THE WOUNDED MAN IS TEMPTING GOD

by Tomica Bajsić


THE WOUNDED MAN IS TEMPTING GOD

I wandered around the forest of the enemy kingdom

and stumbled upon a piece of wire hidden in the grass

it was a buried PROM2 tripwire-activated

bounding anti-personnel mine

and in the split second before the explosion

I wanted God to make that cup pass me by

but when the detonation threw me in into the air I saw pieces

of iron, pieces of my uniform, pieces of my flesh whirling

in orbit / sand stars porcelain four winds tartan

razors ice / Joseph Conrad proposing to Freya the girl from

the Seven Islands / my enemies cats stealing the planet oxygen

digging through garbage / all lighthouses ablaze all the way

from the New Hebrides to the Pepper Coast / the President of Zimbabwe

Canaan Banana listening to the German radio / thousands of mumified fish heads

prophesying in alien tongues / Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

making airplanes out of a piece of a newspaper -

I never liked Mozart and that’s what threw me down on the ground

while the Vienna boy’s Choir sang:

“a jug goes to the water until it breaks

a jug goes to the water until it breaks”

 

God let that cup pass me by I thought there in the ambulance

let me live for a little bit longer at least for another 100 years

I don’t want to die now that our time has come

I wanted my medals to shine like oil platforms

lighting up the night flights over the Atlantic

and my veteran’s charisma to become electric

let my limousine slide through the crowd like Moby Dick

slid before the eyes of helpless captain Ahab

I never said I did not want to sell my soul

I was only negotiating the price

let me be invited at the presidential party

ther are so many dishes I never tasted

there are so many people on this Earth whose destiny

I never took in my hands

 

I want to rob and preach to the robbed ones

I want to lie and laugh at the deceived ones

I want my place in the Ark so I can

watch the flood with the cocktail glass in my hands

since it is better to set fires than to be burned

it’s better to humiliate than to be humiliated

so let’s lay all the cards on the table – we have but one life

give me a hundred cannibal whores from Borneo

let me recover myself in the purifying fountains of youth

give me power to last forever like the invisible poison

in the veins of all humans

 

give me parts of their spines hands eyes brains hearts kidneys

my hands are the hands of the sculptor thirsty for a work

- I’ll smile at you, the green pastures of Croatia

with a smile of a harvester

 

in front of the hospital alley cats rummage through garbage

they have conspired to steal the oxygen of the entire planet

the iron holders on the facade are empty

fifthy years ago three flags hung there

one for the gluttony another one for greed

and the third one for misery

instead of them we hoisted up our tricolor

the red is for the Christ’s mineral blood

the blood of our dead the guardian subterranean blood boiling

the white is for hope that we are fighting for a better civilization

the blue one is for our blazen adventure, for frendship firm as those

overseas telegraph cables that fishermen sometimes find

when their nets get lost somewhere

really deep

but the cats came overnight and did their dirty trick

so the red stands for gluttony once again

the white for greed

and the blue for misery

 

so, dear friends, one thing is certain:

those very cats are the guardians of that other world as well

these cunning cats that sometimes transform into politicians

the cats that are still rummaging through garbage

conspiring to steal the oxygen

of the entire planet.

Translated from Croatian by Damir Šodan

RANJENIK ISKUŠAVA BOGA

lutao sam šumom neprijateljskog kraljevstva

i naletio na žicu skrivenu u travi

pješadijska rasprskavajuća odskočna mina PROM2

u djeliću sekunde pred eksploziju

očekivao sam od Boga da me zaobiđe ta čaša

kada me detonacija izbacila u zrak vidio sam komade

željeza komade moje odore komade mog mesa kako hvataju

orbitu / pijesak zvijezde porculan četiri kuta vjetra tartan

žilete led / Josepha Conrada kako prosi Freyu djevojku sa

Sedam otoka / moje neprijatelje mačke kako kradu kisik

planete i ruju po smeću / sve svjetionike u plamenu

od Novih Hebrida do Obale papra / predsjednika Zimbabwea

Canaana Bananu kako sluša Njemački radio / tisuću

prepariranih ribljih glava koje prorokuju stranim jezicima /

Amadeusa Mozarta kako slaže aviončiće od novina –

nikada nisam volio Mozarta i to me bacilo dolje na zemlju

a zbor bečkih dječaka je zapjevao:

“vrč ide na vodu dok se ne razbije

vrč ide na vodu dok se ne razbije”

 

Bože, daj da me zaobiđe ta čaša molio sam

u bolničkim kolima

daj da živim još malo bar kojih 100 godina

ne želim umrijeti sada kada je došlo naše vrijeme

htio sam da moja odlikovanja blistaju poput petrolejskih

platformi koje osvjetljavaju noćne letove preko Atlantika

i da moja karizma veterana bude električna

pusti da mi limuzina klizi kroz narod kao što je Moby Dick

klizio pred očima bespomoćnog kapetana Ahaba

nikada nisam rekao da ne želim prodati dušu

samo sam licitirao cijenu

daj da budem pozvan na prijam kod predsjednika

toliko je jela koja nisam probao

toliko ima ljudi na zemlji čiju sudbinu nisam

uzeo u svoje ruke

želim otimati i držati lekcije pokradenima

želim lagati i smijati se prevarenima

želim svoje mjesto u arci kako bih mogao

gledati poplavu s koktelom u ruci

jer bolje je podmetati požare nego biti spaljen

bolje je ponižavati nego biti ponižen

zato stavimo karte na stol – život je samo jedan

daj mi sto kurvi ljudožderki s Bornea

daj mi da se kupam u pročišćujućim vodama mladosti

daj mi snagu da zauvijek trajem poput nevidljivog

otrova u krvnim žilama ljudi

 

daj mi neke njihove dijelove kičme ruke oči mozgove srca bubrege

moje su ruke kipara žedne rada

osmjehnut ću vam se, zelena Hrvatska polja,

osmjehom žeteoca

 

a pred vratima bolnice mačke ruju po smeću

skovale su zavjeru da ukradu sav kisik planeta

željezni utori na fasadi su prazni

tu su 50 godina visjele tri zastave

jedna za proždrljivost druga za pohlepu

treća za kukavnost

umjesto njih digli smo našu zastavu od tri boje

crvenu za krv kristovu mineralnu

krv naših poginulih zaštićenu podzemnu krv koja kipi

bijelu za nadu da se borimo za bolju civilizaciju

plavu za drsku pustolovinu, prijateljstvo čvrsto poput

onih prekomorskih telegrafskih kablova na koje ponekad

naiđu ribari kada im mreže zalutaju dosta duboko

ali mačke su došle noću i izvele podli trik

crvena boja opet stoji za proždrljivost bijela

za pohlepu plava za kukavnost

 

zato prijatelji, jedno je izvjesno,

i na vratima drugog svijeta one su čuvari

te iste mačke, lukave mačke koje se ponekad

preoblače u političare, mačke koje i dalje

kopaju po smeću i kuju zavjeru da ukradu

kisik planeta