Weekend Poetry: Four Poems in Translation

I don’t know my neighbours,
I only know one of them plays the piano at noon –
you can hear it right as you enter the bathroom.

I don’t know my neighbors,
I only hear a couple upstairs
hopelessly fight in the evening, tossing stools at one another.

When I get sick of it,
I hit the ceiling with a frying pan.
Then there is peace and quiet for awhile.

I don’t know my neighbors,
I only hear their dog barking.
And their children, who run up and down the stairs.

From time to time I turn up the music so loud,
that I can’t hear any of them,
then they hear me and hit the radiator,
so I turn it down.

That is how we communicate through those thin Khrushchev-era walls.

From time to time I look through the peephole in the door
at the voices that are speaking in the stairwell.

But when I leave my flat, I don’t meet a single soul.

*  *  *

we forget to touch
though there are
hundreds
of unrealized caresses in our hands,
which want to break away,
but haven’t been included
on the list of things to do,
they aren’t urgent,
they can be done
another morning,
when time and place
will free up in our memory.

*  *  *

Crumpled curtains
and sheets
the floor’s been creaking
since the last century
sounds and memories
blow through the window
which lets the air in,
which has yet to be replaced
with plastic frames.
Hanging from the ceiling – three burnt-out bulbs.
The wine is our only light
in this room
everything else is silent.
We don’t know each other –
it’s easier
to love and forget then.
We look for tickets
for never coming back,
but the price is too steep,
and our courage wanes, when,
as the light touches the dark,
morning comes. 

*  *  *

 

 

On tropical summer nights
girls return home
to their men or their loneliness
which sometimes means the same thing.

Their bare feet hold all
steps made furtively,
and their skin keeps caresses silent.

Their hands smell of the sea,
of swimming into the distance,
of returning to the shore,
where there is so much sand –
spilled from broken
hour glasses.

 

  • Inga Pizane. Poems from the book Having Never Met (published by A Midsummer Night’s Press)

Enjoyed this article?

Help us to fund independent journalism instead of buying:

Also in Disclaimer

A Referendum Won With Cheating and Fraud, A Void Result

The Electoral Commission's finding make it plain than Vote Leave cheated in the Brexit referendum. Theresa May cannot ignore this. The integrity of our democracy is at stake. We must find our the truth because at present it looks like the referendum result is void.

Who is more powerful – states or corporations?

Who holds the power in international politics? Most people would probably say it’s the largest states in the global system. Yet multinationals like Apple and Starbucks still wield phenomenal power. They oversee huge supply chains, sell products all over the world, and help mould international politics to their interests.

Tweet Checking: Pots, Kettles and Labour Attacks on Theresa May's Brexit Credibility

Finding the truth is never easy. Sometimes it can be unbelievable. Twitter makes it harder. This week Labour condemns Theresa May for lack of credibility on Brexit, ignoring its own problems. Unfortunately, that is not all Harris Coverley found.

British Exceptionalism Will Lead to Brexit Own Goals

As one Brussels-based British EU insider put it, it is not just in football that British disrespect for opponents lets Britain down and motivates the other team. Theresa May may finds her White Paper suffers a similar fate to the British football team - supported by those who thought defeat was impossible.

The Week on Planet Trump: European Tourist Battles with NATO, Brexit and the EU

Another week, more chaoas. Donald Trump travels to Europe for the NATO summit and a working meeting in Britain - at both he offends and humiliates his hosts. Disclaimer rounds up Trump's week of diplomacy.