Mihail Sebastian’s Auto-Confession

Mihail Sebastian (1907-1945) was a Rumanian Jew and novelist who witnessed his Bucharest literary circle, including Mircea Eliade and E.M. Cioran, dissolve into a fanatical collective of Iron Guard supporters, the brutal Fascist organization spearheaded by Nae Ionescu. His Journal was published in 1998.

When I glower about the “transnational”
I could mean Transnistria.

When I saw the transports out of this city
I knew its blessings were not for we;
And when I took a drag from a moldy cigarette
Just before writing the above, I counted
The smoke people in their flights
And hovered around the house like
A ghost without a soul.

I might’ve cried, nearly, were it not that weeping
Could be read as an easy remedy for these disenchantments,
To the sadness at the back of it. I shall steel myself as mightily
As any victim who will not concede his position. Pray
For me — I cannot be struck by the lightning of others.
Try to rid me of this and you’ll find something
Less than human. I will never allow such.
Unlike you.

Jon Curley (© 2005)