Breaking down cultural barriers
Transposer une culture dans une autre par delà les barrières culturelles

Monday, 2 August 2010

Garo Armenian - CAPITAL 5

Now that you have found your place in this lane
and this parade moves ahead with such pageantry
oblivious of our collective will

and obeying its own brawn
the genealogy of which

is unknown

Jot it down

this traffic has its own logic
the motorcars define each other
in this restless space
from morning till night
without a hint

of tolerance

They chide each other in their fervor
and with the arrogance of their pace
they subsist
without a hint

of deference

They are the mobile identities of the metropolis
that scrutinizes all this closely

and remains silent

The drivers are happenstance
they have no status
they have put their lives at our disposal
for a while
until there are no more days
one at a time
the road swollows the last piece

Already it is not possible to guess who is going to be the sponsor of all this

Am I steering your wheels
or are you directing the traffic
all along the road
curtailing our roving existance

We shall observe this soulless goings on
from our safe sidewalks
and wonder in apprehension
when is it time to cross the road?

We shall look right and left
and seek the precious moment
looking for that window

knowing full well
that motorcars have no soul
they can trample us
if we are not cautious

Who have drawn these inane lines?
Who have set these red green and yellow lights

silently warning
that simply put

one cannot trust motorcars?

Seatbelts know something
when they squeeze your waist

Cars drive men

again we are misunderstood
again the issues of subject and gender
are lumped together
I mean
drivers are not people on this scary soil
Mashtots and Khanjian are sustained by this same regal highway
at this high noon


centuries later
it is the same incensed mob moving incessently
marching over us corraling us in its sickly circle

headed towards Rome

All roads lead there after all

How shall I put this?
Drivers are not drivers
they have become one with their machines in motion
the parts of which have been assembled far from our sight
in far-away factories
so that motorcar and driver may become one
thus completing each other

as one equestrian

We are all the confused pedestrians
standing where Sayat Nova and Abovian meet
and we are the only ones wandering around
at this hour of stifling noontime
we are the ones who do not know who we are
and where we are headed
since all borders are mixed together
since all decrees are posted
and the leading edge has caught up with us

and it is no longer possible to tell subject from predicate
with our daily spoken vulgate

Garo Armenian
July 17, 2010

Translated by Tatul Sonentz

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