Spring 2011

Table of Contents - Vol. VII, No. 1

Poetry    Translations    Fiction

Peycho Kanev


No skies, no sun, no sounds,
I live in darkness.

When I think of light
it gets darker.
No candles, no matches,
not even fingers.
Just my soul pretending
to know everything.

Let me hear it:
“Time is like worry-beads!”

Oh, shut up, you all-knowing,
all powerful thing.
I think of shadows and their
shadows sticking on the walls,
as the hands of the clock chase
each other, endlessly. The fibrils
of the Universe are my own veins,
and the horizon’s edge is clear, but…
Suddenly I hear the divine
footsteps and the dog of Poetry
whisper in my presumptive ear:

I run into the bookish darkness.


Dear friends, I get drunk when I’m sad.
What about you?
When I’m really mirthless I plunge my teeth
into the last drops of the dripping wine.
“This is mine!” I scream at the crucifix.

The candlelight cannot disperse the shadows.
They play tricks with my poor eyesight.
I see images of Ivan the Terrible on the wall.
I feel the whiff of some flapping wings.
Is someone coming to get me?

And all along the sorrowful streets outside,
the flaring rays of the sun make me shiver.
The trees shake off their ugly summer faces.
Soon they will be skeletons of the lightning,
until the storm changes the face of this world.

Later at home I look out thru the grated window.
The moon is yellow udder; exhausted and stale.
I try to penetrate the brains of the pedestrians.
In the boxes of their evening heads I search,
for the last drops of this sad life.



There is some dignity in death,
but we prefer to turn our heads.

In the ancient times,
the Greeks used to put coins on
the closed eyes or in the mouths
of their dead.

This way they were able to pay
Charon for passage across the river Styx,
because those who could not pay the fee,
or those whose bodies were left unburied,
had to wander the shores for hundreds of years.

The eyes of the living
are different today.

The soul of the living is wandering
without direction.

So many paths,
so many forgotten roads
lost in eternity, with so many milestones
covered in mildew,
and I am the only traveler.

The fading smell of God
is still sticking to the grass,
and I am walking;
my eyes are open.

But the eyes I look out of
are the same eyes the sky is looking

And we are contented,
our time is now and it’s never-ending,
but remember,

when we close the eyes of the dead,
they open our souls.

© Peycho Kanev

Poetry    Translations    Fiction

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