拉里·李维斯

在这里你可以找到长诗叶子变宽的咒语诗人拉里·李维斯的作品

叶子变宽的咒语

——《喀尔巴阡边境》,1968年10月——为了我的兄弟有一次,在异国他乡,我突然生病了。我正驱车向南前往一座大城市,这座城市非常有名,因为它只有一座复制品,是三分之二大小的混凝土,凯旋门卡在车流中,堵塞了交通。但城市在几小时之外,在山那边,形状像熟睡的女人的尸体。我常常不得不放慢速度,因为在狭窄的道路上有成群的山羊或牛在碾磨,也因为我所经过的村庄里狭窄的、迷路的石头街道。随着时间的推移,我胃里的疼痛越来越剧烈,越来越频繁,现在发烧了。在村子里,向任何人求助都没有多大意义。在那些地方,坦克们结束了沿着多瑙河的例行演习,在返回的路上在阴凉处露宿,那一年连食物都很短缺。语言莫名其妙地从两种斯拉夫语变成了德语,然后变成了夹杂着“哦”和“嘶嘶”的拉丁语。即使我试着说最简单的话,路过那些凹凸不平的石头的农民也只停顿了一会儿,不解地抬头看了一眼。然后他们迅速转身离开,静静地消失在那一刻,就像树皮碎片旋转着顺流而下。 It was autumn. Beyond each village the wind Threw gusts of yellowing leaves across the road. The goats I passed were thin, gray; their hind legs, Caked with dried shit, seesawed along-- Not even mild contempt in their expressionless, Pale eyes, & their brays like the scraping of metal. Except for one village that had a kind Of museum where I stopped to rest, & saw A dead Scythian soldier under glass, Turning to dust while holding a small sword At attention forever, there wasn't much to look at. Wind, leaves, goats, the higher passes Locked in stone, the peasants with their fate Embroidering a stillness into them, And a spell over all things in that landscape, Like . . . That was the trouble; it couldn't be Compared to anything else, not even the sleep Of some asylum at a wood's edge with the sound Of a pond's spillway beside it. But as each cramp Grew worse & lasted longer than the one before, It was hard to keep myself aloof from the threadbare World walking on that road. After all, Even as they moved, the peasants, the herds of goats And cattle, the spiralling leaves, at least were part Of that spell, that stillness. After a while, The villages grew even poorer, then thinned out, Then vanished entirely. An hour later, There were no longer even the goats, only wind, Then more & more leaves blown over the road, sometimes Covering it completely for a second. And yet, except for a random oak or some brush Writhing out of the ravine I drove beside, The trees had thinned into rock, into large, Tough blonde rosettes of fading pasture grass. Then that gave out in a bare plateau. . . . And then, Easing the Dacia down a winding grade In second gear, rounding a long, funneled curve-- In a complete stillness of yellow leaves filling A wide field--like something thoughtlessly, Mistakenly erased, the road simply ended. I stopped the car. There was no wind now. I expected that, & though I was sick & lost, I wasn't afraid. I should have been afraid. To this day I don't know why I wasn't. I could hear time cease, the field quietly widen. I could feel the spreading stillness of the place Moving like something I'd witnessed as a child, Like the ancient, armored leisure of some reptile Gliding, gray-yellow, into the slightly tepid, Unidentical gray-brown stillness of the water-- Something blank & unresponsive in its tough, Pimpled skin--seen only a moment, then unseen As it submerged to rest on mud, or glided just Beneath the lustreless, calm yellow leaves That clustered along a log, or floated there In broken ringlets, held by a gray froth On the opaque, unbroken surface of the pond, Which reflected nothing, no one. And then I remembered. When I was a child, our neighbors would disappear. And there wasn't a pond of crocodiles at all. And they hadn't moved. They couldn't move. They Lived in the small, fenced-off backwater Of a canal. I'd never seen them alive. They Were in still photographs taken on the Ivory Coast. I saw them only once in a studio when I was a child in a city I once loved. I was afraid until our neighbor, a photographer, Explained it all to me, explained how far Away they were, how harmless; how they were praised In rituals as "powers." But they had no "powers," He said. The next week he vanished. I thought Someone had cast a spell & that the crocodiles Swam out of the pictures on the wal