Back to Archive  


Excessive Song V by Dan Sociu translated from Romanian by Adam J. Sorkin and the poet with Mihaela Ni’ă 

Then, on the third day of the Congress, a boundless lethargy

overtook me on the balcony of your hotel room

while Claudiu was explaining why some poems

tolerate the comma with difficulty, like a foreign body. You

      were a foreign body

to me, I slept next to your breasts but, too drunk and

      too cowardly,

I didn’t dare touch them. It was raining outside, October

      had smoked

a cheap joint and turned paranoid, the willow chairs, sodden,

      the trees in front of

the hotel, seemed former child rock-stars sunk into

alcoholism and oblivion. The comma, the period are
      often useful,

they mark censorship, or something like that, we were talking

      about poetry and

somewhere a wife I no longer loved waited for me, a boss

      whom I’d left

in the lurch and was going to fire me, I couldn’t

      care less.

A lethargy that wouldn’t ease up, nausea, a bad-movie-like

sadness, “we poets enter our youth with


and we end in despair and madness,” these

      poets’ meetings

are massacres, Claudiu could hardly stand upright,

      I was popping

fistfuls of Colebils for my gut, only the old men were in shape, the most energetic of them, Flora, was to die in winter, I saw him on his last night and a week later I left the Bucharest to which I’d come for you, everyone else thought I’d come to try to make it big.