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Dainius Gintalas is a poet and a translator who is often referred to as “the new barbarian.” His poetry is elemental, brimming with explosive power and the dregs of darkness and twilight. It is influenced by the “damned poets” and other unconventional literature.  He is one of those rare Lithuanian poets who does not shun erotic and open poetics, carnal physiology, and shocking and fetishist images.
He takes photographs of outhouses, dog houses, and ladders.

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Dainius Gintalas
 

Spring

such an intense thaw
waters with such deep teeth
they even gnawed through graves
and having palms so strong
they lifted coffins out of the earth
and crushed them
releasing the recently buried
into the city’s rivers
dozens of calm, majestic corpses
began to swim through the streams
like gondolas
turning into side-streets
diving through doorways
calling on courtyards
with their eyes closed
they swam into stores
and bought nothing
sometimes just barely
rubbing shoulders
hips heads
without fuss or fighting
gossip or caress
calm and proud
like boats stuffed with bones
they sailed their own way
through unheeded traffic signs
or still blinking lights
calm and proud
liberated by the waters
from dark narrow rooms
they swam and they swam
like beds escaped from home
dressed in the dark suits of sleep
their strange pyjamas
on which mice and rats
roused by waters
had already clambered
angry and ruffled
for it hadn’t been time
to run from basements yet
into the great outdoors
but given a minute’s rest
they sat calmly
lifting their haughty heads
as if struck with the thought:
it’s time to see the world after all
time to see the wider world –
“we are sick of
those same old holes and burrows
the same food
those same old snores and screams
from the other sides of ceilings and walls
those nose-numbing farts
so now, how splendid it is
that this flood is upon us
or fuck-all we wouldn’t
have gone out at all”
 
Huffin’ Rag Blues

Cornelia blows up supermarkets, exterminates
parasites, refuses lunch with Maria Callas...
shivers with boredom, wraps a bra
on her ankle...             

William Levy

a schooner white as clouds
slides across the smooth surface
sliding so silently so dully
that you want to stamp and scream

go Stapleton go
lick the hides of all those philistines
up to their ears in poo
but smiling like rainbows

go Steven go
chew up all their pearls
hone your teeth with files
pound them into green porridge
and feed it to those rainbows

am i still a wandering man?
or just a poodle smothered by family matters
with a well-combed groin?

give me your Scythia
the dust of the wind sifted in sun
all the Bulgars Khazars Huns
Pechenegs Nogais Sarmatians
give me your Bessarabia
your mad mermaids of the Prut
riding on the whacked-out hippopotamuses
of the Dniester

go Stapleton go
drive from me the piss-soaked fool
let the cage-swallowing parrot sing
Diana Rogerson
feed her the whip i want her feather
to poke myself and write letters with blood
to all the coolest people
to European Union psychoanalysts
so that they would peel out of my chest
the sprouting mandrill tooth
for which i can never find pliers
writhing like a worm
even though everyone says O how good you look

go Steven go
drive from me the lover of soft sofas
cowering hiding
behind a curtain of thick smoke

once in the very heart of the action
life turned down my flame
darkening my mind and strength
weighing me down with horrible invisible dumbbells
but one night i dreamt a three-headed angel
and ran outside and began to bark at the cross:
domines canes, domines canes...
ceaselessly: domines canes, domines canes...

the police and an ambulance came
the police cut me into pieces
and the ambulance sewed me up

i lost a little weight after that
it seems they left out some parts
unnecessary ones but i felt something
was lacking in my brains as well

go Stapleton go
fire me up in a shameless rage of blood
i want to dance with Cybele’s eunuchs
with Gadafi’s female jihadist bodyguards
with pornolilies and provincial shop girls
beating out the rhythm:
bunga bunga Silvio, bunga bunga Gadafi
bunga bunga Silvio, bunga bunga Gadafi
bunga bunga ay bunga, bunga bunga
AY!

let zen marry the border guards, i say,
maybe contraband will cross more smoothly
let tired uncle Bribery finally take a rest
O world, O giant counter, dance and laugh
and you too, Lithuania, bowing
in the dirt

bowing in Danish pigpens
in the stalls of fattened shopping malls
where preservatives oink and flavorings squeal
and then a billion cancer cells smack their lips

they even penetrate innocent bodies
and never repent
so let’s fish out all those sluts with nanopriests
and nanodogs: bunga bunga – domines canes...
bunga bunga – domines canes...
BOW WOW!

i want to become a shaman monster
whose tongue will crumble into a billion little tongues
that will lick up all the sluts like pollen
and drink the mead of satisfaction
AH!

go shaman go
drive the angry spirits from the innocent
with psychedelic waves
wash your laughter from the innocent HIV
ZHIVITE S MIROM: pronounce with a terrible accent
and make a Baikal seal laugh
as it readies itself to dive into the clearest
waters of the world

O world, clearest crystal, you are raped
everyday by beasts of prey
splashing their black sperm
anointing their fat with palm oil
and sticking their kilometer-long drills everywhere

drilling and drilling, drilling and drilling
until one day with no anesthetic
they will drill through the teeth
of the sleeping apocalypse
covered with earth’s mantle

and then there will be a bunga bunga

but let’s not worry for now
just admire the rainbows and schooners
let the beer bottle and lotus shepherd us
so that the whole body is pierced
by a great OM

so what if it is spoken by
A HEAVY SIGH

 

confessor

insuppressible i hoot
squawk steal off to marginal lands
wandering with fears apprehensions
cowering

and i always meet your black
glossy feathers
corvus corax

i soar along with coffins
thousands of coffins
riding their ends like Scythian steeds
over the Pontic steppe
solitary on a thousand powerful steeds

or i sail them like ships
over the lakes of Dzūkija
a solitary dark silhouette
over the deep lakes

or lie in them like beds
in the halls of Beynac castle
whispering to haughty duchesses
with perfumed lungs

it’s you who will croak them up
corvus corax

an insuppressible wanderer
with bulging orange eyes
i kiss the darkness
and smack into the light
whose bony fists
knock on my strange –
to put it mildly – visions
which hiccup and twitch and moan

better – the darkness
corvus corax

the frightful darkness
that swallows me
and swallowing consoles
saying i’m not the damndest

i’m a watchman of the city of travelling coffins
with raggedy clothes
and shabby thoughts
from which garbage dumps grow
inside me

through which you rummage
corvus corax

through which you constantly rummage
wanting me to insuppressibly
scream out
all my schadenfreude
my lack of love
my injustices to the weak
and my betrayals
so that i would spill the sweat of shame
like some kind of sulphuric acid bath

but you know quite well – it’s all in vain
corvus corax

if i admit everything i become sedentary
like the man of sorrows hanging in the churchyard
like a wandering flea under the fur of one dog
like the doldrums smelling of sweet perfume

i am burned by what i don’t confess
and it becomes a fuel that fills me
for my wanderings with the colony
through the endless reaches of night

don’t you know – only death
will give the gift of confession
corvus corax

one night my entire armada of coffins
will settle on a lake in Dzūkija
– on Big Lake –
with big bitterns
as sentries –
and there will reign such silence

that with the echo of my last
heartbeats
you will hold
your breath out of respect

and then your beak
will save my body

building a nest from my bones
you won’t be able to believe
how hollow they are –
like yours
corvus corax

the wind
will whistle through them
with the voices of all the birds
pouring ceaseless secrets
into your ear

you’ll nod your head along
stripping me to the last little bone
and then make the sign of the cross
with your powerful beak

you are the only one
i trust
corvus corax

i want relief
so badly –
even if it comes afterwards
my black priest

 

devotional mantra

the marsh marigolds have bloomed – i am your animal
the heart dives into the snow – i am your animal
the thighs of everyday life grip so tight – i am your animal
and it’s tight between the drawers too – i am your animal
the family is a comfy mental clinic – i am your animal
you caress me and jump away – i am your animal
a blue bump rises between us – i am your animal
festering from your reproofs – i am your animal
a damper on our desire – i am your animal
in quiet prayer on the pew – i am your animal
when my wallet is under the weather – i am your animal
neither drunk nor an angel – i am your animal
even as a eunuch – i am your animal
smelling of weakness – i am your animal
even if you turned me in to the pawnshop – i am your animal
blubbering like a babe – i am your animal
on the floor with a wet rag – i am your animal
when you sink me into hopelessness – i am your animal
bubbling up IN YOU – i am your animal
dissolving like sugar IN YOU – i am your animal
when you cut yourself and lick – i am your animal
you feel – the sweetness of your blood

 

not like vegetarians

i need to somehow yap it all out,
stutter, regurgitate, speak about

how i don’t fit into my family
how i’m flogged with whips of fire
by my amazon
and I don’t always know what for
how i squirm
like an idiot worm
slobbering over the furniture

how i go from pain to pain
how i slither from love to love
wanting to kiss everyone
like some hopelessly kind samurai
a drunken dog in a way

better to be a bad poet
and a good father, my son
better to be a rough poet
and a gentle father, my daughter

forgive me that sometimes
i can’t find room in our cage of bones
raving like an allergic man
whose skin is a sick insuppressible cynic
dancing with chairs unto madness
embracing sofas
speaking to the undersides of tables

i sneak into shadows as you ride home
like a bat out of hell, my amazon
I hide in my imagination
à la deviantART de Bernard Cornelis

weakened unto horror
deranged to the roots
i try to walk through walls
so that no one hears
so that no one sees

then Fratres bangs into my ears –
give me hope
and calm strength, Arvo Pärt –
in front of my eyes – Egon Schiele’s ghosts –
the world tears, and needles don’t sew
but poke and poke and poke

i want to be a hard cliff face, my son
i want to be a clear well, my daughter
i want to be your beloved, my amazon
less whipped
less prone to tear

i don’t know what to be in this meat grinder of love:
the tenderness of ground meat for burgers
that you will push away
or scraps of meat for beef stroganoff
for which you will go wild

forgive me that i am almost all yours
understand that i am truly
more than all yours

every cell in your body turns me on
my amazon
your every blow kills me
my love

are you not sorry for the death of love?
is love’s death sweet to you?

thank god i’ve got the gift of resurrection
something i picked out at the shrine
thank god i am immortal
because i’m crazy weak

better to be a weak poet
and a strong father, my son
better to be a screaming poet
and a listening father, my daughter

i want to be screaming, ground up
with you profaned, my amazon

anointed by your saliva
blessed by your kisses
buried in your fury
renewed in your smile

because you and i are one
because you and i are in this meat grinder of love
that snarls like the wolf’s insides

it is worth being happy after all
that we don’t look at each other
like vegetarians

 

Author's notes on "Huffin’ Rag Blues":

Steven Stapleton: founder and leader of the experimental music group Nurse with Wound
Huffin’ Rag Blues: an album of the aforementioned group, the gift of which I am grateful to Salias Noizas
Diana Rogerson: vocalist and wife of Steven Stapleton, also working with Nurse with Wound
Bunga bunga: a term invented in the Italian and Western European press to describe the parties and orgies of Silvio Berlusconi and Muammar Gaddafi

Author's notes on "Confessor":
Corvus Corax: the common raven
Big Lake: another name for Daugų lake, which really is big

 

Translated by Rimas Užgiris

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