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The New Polish Poetry feature
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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.

Maria Podgórnik


Final Destination

not to worry i’m young pretty
and absolutely devoted to literature healthy
unburdened minor morning breakdowns
occasional dreams colours and contours

permanently unable perhaps infertile never
had any luck lies cruelties of this world
tender brief rapes all watched from behind
a hazed window wasn’t about me

i’m not worried time passes lightly here
and there’s peace i talk about it for hours windows mist
over i think you’ve just stopped dropping by i remember
your scent at least

remembrance of things you could write whole books
about someone not rising to the occasion
two toothbrushes needless words
the same for everyone

i didn’t mean me all my life i’ve been swallowing
such moments but life in my case is a flash
so before the first wrinkle it’s hard to generalize
the level of complexity determines something i guess

the very narrow space through which the blade passed
i believe i’ll have it all yet
as in songs love must be sweet and painful
what judge will believe this

Translated by Tadeusz Pióro.

Marta Podgórnik, who was born in 1978, lives in Gliwice where she runs a bar called ‘Desperado’.
Her publications include:
Próby negocjacji [Attempts at Negotiating] (Łódź: 1996)
Paradiso (Legnica: Biuro Literackie, 2000)

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