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Poetry Collection by Wioletta Grzegorzewska translated by Marek Kazmierski.
Drunks spreading themselves along the pier.
A girl impaling a worm on a hook
with the help of swearwords.
A lad toying with a reel—[private]
slowly raising and lowering the bail.
Charcoal aroma set over the dock.
Blue fishing lines pulsating.
It is almost night, and yet I can still see
their lures swaying in the depths.
I will not be home tonight,
not to where the air grows thick
and every object swells
in the amber light of the stove.
I will hide in ergot kernels,
dazed by the smell of Pennsylvania herbs,
open a world which will not be maimed
by the horizon’s edge.
An Easter Verse
A cold April. Chicks coming to
in a cage under a giant light bulb.
I served them finely chopped feed:
boiled eggs, milfoil, water in a jar lid.
I admired these beings, fragranced with sand
and mucus, hatched in an alien darkness,
not unlike the all-night cuts in electricity.
I still remember the rustling when the bulb died,
spots of colour stiffening, flickers.
A Lady Feeding Rats At Wooton Bridge
They crept from their dens to the sound of her clogs
creeping along the concrete flooring. Carrying a basket full of feed,
bread chunks and beetroot. After her, across the courtyard,
a black mass would spill, squealing horrendously,
as if someone were running a knife against a pane of glass.
I keep dreaming about this hungry demon, stealing from
its cracks—females with their weathered gums,
gnawing on one another at the sight of these pitiful scraps.
When the farmer woman returned to her outhouse,
the leader of the rat pack would study her
with eyes like lentil seeds.
I knew then he would one day provide his cohort
with a hunk of fresh meat, wrapped in a worn cardigan.
In The Time of Seagulls
On this island, as if between dreams, I slowly turn,
am twin, fall ill with drawn-out weeks.
Fog along the steep streets, like the flighty Ariel,
floating from the trees, twisting women’s hair.
Time for tide out. Yachts nodding on the sands.
High Street vendors smelling of chips, peas,
lamb with mint sauce. Rum-oiled tourists
squandering all from dusk till dawn.
Hovercraft, like white shellfish, escaping the waters.
Peonies falling into tea cups: lips—petals—lips.
Amusement arcades filling up. Golf courses closing.
Take me away from this paradise, where I feel as tepid
as tea with milk. Take me, before I evaporate.
A white night. Lime crumbling from the old apple tree
blocking the view of the house. Again, we are sleeping outside.
Two muskrats crawl out of the pond. Their wet hides,
like torn tinsel, holding strange fires.
I lie inside a concrete ring as if at the pearly gates,
while you slip into my lips a fruit drop.
All About My Father
Father, son of the muddy Warta, of Boży Stok,
of Silesian reservoirs and Jurassic quarries,
calamus warrior with a bamboo bow,
conducting guerilla wars with muskrats
brave enough to bite through spatterdock arteries,
love-seat onanist, if memory serves right,
fisherman with a burdock leaf hat, magician,
who miracled fags out of spit, baccy and paper.
In that smoke you excelled in beetle mythologies,
like the Tribolium destructor who lives in nut shells
and, when in danger, destroys its own larvae,
musician, abusing by night your innocent
banjo and my ears with grand improvisations,
playing on leaves before your stunned family
the songs of Elvis Presley and prison ballads,
bee keeper, with your bare hands carrying
young swarms to the orchard hive, feeding them caramel
pigeon fancier, poacher, master of ceremonies,
you picked through acres of gossamer bones,
you snared partridges curled up in the wheat;
denying pheasants their nuptial ointments and air,
guinea fowl trapped in copper skeletons,
you stuffed cleaned marten skins with wadding,
father whom I found, if memory serves right,
on the Wildstein collaborators list, you who schooled
workers in corridors to mark their time cards
like sick, white tongues, oh pylorus which sends
paper to be wasted, always seen at demonstrations,
at parties, at village fêtes, you farming Don Juan,
attendant to all ailments, you saved my life
with canine lard, if memory serves right,
lord of hypochondriacs, killed daily by one
of five hundred pages from the Family Book of Medicine.
Let this light blue kingfisher be damned for all time
for digging his nest deep within your weak heart.[/private]