Floarea Tutuianu


I’m a Swamp


An absolute mess
Lycra stockings with garters bras and bikinis
(forms without content) – tossed on the rug
ah, this lingerie full of
memories (contour without form)
emotions and resentments vacillating between
acrid-sacred sweat and profane perfume
I’m a swamp:
my bed keeps my body’s form
the sheet I walk in from poem
to poem – my devoted dog
I wash it once in a while wring it out hang it to dry:
“you’ll have to throw away something of yourself
to be a perfect mimic a subtle cheat
you’ll need a straw to suck sips
from the young poets and their latest books
you’d give anything to be convincing”
(this impulse lasts only
a moment – for meanwhile the strophe wrinkles
gets tossed in the waste basket for now)
I’m a swamp:
I don’t know how to measure time
it could be February or November: both
seasons reveal the same landscape glued outside the window –
gray sky bare branches
And the hour hides from me (according to the darkness
inside, outside) it could be six in the morning
when objects begin to take on contour
or six in the evening
when objects begin to lose contour

At odd moments sharp pain and cold
in the brain spine womb
beads of blood on the forehead –

It tests me. The poem.
Now when I’ve lost my maternal instincts


La femme poison


Tarted up
and dragged down by thought
secretly polishing a solitude of dreams
Yes. I’m a body who flings herself at words

The fresh smell of paper, ink
makes me giddy. When I read
I can multiply by means of spores

Pencil in my hand I caress you
and take your breath away
(so flower-like yet carnivorous)

Even now you won’t leave me
with my face washed by words on the knife-
edge of the tongue –
when the last verse loses its way



Glorify and Leap


Look, you have me, a woman, and peer over my shoulders into the book
You want me on paper in the glare of daylight
to take a man from head to toe
at only the exclamation mark (!)
after the same man takes you to the tips of your fingernails
at only the question mark (?)
I’m all words. But. Talk smells of deeds:
the pleasure of licking your lips
after you’ve swallowed so many failures that taste of victory
the last will be the first or even worse
Can it be true
you think that my traces in the desert are erased signs?
Every day the light measures my shadow growing/shrinking
The sky leans on me. God is above. Push
Stand at my right so I don’t totter
A blind thought both deaf and dumb stubbornly follows my traces
Glorify and leap
on the seventh day you’ll be one death richer



Your Name


I fought with you all night long
oh that you could be cold or hot
but you’re neither cold nor hot
your passing through me leaves only a trace
(pointing of course toward the thighs)

The letter brings death and the spirit gives life
but the one within finds renewal day by day
with light’s lint snagged between the eyelashes
in the early morning. What is your name?

True my passing through you leaves a mark
(a book written inside in reverse)
He who holds his soul dear will lose it

You’re not the first or the last
but you’re the only one who (after this night)
bears my name on his forehead and my name
is wonderful



English Version: Adam J. Sorkin & Irma Giannetti

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