Dull languorís crawling like a lizard through my bones. My heart and sober head are not at daggers drawn. The world is hurtling by, but Iím as cool as stone. Blood does not freeze when I pull into a blind turn. And love is different - thereís no lump in my throat, Itís easy now to rend my nerves, no longer taut - They sag now like a line of washing in the wind. I do not care much whether I win or he wins. Iím in the saddle - just a jolt - and I will fall. It may be sad - but no and not - that is my all. I drink no longer icy water from a spring, I do not hurry either people or events. My bow lies somewhere, with a rotten bow-string, I throw my arrows in the fire, and sit content. I do not strain now, or aspire - sort of relax. Iím not inspired even by unfair attacks. I donít like madcaps, and for daring hold no brief, I never talk of guys who have jumped off a cliff. Iím in the saddle - just a jolt - and I will fall. It may be sad - but no and not - that is my all. I do not want to alter things, or put to use, To pull more strings, or undo knots, - Iím in no mood. You can ignore the angles, if they are obtuse - They seem no angles after handling the acute. My belt is tight, my belt is loose - who gives a hoot? I shanít be shot - thereís no one kind enough to shoot. I am transparent like a window open wide, And inconspicuous as white is white on white. Iím in the saddle - just a jolt - and I will fall. It may be sad - but no and not - that is my all. My wounds no longer ache, and scars give me no pain - They were well-cauterised, I guess Iím in good shape. Iím not excited, or concerned, I canít complain That I am worried by a dream or idle hope. There is no tenderness that could my soul pervade, No one can make me think, and no one can dissuade. And since my mind is alien to that kind of rot, My shoes may hurt me, but presentiments do not. Iím in the saddle - just a jolt - and I will fall. It may be sad - but no and not - that is my all. I look no longer for the philosophic stone, Nor for the root of life - for ginseng has been found. I do not tremble or aspire, Iím not highflown, I do not hope to hit the target first time íround. Iím tired fighting gravitation - canít break loose. Iím lying down to keep me further from the noose. My heartís not mine - it is a distant frozen clot - Itís time I went where all there is, is no and not. Iím in the saddle - just a jolt - and I will fall. It may be sad - but no and not - that is my all.
© Sergei Roy. Translation, 1990