Wednesday, August 13, 2014

STIVEN DOBINS

GENERAL I PEVAČ TANGOA

Neki ljudi ukazuju poverenje umetnosti, drugi
veruju u ubistvo. I jedni i drugi mogu da budu u
zabludi.
Uzmimo na primer jednog generala i pevača
tangoa, koji zajedno odlaze u restoran na večeru.
Obojica su krupni i izgladneli,
pa naručuju pet posluženja počev od
školjki u stilu kazino. Onda se posvećuju
raspravi
o prirodi lepote. Za pevača tangoa,
lepota znači podvrgavanje pravilima samih
predmeta.
Za generala, ona znači snagu – lepotu
pancirne rukavice. Najednom vlasnik
upada u restoran vičući, Vatra, Vatra.
Magacin je sav u plamenu. Mora mu se pomoći.
Ne brinite, kaže mu general, mogu ja
da ugasim tu vatru. A ako on ne bude mogao, kaže
pevač
tangao, moći ću ja – samo nam vi donesite tu supu
od kornjače.
Dvojica prijatelja uživaju u supi i ćaskaju o
istini.
Za generala, istina je sposobnost
da se ideje bičem dognaju do pobede.
Za pevača, to je saznanje kad valja popustiti.
Vlasnik se opet pojavljuje; sada već gori čitavo
začelje restorana.
Ma ne mislite na to, kaže pevač tangoa,
sredićemo mi to za tren –
donesite nam samo lososa sa sufleom. I još vina,
kaže general, trebaće nam još vina. Jedu tako
i piju, pa počinju razgovor o umetnosti. Za pevača,
umetnost se sastoji od sinteze i kompromisa.
Za generala, ona je sveopšti juriš
na čula – nešto kao udarac u nos.
Vlasnik ponovo pritrčava. Vapije.
Vatra je već dospela i do kuhinje. Večeras
više neće imati šta da se jede. S izrazom lica
onih
koji u dužnosti vide surovu gospodaricu, general
i pevač tangoa spremaju se da ugase vatru.
E baš nas gnjave, kaže general. Baš su dosadni,
kaže pevač. Vatra kulja kroz vrata.
Ako je reč o jelu, hukće vatra, ja sam vam lično
mrtva gladna. General svima kaže
da se odmaknu. Onda vadi revolver
i ispaljuje šest metaka u plamen.
Njam, njam, uzvraća vatra, baš volim vrelo olovo.
Sada sam ja na redu, kaže pevač tangoa.
Počinje da peva jednu od sopstvenih pesama –
„Kad mi je dragu spopala želja sa Leom da šeće,
Odsek’o sam im stopala i bacio u smeće.“
Pesma zapljuskuje vatru, koja
posrče sve tonove a onda bane
u sam restoran, gutajući stolove,
stolice, bele stolnjake, guta
čak i tanjire. Svi pojure
napolje. Restoran je uništen.
Rekli ste da ćete me spasti, viče vlasnik.
General i pevač tangoa sležu ramenima.
To nije prava vatra, kažu, prava bi
vatra preklinjala za milost. Ne možemo se
smatrati odgovornim za tuđe prevare. General
i pevač tangoa šetaju niz ulicu.
Jeste li videli kako se pokolebala kad sam počeo
da pucam u nju?
Jeste li videli kako je zastala kad sam zapevao?
Obojica su vrlo zadovoljni. Razgovaraju o tome
kako je svetom
ovladao pravi haos. Da li će ikad biti bolje?
Ti se problemi ne mogu rešiti za našeg života,
kaže general, ali je prava sreća za buduća
pokolenja što im je rašćišćen put. Da,
kaže pevač tangoa, to srećno doba će doći
kao milošta. Dozvolite mi da se ne složim s
vama, kaže
general, doći će kao udarac u vilice.
Iza njih, vatra prisluškuje šta pričaju,
dok glođe restoran kao
koske s tanjira. Zna ona kako će ta budućnost da
dođe,
niko to ne zna bolje od nje. A kad joj usta ne bi
bila
toliko puna da ne može ni da govori, rado bi im
to rekla. Kako će divno
biti to buduće vreme kada se noć rasplamsa
blistava kao dan, kad svaki ledeni kutak dobije
taj dragoceni dar toplote, kad čak i najsitniji
plamičak s punim stomačićem odgega u zemlju
snova.

Stiven Dobins (Stephen Dobyns, 1941)

Odrastao je u porodici koja se skoro svake godine selila iz mesta u mesto. Posle diplomiranja u Ajovi, predavao je na više univerziteta, a radio je godinama i kao reporter. Tri zbirke pesama nagrađene su mu uglednim nagradama. Njegova najbolja zbirka, „Noći na groblju“, objavljena je i kod nas, u izdanju „Književnih novina“ (1989), a u prevodu autora ove antologije (“Američka poezija danas“, Dragoslav Andrić). Autor je i jedne knjige eseja, kao i preko dvadeset romana. Kako je rekao u intervjuu svome beogradskom prevodiocu, Dobins smatra da današnji pesnik mora čitaoca, prosto otprve, da „uhvati za gušu“, uz napomenu da „moramo voleti svet, pa ma koliko to bilo teško“, dok u drugom kontekstu definiše pesmu kao „prostor koji visi između dva ili više ljudskih bića, koji inače žive u zamračenim sobama“.


Stephen Dobyns
THE GENERAL AND THE TANGO SINGER
Some people put their trust in art, others
believe in murder. Each can be in error.
Take the example of the general and the tango
singer who go to a restaurant for dinner.
They are both big men and they are starving
so they order a five course meal beginning
with clams casino. Then they settle down to discuss
the nature of beauty. For the tango singer,
beauty means submission to the rule of objects.
For the general, it means force—the beauty
of a mailed fist. Suddenly the owner
bursts through the door shouting, Fire, Fire.
The stockroom is in flames. He must get help.
Look no farther, says the general, I can put
the fire out. And if he can’t, says the tango
singer, then I can—bring us the turtle soup.
The two friends eat the soup and talk about truth.
For the general, truth is the ability
to whip your ideas forward to victory.
For the singer, it means knowing when to give in.
The owner appears again, the whole back
of the restaurant is burning. Forget it,
says the tango singer, we’ll fix it in a minute—
bring us the salmon souffle. And more wine,
says the general, we need more wine. They eat
and drink and talk about art. For the singer,
art consists of synthesis and compromise.
For the general, it’s a total assault
on the senses—something like a punch in the nose.
The owner again comes running. He is crying.
The fire has reached the kitchen. There’ll be
no more food tonight. With the air of men
for whom duty is a harsh mistress, the general
and tango singer prepare to put out the blaze.
Such a nuisance, says the general. Such a bore,
says the singer. The fire appears at the door.
Talk about starving, roars the fire, I am really
ravenous. The general tells everyone
to stand back. Then he takes out his pistol
and shoots six bullets into the flames.
Yum, yum, says the fire, I love hot lead.
Now it is my turn, says the tango singer.
He begins to sing one of his very own songs—
When my baby ran off with Big Leo,
I cut off her feet and threw them in the trash.
The music splashes over the fire which
gobbles up each note before sweeping forward
through the restaurant, devouring tables,
chairs, the white tablecloths, devouring
even the plates. Everyone rushes out
to the street. The restaurant is destroyed.
You said you could save it, cries the owner.
The general and tango singer shrug their shoulders.
That was not a real fire, they say, a real
fire would have begged for mercy. We cannot
be held responsible for frauds. The general
and the tango singer stroll off down the street.
Did you see how it hesitated when I shot it?
Did you see how it paused when I sang?
Both are very pleased. They talk about the confused
state of the world. When will it ever get better?
These problems won’t be solved in our lifetime,
says the general, yet how fortunate for those future
generations to have their road made clear. Yes,
says the tango singer, that lucky time will come
like a gentle caress. I beg to differ, says
the general, it will come like a bust in the jaw.
Behind them the fire listens to their talk
as it picks over the restaurant as if over
a plate of bones. It knows how the future will come,
no one knows better. And if its mouth were not
too full to speak, it would gladly tell. How sweet
will be that future time when night will burn
as bright as day, when each cold corner receives
the precious gift of warmth and even the smallest
fire toddles off to dreamland on a full stomach.
Stephen Dobyns