At a Counter on a Cloudy Morning

by Eric Chaet

– for John Bennett

I wake, cold.
I don’t remember any dream.
The ground’s frosty.

I sit at a counter, drinking coffee.
The others are preparing to drive their trucks,
feed corn stalks to their white-breath cows,
operate machinery that produces toilet paper & packaging.

They know what they owe, & how much they will earn.
They tell of recent bureaucratic run-arounds & vandalism—
& catch up on ball teams.

The newspaper is full of celebrities
the useless pronouncements of authorities
attempting to cut themselves heroic notches in history
& tragedies that have occurred
to people never before considered worthy of mention.

The Sun has been obscured for a long time already.

I don’t know how I’ll sustain myself.

///

///

ENEVOADA MANHÃ, NUMA CAIXA REGISTRADORA
by Eric Chaet
Portuguese: Tradutora: Juju Campbell

Acordo frio, gelado.
De nenhum sonho me lembro
O solo é frialdade

Lento num balcão
Os outros se preparam
Para dirigirem seus caminhões
Alimentam com talos de milho
Suas vacas brancas em respiração

Operarem o maquinismo
Que produz papel de toalete e embalagens

Eles sabem o que devem
E de quanto será seu ganho
Comentam burocráticos
Percursos e vandalismos
Seguram as bolas de seus times

O jornal está cheio de celebridades
De pronunciamentos inúteis
De autoridades querendo recortarem-se

Heróicos encaixes
Tragédias nunca ocorridas
a um povo nunca dantes colunável,
Escurecido, passível de noticia.

O sol foi obscurecido
Há já muito tempo
A mim mesmo não sei, como a mim mesmo sustentar-me-ei.

///

Translator Juju Campbell is a Rio de Janeiro poet.

///

Previously published in Vagabond (USA), also posted online @ Beyond the Pale (Ireland & France).

///

metanoia composure series

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