Van Gogh

translated from the Bulgarian with the author,
Lyubomir Nikolov

Well, he lived among us and hated winters.
He moved to Arles where summer and blue jays
obliged him to cut off his ear.
Oh, they all said it was a whore
but Rachel was innocent. When cypresses
went for a walk in the prison yard
he went along and sketched them.
His suns surpassed Godís.
He spelled out the Gospel for miners
and their potatoes stuck in his throat.
Yes, he was a priest in sackcloth, who hoped
that one day humans would learn to walk.
He willed mankind his shoes.

From PATH, CROOKED PATH (Copper Canyon Press, 2006)


Poems by John Balaban

On Sharing a Husband
(By Hồ Xuân Hương)

Three-Mountain Pass
(By Hồ Xuân Hương)

A Note to Hayden Carruth from Miami

Van Gogh