the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night




Max Blecher
Translated by Valery Oisteanu and Nadia Brunstein

Instead of Introduction

Word birds with wings of blood
Words flying wild in the rooms of my heart
Animals as transparent as the sky
Bouquets of astral worlds (comets with heads of dancers)
Bizarre flowers perfume the brain
Meaning a smile, or opposite, maybe joy
Appearances and disappearances in the dark of days
Fluttering eagles white over mountains sleep
Shop windows with angels and swords
With wolves, with cities, with ships, with a woman's hair
Words, drawings, incomprehensible as this writing
As my hands, as your shuttered eyes.



While I step ever forward, the shadows of my steps die
Like the path of a comet of darkness
And the asphalt behind me suppresses me
With everything I have been and everything I have thought
Like a magician
Destined to conceal my life with a slight of hand
There is a correct sequence of houses
On this road which
Must mean something nevertheless
There is a colorless, odorless, meatless sky
Above my unimportant steps
With my eyes closed I am walking inside a black box
With my eyes open I am walking inside in a white box
And no matter how hard I try to understand something
Heavy hammers in my head break every thought


"Instead of Introduction" and "Walking," from Max Blecher's Transparent Body (Corp Transparent ), "Editura bibliofila", Bucharest 1934, co-translated by Valery Oisteanu and Nadia Brunstein.



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