Jukebox, Emmaus


We travel like everyone else, but we return to nothing. As if travel were

a path of clouds. We buried our loved ones in the shade of clouds and

between roots of trees. (more…)

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When I reflect on my journeys throughout the world, which have gone on for so long now, it sometimes strikes me that the most troubling problems were not so much borders and front lines, or the exertion and the danger, as the constantly recurring uncertainty about the nature and course of my encounters with Others, with the other people I came across somewhere along the way. After all, I knew that a great deal, and at times everything, was at stake. Each of these encounters was an unknown: What would it be like? How would it unfold? What would it lead to? (more…)

Late afternoon.
The houses are shaded in the lightest of pencil strokes.
Birds have flown, nests long abandoned.
Wind flourishes its whips of cold, freezing the tongue;
Echoes of footfalls; leaves falling;
Rags and tatters of newsprint.  (more…)

To whoever is not listening to the sea
this Friday morning, to whoever is cooped up
in house or office, factory or woman
or street or mine or harsh prison cell;
to him I come, and, without speaking or looking,
I arrive and open the door of his prison,
and a vibration starts up, vague and insistent,
a great fragment of thunder sets in motion
the rumble of the planet and the foam,
the raucous rivers of the ocean flood,
the star vibrates swiftly in its corona,
and the sea is beating, dying and continuing.

So, drawn on by my destiny,
I ceaselessly must listen to and keep
the sea’s lamenting in my awareness,
I must feel the crash of the hard water
and gather it up in a perpetual cup
so that, wherever those in prison may be,
wherever they suffer the autumn’s castigation,
I may be there with an errant wave,
I may move, passing through windows,
and hearing me, eyes will glance upward
saying ‘How can I reach the sea?’
And I shall broadcast, saying nothing,
the starry echoes of the wave,
a breaking up of foam and quicksand,
a rustling of salt withdrawing,
the grey cry of the sea-birds on the coast.

So, through me, freedom and the sea
will make their answer to the shuttered heart.

I hear that in New York
At the corner of 26th Street and Broadway
A man stands every evening during the winter months
And gets beds for the homeless there
By appealing to passers-by.

It won’t change the world
It won’t improve relations among men
It will not shorten the age of exploitation
But a few men have a bed for the night
For a night the wind is kept from them
The snow meant for them falls on the roadway.

Don’t put down the book on reading this, man.

A few people have a bed for the night
For a night the wind is kept from them
The snow meant for them falls on the roadway
But it won’t change the world
It won’t improve relations among men
It will not shorten the age of exploitation.

Translated by George Rapp

I awakened to dryness and the ferns were dead,
the potted plants yellow as corn;
my woman was gone
and the empty bottles like bled corpses
surrounded me with their uselessness; (more…)

In the sky there is nobody asleep. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is asleep.
The creatures of the moon sniff and prowl about their cabins.
The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream,
and the man who rushes out with his spirit broken will meet on the
street corner
the unbelievable alligator quiet beneath the tender protest of the
stars. (more…)

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