Rodica Draghincescu










As a child, I loved the fields of cemeteries with

their black bands on the margins of life.

I didn’t go there to see and listen to the wind of bones and flesh,

This volubility of a successful end

I always cried after,

I avoided becoming attached to them,

I said goodbye, teeth clenched:

Au revoir Annette, Pierrot, Marie, Marine,

so long, long time no

see you…


Vegetable bursts brought a sugared rain,

the bricks bleached with lime formed little cakes in syrup

it was time to choose between « a » and « b, » « yes » and « no, »

« the here » and « the hereafter, »

It was time to stride back

before the grass grows too much





The absence of which you are certain




An I-don’t-know-what kind of an apostle.


That entitles me to shout at my mother.


« Is she coming?! »


« (…) I’d be yours and yours, I’m coming. »


But I don’t know from where, nor to where, nor how, nor when.


The inside sells me and the outside buys me.




Louder and louder, click-clack-click, click-clack-click,


Metal sense the same size as me.


There is the I don’t know who and I don’t know anything


in those glassy skies.




White. And red,


Yellow, blue, green, black of memory.






No exit that way.


Traces without content.


Click on what the world sees






Click-clack, click-clack-clack


I zap thoughtlessly


Click-clack, click-clack-clack


I don’t analyze,


I don’t synthesize.


Click on and cut short.


Click. No exit this way. Clack.




Clack-clack. Came in through the beyond of the plot. Conked by instruments, I go where I come from. I arrive at the place of departure. I knot together my arms and legs with the over there from here and the peril of the main road. My mother did what she could. Click-clack. I poison myself with fateful fears. Since I don’t know that I come I advance, backwards. Click-clack-clack-clack. I don’t know what you know. You don’t know what I know. How can that be defended? Where is the good boy, nice fellow, knight of old,  trainer, tamer of fertile reality? Where is the promised, the chosen? I am a daughter of round images, the little bird flying in a drowned train, little fish breaching the buried ocean, little top struggling between flesh and wood, the predator that, ephemeral, salon swallow, under an amber-flavoured sun, in the eyes a November snowman. I know neither who nor why. I don’t know what you know. You don’t know what I know. So?




And then who (…)? Dawn? Day? Evening? Night?




What you call « the lovely future, » mama. One and one make that? Do I click on it? What you just call in-fant. The empty child into which the memories dash, rarefied? Do I click on it? The ether, mid-point of the crackbellybreast, the moving or fixed chest, and independent by every frame of reference?




To make emptiness the life of your future, mama, the Other has taken an airtight enclosure and pumped the air from your mouth with a vacuum pump. Is that couple love? Of void and residual air pressure. Couple void, partial, parental, whatever the astral temperature of the moment. Intensive emptiness, « ultravoid, » nothing grave, gravid emptiness, identified in that everything, in the order of 10-8 Pa. In it, you still count 2 million desert molecules per cubic centimetre of absence, even though absence of love. When did yours teach you that? And the absence of which you are certain.




The absence of the Other, the future of the isn’t it? The absence of matter, of feeling, of event, what you call « that, » mama. Thus, with that in you, you left to fill the simple past. Click-clack, imperfect, the present perfect, the past perfect you had forgotten them and they are no longer opposed to my advancement:




« I hadn’t known what you’d known. You hadn’t known what I’d known. Hadn’t I known what I know? Nor when or where. Nor how. Nor false or true. Nor too much or enough. The night will get rid of it. Where it will no longer be evening this evening. Nor rain in the rain. Nor something else inside. Nor something else outside. It won’t be day over there. No time meantime. No day this way. There aren’t anymore. »




« That’s it! »




There were a few variations on a single memory and another I don’t remember. The alternative, vital void requires the absolute absence of every subject, but also of every predicate influence.




I make the void like you, to gain some present. I inhabit the uncertainty principle. Click-clack-click. I have that attitude. I cut the skin off the word, what you call the poetry wound, mama. Skin and word do that? What you just call Ouch.





Not sleeping!


When I was little, I wanted to stay little, littler than a little kid hiding under the table, littler than an old dumb toy that is brought up from the basement in the spring and put on the doorstep.


When I was little, I didn’t want to be big! So I crawled on my belly from one bedroom to another, as if I were a mouse that didn’t dare to contradict the fierce, grey silence.


Minuscule cherub in a ravine of rings, I thought I would remain forever condemned to my two wings. The day I fell to high from low, I heard: « Damn, it’s not his head he’s broken, but his weewee! Here’s the cherub! »



By becoming the brat that the world did not see coming, I refused to act as if I had to eat, sleep, cry, laugh, talk.


Crossbows, swords, axes, clubs, hammers and other plots. From my mouth, I fired plague words: Used my feet for lunar acrobatics.












Rodica Draghincescu was born in Buzias, Romania. She was part of a movement of authors born out of the fall of the Ceausescu regime in 1989, writers and performing artists that critics called the « 90’s generation. » In the European press, Rodica Draghincescu has been for a long time considered « the Amazon of Romanian literature. »


After teaching French literature in university and doing research in linguistics and stylistics at the Romanian Academy, after publishing 10 books in her native country (some of which won prizes from the Romanian writers union, the Bucharest writers Association, etc.), after five years of studies and writing residencies in Germany, after 4 books published in Stuttgart and Berlin, Rodica Draghincescu settled in France, where she became a literary advisor to several cultural institutions.


In France, Rodica has published, in addition to poetry, novels, books of interviews and literary essays. Her latest book is a poetry collection, RA(ts), illustrated by engraver Marc Granier (Béziers: Éditions du Petit Pois, 2012),


At many festivals and literary events, Rodica has collaborated in readings of her work with Romanian, German and French actors and musicians throughout Europe, such as Hélène Martin, Jean-Luc Kockler, Michel Biehler, Philippe Joncquel, Andrej Lazarev, Ion Caramitru, Dorothea Fleiss, Marc Granier, etc.


Among other pursuits, she directs the international webmagazine: LEVURE LITTERAIRE

and is a member of the editorial board of the German review: Matrix


Personal Web site:


Main publications in French:


Fauve en liberté, poems (Les Écrits des Forges, 2003).

Ra(ts), poems with engravings by Marc Granier (Éditions du Petit Pois, 2012) (Virgil Prize for European French-language poetry and literature, Paris 2013).

Distance entre un homme habillé et une femme telle qu’elle est, novel (Éd. Autres Temps, 2001) (translation from the Romanian by Florica Ciodaru-Courriol).

À vau-l’eau, novel, arHsens édiTions, 2006 (translation from the Romanian by Florica Courriol).





SOON by Finishing Line Press:










I write poetry so as not to live.

I write poetry so as not to kill.

I write poetry to be the moods of my « non being, » my « non having »!

To see, as the blind do. To hear the sounds of the deaf. To cry with the mad! To laugh with the monks. To leap with the wolves. To surrender my heart to beached whales, because I swam too much and loved the sea too much.

I write so that my hands will spring forth from salt and bread, milk and honey, and water for the desert!

I write too for a little drop of poison, which I use in tiny amounts, to heal wounds or to turn contradictory words sexual!


I write in many languages, the source language, in the midst of the idea.

I take my mother tongue out for a cultural walk, I show it off at international language fairs, I dunk it in linguistic sauces. I add philosophical spices, knowing that people love to taste the tongues of others.


I write and I say my writing loudly. I do it all, all badly when I do it all, all well. I write for myself, I defend myself. I distance myself from all those who want to be like me. No one is like me! I am never like myself. My unlove against myself is untimely love, love on the blade of the sanguine knife.


I write vein-cutting novels. I make mounds out of lines and stains. I outline waves and shadows for those who have lost their names and bodies. Yes, I both write and sell the prose of my thoughts, I sell my defects and talents for the price of a poem cine-poem-mould-t-ed, in the style of DAVID LYNCH!



Translation: HOWARD SCOTT





My poetry celebrates the audacity of language itself, the truth in words (the desires, vanities and marvels of words), and all the experiences essential to my « spokenbeing. »


My poetry is a kind of void, a discovery of the oracular dimension of absence: loss, lack, pain, hope, expectation. The prose poems possess, thanks to the way they are written, the strength to fight and vanquish any deleterious sentimentalism. They strive to put their feet back on the ground where I am, taking their source in the entirety of my condition as a woman, this « vocation of ignorance, » this mundaneness of a life in disarray. Would-be metaphors free the unknown forces of the written and spoken word, representing above all an experience far from the facile temptations of « the poetry of poetry, » the kind that holds sway in certain university circles.


Since my Poetry is tied to life, it raises questions about what this « strange work » is that leads to the alignment of « no » and « yes, » of « against » and « for, » of « evil » and « good, » the various forms of separations and connections between life and death.


My Texts are question marks or exclamation marks in the mouth of any reader.


With full knowledge, the utterances denounce a « trampled » existence. Born of an « old » child’s voice, my poems belong either to the exacting games of the language of warriors or to the bewitching games of the language of wizards.


All that I feel when I think about this collection refers back to paradises found and lost again the very same second, to an unknown but intimate power, this powerful intimacy exercised on being and on things in that unique second in which I live unceasingly, my whole life long (how I love to call my life « second of earth, water and air! »).


Usually, these texts are to those written « with a knife » (in a very casual way). They will provoke readers, in a positive sense.


(Stuttgart, Germany 2005)



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