Ilinca Bernea










Ilinca Bernea: writer, stage director, photographer




Elegy / lyrics for a song


A crude and jealous God split us apart
Our fantasies deluge in agony
Our love seems like a bed of fog exiled
In the dark rooms of other destiny


During the frozen nights without angels
Visions of passion scatter in the air
They have your taste, your fever, your despair
I call them then I banish them like strangers…


The awes, the pain, the touch of silence
All gather in your image from the past
Like in a hunt of fall all miracles
Are breaking down shut in their chest


If I’ve been meant to fall in love once more
I couldn’t do it but after my death
‘Cause in the solitude’s ascetic core
I see your bitter smile, I feel your breath


I see your tense, afflicted, tired sight
Cutting the sky light, turning into gray
I see all our longings crucified
Clocks measuring the love that fades away…







Utopian mindscape


Sometimes I dream
A poem wherein nothing happens
Nobody dies, no love is rived
A white poem, like a waiting room
Once caught there the thoughts become imponderable
They don’t get stuck in any fetish-idea or view
They don’t stumble over any chip of world seeped from the eyes of the poet


A poem that nobody cries in
Nobody screams
Nobody breaks mirrors
A poem without dried fountains, twilight romances, wine vapours
And other relics
With no splashed of blood on the ground of desire


A poem dwelt only by the spirit of truth
And the lyricism of the reason


We live for centuries enslaved on the grounds of the feeling
We live in an abattoir of ideas
In a human colony wherein all the happiness prescriptions
Recommend the escape from the bondage of reasoning –
This philosophical machine bewitching us, deluding our senses –
“The reasoning never solves anything: it just makes things even more complicated
Turning even the simplest matters into problematic and intricate…” the wise men use to say


This poem written only with the sap of pure reason is my utopian mindscape







The order of things


The first ones to get old are the hands
The skin swells and reddens, the pores start opening


I’ve seen so many old hands, so many hands
I look at mine and I don’t recognize them


My hands are delicate, spotless
No pleat no rib could be seen through their immaculate white
The skin is smooth, perfectly tight
Whose are these hands full of hatches, lines and signs
Of illegible maps that turned more and more mysterious in time
These hands with scattered fingers like tree branched cut at the ends
Whose are these hands, I wonder
I saw them so many times in the books in the movies
Hanging on other people’s arms
My hands are young, white, with no wrinkles,
They are not furrowed with such dykes


I’ve got used to write in the darkness for some time now
That’s how I haven’t come to see my hands is a while


The is nothing stranger than aging
You keep on having all the ages inside
The childhood memories are as close and as vivid as those ones from yesterday


There is no chronology in memory
The time doesn’t flow out there
Each single remembered moment is a world itself
Another universe
As real
As truthful
As the one wherein the hands are getting older


There is no order of things inside us
The pieces settle arbitrarily
Everything is enchained in a bucolic disorder
Playfully and not nostalgically
The memory is only and always present
The nostalgia is destined to what we cannot remember to what we have forgotten


I look at my aged hands and I keep on seeing them spotless, smooth like snow
Like in the first day I contemplated them.


I think to all those faces that I still carry on with me
Although the mirror doesn’t recognize them anymore
I reflect to all those things happening outside of the world
I think about all those impalpable layers of our existence
I think about how we walk through transparent labyrinths
In dreams
About how we wake up confused
Tying in vain to fit in a single face, in a single fate


I think of the hands that I am writing with as if they are one with the writing
As if nothing happened to them from the first line to the last one
As if they would be the same hands
Making the same gestures like in a ritual
As if life itself could burst out of my chest
Without stripes, without pleats, without hatches or wrinkles
As if I could understand it
Without maps that are more and more complicated


All the walls of my heart are tattooed with such maps
My sights are full of hatches and arrows
Of superposed creases, of lines covering the thin ditches that furrows my hands
My sights are blinded such way that
I see but the immaculate spaces from between the stripes
The image of the white hands, with the smooth skin, eternally young


Memory is the source of the eternal youth
In memories the time is not passing by in spite of the fall of leafs,
Of the rain, of the snow
In memories there are only statues with immaculate skin:
Caryatid-moments sustaining the walls of the world


I wrote all these in a document that happens to be called: I am afraid.









This winter we’ll stay locked in the house
Following from the window how the snow turns into mud


We’ll feed ourselves with the elixir of the untruthful truths that assure our survival
We’ll be astonished by how many mechanical gestures possess our bodies and souls
By how many beings without name abide inside us
Undermining our right to happiness


From time to time we’ll touch each other through the darkness
We’ll stick on each other to not get frozen
We’ll lie ourselves that this is all we can expect of a real love


We’ll stay aligned like two soldiers at the border of the bed
Counting our scars
Blaming the worlds, the others, the damn past


We’ll listen to the music of the blizzard
Whiting for the new poetical season to come…










Soul mate


I hide myself under deeper and deeper layers of muteness
The silence is the only answer I can give you without lying


Your hands stick in the window a sky cut from an old photograph
Our love started resembling with the obscure room


I miss my solitude as a soul mate


The wind closes the door upon you
And the fear sits on my lap like a wild animal
That I tamed since it was little…






I hunt coincidences with manic fervour.
They help me for nothing.
The coincidences make no sense.
The truth makes no sense.


Let’s presume that one day
I will find the key of the mystery
That now I hang on like a carnivore plant
So what?!









The town
Had thousand of faces dressed one in another
But none of them was true


His prisoners for an hour or for a life time
Were like burning candles locked forever
In the memory’s cages…














Ilinca Bernea was born on July, 21st 1974 in Bucharest, Romania, in the family of sociologist, ethnographer and philosopher Ernest Bernea and painter Horia Bernea. Her academic itinerary was shifty. She studied directing in the I. L. Caragiale University of Theatrical Arts and Cinematography, then she studied socio-political sciences at a master’s level, and then she finished her studies in the area she was most passionate about, obtaining a Ph.D. in philosophy.



Her literary debut took place in 1990 in the Contrapunct magazine with poetry, and between 1991 and 1997 she kept constant collaboration with România Literară publishing verse. Her first volume of poetry – The Laws of Hazard –was published in 1997 by Cartea Românească publishing house, followed by Poems in Mi Bemolle Major in 2002, and The Erotic Stone in 2003 by the Vinea publishing house, and was also published by the Dutch online publishing house Equivalences in the author’s translation. The most recent volume of poetry of the author is called Handbook of the Aesthetics of Pain, published in 2010 by Dacia publishing house. In 2002 she is featured alongside other authors on a collective bilingual volume dedicated to the memory of poet Gellu Naum called Pentru Gellu Naum/ For Gellu Naum, published jointly by Vinea and Icare publishing houses. Ilinca Bernea is also a prose author, having published four volumes up to present.

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