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Auris Radzevičius-Radzius (1965–2019) – poet, painter, scenographer born in Kaunas. An experimentator and expressionist in both painting and poetry. A well-known representative of the Lithuanian underground art scene. The posthumous collection of Radzevičius’s work titled Data of Emptiness presents a complete picture of his poetic work, including the poet’s 1990 debut book Ornament Instead of a Ship and more than 100 later texts. The poetry is supplemented by texts discussing Radzevičius’s reception and biography.

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Auris's loft. Photo by Antanas Untidy.

Poems from the selected poetry book “Data of Emptiness”

Translated by Markas Aurelijus Piesinas

 

 

***

close your eyes for a moment!
orderlies rush forward and silver bugles
shine in their hands

 

 

***

The crowd was laughing, mad, and joyous –
The savior’s ship, surrounded by sirens, emerged from the mists,
It draws near as the crowd becomes silent, whispering angrily
– Sindbad has brought a new illness
                                                            ss.

 

 

The City

the city which graced earth with its rubies
flanked by rivers, submerged yet unflooded
– a circle of heralds with bugles surrounds it
for lilies have sprouted from his majesty’s fingers

the flowers bent down and covered the churches
the toll of the bell and the blare of the bugle
awakened the youth with the first break of dawn –
he swapped rubies for emeralds
replaced glass with an opal
and let the rising waters submerge it, thus
making a mirror
reflecting those who were born
and those who were dead

the city which stood in a basin flooded by rivers
having just tamed the chaos
embraced the sky to its chest
and dreamt of a lily all night

**
the jade blood of copper sullied the face
and the flaxen dress
tranquility’s shore
recedes
only the voice of the bell
awakens the dead.

 

 

***


– i know – something pale will fly
slowly over our heads
and we’ll get a whiff of eternity
but won’t feel a thing
death smiles surprised
looking at us from a cute copse of lilacs
death smiles surprised
and we’ll thank it for its kindness
death smiles surprised
from a blooming copse of lilacs
death smiles surprised
forgetting its shyness.

 Auris Radzevicius Radzius 03Auris in red 3. Meditational. Photo by Antanas Untidy.

 

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we heard this song over there long ag o
now its words are light be      tween the teeth
grinding to dust grinding with spit and grinding to mud
gushing from a mute mouth down your chin seeping and
       dripping with spit on your
       milky white gown

any white gown could’ve been bridal
now yours is all filthy and shredded to ribbons by fidgety fingers
now
mud from a mute mouth gushes endlessly filling a little ship

it could’ve been a little white ship sailing off into the sunset

you’re crying because the song is no more, only a wail pouring out
                                                   from your pallet
you look at the water and see no reflection
only the dim smile of a putrefied drowner

the evening grows chilly and a buzzing mosquito
                         lands on a blossoming lily

 

 

Little Marmalade Bears

step out of the dream box, o Hamlet, your hour draws near
step out of the dream box
step out of the dream box
you can wear a colorful dress and sail and sail down the river

THAT LOOSE BRICK WILL FALL and then then then the sidewalk’s
still empty
and waiting waiting and buzzing

i spent the night in a dream forging my own handwriting
crossing out words and tearing out pages bewildered grunting striving
i tried to rewrite my own poem and sell it
but the client kept sending it back
hiding his eyes under a black hood
silently giggling through a slit in his lips
as he asked me to leave more       space         between            words
more space for nonsense
more space for horror more emptiness between breaths

i exerted myself so much that i squeezed out a tear and bit off my tongue
and my mouth was full of little marmalade bears
and the sound of murmuring stone
and the clanking of scythes the croaking of frogs the chirping of crickets
the stretching and pinching and squeaking of nipples
the crackle of juice in the wires the sensation of touching the fur on a mole
and the rumbling abyss of a hole in the ground
already beset by the slippery bodies of snails

 Auris Radzevicius Radzius 04Deivis Slavinskas photo, 2015

 

Waiting for a Red Moon on the Shore of Lake Elektrėnai

early in the morning i sought the moon in the fog of the reeds
but my matches were moist and i couldn’t light them
not a soul on the shore but a hooting
invisible bird from a hideous postcard
lost on the shore matches lost on purpose
with faded words

handwriting on wrinkled paper vague and obscure –
doesn’t love, but crossed out, more – whuore, banianas, judas’s fwee,
the future, more – in this house, an eccentric psycho,
I’m ashamed, with your pineapple,
perhaps, when you hunt down a mammoth, in peace, that chaos, only sex

impos ibilite cru der reams re kit ine t tr wav udook whefor wi me ait!

i went i stumbled and fell through a hole enlightened i lost
my head i sought an idea in a place with no rocks and feathers i found
now thickets are scraping and scuffing my face
and buckling it into a bloody rancid smile of a madman
who whispers to everyone: let me tell you something and you’re not gonna believe this
sometimes Dostoevsky himself shakes my hand as he reaches out from the grave
to pass me a black cigarillo and a torch lit aflame

now during the nights he wanders alone through the thickets holding the red moon
in the fog of his eyes seeking the morsels of time when he scrawled and clawed at
her chest with his nails and stroked the tufts on her head on the table in the kitchen
when he gave her a kiss on her singing lips and purred at her freezing feet
and stuffed his nose in her belly sniffing and drawing a cross with his tongue

and the postcard made sounds!
(glued to the fridge)
for the postcard had music!

now a dolphin would really give it a kick! in that image
when you scraped the wound of my heart with a red polished nail
when you scraped the wound of my heart with a red polished nail
... when you scraped the wound of my heart with a red polished nail!

a bird or some fiend hoots near the river
the moist matches scatter and i still can’t light them

i can’t light the fking matches

 

 

 

 

 

 

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