Saturday, January 16, 2010

Arun Kolatkar: 'Fire'


Arun Kolatkar

This fire This one laughing This is yet another

What shall I do with it Where shall I keep it

Shall I set it to the house to the door to the world

What will it cook Where will it spread

This torch where shall I throw it

This fire must be obeyed

This fire wear it on your head

Become a torch dance

Come, let’s play

Light my cigarette

Fire my engine

Leaven my bread

Cook my stew

Condense my soul

Boil my blood

Bend my steel

Melt my gold

Bake my brick

Crackle my mustard

Burn my corpse

Fling my arrows

Helter skelter

This fire This one laughing This is yet another

I am the toppling Ravana I am charcoal I am charcoal

This is Dussera

This fire Flames flames This bonfire

Broken window I’m a smashed door This bonfire

This bonfire This bonfire

Limping chair I’m a table on crutches This bonfire

This bonfire This bonfire

Running fence I’m a beam escaping This bonfire

This bonfire This bonfire

Flying cupboard I’m a warehouse being looted This

bonfire This bonfire This bonfire

this world without tunnels This house of wax

Helpless Helpless Fire engines Sandbuckets Water tanks

You are fire I’m ash

You are today I’m cash

You are yesterday You are fire You are tomorrow

You are fire You are now You are before You are after

You are flower I’m stalk

You are matchhead I’m matchstick

You are sacred fire I’m holy man

You are fire Ask Take

I’m smoke I’m smoke I’m smoke

I am myself sacrificial fire I am the host I am the altar

I am the priest I am the fire I am the sacrifice

The fire itself is ignorant

I sacrifice I sacrifice I sacrifice

Your mane will catch fire Be careful

Your tail will burn Take care

Come my lion Make a compromise

Jump through this burning hoop

From here to there and again from there to here

This fire shaped like a zero This freedom to burn is daily

This whole circus is you alone

Rajabai Tower The Gateway The Taj

The Majestic Hotel

These buildings beasts foxes tigers wild boars

This jungle molded this clear darkness

These vultures

You are hearth neighbouring fire

Scatter the city make them wait

Rajabai Tower The Gateway The Taj

The Majestic Hotel Churchgate Station

The Town Hall The Victoria Terminus The Regal

The Eros

Detached Immobile

Keep burning please for my sake

Keep me warm

Terrify this city

Otherwise these buildings will tear me and devour me

This city stays as is because of you or else or else

Terrorize the city the museum

Be a neighbour.

[Translated from Marathi by Dilip Chitre and Mick Fedullo]

Chandrabhaga 13

Thanks, Rahul!


Hari Batti said...

This is nice. (was this the piece you were formatting?)

Anindita said...

Oh lovely. Thank you for taking the trouble to do this!

equivocal said...

Great find, excellent translation, fantastically formatted! (Do tell how you did it...) Thanks.

dipali said...

This is just wonderful.

Space Bar said...

glad y'all liked. will post about how etc., soon.

camerawali said...

Fantastic. Is it from the book "bhijki vahi"?? Thanks for making it possible to read in english for those of us who have only been able to enjoy the english poetry he wrote. Thanks!