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  • Writer's pictureCorbin Allardice

Nadirisms 178-183: By My Teeth

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

178th Nadirism:


I’m hanging onto the stony cliff of my words by my teeth, just so I won’t fall off. I’m hanging on by my teeth to those clever little phrases of mine standing between me and the abyss. By my teeth. But I’m already tired from the effort and nervous, and the words on which I hang grow weaker and more worn by the day and who knows how long I’ll be able to hold on.


Mit di tseyn halt ikh mikh tsu ba mayne etlekhe felznhafte reyd ikh zol fun zey nisht aropfaln. Mit di tseyn heng ikh af etlekhe oysgekliglte frazn vos shteyen tsvishn mir un an opgrunt. Mit di tseyn. Ober ikh bin shoyn mid derfun un nerves un di reyd af velkhe ikh heng vern fun tog tsu tog shvakher un opgenutster un ver veyst vi lang ikh vel mikh nokh konen haltn.


179th Nadirism:


Man is so multidimensional, so complex that he will often do something solely because he is afraid that he isn’t up to the task of doing it.

As I recall, Checkov wrote such a story: A man has to challenge someone to a duel, and he is so afraid of death that he commits suicide…


Azoy filfakh-komplitsirt iz der mentsh, az oft vet er ton zakhn, vayl er hot moyre, az es iz nisht far zayne koykhes.

Bay tshekhovn, dakht zikh, iz do a mayse, vi eyner darf zikh shlogn af a duel mit emetsn un er hot azoy shtark moyre farn toyt, az er bageyt azh zelbstmord…


180th Nadirism:


Just as smoke is purified in the water of the nargile, losing its bitterness and becoming cooler and clearer--so too is thought, which is purified through time; sentiment, which is purified through distance.


Vi roykh laytert zikh durkh der vaser-flash fun der nargile, farlirt di biterkayt, vert kiler un klerer,--azoy iz oykh der gedank, vos layter zikh durkh tsayt; dos gefil, vos laytert zikh durkh distants.


181st Nadirism:


Distance purifies. Distance of days, which lie behind or ahead. Blessed distances!


Di vaytkayt laytert. Vaytkayt fun teg, vos lign fun hintn oder forays. Gebentshte vaytkaytn!


182nd Nadirism:


Narayev--crown city of my life. I’m coming home to you--over fallen Poland, over the upturned graves. With a broken jug in hand I go to the old well with its heavy chain, with its mossy, hundred-thousand sabbaths beard, sabbath eyes, sabbath faith, there leads the white road, which I walk with the blood of my wounded foot.

There, there, there--always there.


Narayev-- di kroynshtot fun mayn lebn. Ot gey ikh aheym tsu dir--iber der ayngefalener poyln ariber, iber umgevorfene kvorim. Mit a tsebrokhn krigl in hant geyt ikh tsum altn brunem mit der shlep-keyt, mitn mokhikn hundert-toyznter shabesdike berd, shabesdike oygn, shabesdike bitokhn, ahin firt der vayser veg, velkhe ikh batipl mitn blut fun mayne vundike fis.

Ahin, ahin, ahin--eybik ahin.


183rd Nadirism


Drained from all the exiles which lie in my bones, lie in my every drop of blood, exhausted from the years of a dessicated philosophy of life--I fall at the foot of the well, from which my father drank when he was just a boy.

And when my tear falls--it falls long and hesitant, falls so slowly as if it had been waiting for all my dreams to gather here beneath the bright moon and release it--silently, cuttingly, festively--into the sea, like a corpse off the side of a ship.


An oysgeshepter fun di ale vanderungen, vos lign in mayne beyner, in mayn yedn tropn blut, a farshmakhter durkh di file yorn fun trukener lebns-hokhme,--fal ikh itst tsum brunem tsu, fun velkhn mayn tate hot getrunken ven er iz a yingl geven.

Un az mayn trer falt--falt zi lenglekh un tsegerdik, falt azoy pavolye vi zi volt gevart, az ale khaloynmes fun mayn lebn zoln zikh tsunoyfzamlen un shtumerheyt, levonedikerheyt, shnaydndikerheyt zi tontifdik arunterlozn, vi a mes fun a shif--in yam arayn.



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