The New Tower of Babel

Poems by Ion Pachia-Tatomirescu

The New Tower of Babel


(1) ...Into the Last State of the Matter...

The striated sky of my holy mushroom,
myriapoda like flashes of lightning – and the same
chromium ants
and the milk foam, among the planets,
and the white water lilies of the darkness
on the blue-purple tongue of the Sunday cloud
and the same photons from the gods' torches
intermingle towards the foggy perihelion,
among age-old, threadbare tents,
to let me cross the borders of the grass
into the last state of the matter...

(2) ...Nails of Verdigris Copper...

Waters play the long stone pipes for me,
streaks of lightning scuffle in hard hermetic boxes,
meridians pierce
the mountain's golden hearts,
where the blood booms,
bricklayers climb up the heavens
by sun pulleys, by full moon wheels,
among heliocentric reptiles –
their muscles strain on mandibles and parietal bones,
running along tibia and fibula tram lines,
ignoring the poppy traffic lights of the kneecaps;
they immure the shadows of their wives
who no longer show up to bring the midday meal
despite the foamy pelting rain;
carpenters crucify the virgins in window cases,
hammering their breasts with nails of verdigris copper...

(3) ...Of the Pregnant Stars...

Supersonic golden eagles, thousands of hearts and wings,
carry mountains in their claws to the dams of the dark,
opening for me the gateway to Father-Sun,
among the columns of a sylvan infinite of uranium,
along the egg of the bird with a disquieting shriek,
over stags, where the constellation of saps
rises in fir trees like nourishing bread and milk;
at their switchboards,
drillmen, miners, geologists, physicians of the abyss
feel the pulse and the temperature of the planets;
fluttering buoys, the railway stations of the rainbows
cheerfully greet the ardent future;
poets bring orioles of chromium in cages –
they send flights of birds, garlands of warbles
to herald the mast which takes the crane from the head
of the pyramid into the galaxies of narcissi;
give the kiss of life to the nine planets,
thrusting their arteries into magnetic fields,
guiding the sterile heavenly bodies
into the orbits of the pregnant stars...

(4) ...Aboriginal Solar Traditions...

Through intergalactic megaphones
you can hear the last order of the day:
”Until the completion of the long overdue Tower of Babel,
in conformity with the Grand Cosmic Long-Term Plan,
you are forbidden to lag behind schedule!
Even if your heart deserts you,
despite the scarcity of fuel,
of our everyday light,
let your skeletons march onwards!
Do not allow yourselves to be enticed
by luxuriant snows, by seraphic tunes!
Do not chase
birds of flapping fog,
their wings are harnessed to the tragic chariot...!”
A sublime beam of light gushes out of the scientists' eyes,
bent over the mysteries which drop anchor
in radar-like terrestrial harbours,
bringing wedding and christening invitations
from the fertile islands named Alpha Centauri,
in the sound of aboriginal solar traditions...

(5) ...While the Mountains Are Laying Eggs...

Facing the mirrors in the Cloud-Ripper,
on porcelain tables in the Gold-Ripper,
full-uddered glass cows,
ruminating the sparkling grass,
await to be milked by children.
Enthusiastic arms of photons
from the green frogs' tiny eyes
embrace me – springs of plant desires
when rich cornfields breathe torrents of ozone
during blue showers of ions and soft sounds.
Relics of martyr-saints
resurrect in the must of the hills,
in the blood of the Brownian seamen
through the gates of the peaceful uranium.
The last yellow tank trucks
flutter their black flags
on the Milky Way.
Bells ring under the snows of my eyes –
and Salmosh, the healer-god,
caresses Miss Sunflower
with his seven-fingered hand
while the mountains are laying eggs...!

(6) ...From Within...

The evening carts recede
into the earthen sky adorned with
skins of moles still burrowing into sunsets.
The celestial tower breathes through wells
while sheets studded with stars
flutter in balconies
brightening up your path to me:
you may come
and wash my bones in flames!
The Tower, the new Tower of Babel,
the geyser of Phoenix birds,
the power to rise from its own ashes,
despite the star stalks strangling it –
the split earth worm,
split over and over again,
in ceaseless expansion
in all directions
until It cannot catch sight of Itself
from within...

(7) ...Before the Sinister Self-Devoration Starts...

Our homeland is
the sublime cosmic tree,
the new Tower of Babel –
which knows but two cycles:
devoration and self-devoration.
Yet, my sweetheart,
today is the seventh day:
self-contemplation and enchantment do befit
like a dandelion hare
on the harp of a wild rose field –
oh, if only cancer could thrust
his fangs into my photons leisurely
since I have been forbidden no fruit
and I have obeyed the sole morals of the Holy Light –
the deceptive window of my flight from death,
before the sinister self-devoration starts...
1965-05-01 / 1967-01-24*.
English version by Gabriela Pachia.
English version by Gabriela Pachia
Poems by Ion Pachia-Tatomirescu.
rightwordseu, 30/11/2022

«The arbitrary imagery, though revelatory at times, the rotation of times and spaces into a gloomy avalanche, though starry here and there, the sustained lyric propulsion, once again having the Dacian land as the centre of gravity, are memorable aspects in the poem The New Tower of Babel. This time, a world of skeleton-master masons, bricklayers, carpen-ters, and day labourers, not supervised by any architect, is building up the tower, which might belong to sublime absurdity as well. In both poems, the poet's ample lyric gesture, his clamorous expression, and his chaotic impressions seem to ori-ginate in Lautréamont's super-Hugo-like rhetoric, in the same manner in which Constant Tonegaru, in our literature, is present in his tone, in the fantastic representations, and in the recurrence of the apostrophe. » (Vl. Streinu, «Snowdrops» – in «Luceafărul», No. 11 / 255, March 18, 1967, p. 1 / 7).

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Ion Pachia-Tatomirescu (1947) Romanian poet

Life period: 1947