Darie Ducan
              in translation by
A.I. Scridon



                 “ . . . sì come rota ch’igualmente è mossa,

                       l’amor che move il sole e l’altre stele.”

                                         — DANTE, Il Paradiso, Canto XXXIII








Our eyes go bad,

our teeth go bad,


I can’t see anymore,

nobody sits

in the shadow of my canines

as if under the maple tree.


Grizzled, post-revolutionary

fizzy drinks become

faded, offset plaster.


The eyes see to the teeth,

cavities dig into the retina.


I feel as though

in ’98 I had

shot a soccer ball

onto the moon


and I can hear it now

deflating from

loneliness and accidie.








You don’t exist . . .

You are the salt of insatiability.


What emerges from the pipe

is scalped smoke,


a landfill into which Lent

has spilled itself.


But, for this sound,

cripple deposits


have made perfect


baptized in Vesuvius


by the blow of forgetting

directly over the head.


Worries have made you up

with whitener


as defense on cherry trees

with the Escariotan worm in wood.








The Romania-England game began with a ball

thrown into the stadium as if from a courtyard . . .

It was as though we had given it our happiness and bellybutton lint.

Stelea’s head shone like the moon and we thought it was the moon in the gate

and from so much day and night he’s got good reflexes,

he’ll hammer it home, because he knows how to deviate tactfully, in liturgical dribbling.

Moldovan scores in minute 47.

A second later you can see the serum dripping into coach Glenn Hoddle’s perfusion,

how cherubs of sweat with white-on-white socks grab him by the rictus.


(Moldovan anointed his leg with rosin

and his scalp — from high fiddling — da capo.  Somewhere, far away, the Cape of Good Hope trembled with fear . . .)


Neville, Adams, Beckham, Sheringham.  They picked their cards and tactics . . .

The back of the head protected the adversary’s exchanges, the eyes had relocated

to the back of the head and didn’t want to return,

like the depressurization of Händel’s music in the hull of Emmental cheese,


self-taught dribbling on the clavichord,

cleats with an acoustic phrase —


the dome of the foul,

Ave Maria, Gratia plena . . .









Darie Ducan is a Romanian poet and playwright.  He has published ten books of poetry and three books of theatre.  He is currently pursuing a PhD on Harold Pinter and Eugéne Ionesco at the Sorbonne.  He writes in both Romanian and French. 

A.I. Scridon is a translator from Romanian to English.  She is a contributing editor at E·ratio.