Jul '02 [Home]


Gellupka — Archaeology Medium Driven Poet
Valery Oisteanu

A poet awakens in the middle of the night. He dresses quietly, takes some coins from his wife's purse and walks out onto the moonlit path that leads to the train station. He asks where the trains are headed this time of night, and how far can he get on his meager money. The stationmaster directs him eastward, and soon a train pulls in. He enters the train and rides until he senses that he has reached the right place and should get off.
          Once on the ground, he walks a long time through villages full of angry dogs, and half asleep peasants, finally arriving at a lake. In the middle of the lake is a small island and a small house in the middle of that. Such a house would be perfect for a secret meeting with a secret lover. Meanwhile, on the shore, he digs for hours, first with his bare hands, later with a stick. At last, he uncovers some weird ceramic objects. As he tries to free them, a big clay phallus pops out from the hole.
          The archeologist is enchanted with his find and strokes the phallus gently, almost like stroking his own sex. Suddenly, a wonderful girl appears on the island just opposite the excavation site. He imagines her the daughter of a fisherman or a lighthouse keeper perhaps. She undresses in the moonlight and swims out into the lake. The poet cries out with excitement and starts singing. She emerges from the lake and disappears. The poet places the phallus into a leather pouch and falls asleep under a willow tree.
          He sleeps all day and wakes up in the dark. Taking the black ceramic phallus from the pouch, he again strokes it gently like an ancient tool of a medicine man, like a magic object of a shaman. As this artifact from another era heats up, the girl appears nearby, undresses and lies down. She calls, and waves to him to approach. As the two make love, she holds her legs in a fetal position. They spend the night by the lake. Once she leaves, the poet-archeologist hides the phallus in its leather pouch. But in the morning light, he observes that it has changed color. Before, it was black, and now it is red.
          As the poet sits looking at the lake for the last time, he discovers under the leaves yet another object, the clay figure of a woman. Small and dirty, she has enormous hips. He rinses her carefully and climbs down into the pit, where he falls asleep, not awaking until high noon.
          By the time he makes his way back, the train station has vanished, leaving only overgrown tracks. A worn sign reads "Gellupka," but clearly, no train has stopped there for ages. Perplexed, he lets out a low whistle.
          Suddenly, the tracks vibrate and a train arrives, its cars all empty. He enters the train and rides alone back to his city. Once home, he finds his wife, old and blind, surrounded by cats and birds.
          A tree has grown up in the middle of their living room, and a small pond has formed behind the house. He removes the phallus, still red, from his pouch and strokes it. A lovely girl arises from the pond, walking on the surface of the water, smiling and waving to him.