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Extracts from Z213: Exit
by Dimitris Lyacos and translator Shorsha Sullivan

13

To write so as to to remember. As I am rewriting I go into it again. Later it's as if I weren't myself. They fade, words of another. Nights following one after the other behind me. Women in black shouting and pushing on the platform to go up almost blindly in a way you can scarcely get down. Waves beating black spit in your face waves going to break the one pushing the other apprehensive of a catastrophe somewhere. A boy held my hand as he got in. Red palm hand on which the blood had scarcely dried. Take hold of something. On the rough red skin cut open blood stealthily hides inside for a while and runs again. Later alone the grey tongue that brought me here from the station as I would turn back to make out if the sea was still there grey tongue afterwards a more yellowish grey and getting more yellow as i was going along. As far as here where its walls enter the sides of the crumbling mountain, in the afternoon the soil darkens when you enter.
Black and yellow soil rocks that shine and melt in your hands. Landing, you climb a little higher to see into the empty tank clods that you break from the inner walls pieces in your hands what would you expect. Later slowly on the mouldering planks you follow the straps from one to the other further in a small door perhaps what you want. Human traces. Seated around a stool sober-looking gold-miners playing cards the shadows of their hands exchanging and then fading they are hidden again in the dark. And then stones yellow gleam the stones that light matches inside the room flare again. Later someone takes out and reads, something, a poem. Silence. Silence. Something like chanting. And something else. From the poet's pocket another paper, he reads to them. The others that listen yaw they lean on each other. How early they fall down to sleep. Heavy breathing growing louder in sleep odies away slowly before you a row. Dre ams. Later
nobody anywhere, yellow mud. The cupboard torn shirts dust dust a stool four five chairs shelf an empty flower-pot. The light which returns to the wall written again like a poem 'on a every day more deeply blind, until the end, a race of blind-rats. Deeper, every day burrowing deeper. Straight ahead! And later again (as far as the range of a body digging, the meeting of a gallery with another). I go outside again, chimneys by the base of the mountains grey light eyes that fall on the sea clear again horizon more of them coming from that side strong breeze without them beating their wings. Flock. of seagulls. From the sky now a bit darker. The galleries sucking the mountain the belts that lead you right inside the galleries narrowing as you advance and you turn back again. First a ul as you dig yellow mud softer warmer a hand statue broken hand which draws you inwards among the other. Bodies that do not moulder, statues.
Mouldering wooden staircase, you go up a white scrap a torn garment, no, a seagull something torn among the clothes grey all around before grabbing them in their claws. New bodies. Rats' nests. The beams horizontal crosses up on the roof ortho around the walls broken tee from ox. Empty cavities, funnels always deeper. And those who would attack the city what would they find to take here. The shadows of those who return along the corridors between these shafts. One by one to their houses. Mute. From wagons carrying dirty hands shirts holed rocks which detach from the walls like old masks. I turned back and follow again a gallery to another room. If there is a lorry above I feel it from the vibrations on the broken ellenit the rumbling slowly fades behind me for every mile that is drawing away to a signal of a far-off world fading away. Above. I am still going. I follow a truck. Straight ahead! Num bers on the entrances in ascending
order setting a limit. I too became a shadow among them, the last. Props. A big iron hourglass. I saw it before. Well, perhaps before, I think I have been here. From a hole in the roof. Draft. And nevertheless. Life coming from there. A patter again from above me like someone passing, like before. Like the footsteps I would always hear when i was there. As if someone were following me. And at night there still in the. Mist whenever I was coming away by the side of the beach. In order to see as far as i could. Of the demons' necks raising high. And later again in the dark of the dormitories. That pattering again slowly behind me. Broken slabs. My footsteps' echo. A hand as if from a statue. Smashed under my feet. Between. Some bird right up to here. Maybe mice. They could in the hollows here. Sculptures of mice between the holes. This sound of footsteps again. The echo. I sit down. Silence. Silence. That sound again. Now behind me. Who.



14

How deep. Steep climb. This way. Assumption. Why do you stand looking up to heaven. Why do you sit and look upwards. Pulleys. Gear-wheels which you turn in a circle. A circle turning another. And another further ahead. I played. Following them they got smaller. Not so deep that it doesn't reach me. The light. Yet drips from the ceiling and a small stream of water with this storm lucky I didn't go out. Further inside i sit in where I can't see at all but I hear. A long time hearing the water not seeing how you are swept along into dreaming. I can't get away from this. I hear only the earth as it buries I hear the water. That way they open into its body. Earliest footpaths. This is the way you want to climb. To leave this God for the Other. The same God. That's why we all dig. Shadow, that you fade on our hands. Light like coals, ash again afterwards. And the grass roof living above we dig and there is no beyond we suppose, and again, a circle
back to here. Hoar frost on these forms. You take breath April meadow brought by the wind, comes in from somewhere the body shelters in a niche searches again. Follows a fissure in the rocks. If softened by hand will allow you to climb. You speak with those who once were. Who used to work. You see the marble without them. And the wor st as a jet of water on them as if worm by the wood. But the sun is there even if you do not see it what was he thinking when he wrote this the roo a ll and more frequently as you climb split left right like scissors. Rocks that shifted as you ascend. An opening gulley that leads down from above when you are tired of walking you stop wait again little by little the light even more urgently calls you to climb calls you drops before you without words the voice of the messengers. And now you are outside again. From the summit of the ridge downwards now they are trembling. In the fields the red yellow
shyly-unexpected pipes whistling now in another wind - a bridge not very far - animals gathering around it a babe on the grass jewels at your feet where from-mouth-to-their-mouth a song hosan n. When I was, I remember, young one day and I'd heard it I could have heard it now I am at pains to escape from this tune as if someone poured on my head oil from his hand something memory lost, palm empty and all night long spreading over the pavement gleaming then now the same thing here in the thyme at the wells again and was still deploring me was rolling again to the tubs that were still waiting at the black tank where song from the toads was arising there existed no other God anywhere except in these empty circles aus picious voices with all their laments a whirlpool turning more quickly still until it burns the lips
of the and I heard and then in my grief I wept and I prayed in anguish and when the sun had set I saw being baptized in fire without burning of forests the sea of burnt trunks one beside the other clean one beside the other



15

to here. Heat, to see people around talking again. You don't care about anything except hearing them talk. I missed it, heat to wait for a drink. My turn, not yet. He talks looks at you as if you are one of them. My turn, not yet. Talks about a journey, a few days elsewhere, and back again. Talks, changes a bit, talks. The drink, now you drink and listen to him look at him almost, with interest, long heavy grey. Curls. Light, low yellowred, and outside the grey somewhat blue. Drink brings you relief. All friends among them and those standing opposite, all together. Alive. Seven, eight, nine together with you. And one coming in with the cake. Candles, the woman who dowses them, they laugh, she brings you a piece, the rails fresh from the rain probably too late now for another train. You drink, it relieves you. One more. She slips behind me, her breast fleetingly by my shoulder. You smile. And I leave for a short while to go to the toilet. Grey
moths for me. Until dawn comes and they go to where they sleep. On the opposite wall. A crack that looks at her, you. Curtains like winding sheets. Outside the wind blows. W ind-chea ting. She called him to come. A crate of beer, coming. Look in the bottle to see the world fractured the world being shattered. Behind the glass your every glance to be shattered. And later back in their place the pieces apart from that one. Piece from the cake, odd piece left over doesn't fit anywhere stays in your hand. Wake with that piece. The rails parallel roots long narrow train gardens wet and the rigging runs parallel to their heaven. Something inside you. Under the breath of sadness something like. Inside me. Music that slowly. Lifts you up. I had forgotten how it is. A beam of light will fill your head and you'll remember what's been said. Necks one leaning over the other waiting for what. The animals with the knife above them. That looks like you that
looks like me.And those galleries black as Hell how did I come out. Tracking without tracks of those seeking me of those I seek. I drank another one. The current goes down for a little the tv signal is lost for a little, black and white image, coloured black and white, a wave on the opposite wall. Of a storm. Without voice m ind ifthereis music that covers. The lights fail for a while, only a while, a piece that again covers, a drink, muttering and then I see a darkness - and then I see a darkness - and then I see a darkness - do you know how much I love you you drink, the rain again. Prelude for what awaits you, you see their lips following. If the music were to stop suddenly we would be heard. Chorus of stutterers. If she were to kiss me. His. Like the, for months I would him chiselling in the rock a face with a hammer. His rock, her face. Striking. Like a prayer. Striking on the face. She comes again and brings me one more. A little more blue
outside, it stayed there, perhaps she might lay her eggs in that fissure. Her breast caresses my shoulder, a cigarette, I still have some. You think that if you were to kiss her your stomach knots, the music that your breast tightens the mouth seeking still. When did i listen to it last? Jester. Just give me a chance to do my turn for you. Lying together but in the grey of the morning
my mind becomes confused
Between the dead and the sleeping
Morning, Thursday, only with what's yours. Essence. Joke iss



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