Leonard Nolens

Translated by Paul Vincent


We fed on sevenths of light
And dark in Turner, we whistled nourishing fifths
From Mozart, greedily we licked the gold dust
From our Novalis, we received a silver swipe
From the cranium of Nietzsche, no, we wanted
No church-made god, no heavenly beaten track.
We wanted no other top floor except Bach.

Oh yes, some evenings we sat with cellars
Of questions calling to him
Up above, we couldn’t get him off that cross
In the clouds, we plodded whole nights from him
To us, hither and thither, his wife.
So no, we weren’t human by nature.

Nature was young that powerful swan song, that yen
For the music of stars, that urge to die –
That was our personal historical materialism.
We wrote chain letters so we spoke to no one.
We kissed not cheeks but words, we lived
On regal and equal terms with our dreams.
We were too narrow for me. And I was too wide for us.