Sunday, January 22, 2023

Ni Ceso

This is a difficult moment in my life. It's not the first such moment that's passed since I started this blog, but it is the first time that I was actively working on Koa enough to have something to say. What this means, of course, is that I'm now going to make you read sad love poetry.

Seriously, though, this is the first native-Koa artistic composition since Aika Konuku in 2012, and the first non-translated work of poetry of any kind. It feels significant! It features Koa’s growing collection of emotive vocabulary, particularly "ceso" which means something like "incurious" but less highbrow: the opposite of "curious," desiring not to know, feeling pulled away from rather than towards understanding of something; it also makes heavy use of modal particles and clause nominalization.

As with the previous poem, I find myself really liking how compact, elegant and balanced Koa can be for poetry. I didn't expect this but it makes me happy! My shot at an English translation definitely loses some or all of that particular aesthetic sense of the Koa original.

Ni Ceso

Ni ceso
Noia na vi sano ni
Ka se cu nike he tana
Ka so cu ete mo kune
Ka ne se simo he ko meti pe to níkete
Ka ne se simo he ko meti pe to mehe
Ka ne se simo he ko meti pe ka kecu.

Ni ceso
Kelo se na te lu tai me ni
Kemo sisu ve se ca ma tala ko halu ni
Ka ma lolo se simo mo iule o ni
Ni na te koma ka natepakoma.

Ni na lu koma
Ni pavasu lo ko tala
Ni cu te hitui la hete to lise mo cali.
Ni na lu koma ka natepakoma
Ni na lu koma kelo se na te halu ni
Noia na vi sano ni
Ni ceso.

-Váhumaa, 2023-01-22


I'm Not Curious

I'm not curious
Please don't tell me
Who you're seeing today
What you're doing together
What's in your heart when you think about that meeting
What's in your heart when you think about that person
What's in your heart when you think about the future.

I'm not curious
Why you can't want to be with me
How hard you're still trying to want me
What's holding your heart back from me
I can't understand the incomprehensible.

I don't want to understand
I'm worn out with trying
I could smash myself against that wall forever.
I don't want to understand the incomprehensible
I don't want to understand why you can't want me
Please don't tell me
I'm not curious.

-Portland, 1/22/23

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