• Morgan Mansour

Common Salt: Morgan Mansour


Morgan Mansour was a writer-in-residence at ZVONA i NARI in March/April of 2017. Growing up in Arkansas and Georgia in the US, getting her education at the Vassar College in Upstate New York, Morgan is now travelling across Europe discovering sparks that will ignite her writing and photography.

"I began to write poems in a summer when I rarely spoke English," she explains. "At the start of my time on farms in France, the world was struck nameless; objects gleamed raw in themselves, and words only stuck when they moved me. I marveled how intuitions sprawl mossy in one's native terrain -- but likewise gather as moisture on glass in a foreign tongue, towards the slippery thing we call fluency. A few years later, a fellow student told me that my work reminded him of Medbh McGuckian, whom I didn’t know but grew to love. 'Her language,' Seamus Heaney wrote, 'is like the inner lining of consciousness,' and 'moves amphibiously between the dreamlife and her actual domestic and historical experience.' I can think of no higher aspiration for the text I want to make."

Morgan's poetry is visual as is her photography poetic. „I don't want to give up on either because words and images support each other in my work, create a space for and inspire each other“, says the young author emphasizing how film editing and darkroom photography influenced her poems that we're presenting here in the original English and Croatian translation.

ZiN Daily s radošću predstavlja stihove mlade Morgan Mansour, kako na engleskom tako i u hrvatskom prijevodu. Morgan je bila gošća našeg svratišta ZVONA i NARI u ožujku i travnju ove godine, a kao glavnu odrednicu svoje poetike ističe dijalog između vizualnog (Morgan je i fotografkinja) i poezije.

FOURTH

I reach the point each evening when

there is more heat inside than out. When there is no

you to puncture

doorframes -- to block the pour of orange lamps.

Tonight, there’s just the splint

of fireworks on television.

Somewhere, a man will spit

out on a highway as his kids

fight over a box of juice.

There is no question

that others go on,

and scour the black

haze for consolation.

The traffic charts no constellations.

But still, I watch for patterns in the clutter on my kitchen table; a flutter of half-torn paper,

bent by a fan that hums.

ČETVRTI

Svake večeri dosižem točku na kojoj je više vrućine unutra nego vani. Gdje nema

tebe da probiješ okvire vrata – da zaustaviš slijevanje narančastih svjetiljki.

Večeras na televiziji prikazuju tek iskru vatrometa. Negdje, na autocesti neki će čovjek pljunuti dok mu se djeca svađaju oko bočice soka.

Ostali neupitno nastavljaju dalje, i peru crnu izmaglicu za utjehu. Promet ne iscrtava nikakva sazviježđa.

Pa ipak, tražim uzorke u krtežu na mom kuhinjskom stolu; lepetanje napola pokidanog papira koji savija ventilator što zuji.

THE MOUTHS OF TRAILS

i.

the map must

understand itself

as incomplete &

show its seams

the map is more

interpretive than

informative

land stirs,

anew; map

static, askew &

boundaries vary

ii.

the lover of wine

sets out to build

a vineyard

the vines hide

in their seeds

he ceases to

call the earth

soil; instead

he calls the

ground dirt

iii.

her wrist hits

rope she gasps

and blinks

she turns so sky may glide her narrow

a roof alludes to impasse in passing,

metal ripples make rows

the moon floats

on its back

iv.

the frame connotes as much as it contains

“every still life a love

letter in disguise”

each name a poem

to what exists

I am lonely for

time to greet me

USTA TRAGOVA

i.

karta mora razumjeti samu sebe kao nepotpunu i pokazivati svoje šavove

karta je više interpretativna nego informativna

zemlja se komeša, iznova; karta je statična, iskrivljena i

granice variraju

ii.

ljubitelj vina odlučuje posaditi vinograd

loze su skrivene u vlastitim sjemenkama

prestaje zemlju nazivati tlom; umjesto toga

zove polje njivom

iii.

njezino zapešće udara u konop, ona uzdiše i trepće

okreće se tako da joj nebo klizi bliže

krov upućuje na stranputicu po putu, metalni nabori slažu se u redove

mjesec pluta na svojim leđima

iv.

okvir zadržava koliko i sadržava

„svaka mrtva priroda prikriveno ljubavno pismo“

svako ime pjesma onome što postoji

usamljena čeznem da me vrijeme pozdravi

MINERAL

Mineral, that night.

An ice tray cracks

its teeth. Caverns

brawl beneath a curtain

restless of its contour.

There is no event.

It is a broad line &

a corner, bound by

nails -- a frame.

Smoke lingers in

the dented couch,

a sponge that can

absorb no more of what it sighs.

MINERAL

Mineral, te noći. Posudica za led puna razbijenih zuba. Šupljine

se tuku ispod zavjese nemirne zbog njezinih obrisa.

Nema događaja. Samo široka linija i ugao, omeđen čavlima -- okvir.

Dim visi nad ulubljenim kaučem,

spužva koja može upiti ne više od onoga koliko uzdiše.

STONES

stay and watch

a stone fall;

to scale

each feat

subsumed, the unripe

and solace slips white

/

but birds have

no teeth -- they

swallow stones,

and their gizzards

cut food with grit

KAMENJE

stani i gledaj kamen kako pada;

popeti se na svaki poduhvat

sadržano, nezrelo

a utjeha klizne bijela

/

no ptice nemaju zuba – one gutaju kamenje,

a njihove utrobe režu hranu pijeskom

COMMON SALT

in urgent static

rising out of

lovers’ mouths:

the swoon-drop, the swan-

dive --

in the

candid and collective

sage of generations,

moving closer to

the buried place

where molten

plates make earth;

god is an

adjective, but

the hot-slipper moon won’t

speak.

OBIČNA SOL

u hitnom statičnom uzdizanju iz ljubavničkih usta: padanje u nesvijest, labuđe poniranje --

u iskrenoj i kolektivnoj mudrosti generacija, približavajući se zakopanom mjestu gdje rastaljene ploče tvore zemlju;

bog je pridjev, ali mjesec u toplim papučama neće reći.

Prijevod: NGiOR w/ DAC

Photos by: ZiN Daily and Morgan Mansour

#MorganMansour #poetryandphotography #ZiNwriterinresidence

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