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Articles tagged "Birth"

Octavio the Invader

He was prepared for the terrifying violence of the light and noise, but not for the pressure, the brutal atmospheric pressure, combined with the Earth’s gravity, acting on that body which was so different from his own and whose reactions he hadn’t yet learned to control. An unfamiliar body in an unfamiliar world. Now, after the pain and anxiety of the passage, just when he was hoping to find some sort of relief, the horror of the situation struck him. Only the arduous...

from “Gypsy Mandalas”

10th Mandala I realized early on inside my mother’s belly that I’d be born a Gypsy. The realization made me drown at least twice in the embryonic fluid, but then I decided to resurrect myself. After all, being a Gypsy can’t be any worse than the state of the world itself. I’ll muddle through it somehow, just like all the other Gypsies.   14th Mandala While my father was taking an extension course in jail—due partly to having beaten up one of the...

from “The Eternal Son”

The most brutal morning of his life started with interrupted sleep—the relatives were arriving. He was happy, it was visible, a rather groggy happiness due to his insomnia the night before, plus the shots of whisky, the intensity of the event, the series of little oddities in that official space that wasn't his. Once again he wasn't at home, and now there was an estrangement in everything, as if it were he, rather than his wife, who'd pushed the child out of his very...

V. Samsara

I have always been intrigued by the fact that cows in India are sacred. Unmolested, they roam the streets of towns and villages. In some parts they have a bell round their neck and a jasmine topknot on their head, sometimes they are painted. But mostly they are wretched. Gaunt, filthy and sick, they munch away on pounds of rotting waste, eating up slops, paper, or bits of material they find along the wayside. Drivers, rickshaw-men and pedestrians break their necks avoiding the cows...

Sign of These Times

The couple stopped in the middle of the way to rest. They were both tired of fleeing and took shelter in a cowshed near an empty road. Soon the woman felt the first warnings. It was a providential stop; the most appropriate time and place for the birth of the child. That night, under the intense light of a star, the woman intensely suffered the pains of delivery. It was late at night when, between her muffled moans, they heard a strange wail. Perplexed, they looked at the newborn...

The Bergkvist Sisters

  I've had a lot of time lately, and I've been thinking about the King and Queen. They were Crown Prince and Princess then, of course, but what if they hadn't had a son second time around? Would they have just had to keep going? There's got to be a boy after all, hasn't there, a future king? Imagine the Crown Princess after giving birth eight times, after the eighth girl she'd have looked totally exhausted. That's how things were for Ellen anyway....

Four Poems

For the Shetlandic originals, please click here. Head over Heels From different vantage points, the island sharpens from old man laid out dead upon the skyline to three proud peaks upon the world's edge. And seen at different times, headlands looming closely after rain, distance themselves through hazy veils. We lift our eyes from weathered end-of-season sights. Autumn, with fingers soft and lingering, lightens both land and heart; bright glints of newness....

Four Poems

For the English translations, please click here. Tirlin headicraa Seen fae different erts, da island sharpens fae auld man streekit oot apö da skyline ta tree prunk peaks apö da wirld's aedge. An seen at different times, headlands clös lömin eftir rain, distance demsels anunder asky veils. We lift wir een fae waddered end-o-saison sichts. Autumn, wi fingers saaft an lingerin, lichtens baith laand an haert; bricht glims o newness. An...

from “Dear Shameless Death”

In memory of my mother Huvat Aktas travelled for a whole day and a night, ending his journey at noon by the sheepfold in the village of Alacuvek. This time he brought a bright blue bus with him. The bus had collected quite a bit of dust along the way but it still stood gleaming like a mirror in the fiery rays of the sun. At first the villagers were horrified by this outlandish contraption the likes of which they had never seen. But in that moment of pure amazement, while some blew...

The Moon

Every time the moon rose, she prayed. Finally Wol-nam's mother, at forty, bore a son. In dreams before pregnancy, she swallowed the moon. After her son was born, Wol-nam's mother would lose her mind without fail every time the moon rose. Late at night, washing dishes, she'd smash one bowl— the moon then hid in a cloud and the world grew blind. For the next poem in this sequence, click here. From Ten Thousand Lives by Ko Un, published 2005 by Green Integer Press....

Belarusian

II even our mothers have no idea how we got here how we parted their legs and crawled out into the world the way you crawl from the ruins after a bombing we couldn't tell which of us was a girl or a boy and we gorged on dirt thinking it was bread and our future a gymnast on a thin thread of the horizon was performing there at the highest pitch bitch we grew up in a country where first your door is stroked with chalk and then at dark a chariot arrives and no one...
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