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Grzegorz Wróblewski

Two poems

According To The Enclosed Brochure / Cindy’s Cradle

Translated from the Polish by Agnieszka Pokojska

According To The Enclosed Brochure

Three pills were said to help, or at least do no harm.
Still, after I took two, unpleasant things started to happen.
Suddenly Homer disappeared from my memory and then
thieves walked out through curtained windows
with a week’s supply of food.
Loss. Anger. Misunderstanding.
The chemistry promised relief
but instead
I landed myself in new trouble.

I am now thinking of changing my prescription.
The thought of upping the dose excites me.
I have always been much too impatient.
(I could have kept the pet macaw but I was obsessed with betrayal… )
I took the third pill.
And then the fourth.
I half-close my eyes.
Someone’s hand creeps up to the tin of jasmine tea.
I wait.

(Translated from the Polish by Agnieszka Pokojska)

Cindy’s Cradle

Watch out for the traffic, man! — I shouted
and all he replied was,
she was supposed to wear pink tights and
gorge on melons with me

Cindy, Cindy!
You should visit your old man sometime

Look at him now
losing his head on the safety island
surrounded by police and angels
from parallel worlds.

(Translated from the Polish by Agnieszka Pokojska)

Grzegorz Wróblewski, born in 1962 in Gdansk and raised in Warsaw, has lived in Copenhagen since 1985. He has published nine volumes of poetry and two collections of short prose pieces in Poland; three books of poetry, a book of poetic prose and an experimental novel (translations) in Denmark; and a book of selected poems in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as a selection of plays. His work has been translated into eight languages. The English translations of his poems and/or plays have appeared in London Magazine, Poetry London, Magma Poetry, Parameter Magazine, Poetry Wales, The Delinquent, Chicago Review, 3rd bed, Eclectica, Mississippi Review, Absinthe: New European Writing, Common Knowledge, Word Riot, Practice: New Writing + Art, The Mercurian — A Theatrical Translation Review, Lyric, Sibila, Counter Punch, Exquisite Corpse, Jacket Magazine, West Wind Review, Otoliths and Cambridge Literary Review and in the following anthologies: Altered State: The New Polish Poetry (Arc Publications, Todmorden, UK 2003), Carnivorous Boy Carnivorous Bird (Zephyr Press, Brookline, USA 2004), A Generation Defining Itself — In Our Own Words (MW Enterprises, USA 2007). A volume of his selected poems Our Flying Objects (Equipage Press, Cambridge, UK) was published in 2007, and his new and selected poems A Marzipan Factory will forthcoming in 2010 from Otoliths (Australia).

Agnieszka Pokojskais a freelance translator and editor, tutor in literary translation at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, and author of a number of articles on translation. Her translations into Polish include poems by Seamus Heaney, Robert Pinsky and Derek Walcott. Her translations of Grzegorz Wróblewski’s poetry appeared in the anthology Carnivorous Boy Carnivorous Bird, in Lyric Poetry Review, West Wind Review, Eclectica Magazine, The Delinquent, Poetry Wales, The Journal and Cambridge Literary Review.

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