Denisa Duran


Denisa Duran






 – selection from the collection “Omul de unică folosință / Disposable People” (Galway Print, Ireland, 2009)




Two deaf-mutes


Two deaf-mutes chatting on the trolleybus –

no faces

no bodies

no organs…

Only the words are hovering between them

as they throb

while all around

descending by degrees –

the sound of silence.






The moon hiding behind the balcony

like a fugitive

hiding behind the lamp post.




My birthday-party guests


Too much talk, too much



cluttered with words

(and explanations

and introductions).

My birthday-party guests

sinking their teeth into my flesh

as if into a birthday cake.




Making love


I can write texts on my lover’s skin,

I can write poems all over his back,

his arms and his legs,

(I can draw if I want to)

It’s just another way of making





The moon  


The moon caught between two telegraph wires

struggling to come out in one piece.




Sign up now!



“Sign up now!

You’ll get 200 free minutes

The moment you die!”




My body


My body feels long and formless

like chewing gum

without flavour –

I’m stretching it, stretching it, stretching it,

mornings and evenings,





They abide in my mind


I’ve been roaming all day

through boutiques –

looking around I see nothing but


they abide in my mind…

As I’m saying my prayers

God is standing before me

in the form of a handbag.




Whenever I’m changing my clothes


Whenever I’m changing

my clothes,

no matter where you are – close by

or not,

you do enter the room quite


and catch me

bare breasted.

It is as if I called you…




I asked you to come


I saw

a duck with six ducklings in tow

on the Cişmigiu pond –

I gave you a call straight away

and asked you to come

so we’d see them together

and up to the moment

I saw you

I averted my eyes

from the scene.




Long cables


I’m thinking of the future in terms of

long rubber cables

I keep pulling







Mysterious interviews –

you are not told exactly

what they expect you to do,

between what times,

for how much money,

at what particular location…

“We’re looking for philology graduates” –

good for whatever’s needed.




Disposable People


We’re disposable employees

using tissues for wiping our tables

and plastic plates for our food,

plastic forks, plastic teaspoons and boxes

purchased in supermarkets

and sweetshops.

“Salad, please”

(at ten forty five

in the evening)

there’s some food in the fridge

but I’m way too tired

to warm it up.

“Salad, please,

and a chocolate croissant” –

for my necessary

daily vitamin intake.




Every morning


Every morning

I pull at my hair in a hurried, compulsory shower

and make for the office

balder and balder.




Upon the rooftops


There are fishermen’s huts

stretched out all along the wild shore,

and fishermen weaving hammocks.

Upon the rooftops

a small dog is walking

and barking skywards.




Minute shadows  


In the morning it rained on my tent –

hefty drops,

rapping against the tent sheet

like sleep-inducing music.

I could see them above me

with sleep-heavy eyes,

open half way,

minute, heavy shadows,

sliding by without

touching me.




I’m afraid of the sea


I’m afraid of the sea,

of her mouth,

gaping wide,

of her treacherous mouths

pretending to kiss the soles of your feet

in humility,

yet ready to bite…


The sea’s constantly slobbering

over our feet.




Translated from Romanian by Florin Bican











Denisa Duran (b. 1980) is a Romanian poet, translator and cultural manager, author of four poetry books: the award-winning debut collection Pufos şi mechanic (Fluffy and Mechanical, 2003), was followed by the bilingual book Omul de unică folosință / Disposable People, (translated into English by Florin Bican), published by Galway Print in Ireland (2009); furthermore, she published Sunt încă tânără (I Am Still Young, 2012) – a selection of which was included in the anthology The Most Beautiful Poems from 2012; in 2014 her new book came out, Dorm, dar stau cu tine (I Am Asleep, Yet Keep You Company) – a book about “becoming” until the age of one – accompanied by illustrations. She signed her first three collections with her maiden name of Denisa Mirena Pişcu.

Denisa Duran is BA in Romanian & English Language and Literature, MA with a thesis about sound poetry, written in English. She worked as a journalist, translator and editor; since 2007 she is project manager at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Bucharest.

In 2015, together with the Austrian composer Bruno Pisek, she created a radio work about her city –  Bucharest Nowadays is Beautiful, isn’t it?  – broadcast by ORF – Kunstradio. The 51 minutes work, available here, speaks about the city from two points of view  – of the visitor and the inhabitant – and it includes the poems of the two authors in three different languages (Romanian, German and English), a sound portrait of Bucharest, two voice choirs and music compositions.

Denisa Duran participated in many readings and literature festivals abroad and she was awarded two literary fellowships: by the Vienna Poetry School (Schule für Dictung) (Vienna, 2008) and by Traduki and Goten publishing house (Skopje, 2015).

Selections of her poems have been included in several anthologies and translated into: English, Czech, Bulgarian, German, Italian, Polish, Turkish, Arabic, Finnish, Macedonian, Serbian, French.


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