To shout a name, Gerardo, Gustavo,
or little Ed. God help you
if you bear witness to my lofty thoughts
without my knowing, or before
I have had them.

And Alex, help him, who always speaks
from the underside of a picturesque dream:
his path to eternity, wherever that is,
is very short.

Shorter that Yasuyuki’s.

And shorter that mine, Niels, whose time is a time
that repeats itself, and whose doodles hang
swaying in the air as its ornaments.

But all dainty and extravagant things have
their rights too, especially in fits of hysterics when nothing else
will come to your aid: when suddenly
certain trifles grow much too big (I mean:
too big to be any good) or when someone poses
in a high arch over me and I see with relief
that all my nightmares were wrong.
They were too literal. They were too sceptical
and false in their alarm, they hid behind unexpiated words and images,
especially stones (the nightmares’ stars)
and ashes (their dry tears).


Merely looking is sacrilege against touch,
but what else can the eyes do?
”Little friend,” they say. And they say:
”Little one ” and ”Big world”.
The touch says: ”Big friend” and ”Big one”
and ”Little world.” It is so naive.


”That ear itches,” Marco said. ”No, the other one,”
and then melted into the soft turns of his hips.
One body became the other’s eclipse. I saw him
get out of a bathtub and bid him be my mirror
and wished for it that it could have seen
its own reflection and had dared to stand by it.

I saw that his face was my face seen in a mirror.

But when I later lifted up a darkness
and stared straight into the closest nightmare,
I could see it hid nothing. I thought: Oscar, Oscar,
fly away home and tell the Lord I want to wake up
All my nightmares were right. Or soon would be.
For I saw that everything was reminiscent of them, how
for example the waves resembled the ”hard, hunched shoulders”
I had once read about, and how the hands lay stretched
like sails, then like something that wanted to wrap the waves.
Finally I saw they were mine, and that they resembled
a loose, crumpled bow. Someone began to tie it
with a sensual hand. I thought: How precisely
it extends its arm


Eskil with his Old Norse mouth (mu r) reminds me
of Maurizio: how I witnessed his nakedness one night
and how warily he carried it.

And the evening itself reminded me of Tom’s flicker of fatigue,
which in return recalls a child’s drawing
of falling snow: in the nightmares it falls thick
and never reaches the ground, or the water
running somewhere in the darkness or somewhere behind it.

There you must dwell on all details,
including small obscene hairs (the scars of the nightmares)
that lie hidden in the skin over chest and stomach,
for each detail is the eye of the whole, just as s snowflake
is the eye of the snow. Even at a great distance it can see
an accident is on its way, and that you will be part of it.
And you invent a valid way out (in the nightmares a frantic escape),
but the way out is nothing but the shadow in which
you recognize your own eclipse
and dare to stand by it.


The rest is humiliation, or rather a long series
of humiliations that you sometimes yearn
to be subjected to: smells, and embarrassing outbursts, and
the most awkward positions, when you arouse someone
and thereby humiliate him, or are aroused
and thereby humiliate yourself before him.

But if that’s what he wants, he will get it, or to be
more precise: he will get it.
In this or that doorway, beneath the sighing of a big tree,
or in a nightmare decorated for the purpose.


The optative and imperative moods, the drifting lines of lips,
my two-sidedness: from far away I see nothing
and close to I hardly see anything. The distances
are each other’s hiding places.

But what I have already seen
destroys what I am going to see, and is then
confirmed by it. The destruction goes on
and at last becomes my leitmotif. In that simple way
the ending is the same everywhere, indiscernible from the beginning.
Even at Kenny’s in California, and at the guy’s in Sicily
whose name I forget, it resembles a snowfall
within which the names call out for each other.

Now and again, in the most inane moments,
I hear them quite clearly.

Niels Frank

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