BAALBECK by Etel Adnan (3)

10.

On a wall, a lion
was sculpted

the first animal I loved
was cold

the second unveiled
the incredible depth of
the flesh

the stone
was from the
Orient,

love,
elsewhere.

11.

Watch out
for the past,
a poison for our
fields,

for these columns
which are trees,
regardless of spring
or winter.

12.

There, abroad,
centuries-old oaks
have heard Napoleon’s steps
climbing the
Rhone Valley,

to fall,
further North,  on
enemy territory

all defeat
is the end
of a life.

13.

Stones resume their conversations
to make us admit that
materiality bewilders
us, 

objects being the children
of their own shadows.

Play in the infernal
jungles as monkeys do, 

enter the
labyrinth that
you are.

14.

Theseus tried to kill
the Minotaur
with whom his wife had
deceived him

but the string
broke,

and his anger fell
on his son.

Since, someone may
remember him, but
that ascertains
his death. 

15.

There’s in Baalbeck a temple dedicated
to Bacchus, and in
Bolinas a Night Palace
that Joanne Kyger
protects with her
poems

from under our
footsteps rises a phantom
which quickly
evaporates,

because our countries don’t
cease going up in
smoke.

16.

Work is an
incurable
architecture
practiced on
ourselves…

I would like to be within
an insanity that will work like
a sky above my
head,

possessed by a nameless
acceleration.

17.

I am hungry for the ruins
where I was running
in prehistory,

I will travel,
motionless.

18.

When I went up the pink granite
toward the summit
I saw the beginning
of Asia,

the intemporal rejoined
us.

There’s nothing closer
to the sacred than
nothingness.

19.

The days are enclosed in
a bottle of aspirins

I tell you, I’m in the
process of dying

the path is not
spectacular

the sun is lying on
the tides of the
century,

that’s called eternity
in the calendar of
Being

… and, in my eyes,
a faded rose.

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