Stories for Vladimir

3rd of December 2007

Dear Vladimir,

We often evoked the language of signs. We both seem to master part of it and to trust myths and symbols.

Part of my understanding of this idiom has an African origin, more precisely in African masks, and is related to one of my numberless journey to Brussels.

As you know, I have worked and I have lived for two years in Belgium, one day I would like to show you my lovely Bruges town with Al Kema aura above which sounds the music of the bells of the belfry in the central place. But this is a deviation inevitable for an Oriental storyteller. So in the spring of 1993 there I was in the train for Brussels. Travelling slowly, by Earth or by sea helps the understanding of meanings. The weather was stormy and threatening. From the platform of the North railroad station in Paris I had a feeling of strangeness and a sweet taste of fear to the extent to which fear can be sweet and seductive. The hidden Scheherazade in my inner self reminds me that fear can be all that I already said and pushes me toward the sensations of my Transylvanian childhood when together with my companions I was playing in the cemetery among tombs surrounded by an ambiguous atmosphere of pleasure and fear due to the subtle presence of death.

So, once seated in my compartment I began to stare at my neighbours. Near the window was seated a young handsome Japanese man with slender features. He seemed to be shy and sensitive, a poet perhaps I thought with low voice. I was not far from the truth because later I found out that he was studying the History of Art in Paris and he was travelling to Brusseles for the week-end to visit an exhibition of Flemish primitives. In front of me a middle-aged, dark-haired and dark-complexioned man was scanning me as intensively as I myself was scanning every one in the wagon. It was obvious that the man was willing to babble. His penetrating eyes were inviting and welcoming the words to flow. Very soon with a large but professional smile he asked:

-Do you go to Brussels?
-Yes, I answered. And you?

Irnerio Seminatore jumped on the occasion and explained to every one that he had bought a mansion in the centre of Brussels and that he often went to survey the works in his new residence. He opened his case and displayed pictures, drawings, letters, invoices and so on, in one word a charming disorder of papers and documents. His frenzy had something of heart-rending and my own heart was beating quicker than usually. Irnerio's mansion was covered with scaffoldings but I could still see a stately building with wonderful gothic proportions. The interiors were slightly degraded, the fire places ruined but once restored they would breathe the new life of a gorgeous house. Irnerio Seminatore and his house were the product of a mysterious spirit which once again made me think of the Al Kema of the Middle Ages, so I was not surprised to learn that Irnerio was a Politics teacher at the University of Sorbonne and he was spreading in his foaming and nervous way ideas, principles and concepts as grains in his students' brains. But then, why this feeling of anxiety at his contact? Anyhow he was the teacher and I was sure that very soon before the end of the journey I would possess the key. At my right hand side half asleep there was an African silent fellow. He was not paying much attention to the rest of the travellers and was deeply immersed in his roundness and ancestral wisdom. The African felt my eyes on him and launched a childish and sunny smile.

-Were are you from? I asked
-I am from Cameron.

"How strange", I thought; I would say that in this compartment I had a gathering of the worlds.

-And what are you doing in Brussels?
-I am selling masks, ancient ones.........I have collectors in Belgium and in Holland......and he indicated me from the look in the luggage rack three big hemped bags, dirty and pierced.

While Irnerio Seminatore was showing us a drawing of his own representing an armchair with the allure of a throne and began to give me part of the key, we felt a shock and the train stopped suddenly. We were not far from Brussels, somewhere in the suburbs. The chat continued quietly and Irnerio explained to us that he would make the armchair. The Sicilian Irnerio was passionate about his throne and watching the image with accurate attention I saw two winged griffons as a crown with a succession of totemic signs. I could not see more because the loud speakers announced that the train entered into collision with a truck and that we had to continue to Brussels Midi on foot alongside the rails.

The world of signs had spoken and gave me the choice to stop at its gates or to go ahead crossing the first ring of a new game.

I had not much time to think when Irnerio Seminatore, the Chief, decided that we had to leave the train, and we reached the town in a half strange half comic convoy. Irnerio was stepping in front of us, the Japanese student was next holding the mask of the Sacred Elephant by the trump, I was in between and Moussa Fochive ended the group with his bags on the back.





the dusk behind the curtains
can be enfolded in a poem
the futile silence of a smile
the heraldic dream
in which only the words exists?

lies are birds
sick of blue pneumonia

the fiord can be enfolded in a poem
disco elegies
or only the hate against oneself?

I wonder how you are
this morning before the solstice

maybe it rains in your thoughts

or maybe the sea is only a comma
in your memories

Translation by Luminita Suse

Poem published in www.literra.eu edited by "Ratsko Romania Projekt" , Oct. 2006



I miss a winter in Ardeal
When cats are fondling up the stairs
And fire's climbing up the walls
Rolling to nostrils scent of pears.

From fruits threaded on the shrine grow shadows
Through old and ancient drawers fusses
The withered scent of lavender
- My dear lad, pour some red wine into glasses!

My granny's garments are all rustling
Linen and fur and velvet, fine, tiny gilded
Up on the chimney the gentle genius of the house is walking
- My dear lad, kiss me on the forehead!

Dead by a year in the attic grandpa is scraping a viola
Forefathers lovers kiss the hip of precious violin
They hide from frost in the forsaken trunks
They crumble down sweet and frail in laced moccasin.

I miss a winter in Ardeal
A waltz with gran and granny
In the embroidered dress, with bows and petticoat
Left from miss Fanny.

So one, two, three
Let's stop an instant, listen to the winter's gait, my dear lad
In broken breath two snow-flakes appeared from the window disappear

Towards daybreaks we'll gently pass from dance to nap.



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