Chicago Readings: I'm doing two free public poetry readings in Chicago this week.
On Thursday, March 1, between 1 and 3pm, I'm reading at Loyola University with 3 other Polish American poets (Ewa Chrusciel, Karen Kovacik, and John Minczeski). This session will take place at the McCormick Lounge in the Coffey Hall (1000 W. Sheridan Road).
On Friday, March 2, noon to 1pm, I'll be reading alone at the UIC library in the Richard J. Daley room. In both readings I'll be talking about my parents and their experiences in the slave labor camps in Germany.
Here's one of the poems I'll be reading:
What the War Taught My Mother
My mother learned that sex is bad,
Men are worthless, it is always cold
And there is never enough to eat.
She learned that if you are stupid
With your hands you will not survive
The winter even if you survive the fall.
She learned that only the young survive
The camps. The old are left in piles
Like worthless paper, and babies
Are scarce like chickens and bread.
She learned that the world is a broken place
Where no birds sing, and even angels
Cannot bear the sorrows God gives them.
She learned that you don't pray
Your enemies will not torment you.
You only pray that they will not kill you.