Edition 69
Jindrich Strysky
Emilie never tried to enter the world of my poetry. She viewed my garden from over the fence, so that such ordinary and natural fruit appeared to her as the terrible fruit of prehistoric paradises. Meanwhile I numbly shuffled up and down the footpaths like an idiot, like a wayward dog sniffing the grass for death and fleeing its destiny I was madly seeking a recurrence of that moment when shadows settle on a particular town square somewhere in the south. Leaning on the fence, Emilie rushes through life. I see her clearly: each morning she rises with her hair disheveled, goes to the toilet to pee, sometimes she takes a shit, then she washes with tar soap. With her perfumed sex she hurries off to mix with the living so that her sensation of being split will leave her.

Emilie's laugh was a marvel to behold! Her mouth seemed a desiccated hollow; but when you brought your head closer to that upper cavern of delight, you heard something inside her quiver, and when she parted her lips to meet yours, a piece of ruby-red flesh darted out from between her teeth. Old age likes to coddle time. Morality sleeps soundly only in pleasure's embrace. And her eyes, which never closed at the heights of pleasure, expressed an otherworldly rapture, appearing to be ashamed at the conduct of her lips.

In those places where I search for my youth I find curly golden hair meticulously preserved. Life is an incessant killing of time. Death daily gnaws away at what we call life, and life ceaselessly devours our desire for annihilation. The image of the kiss dies before the lips draw near, and each portrait fades before we even look at it. In the end even this woman's heart will have a worm crawling through it and laughing in its depths. Who then will be able to claim that you actually existed? I saw you in the company of a naked young girl, beautiful and startlingly white; the girl raised her hands to reveal palms black with soot. She imprinted one hand between your breasts while covering my eyes with the other in such a way that I saw you as if through torn lace. You were nude, shrouded only in an unbuttoned cloak, and at that second, I witnessed the whole of your life: you had the likeness of a swollen, rapidly germinating plant. Two stalks growing from the ground seamlessly merged at the very place you began to wilt and fade, but your body had already developed a navel, breasts, and head sprouting two lovely pink buds. Yet at this moment the lower part of your body shriveled and collapsed. And I, writhing in front of you, fingering the hem of your cloak, grunted with a love I had never known. I don't know whose shadow it was; I called it Emilie. We are securely bound to one another, inseparably, though we are joined back to back.

This woman is my coffin. As she walks she conceals me within her guise. In cursing her I damn myself, and loving her, I fall asleep with a cast of her hand on my prick.

--- From Edition 69
Jindrich Strysky (1933)
©2004 Twisted Spoon Press
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