The Alchemical City

English version by Dan Nicolae Popescu

beyond the city fallen from golden letters
into iron words
you search for the neighboring place of the beginning
for the empty that the full is in love with

all you ought to do is join the Hora of Frumusica
with its six women committed to the sacred rhythm
women – their faces born from the primeval death
their eyesight become an unseen fire circle
that the full is in love with

all you ought to do is come to the Goddesses’ Sabbath
next to the Great Mother
and idols en violon
into the light which dominates the Universe
black and antiblack
white and antiwhite
red and antired
sometimes a spiral drawn from a horizontal “S”
would do to create a world
that the full is in love with

all you ought to do is advance
from the worm-hole light
of the iron city
into the ever keener look
the cry-look
of a secret light
the threefold burning light
that the full is in love with

* * *

you open
numberless sliding doors
– steps much alike blind lines on a newborn’s cheek –
but all too now sometimes since yesterday
all roads have grown roots
deep into the cobweb of the nib

how could you approach
the center compressed into
the Unicorn’s eye

Thou Father of this Saturday of visions
as hard as a diamond
allow your hand to linger
on the hand-image
your kiss on the standard of inexistence
your shadow on the aerial leaf
of a thought

the century is going to weld
my fingers to my brain

* * *

the day has come with its nocturnal calligraphy of things
to die becomes a sentence, which continues you
your outstretching hands are passing through words

just for an instant leaning against an adjective wall
you dream about the girl with her white T-shirt
in front of the tobacconist’s
with gestures sewn
into myrtle and ink

a grace resembling a number
a typewriter – air glyphs into the tempest’s ears
while time and memories escape
the sense of hearing

* * *

she is wearing a myrtle wreath
and a basket of needle leaves
with a fir cone
a spiral serpent
an egg and a message
on a roll of papyrus
“birth is a cosmic cataclysm
which turns the living into the dead”

her shadow is
the gate of the shadow
the site where monastery copyists
dip their wild goose plumes

when I approach her
I feel time flowing
in both directions
and I can see the gate of kissing
unto the whirlwind
of an original sound

I always listen to her face
streaming in the silence
between two simultaneous melodies
a prey to the echo
of the other Face

matter is sound in love
when you flay the name
and form of all things
you shall rediscover
the fire cathedral
and Bach’s organ

all one can see
is divine love
twirled into
thinking shells

who art Thou
peering for us
through the window of our house
even before the masons
have started bricking up

I search for the hot key
wherein the verb to be is quenched
Into your melodic spirit
Thus by anteliving I shall have been living
Unto non-living

I am the eclipse between the sound and sum

* * *

when a man finds his woman
and a woman finds her man
the world closes for the two of them
and they will endlessly search into each other
and God Himself won’t find a speck of room between them
therefore He will send them the child
torn from their ribs
the child He will clothe Himself with
so as to win their love
never again will love wear garments
of purer flesh

pondering upon these
try to turn into your own thought
which does not need your momentary form
to be and to act
be only thought and you can give yourself whichever form
you can create whichever space to act in
you can penetrate the spaces created by others
assuming the form of their vibrations
so as to recognize them and understand them
so as to love them

we might meet in the alchemical city
and for your sake I might put on
a suite of several million faces per second
this phenomenon would be in fact a language
tender and infinitely meaningful
within a simple declaration of love
and I would throw myself into refined games of light and shade
inducing you with a plentiful palette of moods
when ravishing when exciting
hiding myself into the fixed forms of the set
to allow myself to be searched for
and then discovered

what would the love between us be
a restless fountain of rainbows
begetters of meanings and feelings
and I would call you by the name
you do not know to have
the one that the Heavenly Father first called you by
after He gave birth to you
and you would call me by the name I know to have
because I was called for
and your ear sang with happiness
listening to its music

* * *

the poem copies the pure line of your teeth
I can hear a lilac grove in the feverish language
between a body of dew and a body
from water to flesh the secret channels
of a white guitar

within the flowing text
the black aurora of nights
enstarring the biography of words

how else can I see you
under the translucent corpses
that lead to you
but by leaning my face against the blank page

you fall asleep tucked in a smooth leafage of paper
under cool plaits my name
has the sound of an oar

* * *

I was putting a book into the infinitive

my being was being spied on
by that which I have never been
my being like a day under siege by the virtual cosmos
neither the sea in her luxurious intimacy
with the ethereal growth of the poem
nor your hand feeling for the headlights’ switch
while the car would dilate impenetrable fictions
not even the mysterious duralumin helmet
forgotten by the video discotheque
will last longer than a dulcis area
in the too-far-off lectern
of the being

a golden shell splinter broken loose
from the writing
of an endless lost book

* * *

in the wake of a slow spin in a thirst of vitrified mud
white striations of glass and reasoning steel
wherein warriors shooting fog shells take snapshots
of themselves upon
other people’s wounds
now the phosphorescent eye is springing out
under the rose of surfaces
its look bearing the bite mark of the point
absolute look of the light in its own light
discharging the atrocious eclipse
underneath the skin of subterranean Milky Ways
arenas to the words of no return
a tunnel-echo of syllables myrtle cosmic dust

I forgot everything in a dream
while cities were dancing on the heart/ echo
the music players grasped the glass concertina
in their transparent hands
the sound was a shooting star
the lonesome traveler a sonorous curve
leaving the outer space
for the void that dominates all things

I was falling from one street to another
my body under siege by the Milky Way Zero

to be so late in the tear that begets you
with your shoulders sharpened by childhood
your face detaches itself from things known all too well
like an unknown word

to love me you must burn all the adjectives
you will know the erosive power of the void
you will get accustomed to liquid crystals motorcycles
you will wipe off the cobweb of irony
the silvery grin of coins
the typewriter with its tape worn out by a line
from Bacovia
the leper with his hands of incandescent glass
at night you will dance on the roof of the oxygen plant
carbonized ivy into the telescope
I will light your cool foliage of gestures
with flames as swift as a lunatic’s pulse
blessed is the bird, which masters its flight while flying

the return unto yourself is an incomprehensible festivity
in a hospital ward sterilized by dreams
you give yourself a shot of oblivion

unexpected music an oar greening into the look of the blind

I am covered by the sky between the white of the eye and the corolla of image
it’s violet dark in giant cherry tree blossoms
tents under shelter of which I whisk along with the world
as far as to the limit of shadow

I forgot everything in a dream
empires lost to a syntactic collapse
thrilling the pages from a punctured point
as far as possible
from the forever reading heart

* * *

there is nothing left to live
duration slowly crumbles into thought
memories lie heavy on you and you become pure space
your face is inhabited by the specters
of long gone faces
it’s time you sought the light
that shone during your mother’s wedding night
in the alchemical city

* * *

body of ink
with adjective shell splinters
an interior of graphic absence
friable space and the hemoglobin

of a shivering truth
atomized by the vowel underground train

in an unknown text
aerated by the blue moon

dug against the house
the phonetic city

* * *

you’d sooner lose all your blood
rather than the music within you
the sounds that crumble in the arcana arcanissima
of a Gothic cathedral

the melodic time drawn by ogives
inhabits your face
nearby the rose window of Compostella
a haven of meanings kindling the light
with its radiant trajectories
on a network of double squares
whose asymmetrical pole
is the center of a pentagram

solve et coagula
the flashing time in the stained-glass windows
renders your vellum face
dissipated into organ tubes
and into the dew of the lilac grove
from Baia de Arama
nearby the Gothic rose window
with networks of large and small double squares
forming only the elementary texture
while the make
the main reinforcing
is an independent theme
with its horizontal and vertical
dominant motifs
upheld by a large pentagon
and the decreasing series of pentagrams
naturally inscribed into it
focusing the light and the meaning

solve et coagula
the imaginary time from campus stellae
the undoing of a light thought from itself
unto itself
the chemical wedding under ogival vaults
phoenix birds into pink windows
splendor solis on a peacock’s tail
and strange attractants

solve et coagula
the time coagulated in the soft light
from the mane of St. James’ horse
at the bottom of the athanor
you will see the alchemical city rising
from a dodecahedral sound
setting fire to the ancient parchments
of all the faces
in the book of dead names

* * *

time is the phantom of wholeness

* * *

your form burns the fog in front of the cathedral
burning form
consuming form
illuminating form
purifying form
transforming form
crucifying form
laboring form
domineering form
yearning form
inebriating form
loving form
my look crumbles the time nearby the altar
loving look
unifying look
inebriating look
yearning look
domineering look
laboring look
crucifying look
transforming look
purifying look
illuminating look
consuming look
burning look

you exist because God beholds you
time is the look of wholeness
the look with which the whole observes the part
and the look with which the part sees the whole
the birth of forms is a duel of looks
in the alchemical city
a clash of mysterious time forms
your virtual double vibrates
between the two arrows of time
one from the whole towards the part
and the other from the part towards the whole

now you are at a crossroads
a burning form with a loving look
when your look is more intense
than the look of the whole
and suddenly you live all the possible forms
at the same time

* * *

probably the spire
the spy r
the s pyre

and the infinitive of comets
in the nib telescope
urge me to write

this rhythmical choreography of stone
shining through the fog of letters
beyond the page
on which I will record how masterfully the ancient possessed
the art of eroticizing the hazard

cohesion of the center

here I take upon myself all the shooting wounds
of a triggered destiny

alone between word and sentence
I am the pitch-black dream of myself

but only against the night

* * *

an alchemical city cannot assume a stable form
it is a dance of principles
in tireless creation and transfiguration
an endless being
in the image and the likeness of its inhabitants
infinite pointy beings
developing or reabsorbing haloes of energy

the transformation of these labile emanations of power
with its ocean of hues
obeys a central point
the creative consciousness
hotbed of love and balance
which develops opposite worlds in faultless harmony
and heals all the incidental disharmonies
giving Itself away
with unimaginable voluptuousness
everything is a hierarchy of worlds
of the same living body
detached and generous
possessing the art of mobile balance
the essence of Alchemy and of flight
the greatest delight of freedom
to be in action through love
the infinite in a sphere
from the shape of a face
down to its fading away
in a globe of white-golden light
the birth of form into these worlds
the logical voluptuousness of beauty

to know It is to know the essence
of the point and of the sphere
and of their simultaneity

the passage of the inner consciousness through forms and worlds
is still so tragic because of ignorance
in an alchemical city its beings would definitely possess
the art of endlessly transforming error into truth
and the forms in continuous evolution
would not be able to confuse anyone
anyone would see the essence of all phenomena
love would be a fusion of limitless energies
remote from the cold and humiliating technique
of the erotic act
since one no longer loves a body but an essence
one no longer stops at the surface of a face
but merges with a tender vibrating contents
scintillating into magic circles
of warmth and light

* * *

after the game
has crumbled you into the whole universe
you bear the star of solitary multitudes

tons of fairy-like corpuscles ignite
a day overtaken by the night of the same anxieties
the same streets
sweaty in the glove of speed

you keep silent/ maybe the curves of the drowned
the armchairs threadbare by the loneliness of power
the troops burnt by alcohols and figures
envision a world without vowels
a cosmos in a stain of fat

csms stn ft
you shout/ what echo can nail down the darkness
into the rays of a star of flesh and spirit
how many nights for a white night

the life

Suceava, 1980-2000

Constantin Severin

Constantin Severin's picture

Constantin Severin was born on the 8th of February 1952, in Baia de Arama, Romania., He is a writer, member of the Romanian Writers’ Union, represented by Your Agent Agency, Oslo and a visual artist, member of the International Art Group, 3rd Paradigm., He is the theorist and promoter of archetypal expressionism and of post –literature. Honorary citizen of his birthtown, Baia de Aramă, Mehedinţi, Romania, in May 2011., Poetry Works:, ‘’The Sunday of Things Real” (poetry), Junimea Publishing House, Iasi, Romania, 1984;, ”Wall and Neutrino” (poetry, bilingual edition-Romanian/English, translated by Liviu Martinescu), Vlasie Publishing House, Pitesti, Romania, 1994; the poem won The Bucovina Cultural Foundation Award;, ”Wall and Neutrino. The Poet in New York”, Minerva Publishing House, London, 1997; translation by Liviu Martinescu;, ”Improvisations on armonic key” (poetry), Axa Publishing House, Botosani, Romania, 1998;, ”The Axolotl” (poetry), Masina de Scris Publishing House, Bucharest, 1998; the first renga (renku) book in the Romanian literature, bilingual edition-Romanian/English, translation by Liviu Martinescu; the Bucovina Cultural Foundation Prize, 1999;, ”The Alchemical City” (selected poems), Dacia Publishing House, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2002; the Bucovina Cultural Foundation Prize, 2003;, ”Improvisations on armonic key” (poetry, Opera Omnia), Tipo Moldova publishing house, Iasi, 2011. More info:,

Last updated September 19, 2011