Poem – The  Trial 

During his great speech the prosecutor 

kept piercing me with his yellow index finger 

I’m afraid I didn’t appear self-assured 

unintentionally I put on a mask of fear and depravity 

like a rat caught in a trap an informer a fratricide 

the reporters were dancing a war dance 

slowly I burned at a stake of magnesia 
all of this took place in a small stifling room 

the floor creaked plaster fell from the ceiling 

I counted knots in the boards holes in the wall faces 

the faces were alike almost identical 

policemen the tribunal witnesses the audience 

they belonged to the party of those without any pity 

and even my defender smiling pleasantly 

was an honorary member of the firing squad 
in the first row sat an old fat woman 

dressed up as my mother with a theatrical gesture she raised 

a handkerchief to her dirty eyes but didn’t cry 

it must have lasted a long time I don’t know even how long 

the red blood of the sunset was rising in the gowns of the judges 
the real trial went on in my cells 

they certainly knew the verdict earlier 

after a short rebellion they capitulated and started to die one after the other 

I looked in amazement at my wax fingers 
I didn’t speak the last word and yet 

for so many years I was composing the final speech 

to God to the court of the world to the conscience 

to the dead rather than the living 

roused to my feet by the guards 

I managed only to blink and then 

the room burst out in healthy laughter 

my atoptive mother laughed also 

the gavel banged and this really was the end 
but what happened after that – death by a noose 

or perhaps a punishment generously chained to a dungeon 

I’m afraid there is a third dark solution 

beyond the limits of time the senses and reason 
therefore when I wake I don’t open my eyes 

I clench my fingers don’t lift my head 

breathe lightly because truly I don’t know 

how many minutes of air I still have left 

Poem – The Tongue

Inadvertently I passed the border of her teeth and swallowed

her agile tongue. It lives inside me now, like a Japanese fish. It

brushes against my heart and my diaphragm as if against the walls

of an aquarium. It stirs silt from the bottom.

She whom I deprived of a voice stares at me with big eyes

and waits for a word.

Yet I do not know which tongue to use when speaking to

her – the stolen one or the one which melts in my mouth from an

excess of heavy goodness. 

Poem – The Rain 

When my older brother 

came back from war 

he had on his forehead a little silver star 

and under the star 

an abyss 

a splinter of shrapnel 

hit him at Verdun 

or perhaps at Grünwald 

(he’d forgotten the details) 

he used to talk much 

in many languages 

but he liked most of all 

the language of history 

until losing breath 

he commanded his dead pals to run 

Roland Kowaski Hannibal 

he shouted 

that this was the last crusade 

that Carthage soon would fall 

and then sobbing confessed 

that Napoleon did not like him 

we looked at him 

getting paler and paler 

abandoned by his senses 

he turned slowly into a monument 

into musical shells of ears 

entered a stone forest 

and the skin of his face 

was secured 

with the blind dry 

buttons of eyes 

nothing was left him 

but touch 

what stories 

he told with his hands 

in the right he had romances 

in the left soldier’s memories 

they took my brother 

and carried him out of town 

he returns every fall 

slim and very quiet 

he does not want to come in 

he knocks at the window for me 

we walk together in the streets 

and he recites to me 

improbable tales 

touching my face 

with blind fingers of rain 

Poem – The Power of Taste

It didn’t require great character at all

Our refusal disagreement and resistance

we had a shred of necessary courage

but fundamentally it was a matter of taste

Yes taste

in which there are fibers of soul the cartilage of


Who knows if we had been better and more

attractively tempted

sent rose-skinned women thin as a wafer

or fantastic creatures from the paintings of

Hieronymus Bosch

but what kind of hell was there at this time

a wet pit the murderers’ alley the barrack

called a palace of justice

a home-brewed Mephisto in a Lenin jacket

sent Aurora’s grandchildren on into the field

boys with potato faces

very ugly girls with red hands


So æsthetics can be helpful in life

one should not neglect the study of beauty

Before we declare our consent we must carefully


the shape of the architecture the rhythm of the drums
official colors the despicable ritual of funerals

Our eyes and refused obedience

the princes of our senses proudly chose exile