Radu Andriescu

Country: Romania
Language(s): Romanian
Greek Blood

Badge believed he had Greek blood in his veins and in consequence
the whole of the world was a fishing boat and the whole of the sky
a bottle of rum
the night was balmy and Hellenic, you could pass through it
in just a shirt
Badge walked the streets of Iaşi in shirt sleeves while the frost
bit fiercely
one night while music was dissipating hazily between
the two undivided rooms of his garret digs
while I was befriending a vicious runty dog
his fur half mangy
more than ugly
Badge broke the landlady’s sink with an empty bottle of Russian
the bottle had to get broken, the bottle as with the Greeks
his Greek blood drained from his body to the rotten wood of the
the cur G.G. sniffed and licked it
outside the cold was doing its utmost and not until much later
did he come to learn
it had only been through marriage, do you catch the drift? only
through marriage
anyway his short Greek life
had been wonderful

Translated from the Romanian by Adam J. Sorkin with the author


Nights in Panciu                                                                         

On a collective farm in Panciu I climbed with a turkey hen
to the roof of the canteen
we looked around, it was fantastic, I was chortling
she was clucking, a bit frightened
she was a white turkey hen

we could hear voices songs loud curses from the dining hall
the long dormitories next door oozed silence
on all sides only grapevines, I clutched her to my breast
she was frightened
she was like a book you open for the first time

I took her to the canteen, I placed her in front of the singers
her shy movements were more graceful than
a ballerina’s
in her whitest tutu
I took her into the dormitories, I swallowed the protests
she was whiter than the bed sheets
from the roof of the canteen we’d seen the world together

Translated from the Romanian by Adam J. Sorkin with the author

Feature on Chilean Poetry from PI 13/14