Five Homes in Six Months

by Franco Beltrametti
     translated by Stefan Hyner

I
Five homes in six months
When I was living at the Bellevue
In Fall
Streetcars and hurried masses
Crossed my footpath to work
In the morning

II
When I was living at Weiten Gasse
The old man who repaired
Used typewriters
And the Venician who restored
Fake antique Furniture from Appenzell
for the Romanian dealer named Gesi
Crossed my footpath to work
In the morning

III
When I was living
In Dielsdorf in Winter
Next to the big disued quarry
Birds squarrels deer
Crossed my footpath to work
in the morning
And the stationmaster
Of the tiny station
Dreamt about future progress
A loutspeaker:
On platform 73 departs
the express train for Vienna and
The Orient Express is just arriving
Platform 21
Local train
To Solduno
Platform 27 closed under construction
For station extension
I took the train from Platform 1
And on Platform 2
Taciturn farmers used shovels
To fill freight cars full of apples
In icy wind and snow
When I was living behind Mythenquai
(Return! to the city!)
At the lake
Old Ladies clad in black
Dragged along by small nervous dogs:
Managers
of insurance companies
Who looked at me
Full of wickedness
Crossed my footpath to work
In the morning

IV
When I was living at 12 Oberdorfstreet
In spring
Beer delivery men
Baker printer
Girls
     Italian
          Greek
               Spanish
Just done with work
On the floors of the bars
Eyes like black and green olives
Hurrying home
Crossed my footpath to work
In the morning

V
One month later, end of April, I crossed the mountains again
In southern direction.