I know where I’m going

A poem by Paul Cunningham, inspired by the movie I know where I’m going! (1945) by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. The movie was scheduled during INCH latest workshop on the theme of “Dispaced Selves”. You can find the italian translation at the bottom of the post .

The actress Wendy Hiller in one of the scenes from the movie I know where I’m going.

I Know Where I’m Going

by Paul Cunningham

“Oh we live off the country. Rabbits, deer, a stray hiker or two.”
-Catriona Potts 

earth is deserting the earth, and somehow
   I’m smiling       aren’t I? 
just passing through a see-through acid rain
Am I falling to my knees, or rising to my feet?
I wake up in the baggage car, in a gyre’s blur
   In love?   Apple of your Kino eye, 
you’re sure keen on knowing where I’m going
   And don’t I know it!
I know it like the copper in my bones knows
the melting point, the exclamation mark
   of our sublime climate
alone, I charge through a mist of endless night,
and you insist on stars as I begin to end 
   You and I? This is my stop. 
It’s why I maintain a sharp tenor when I travel,
like a stranger’s reflection in any mirror or knife
   I’m just passing through

So dove sto andando

“Oh, viviamo fuori dal paese. Conigli, cervi, uno o due escursionisti sperduti. “
-Catriona Potts

la terra sta abbandonando la terra, e in qualche modo
   Sto sorridendo,     no?
solo di passaggio attraverso un pioggia acida trasparente
Sto cadendo in ginocchio, o mi sto alzando in piedi?
Mi sveglio nel vagone bagagli, in un vortice confuso
   Innamorata?    Luce del tuo Kino-Eye*,
hai proprio voglia di  sapere dove sto andando
   Come se non lo sapessi!
Lo so come il rame nelle mie ossa conosce
il punto di fusione, il punto esclamativo
   del nostro clima sublime
solo, mi avventuro nella nebbia di una notte senza fine,
e tu insisti sulle stelle mentre io comincio a finire
   Io e te? Questa è la mia fermata.
È per questo che mantengo un tono tagliente quando viaggio,
come il riflesso di uno sconosciuto in uno specchio o in un coltello
   Sono solo di passaggio

(italian translation by Sara De Simone)

* Kino-eye: Tecnica cinematografica sviluppata in Russia dal documentarista Dziga Vertov

AUTHOR’S BIO

Paul Cunningham is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author of the interlingual poetry collection, The House of the Tree of Sores (Schism 2 Press, 2020). His latest chapbook of poetry is The Inmost, forthcoming from Carrion Bloom Books in 2020. From the Swedish, he is the translator of Helena Österlund’s Words (OOMPH! Press, 2019) and two chapbooks by Sara Tuss Efrik: Automanias (Goodmorning Menagerie, 2016) and The Night’s Belly (Toad Press, 2016). His creative and critical work has appeared in The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day, Quarterly WestBat City ReviewDIAGRAMHarvard ReviewKenyon Review, and others. He is a managing editor of Action Books, founding editor of Deluge, co-editor of Radioactive Cloud, and co-curator of the Yumfactory Reading Series in Athens, GA. He is a PhD candidate in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Georgia, an invited member of the International Network for Comparative Studies, and he holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Notre Dame.

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