Poems by Peycho Kanev

Inexplicable

 
 
 

I am drinking whiskey from a tin can –

this line sounds so much like blues,

but let me tell you the rest.

This tin can is shiny and red- oh yes,

many years ago, my grandfather,

for many years, kept his pencils inside

and some small notebook in which he

scribbled late at night. Secret notes about

his past, I presume, then just a blink

of a supernova, and he was gone. After that,

my uncle stored in it his old German ‘Luger’,

which he cleaned almost every day. Maybe he

was afraid of loosing his prolonged quarrels

with cancer and immortality, maybe he wanted

to go on his own terms. My uncle was a great

admirer of Ernest Hemingway. He was gone

one summer Sunday morning. And now the can

is mine. I pour whiskey inside and drink it sitting

in the dark. No music, no light- just me and the old

whiskey, but it has some strange taste, almost like

rust from an old pistol and fading memories of words

never written. I lift it close to my ear and I can hear

the whizzing of the chilly mistral, that so long ago

licked the skin of my father. I sigh and say to

the time in my tin can: Please scholar me as you

collar me, because everything fills- Now and then.

 
 
  

 

 

 

The shape of everything else

 
 

I will wake up when the sun is high in the sky,

and I will drink nothing but water.

  

And I will walk under the trees

until they become indignant of my eyes.
 
 

I will enter some old and big house with 22 doors

that will lead to nowhere.

  

And after that, I will go back to the point

where it began.

  

The old books give me some minor relief

that evaporates slowly in time.

  

I promise to all the small gods that I will be different,

and I will not carry too much cash in my pockets.

  

When I start to write all the words of the future,

I will not pray to Buddha or Christ, but to the potted plant.

  

In some holiday, I will go to the cemetery

to light a candle for all the dead of the future.

  

The sea will befriend me only as the deep water that it is

and not like the place where I engaged old age.

  

And this lonely view through the windows of the world

will not make me shiver any more.

  

Let me mention all of my former loves and tell them

that I don’t remember anything else but the quietness.

  

Because the poetry of silence, my dearest,

is all that you have received, but never deserved.

 
 
  

 

Alcohol

  

Under my roof there’s a ceiling

full of forgotten memories.

  

Turning the knob of the radio-

it’s not working, only static.

I need some quiet music. Now!

  

Today I can hear the walls move

within themselves,

as time slips by

beneath my elbow and the table.
 
 

I want to live my life as a spider

or a bee, not caring for anything

in the world. It is only Tuesday after all.

  

I am nothing,

and I am perfect in my nothingness.

Time slowly pours out of

my empty wine glass.

And I am my self again!

  

What is this thirst inside us all,

that makes us ache, even for the word?

Can we breathe the calendar in and out

with all our days when we will be forgotten?

  

Last night I dreamed of ancient Greek gods,

and today I think of something more

pleasurable, like grapes and wheat.

  

When I dust my clocks, I am very careful.

They speak to me in hush voices, but I answer No!

  

The hours pretend to be my brothers,

alluring me in their fossil forgetfulness,

making me work too hard on these poems.

  

But I am not alone.

Her skin is under my skin,

the sheets are our umbilical cord,

and the tattoo on her soul is in my throat.

  

And her thoughts chase me around the clock’s dial,

begging me to finish this poem.

  

So, my friends,

I pour fresh time in my glass for you

and drink it down.

  

Let’s grow old!

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