon Schiele

They are not unhappy, really,
his mouth curled into a poised arc
that defines here from everything
else, even if his body is fettered by
something inside, a lament, a vigil,
that refuses to go. She lies hot-pressed
against the curve of his chin, her hair
quite a different matter, its redness licks
like fire. Palm stone hard on his pulse.
The cream crests beneath them are the
parched soil of their love, pleated now
where it once fluttered in the heat of
passion. No, it is not that love dies,
nor is it expelled the way of language
in a city of sorrows. Nor is it frail,
the moon that outwits the sun, the
wordless serene. This is only about
knowing how to clench our thirst.
They would sleep, side by side, ingesting
the odor of each other’s fallow. They would
smile at each other, pointing at each other’s
chipped nails. They would lovingly embrace
their names. But they are the stuff of soil.
Even the crows cannot tear him from her
grip, that which cups the dry pan of his neck.
Crinkling inwards, like the tightened pelvic of
a woman on top. She is Eden, blood for
blood. His body, a drooling phallus,
turning back into an image of the earth.

from The Diary of R.S.: Musings on Art