Translated by Adam J. Sorkin and the poet
big moths circling the bulb
hung from the roof
at the corner of the house
one after another we’d dash through that light
and around grandma’s house
stopping just to crush the moths beneath the bulb
torn and juicy like pus they clung to the blue wall
we wiped our fat little fingers on each others’ clothes
we’d keep chasing one another in the dark
now that we’ve grown up we smear one another
only with shit
humming a jezus maria peszek song on my way to work
yesterday I saw grandpa,
after seven years
his boneshad turned black but the beret and the suit were intact.
his image stuck in my mind long after last night’s religious service
and the alcohol in me
early in the morning as I left the countryside
and hurried to catch a train back to work.
good and quiet people the 5 a.m. commuters
we all work today, saint george’s day,
because april 23rd isn’t august 23rd, they don’t give a damn.
an hour on the rails and back to the city again,
the invicible, life-sucking shithole.
swarms of blondes cross downtown on stilts.
they might well step over me without noticing
for their chic lenses block uv rays
men shaved bald stroll through the city full of themselves like giant haribo gummybears.
the hypermarkets sell everything one can buy in this world.
from the four winds, the corporate buildings guard the square.
in one of them I scan my access badge at every door
until I find the cubicle from where I take care that everything’s OK
half a day every day staring at the computer screen as into the void.
those several days of vacation that were supposed to sustain us for an entire year
should have left us
as if they made a porridge out of the butterflies in our stomachs and fed it to us
and we dutifully ate every bit, as during a visit, under their close inspection
thinking we can swallow all of that pus without getting sick
& you succumbed, just like youngsters who try to keep up with veteran drinkers
but I’m a bulldozer, my dear, with wheels with hooves with caterpillar tracks,
with my fucked up references stepping beyond things
far away from me the whole dramatic scene where
the suicides who still breathe deliver speeches at the unveiling of their own statues. I’m not there
but here, where I watch over you, where I wipe your vomit and kiss your mouth,
where I stay up all night and hide the traces of shame before it gets light
so that this day too will be saved
as if, from my left shoulder blade, our tiny squadron, bubbles, blossom and buttercup,
send their cannonball returns back from the net and right into their mugs
I don’t like all the reverence and bows and flattery young poets offer to older poets to ingratiate themselves with the establishment; they’re lame social climbers. I like punk. I don’t like majestic, overly skilled guitar solos, and this perspective applies to my choices in many subjects. I don’t like the gang mentality within the literary scene; I see good poets ostracized for extra-literary reason by administratively powerful mediocrities. I don’t like folk-music-and-poetry soirées. I hate it when writers complain about not being read, about their books not selling or their not making money from it. Whiners! I don’t like literature going academic – one can be taught literary history, but not writing. I don’t like writers behaving like they’re royalty after they get a bit of fame. I don’t like those writers who think they’re superior just because they can illustrate scenes, events and ideas in words. Other people experience the same strong feelings and just because they can’t or don’t write them down, it doesn’t make them less sentient, less human. I don’t like monopoly – all entities nowadays (countries, publishers) seem to wish to extend their power and will over the others. I like novels and short stories more than poetry; I dream to have a novel published. Poetry is not bigger than life. Poetry is honest, or else! Sense of humor is a good barometer! Whoever lacks humor can gtfo. Poetry’s not fanatic. I don’t like productivity indexes. Bosses of the world can stick them up their asses! I don’t like people who build giant literary résumés. I don’t like weed. I don’t like spoiled children. And I think all is in vain, eventually, so one shouldn’t care or try too much. That’s what I think of poetry.
Matei Hutopila (b. 1987) published three collections of poems: copci (“stitches”), published by Bistrița, Max Blecher Publishing House, 2011), în prezența lucrurilor. căldura soarelui în iarnă (“in the presence of things. the sun’s warmth in winter” (Suceava, The Paper Wall, 2013) and bukowina ueber alles (Suceava, The Paper Wall, 2014). He also has a new poetry book ready for print this year, tișița (the title derives from the name of a village in the Moldova region). He lives in the city of Iași.
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