Daily Archives: December 25, 2009

Man From Mars, Stanislaw Lem

Stanislaw Lem from “Man from Mars”, translated from the Polish by Peter Swirski

The street sizzled. The clatter of skytrains, the car horns, the rattle of speeding trolleys, the twitter of traffic lights and the massive hubbub of human voices, all seethed in dark blue air, sliced into smithereens by columns of light of all colors and shades. Like giant serpents, endless throngs poured this way and that, filling sidewalks to capacity, lit up by square shop windows and by house lights sinking into the twilight. Freshly watered asphalt hissed under hundreds of car tires. Slithery black and silver bodies of elongated vehicles flitted by, one after another.

Without aim or thought I kept walking, a small indivisible particle pressed into the crowd, letting it carry me like a cork buoyed by waves.

The street breathed, murmured and rumbled, drenching me with cascades of lights and wafts of women’s heavy perfumes, sometimes with the acrid sharp smoke of southern cigarettes, other times with the choking sweetness of opium-laced cigars. Neon letters of dimming and illuminating advertisements scampered frenetically up the fronts of buildings, fountains swooshed upward, wisps of flares and fireworks flickered madly, showering the heads in the crowd with their dying glints.

I walked past gigantic portals shimmering with light, past dark storefronts, past sky-high columns of unfamiliar edifices, wedged into the mobile, multilingual mass of people engaged in a perpetual conversation, and yet more alone than on a desert island. Hands in pockets, mechanically I jingled a couple of nickels, my entire fortune.

See the rest at Words Without Borders  — The online magazine for international literature

WWB: From Man from Mars by Stanislaw Lem, translated from the Polish by Peter Swirski.

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Merry Christmas, Not a Holiday, Wishes

Friday December 25, 2009

  • MERRY CHRISTMAS!
  • Work with the crane on Esplanade got started bright and early, 7:00. We can’t see the water’s edge from here, so I can’t tell if the trucks are carrying rock down on the new beach road.
  • Latest speculation / wishful thinking heard in the neighborhood: move the building back towards the street.
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Thank your parents for both.

Indexed Thank your parents for both..

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