by Iulia Militaru / Translated from the Romanian by Claudia Serea
Birds are made of innocent but half-witted men who showed interest in heavenly matters, but who believed, in their simpleness, that the surest proof regarding those matters can be obtained with their own eyes. Those men grow feathers instead of hair.
They are called birds because they don’t follow established paths, but move in undetermined directions. Winged, because they aim with their wings to the heights and rise, rowing with them.
3. The albatross
According to Heidegger: The questions arise from the dispute with the things. And the things exist only where there are eyes to see them. This said, he started to grow bald, until, without being careless to what was happening, there wasn’t
left. And, because Nothing wanted to stay, the Dasein made it grow, out of nowhere, a few feathers, a sight for sore eyes.
Finally, he thought he could fly. But,
when he opened his wings, two giant eyes
petrified by amazement, rolled on the asphalt. And no one
dared to look at them. He became an albatross.
1st Strophe: They say albatross is the common name of over 23 species of birds from the Diomedeidae family. They vary in size from that of a goose to a swan.
(it’s well-known the fact that Heidegger reached the largest dimensions of this species)
Albatrosses are widespread, from the arctics to the tropics.
(and he liked extreme cold)
Sometimes, these birds spend months at sea, as they can sleep on the waves.
(The Dasein spent a lot of time there)
Plus, they are excellent predators
(of an uncommon voracity). They feed either on the young of other animals, or with marine birds.
1st Antistrophe: And, in his simple-mindedness, Heidegger thought himself a Nazi. And, in our simpleness, we took him at his word.
2nd Strophe: Because the logos as “speech” brings into sight (a sound expression through which something is bought into the field of vision each time)
but there are also basis, reason, judgment, concept, definition, relationship
Finally, what it was seen was only Death, a concept perfectly defined by a reason beyond judgment, on the basis of the relationship between humans and beasts (different species divided into flocks, each one with its own leader who guarded them with the purpose of devouring them; let’s not forget, Romania has a tradition in grazing). Now, there is only logos. We can see that clearly
With our own eyes, because we were given the eyes to get proof through logical discourse.
Death. Monarch. Beast. Famine. The need to eat from the other (even when we’re not hungry). Pleasure.
2nd Antistrophe: Stalin understood this the best, only he didn’t concern himself with philosophy and heavenly matters. Unfortunately!
3rd Strophe: Speech is all we have left, while waiting for our wings to grow. Thus, we’ll return to being birds!
3rd Antistrophe: But language lacks exactly this text. Unfortunately!
Epode: Flight is not a condition of innocence, maybe/only the feathers (but numerous exceptions still exist).
Impression from Olimpus
Heavy sky. Weighing. On us,
of time steps from us, onto us.
Blue. Blue. Blue
tern that splinters. Cry
blue blue white
star. white moon seen through daylight.
The difference between an albatross and a beast is best established by the EXD1:
ALBATROSS, albatrosses, noun, masculine. Marine flying bird similar to the tern but a lot larger, with white feathers and long, narrow, black-tipped wings (Diomedea exulans);
ALBATROSS, albatrosses, noun, masculine. The largest marine bird living in the Southern hemisphere, with wide wings, thick, curved beak, very greedy; it’s one of the fast-flying birds, looking like a giant sea gull.
BEAST, beasts, noun, feminine. Large wild animal; brute. ♦ Fig. Person who is extremely mean, cruel, violent.
BEAST (Latin fera) s. f. 1. Large wild animal; monster, savage. ♦ Fig. Person who is mean, cruel. 2. (In the “Apocalipse”) The personification of the Antichrist who will appear before the Second Coming of Christ: the first beast rises out of the sea, inciting the world peoples to war with the Church; the second beast (the dragon) rises out of the earth and is the false prophet.
The explanation of any term used is essential to speech coherence.
Hence, regarding the albatross and the beast, only two common elements are found at the linguistic level: large (an adjective) and sea (a noun). They don’t apply to all the definitions every time. Their common link is not stated, though, only implied: greed, hunger; as a concrete result, the idea present in both definitions is cruelty.
Despite this, the albatross can fly. This would have been the difference between the two terms, if the Biblical beast wouldn’t be often portrayed with wings (although without feathers; instead, scales are drawn).
The confusions appeared again when one strayed from these definitions. The word albatross, synonym with terms such as: poet, penitence, etc., was used in literature (see: Coleridge, Melville, Baudelaire, Mary Shelley etc.), described mostly as a bird,
flying toward empty azure skies where it could never breathe the air of absolute freedom. Because nothing is more false than freedom itself and the image of this bird, crossing
In our society, the confusions follow a gradual adaptation to the free market economy:
1. Albatross: the name of a band that was famous years ago, playing at important life events:
2. The Albatross Resort, located at 4 km from Călărași, somewhere on the Borcea shore:
The Albatross Resort gets its special meaning in a place far from the city bustle, cooled by the shade of a generous vegetation. It’s an ideal spot for tourists who prefer resting, relaxation, and vacationing in a picturesque space, as well as the ones in transit to other destinations. The resort boasts a total number of 75 rooms, of which 33 singles with a double bed, 19 doubles, and 23 suites. The motel offers elegant, luxurious, and comfortable rooms with optimum conditions for resting in a select atmosphere. Included are amenities and services such as: AC, telephone, cable TV, minibar, ensuite bathroom (tub + shower), hair dryer, wireless and cable internet, safe for valuables, parking, breakfast included in the room price (Swedish buffet), room service.
EXD=The explanatory dictionary of the Romanian language.
1As the reader noticed, we always return to this amazing book in which everything is ordered and registered in great detail.
Claudia Serea’s poems and translations have appeared in Field, New Letters, Gravel, Prairie Schooner, RHINO, and elsewhere. She has published five poetry collections, most recently Twoxism, a poetry-photography collaboration with Maria Haro (8th House Publishing, 2018). Serea co-translated The Vanishing Point That Whistles, an Anthology of Contemporary Romanian Poetry (Talisman House Publishing, 2011) for which she received a grant from the Romanian Cultural Institute. She also translated from the Romanian Adina Dabija’s Beautybeast (Northshore Press, 2012). Serea is a founding editor of National Translation Month.
Iulia Militaru is the editor-in-chief of frACTalia Press and the InterRe:ACT magazine. After a few children’s books and her study Metaphoric, Metonimic: A Typology of Poetry, her first poetry collection Marea Pipeadă(The Great Pipe Epic) was published in 2010, receving two major awards in Romania. Dramadoll, co-authored with Anca Bucur and Cristina Florentina Budar, is part of a larger poetry/graphic art/video/sound project; a part of this video project (Images of the day number 8, directed by Cristina Florentina Budar) was selected for Gesamt 2012 (DISASTER 501: What happened to man?), a project coordinated by Lars von Trier and directed by Jenle Hallund. Her collection of experimental poetry Confiscarea bestiei (o postcercetare)(The Seizure of the Beast. A Post-research) was published by frACTalia Press in 2016. She has published poems and digital collages in MAINTENANT,A Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing and Art #9, #10, and #11. Her art exhibit “The Path. Filling-in Abstract Forms: Overwriting Barnett Newman” opened in 2016 in Iowa City at Public Space One. In 2016, she was also featured at The Third Annual Brussels Poetry Fest.