Nadirism 54: They Come to Us when We are Dead
They come to us when we are dying. They come to us when we depart. They come to us when we are celebrated, they come on our Jubilee. They come to us when we are in style. They come to us when everyone comes to us. They come to lay laurels on our graves. They come to elevate themselves on the back of our deadness. They come to be illuminated by our light. To be tragedized by our tragedy ensmiled by our smile.* They don’t come to us when we are alone. When we stay put. When we write something weak and need consolation. When we die slowly and according to plan. When we need money and luxury. When we absolutely need the love of a blonde, or of anyone.** When we need someone to haul a bag of coal up from the cellar, when we need someone to do some other chore. When we are not very dead and not very living not very sad and not very happy. When we are human, the same as anyone and just as pitiful.
Zey kumen tsu undz ven mir shtarbn. Zey kumen tsu undz ven mir forn avek. Zey kumen tsu undz ven mir vern geyoyvlt un gefayert. Zey kumen tsu undz ven mir zenen in mode. Zey kumen tsu undz ven ale kumen tsu undz. Zey kumen leygn krents af undzere kvorim. Zey kumen zikh ufhoybn tsu ere fun undzer geshtorbnkayt. Zey kumen tsu undz baloykhtn vern fun undzer likht. Batragisht vern fun unddzer tragedye bashmeykhlt vern fun undzer shmeykhl. Zey kumen nisht tsu undz ven mir zenen eynzam. Ven mir forn nit avek. Ven mir shraybn on a shvakhe zakh un mir darfn a treyst. Ven mir shtarbn bislekhvayz un mit a gevisn sistem. Ven mir darfn gelt un lyuksus. Ven mir noytikn zikh in blonder oder algemeyner libe. Ven mir darfn emetser zol undz arufshlepn a zekl koyln funem keler oder ton an ander nutslekhe arbet. Ven mir zenen nisht zeyer toyt un nisht zeyer leblekh nisht zeyer umetik un nisht zeyer freylekh. Ven mir zenen a mentsh mit alemen glaykh un ven es iz af undz aza rakhmones.
By Moyshe Nadir
Translated by Corbin Allardice
*- At two points in this piece, Nadir elides a comma for prosodic and dramatic effect. I have preserved this in the translation.
**- I am unsure of what exactly this phrase means (blonder oder algemeyner libe.) I interpret “blonde love” to mean the love of a blonde (presumably woman), and I cannot find the phrase attested elsewhere. But perhaps it has another or more nuanced meaning.