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Reprinted with permission from Altered State — The New Polish Poetry. Edited by Rod Mengham, Tadeusz Pióro and Piotr Szymor. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2003. Price: £10.95. This selection was chosen by Rod Mengham and John Tranter. Visit the publisher’s website.

Darek Foks

Poem

Farewell, Haiku

In the bag you have a roll with butter
and cheese, a bottle of juice
and tissues. A passport

won’t be necessary. Here’s
your ticket and yesterday’s paper.
I haven’t read today’s yet.

You’ll get off at Central
and take a tram. Here’s change
for the ticket. Get reduced fare.

Don’t gawk at the ads, your older
brother went crazy from that.
Don’t grab the girls’ tits

because girls don’t like that
at all. Especially during the engagement
period, which among Slavs

lasts much longer than here.
Tell Aunt Mary
we love her very much

and we’ll drop in with mother
as soon as mother leaves the hospice.
If Aunt Mary asks

about Mariola, tell her
Mariola is selling cars
and has no time for family

relationships. Mariola’s
picture is in your wallet.
If you meet the evil prince,

cut his throat with a knife,
not a poem. No poems.
The knife’s in your right pocket, Haiku.

Translated by Tadeusz Pióro.

Darek Foks, photo by Andrzej Smyczek

Darek Foks, photo by Andrzej Smyczek

Darek Foks was born in 1966 and lives in Skierniewice. He is the managing editor of Aktivist, and previously worked at Literatura na Šwiecie. His novel Mer Betlejem will be published in 2003 by Biuro Literackie/Port Legnica. A collection of short stories, Pizza weselna [Wedding Pizza] appeared in 2000, and Orcio, a novel of 16 pages, in 1999.

His publications include:

Wiersze (Poems) (Skierniewice: WDK, 1989)
Wiersze o fryzjerach [Poems about Barbers] (Lublin: Multico, 1994)
Misterny tren [Mystery Threnody], (Lublin: Kresy,1997)
ezra pub (Legnica: Centrum Sztuki—Teatr Dramatyczny, 1998)
Sonet drogi [Road Sonnet] (Legnica: Biuro Literackie, 2000)

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