Saturday, May 30, 2009

Woloch and Luczaj Read in Krakow

Cecilia Woloch and Sarah Luczaj have a reading coming up shortly in Krakow sponsored by the Massolit Bookstore and Cafe. If I were there, I would be going. If you click on the poster here, you'll be able to read all the details.

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Here's a poem by Cecilia and one by Sarah.

IN WARSAW (from Tsigan: The Gypsy Poem)

In Warsaw, blackbird girls
swoop down in flocks
the old town square
a swirl of dark-eyed dark-haired girls
in brilliant skirts who circle
laughing at my waist
throw up their arms
to beg for sweets
who know among the tourists
whom to choose
(how do they know?)
so being chosen, being glad
in any language (tak
means yes)
I let them pick from sticky cakes
behind the glass, the old proprietress
glares back at me
and thinks, Amerykanka, idiotka
but cannot refuse
my cash (how far
in zlotys dollars go!)
so I buy cake for every girl
then watch them fly away again
their small hands sugared, glittering
as if I'd given
jewels to them
the sky above the bitter city
sharp as diamonds then

(NOTE: "Gypsies were incarcerated with Jews in the ghettoes of Bialystok, Krakow, Lodz, L'viv, Radom and Warsaw. … The total number of gypsies brought into [one] ghetto was eleven dead and 4,996 living. Of those, 2,686 were children."
-- Isabel Fonseca, Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey

More of Cecilia's poems can be found at her website and here at Writing the Polish Diaspora)


(1968 –1989)

José, the light is moving in the water
José I carved a poem in the walls of a room

the room was dust
and the planets were
trapped as the people
in it and it broke
on them, and the room
broke on the sky which
is made of dirt as
the room is made of
dirt and the people
are made of dirt
and also the stars

it broke
on your body made of stars
José and now the words
are set in those walls
forever, too deep, and no one
is allowed to stand
between them, my room
sits alone in the city
José the light is moving in the water
and you are a mouthful
a handful now, a scattering

I wanted to tell you this
José who broke the windows

José the room was dust

(Sarah Luczaj's poem is from her book An Urgent Request by Fortunate Daughter Press 2009, available at Teboth Bach.

There is a virtual interview with Sarah at Fortunate Daughter Press.

You can find more of her poems at Pedestal Magazine.)

1 comment:

Lisa S said...

Love Cecilia's poems. Always a big fan of her work