Prepared
Mutable
REM

By Christine Marendon

Translation Ken Cockburn

 

Prepared

At night I lie down and process light. The secret
which extends our life is memory. Plants
can’t do it, they are vessels and free will is
a ground-note of their being. The idea
all growing things share is to construct,
with the help of light, heavy industry and violently
to close all gaps. Clearing is a good word: to clear space
and there to hold with hot hands saturated, decaying cells
in air and light. Thus great reservoirs of peat build up
over millennia, having surmounted long stages of dehydration.
Then the framework is established. It forms a peculiar film
and in its effect is closely related to poems. As with the
interaction of good and evil its effect is inverted
if there is no internal tension. Everything lies on a plane
without ever branching, which would help form an anchor.
Above, the canopy of leaves works in the realm of light. It’s a
strange thought, to be quite silent and locked into the world.
Each blade of grass behind barbed wire is only make-believe.
Whatever else might be called alive has winter for a friend.

 

 

 

Mutable

Waste-tips and scrapheaps have always been
rich enough to see the winter out. Imagine
a skin over them and it’s like a force flowing
down into the earth. We bind the sense of our
plant origins to our first setting sail. The idea of one’s
self is like that of the animals. Land is the concept
we pay for, which has become so alien to us
we soon reach a border. The same expanse, yet
so many differences. Grass is obedient and belongs
with the weak, yet enfolds the naked-born
human. Even dead things which were never windborne
turn into earth. We don’t live with our own light.
Those swings from inside to out result rarely
in fulfillment. Whoever seeks other people
sinks into endlessly gentle grass.

 

 

REM

When you’re scared have a good look at yourself:
this horrible little eternity
is the blink of an eye.

I was uttered into the wind, the house
thrust me out of itself, spelled me with
open doors and windows, threw me so high
I broke through the clouds, cried AFRICA and
bumped against the dome of the highest ceiling,
the barrier of air and breathlessness. What followed
was a descent, I fell back and thundered into
the earth, I had become lightning. My way
led deep inside, I changed my form
and forgot who I was. I just kept thinking
that in everything I was still I. In everything.