Poems by Olga Lalić-Krowicka / Translated by Sarah Luczaj

Poems by Olga Lalić-Krowicka
 
 
STOP
 
Stop calling the ambulance
of silence
I’m disturbance,
a glass of wine that shudders.
Stop dressing me in pink,
I’m a wedding dress
a rich burgundy hat
the velvet you sleep on,
the thought that makes you beautiful,
the stuttering veins in your sleep
and a lantern surrounded by dark walls.
 
Stop calling me weak,
I’m Mount Everest
victorious Berlin,
South in the blood of wars
a shield in hopeless battles.
Don’t say of me: a cloud scattered with sand.
I’m a cloud which houses
the angels of death, of sadness,
hope in the uproar,
the disappearing crowd
 
 
 
I HANDED OVER TO YOU
 
I handed over to you the spark of my own conscience,
the gift of a name and a cosmetics bag.
I handed over the tree from the Van Gogh painting.
You screamed that it wasn’t mine. It is. Oh, how could it not be!
 
We divide the paintbrush in half, the soul too, and the ear.
I gave over to you the power of my hands,
the stream in the quietening of my mind.
One thing I did not hand over.
 
The sculpture from the emptied
square of power
with its eyes wrapped in sheets.
She fell asleep while I was thinking.
 
 
 
PAIN
 
I love that pain. I’m his mother.
I’ve carried him from birth. Nine months
is a drop in the ocean. My first cry
with blood still fresh… his first
dusk. I treat his skin with a burgundy sky.
I bathe him in my face. I dress him
in comfort – tomorrow you’ll be older, more
mature, more distinct…oh God, how,
how not to leave him now. He exists, after all,
out of sheer innocence. Who else will I hold
when my last autumn rustles the tree…
 
 
 
Untitled
 
Come here! Look! I broke a face.
My own. I examine every little piece.
In these cursed fragments
I discover the dark universe.
I fall into the trap
of coming true.
They rub my gold-carrying skin with oil.
I’ll swallow the menu. The one from the language
in which you divided our days.
Yes, to feel valuable.
As that dress which hangs there
for a million days of work. Stupidity,
blindness, sin, that I involve myself
in such a discovery. If it’s not me it’s her.
A petticoat, two hundred years older, without the lace of night
I watch over Odysseus’ heart.
Saints wash their faces in my soul.
I recede behind the horizon of sparks.
My wilted ear gets back the life of sound.
Paranoia bites away the body’s balance.
It’s going to rain in a minute, outside the window.
I dreamt of my mother again.
Words, silence, hope, treated too lightly
dance in the muddy truth.
No one will find out what sometimes saddens the angels.
 
 
 
Woman
 
Her fire
comes from exotic plants.
The birds know her song.
They carry it from the east to the south,
from the north to the east.
Rhythms cross. No time for boredom.
She falls deep into dependency,
when she has time.
Worried by words, shapes
and the breath of the evening.
She announces silence.
She knows how to sleep. To straighten her hands.
And believes so much in the beauty of the day,
the elasticity of the rays and the clarity of space.
She is a dress of materials and colours from everywhere,
the rainbow of hope when it disappears.
There is a broken-off piece of iron in her heart,
so it should not all be so delicate.
Her prayers are eyes,
green, black, brown, blue
and God knows what other colours.
She walks barefoot in the drizzle,
sure that the weather is about to change.
No need to ask,
she’ll do it herself.
She has an overcoat,
a portrait on her soul
and the fatherland in her high heels.
Believe her, and she’ll give you
one long moment of sun.
 
 
 
 
I’ll write a poem. Maybe. Bloody. Warlike. Real.
 
The sun’s gone down. Thoughts drowned.
All the eastern years are passing under grey skin.
I believe. Don’t believe. I look for the reflection of nothingness in my eyes.
Where do you go to? To Balkan? Never! A ridiculous prophecy.
I feed myself with the Dukla streets.
No, I know neither history, nor Stasiuk’s memoirs.
Get out of the way, old man. Eat smoke, drivers.
He comes back. From dream to dream. Nothing is ours and everything is ours,
it mocks us from beyond the wall that was smashed on my birthday.
I don’t know when I was born.
I saw the place where my face was concreted over.
Eternity startles, blinks….she’s my grave,
she bolts, blinking, like the Stop at the foot of the cross.
A ballad starts, a ballad goes silent. I get up
on this piece of land that no one asks about anything….
 
 
 
Where the Saint sleeps
 
I’m nothing but a blurred painting
as I step the damp streets of Dukla.
And dream that olives grow on Cergova mountain
That tanks, bombs and all those weapons
are dragging through the streets.
 
Oh John, St John, dear and blessed
Release the people from loneliness
 
I don’t see the monastery, I hear John’s steps
as if he were walking under the lonely bell
and calling the birds and the injured
with the whole of his soul.
As is with his big hermit’s eyes
he were searching for the time to come again
and letting the angels decide
who to give that close gift.
The kid on the bike, the girl with the plait,
the baby in the pram?
 
Oh John, St John, dear and blessed
Release the people from loneliness
 
Sometimes these trees on the Hungarian Pass
fall in my dreams on bloody hands.
It’s not an apocalypse of trees, the sun is there too.
It’s just the pain of someone left alone in emptiness
calling for help to the heart of Mary Magdalene
 
Oh John, St John, dear and blessed
Release the people from loneliness
 
 
 
TO CREATE A POEM
 
I’m hungry
entitled
really.
Bring me something to eat
waiters – care assistants of night poetry.
I’m smoking a cigarette.
I’m drinking turkish coffee
in Kazimierz.
 
Translated by Sarah Luczaj
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