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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.

Edward Pasewicz

Poem

Bird Bones

Traces, echoes, stains and tongues
mixed as in a conference centre.

See, the man in the shirt clutches
at his heart, lips turn to snow
and the index finger is a rose, a compass
like effusion, blood on skin and
he’s become a boat, drifting
into the delta and the river, as you know,
permits no dissimulation.

So there is a place where
experiences cross, you just have to
wait patiently
until everyone gets there and the older
bearded gent shows the tour around.

And if he doesn’t come? What if
the table in the conference centre,
that vast round plant,
has caught him and won’t let go?

What shall we do without the bearded gent
who until now would let us in
to wander underground?

Bird song betrays us, and gestures,
those awkward attempts at repetition,
but after all we take it lightly,
jump, they shout, and we jump.

Translated by Tadeusz Pióro.

Edward Pasewicz was born in 1971 and lives in Poznań. Currently at work on an opera, he is the composer of the Naive Symphony.

His publications include: Dolna Wilda (Łódź: 2002)

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