by B. LUSSIER
“Milking her, I had to watch out for her dung.
On occasion, lost in some metaphor, I wouldn’t notice
how her anus opened like an eye and beads
of obsidian rolled out from inside: large black tears
in the warm milk. Bitter sugar. At first I was mad . . . .”
From Dimiter Kenarov’s, “The Goat,” these lines remind us of the power of concrete, visceral imagery. It is sometimes a mistake to neglect that power in favor of complex metaphor—although the sly brilliance of Kenarov’s poem is realized when it becomes clear that the speaker’s experience with the goat is a metaphor:
“[T]his world overflows with suffering like a clogged toilet,” writes Kenarov, “and the air stinks, but no one is paying attention.”
Read the entire poem here. It was published by one of our favorite lit-in-translation journals, Absinthe: New European Writing (Issue 17). Translated by Maria P. Vassileva and the author.
More Dimiter Kenarov:
Read Kenarov’s essays in VQR (note: some are available to subscribers only, but others can be read for free).
Read his “Notes on Bulgarian Literature” (about Georgi Gospodinov) in the Boston Review.