the light of the Buddha
a white bird
Birds of prey perched in the trees.
Feather-shaped holes above the meadow
under the trees. She was already dead.
I dreamt I was climbing my incomplete notion
of her right, skirt-covered, thigh. I gradually discover
all the things I should tell her. She was recovering
the way grass does after a trampling.
3. Chandra’s Dream
under the stilled blade,
roams the shadows.
4. Debeljak’s Dream
Children have hardened
from the monotonous waiting, bend
toward the geometry of granite.
Behind the closed window
a stretched sound, narrowing
like the pupil of an animal
into longing.The smell of cinnamon.
5. Belieu’s Dream
and the human-headed lion
pooled at the tender part
of each organ
that’s taken from us
to make it whole.
Burrasca’s erasures were all recorded in his notebooks in Italian, even when, as in the series presented here, which he sent me in 1994, his sources were English. Thus, instead of simply translating his Italian, I tracked down his sources, which were all poems that appeared in journals he read in 1994, in order to recover the relevant snippets. In a sense, then, these “translations” might be regarded as the original erasures and Burrasca’s Italian originals as the translations.
His sources were: Bruce Weigl, “Fever Dream in Hanoi,” from TriQuarterly 90 (1994); Ludvík Vaculík, “The Czech Dreambook,” Trafika 3/4 (1994); G.S. Charat Shandra, “Shadows and Dreams,” from International Quarterly (vol. 1, no. 2, 1993); Aleš Debeljak, “Biography of Dreamtime,” from Trafika 3/4 (1994), and Erin Belieu, “The Dream, After Surgery,” from The Journal (vol. 18, no. 2,1994).