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I don’t want to wake up; this sleep might be my salvation
deep in darkness, I don’t want to lift my eyelashes
now, when I descend into the belly of my ship
from unknown depths I don’t want to come out, waking up
under the soft, dark silence, I’ll stay yearning
in that deep cave I’ll read the shadows of my fires
I don’t want to wake up anymore, my thoughts have fallen quiet
in this state of day avoided, of morning without rest
and my living body, longing for wraps and tenderness
I want it to stay naked like that, in that space, not waking up
when I descend into my primordial membrane
where everything I know exists and I don’t have to explain
while silence pervades matter, I won’t be born again.


I don’t want to wake up; I’ll be struck by sickness
when she comes and puts her palm on the ground in July
when grass is warm above and you can see the Sun
now I can barely write that I don’t want to wake up
I’ll follow the dried-out umbilical cord, like Ariadne’s thread
until in that space I recognize the road-signs to the birth
I don’t want those visible states, let the sea cover my eyes
I don’t want to leave the Montenegrin rocks in the morning
I want to be under the sparkling drops
in that space that exists and that no one knows about
And how would I awaken after such a dream
which I enter like a shadow of the Bare Kraljske forests
I want to keep every touch from the people I loved
because, If I wake up, I’ll have just thoughts and memories
and I don’t like waking up; I just want to stay there
where everything’s restless and turbulent, in warm physicality


O God, not even you will wake me up, from the cursed ceiling
from the warm deer’s den among the twigs, or in the bustling city
I don’t want to wake up; I want to remember a verse
I want to stay in this state where there’s nothing, yet somehow you’re alive
and you feel you’re there even though you’re asleep and don’t exist
Now, when I smoke my two cigarettes, I’ll lie down like Pavese
and everyone will know that it’s alright, like he said to a pair of eyes
(I want these lines to be read by the hotel butlers from the night table, too)
I don’t want to wake up; I’ll remember everything that was before
and the pain will enter through light and blood, all the way to the bone


I don’t want to wake up between the Sun and the dark
sky where missing is always larger than ever
and the day given by gods to the city wraiths and the thirsty hunters
I don’t want to wake up; in the fever of such a biography
which shakes to exhaustion, and now the night;
first the dusk and then the night city, the bars and the sluts
I don’t want to wake up from the purity, hidden like death
there are no voices that would open wounds large and small
and no words can harm me while I’m in that silence
looking at the wide windows of Reiner’s castle
with the faces of angels, alight in endless night
I don’t want to wake up; there’ll be nothing that I want there
everything will be different, and I’ll suffer that
awakening with no lakes and treetops in bloom, and no voice of God
who could be awake? But a man is only at the end of beauty,
at the beginning of everything that can be loved
if I wake up, I won’t want her the way she is
and I’ll never again find the road that I have lost
what if that touch is not there when I awaken
and I can’t even become like a good demon
in front of the sleeping open eyes, which see that heart
like I survived the birth amidst nudity and dawn.


I don’t want to wake up; on a rainy day, into a blue morning
to watch the open walking skulls from the floor above
I don’t want to wake up, because she hurts me in that state
and the treetops by the lake, set ablaze by the Sun
I don’t want to be alive, from that underground hypnosis
at dawn which breaks the world into countless shadows
to see the deathly task of blooming in springtime
I don’t want to wake up; I want to stay a clean leaf
that no one knows about until it’s wrapped in eternal sleep
I don’t want to wake up; I’ll stay in here for good.




Maybe it was a sin; the woman giving birth was blind
even though the dawn was light and full of dew
Sun was shining beautiful, spreading blue rays across the world
silence on the lips, no one said a prayer
while the body was moving in the membrane – that’s how birth goes sometimes
like some cause of unforeseen events
I watched through it, everything was crimson
first faces, forests, horizon, the stone and the dusk, the sunset,
and then, with a tiny motion of my hand
I removed it from my eyes – I wanted to have a clear first view
to see the world clearly in all the colors and shades I’m coming into
I still remove it with my palms and stare at the details
at the eyes of others, to see all that remained unremoved
and invisible, like Love and God.



In lonely night’s roaming
I stop for a moment before the philatelist’s doll
in a backstreet shop window,
It looks rather receptive and compassionate
like it possesses some secret powers;
it studies post stamps and icons of the world
like a primitive animist engrossed in tiny papers
or like the dead who have their own magnifying glass,
through which they see the living with no voice or motion,
looking for attention in the world of death and silence.

I stare at the dead man behind the glass
dressed in a black jacked, with legs made of gypsum,
at his stillness and patience.

And I see the long-assumed image
of Paul Ambroise Valery
at the first autopsy lesson
Still writing that one and only poem.




   …Black milk of dawn, we drink you at night…
      Paul Celan

I open my eyes; I feel the fear, like prey in the desert
what will be the first thing I remember today?
and I remember you on such a morning. You
I try to make a difference between that and dying

I feel in my body, in my blood and nerves, the usual solitude
in the room and in the world, my awakening spreads in silence
and then there’s nothing around me, everything’s so non-existent,
and the body that isn’t there, the parallel position of bed and ceiling

and the two corner lamps in the windows, a bit of life
in that light, spring shivers in the sparse sunlight
on the panic plane of my bed, silence becomes a body
and then I imagine you in that awakened terror

that you exist, and then I know I’m not completely dead
but I think and I suggest killing myself
then I might not remember anything, but isn’t it all the same
in the thin light that is also blindness and a form of solitude
and everything’s far away from me, some distant landscapes
empty streets beyond the window, like an unfinished dream
like I mustn’t look, as the world is set apart,
like now, that impression where your body used to be, between,
inside, around my arms, like a missing statue cast in bronze,
like an organ extracted under a sawn-in wound
and you can feel it’s been there, by that stillness
that gathers patiently, hopefully, around the empty spot.




 You and I are one

passing through dreams, keeping safe from death
you hear a shimmering soul, the beat of your heart
like angels from afar, through the signals of night
written in the signs of the stars
by the stars whose energy carried
our dust, our light, our human lines

In your glory, the most silent voices are heard
like murmurs in the depths of the ocean
in the dusks of megalopolises,
where I met you one afternoon
blind for human life
and rescued you, in the middle of the urban desert
where they wanted to nail you to a wild lilac cross
under the windowpanes of a rented one-room place.

And you’d only just arrived from the lonely gardens
where the crazed grow conceptions in bathtubs made of glass
for new dilemmas that drag on
across thousands of years, and rows of crosses
and crucifixions for new days and years,
for new misfortunes and loves…

Where are you now, in this omnipresent world?
in museums, cathedrals, inform-bureaus,
while my bathroom still hides your trinkets
instruments and drafts for every-day salvations.

May 6th, 2005



   A tiny and powerful light falls
  From the ceiling
    Paul Valery

Here nothing will be moved soon
while the words of final parting become more silent, more real
than the light, open and clear in the window
this room is no longer part of the apartment or the house
its interior is as far away as an Egyptian pyramid
everything is soaked with silence and the impossibility of return
and the spiders have woven fine draperies in the corners
architecture of networks for some distant ages
that room has been empty and unneeded for so long
with anxiety at the closed door
everything stands there, like a broken clock
this order of things in the mess between the walls
covered after the departure
with handprints and breaths of rare sojourns
and broken shadow across the ceiling
the only things that stand like this are time, books and magazines
carelessly scattered and spread over packages and shirts
and it’s obvious that the manuscripts have toppled by accident
and that the readers are long dead, or gone
before they could leave the last impressions
now irrelevant and pale
like ideas of love and the paint peeling off the walls
there are separate palm-prints on the doors
and heavy impressions of endless dreams
in the state in which everything in this room was stopped
and until a new accidental order is established
every arrival will be completely impossible
as well as continuing the last written sentence,
which would certainly have to move all the written lines
from this room, penetrated by light
in spite of the evening shadows and darkness
and the silent souls that love all the ages
say that there’s no other image here but one,
which makes an arabesque of scattered things
slowly drifting away from the faces gone forever
from the room where all the words fell silent
like drifting away from this written text
into other spaces and unknown corners of the earth.

August 7th, 2008


    The blood jet is poetry,
    there is no stopping it.
      Sylvia Plath

A whole world can fit into a longing soul
universal desire encompassed –
and you – the starting point of beauty –
Heart on the open sea…
…And the summer was like when I was a child,
a sleeper’s dead afternoons,
Camus-like solitude of a lost city –
You’d say: oh-I’m-so-glad-they’re-all-gonna-die…

And each summer was emptier than Eliot’s April
-ah, lilacs and dead earth –
and l o v e / the first symptom of death…
and your birthday
The World’s First Day of Innocence…

And when you got an inkling of being a poetess
tragically, in the middle of a summer,
when novels are usually started,
when everyone goes to the beach,
and you’re in your tub, in the holy waters of Jordan,
and the beautiful July full of read and dark Cancers
and wonderful coincidence until the age of nine
ignorance, or fortune – a heavenly shrine…

The first encounter was a white rose
Vivaldica in a glass castle
Unfortunate princess…

 When I walked through Your Door
 The Ninth Gate – they said:
 The Woman is done…

And your lung X-ray – Clawdia Chauchat
on the Magic Mountain –
and a heart surrounded with angels and lotuses –
icy dead center between the white sheets
acetylene lamp / purity / death…
Two Earthly worlds for your divinity.

Only pure souls have memories
I recognize you and I can tell – what you are
A magical possibility of shaping shadows
…with music that you see –
a crazy hallucination of even crazier Vincent…

Pure deities of lotus fly from Your blood
and bless the head of the Son of God –
the only preserved WHITE in the bud of the GREEN
femininity – that’s Your sign!

And black brambleberries, eyes among the smiles
Glass bells and the goblet of seashells –
…visits to the numerous tombs of the Father…

Vocal cords of Herr God and Herr Lucifer
Et salve, salve Regina
Tiny like a doll in the dress of innocence
in the quarters of William Butler’s visions
bird/poetry/solitude and gas…

Languages of I n f e r n o
For those who do not know that they are dead
– that’s how they spend eternity! –

In vulnerable places
Binding is the Soul of the akin.

All your shrinks have long gone mad
And your Early Departure doesn’t pass –
it prolongs the eternal day…

Love – purity is just beyond the tear!
Love – it always hurts –
Everything that can’t be repeated
Everything that’s dead as soon as it happens
One and only way!

Like you never came back again
from the long walk in the icy heat!
Ah, the legend love / electroshocks / insulin –
Body splits and goes to certain places
in front of the white paper – of your charming
41 degrees – that kind of corporeality wasn’t seen
in any other mortal woman!

And always, walking through space –
 … if you’re aware of your existence
 then exist…
in the unity of lullaby and death
and your first female blood…
gentleness was your
only artistic form –
your veins trees ablaze –
and your lamps light all the known faces
your footsteps / mountain lakes / angels / stars

…Verses, language and time
Line unavoidable units
 …terrible digits of stars!

Nothing is where it is
That we love, the only thing there
Are your Ariels – are YOU there –
they exist and wonder
(like in Wings of Desire).

They return and give meaning to existence
V e n u s U r a n i a – touches and palms
A greeting to the jewel within the lotus –
Death is the most beautiful twist in poetry!

…And to follow you is a divine challenge,
while words fall
like pianist’s blood on the instrument
and the light – the poison of butterflies!

And your body from Six Lokas
All Sangsar miseries
 and the white light of virgins,
 dim, green light of mats
 and the black light of Pluto
 and the dim yellow light of human beings
 and the dim blue light of savages
 dark, reddish light of temptation
 white light of Solitude
 and the dim, dark-colored light
   of hell!

And I was indeed born from that Bardo
in your hospital, silent as death –
by the trees with nightly wind,
And you – one in a million – Immacolata.

In my wanderings
may the words of your mantra find me,
may they forever stay together,
your pure acetylene, music and death
And may I be guided by strands of your states!

May your Lotus The Lord of Dance
light me with all five flames –
May no one ever take everything he can:
World/dream/white roses/illusions

May in the eternal games of division
Two wondering, lost Texts be joined!

July 26th, 1999

Ljubeta Labovic'

Translated by Vesna Stamenković