Dimitur Boyadzhiev

Marseilles

by Dimitur Boyadzhiev

© Translation by Christopher Buxton

 

Roaming joyless, stupid in the street’s noise,

helpless, ground down, drowned in woeful mazes,

in this horrible town, highway of all vices,

I witness amazed the roar and stench

Through this torrent, no idea where I’m bound!

Overpowering sorrow breaks on my soul

like a wave – and I think – that some monster

tracks my every step,  I can find no ease.

 

Wherever I looked I saw pain and iniquity.

This is the land once trod by Phoenicians

A thousand years passed and this same city

is still full of  traders and assassins!

The sky above the street is a starry ribbon,

But who lifts their eyes! Past the garish lights

in the bars all seek ease in the absinthe

or in the sobbing laughter of women for sale..

 

From some corner dark beggars launch a vile ditty –

thick with brass notes of mortal despair.

Here the happy, both keen and blunt, there – weights

of savage hearts and  there two blood-drained lesbians

amorously twined, each begging from the other

some relief and compassion…and like a nightmare,

savage angry thoughts swooped down on me,

as if that day slave and master were equal.

 

I felt gorged by all vanities that day.

I thought all joys and sorrows hypocrisy –

with no hope for any brotherly shoulder,

Drained, I criss-crossed the sad foul streets.

in  icy indifference as if lost in a chasm.

My life seemed to count nothing more than a sin,

and my soul was so absurdly useless,

that the thought of death was an alluring dream.

 

A sudden breath of sorrow and the day smudged out

the precious treasures of my memory.

even rejecting the darling eyes

of my life’s comrade, and that dream that fooled

my heart with a future – and tirelessly provoked

duty in me, to crawl day after day

towards night’s precipice…how all  crazy prayers

for happiness were snuffed in my exhausted sight.

 

But my life is dear to me!  Precious items

From the past or even now, I long for,

the blue heaven of day and the dear dreams of night,

the tender woman, whose lips I am kissing.

I’ve met these always with hearty joy.

Even when I seemed depressed and exhausted,

Some faraway smile brought pleasure to me

or a chance breath of a dewy carnation.

 

 

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