Taufer Veno:
Non Metaphysical Sequence

1. When I Touch You

brother who

where is

sister moon


only sand

brother who brother where only fire

only dust


and sister

dear body

death only brittle ashes


brother who neither hell

nor desert

when I touch you


death I become me

become you

I step into myself


death going into you

dusty stones hhrsskk

apes hhrsskk paper cups


brother air no breath gone

into father air into mother moon into her mother

into earth into everything into the whole thing into death


2. Is Burned by the Wick


pleading not cursing

from behind panes

from ecuador to icy leningrad


without a voice without the chill of fire

it burns

through the wholeness into the bone


falls backward makes itself at home

yet stays awake

a hole in a dream


the wax of the translucent candle

is burned by the wick

it pleads


the sun into ashes

it revitalizes itself

into feathers of sun


stars only wind always farther

silence into its shine

writes and wipes


an old man with his stick in sand

happy sand

in sand


3. In the Air it Spreads


a king i am a king

in the air of air

in the air of the living dead


who are only doors

museum dogs doors of doors

and of the dead who will live


a living king of the dead

of the living dead the dead king of the living

the shadow which falls


upon the dust of a feather

which flies

through the doors of others


across the thresholds of others

to the door of its own breath

to the threshold of its own cry


upon the air

in the air it spreads

into the air


the king




4. The Mud The Chill


a slap of wind not a trick of memory

not death but a rent of emptiness

a smile of pale teeth


a center a space bitten out

a seam unravelling

the humility of the slayer of children


the pale namelessness of clearing

which leaves for all around

the mud the chill


desalination of tears

not a road

not an endlessness


but a plain but with no boundaries and

no limits not even a stench any more

only the slime a smudged cold


5. So How Long Will Time


silence sets into the darkness

the tide of calm rises

in mute thought


it kills without a groan

so how long will time



how long will time


so how long will time


it is without us

how long will it run

without stopping



without end

without us


it remains

a long time

in the sun without the sun


it is killed at the end without end

an open space with no road

a wandering foot wading the silence


6. That One Can Even Hear the Clods of Earth


i rise up out of the liquid

of words i look for a shore

fog and creeping things


unreal cliffs not an echo

rising with no boundary or limit

spreading but without the stench


no weeds from the depths

i lift out my limbs

a wind never tiring


and what a dance

so unreally there

that one can even hear the clods of earth


which have been lifted by the very

silence of death can be heard

even as my body stiffens


i pull my fingers one by one

out of steam out of mist out of speech

nothing without the clay out of stillness


which rises among the glistening of feathers among prophet’s burning thorns

now there is no shore no island only murky waters

only the steep wave of ice


7. Perhaps the Juniper Needles


this pain is not to be survived

the luminous rain

which cries through the airless space



unless beyond the monodony of sound

through its fissures there is

that dust perhaps that pollen


which no spider web can catch

nor even the darkness of memory

just this no more after that come the words the voices


the wizard letters the runefrost

perhaps the juniper needles

perhaps the unsurvivably sweet motion of a blade of grass


moving to the white breath of the fleet dragon

before the maw that space vanishing along teeth into a


blue beyond the azure of candles


now the drops the drops just this

what kind how long

how many drops


what are the limits

as the memory curves

in upon itself


8. The Sloped Horse


   saint george always

comes around

   the wind swift

everything slides askew

   the spear juts out

on the spear

   george the knight the dragon

the sloped horse

   the virgin beside him



9. In the World


   beyond the glitter

of the wind

   across the sea

i approach

   the horizon

the edge of the eye’s pupil

   that image

which is turned

   and embodied

and thus returned

   from the black


   of the abyss

Translated by Milne Holton