Ruxandra Cesereanu









Morning coffee is love,

some little quantic  glimpses in the glass coffee pot

and in the two human cups,

there’s no more predicting the future in coffee grounds

as during communist times,

at the end the cops have no trace of lipstick

in the poscommunist mornings of now.

And nevertheless black coffee is still love.

Sometimes out of our chest comes a word called oklahom,

a day-dream trace or a peel of pavor nocturnus,

but none of us knows where it comes from,

the quantic traces are living in a land with mandragores.

There’s a need for mazagran to be served in peripheral hotels

so that time can be disturbed with its pigments.

On the radio, turned on during the night, someone intones

If you endure I endure all.

Sometimes, at breaking dawn, we are remembering flashes

about the drones contest in the Dubai arena.

Morning, coffee is still love.



translated by the author






you are here near me

and already your supreme memory I cover with powder

we are watching tv like some little home animals

we are seeing dead and wounded on the screen

we are some luxury objects with dark little skin

it’s a perfect day Lou Reed

only us we know to make a homeland of our kiss

and a history of emigrants of our love

in the evening we are turning a candlelight

and its scorching dryness remains near our heart until morning

none of us believes in death anymore.



translated by the author






in america he bought her a red dress and alligator shoes. in his mind she is a wonder woman. her body attached to trinkets her neck to ribbons her hair died black. juliette binoche made in romania. she crosses the atlantic time and again drinks campari and eats raw salads. she is not a wonder woman just a real woman. that’s what the waiter at the chelsea hotel called her. she suffers like a dog and hates likewise. she does her lashes in no more no less than a minute. chewing gum and a givenchy bottle in her purse. she writes poems. she cries and laughs and dances. she bewitches. men had waited for her with limousines and wild flowers. then they told her of a dream with a book of water. she guessed their cowboy hands. i am not a wonder woman. i cannot cook. i don’t iron shirts. i keep breaking things. but i am alive. my teeth bite. my hands caress to the bone. i put my fake lashes on and i dance. just a real woman. goodnight children.



translated by Magda Cretu










Ruxandra Cesereanu was born in Cluj, Romania, on August 17, 1963. Over the last two decades, she established herself is an important Romanian poet and prose writer who has been awarded a number of literary honors. She is also Professor at the Faculty of Letters (Department of Comparative Literature) in Cluj, member of the staff of the Center for Imagination Studies (Phantasma) and director of the Creative Writing Workshops on poetry, prose and movie scripts.

Cesereanu’s prolific literary achievements begin with eight books of poetry: Gradina deliciilor / Garden of Delights (Cluj: Echinox, 1993); Zona vie / Live Zone (Cluj: Dacia, 1993); Cadere deasupra orasului / Fall Over the City (Sibiu: Transpress, 1994 – awarded the Prize for Poetry of the Writers Association in Cluj); Oceanul Schizoidian / Schizoidian Ocean (Timisoara: Brumar, 1998, and 2nd edition, Bucharest: Vinea, 2006); Venetia cu vene violete. Scrisorile unei curtezane / Venice with Violet Veins. Letters of a Courtesan (Cluj: Dacia, 2002); Kore-Persephone (Bucharest: Vinea, 2004 – which won the Prize for Poetry of the Writers Association in Cluj); Coma (Bucharest: Vinea, 2008 – awarded the Prize for Poetry of the Writers Association in Cluj); California (pe Somes) / California (upon Somesh) (Bistrita: Charmides: 2014). Cesereanu has also published two bibliophile editions: The Body–The Soul (in an edition of 20, 1998, with the artist Calin Stegerean) and California (pe Somes) / California (upon Somesh), 2014 (in an edition of 77 signed copies).

Cesereanu has also participated in producing a pair of experimental co-authored books: Submarinul iertat / Forgiven Submarine, written together with Andrei Codrescu (Timisoara: Brumar, 2007), translated in English in 2009 by Andrei Codrescu (Boston: Black Widow Press, USA); and Tinutul Celalalt / The Otherland, written together with Marius Conkan (Bucharest: Cartea Romaneasca, 2011).

Three books of Cesereanu’s poetry have appeared in English: Schizoid Ocean (translated by Claudia Litvinchievici, Binghamton: esf publishers, 1997); Lunacies (translated by Adam J. Sorkin, Claudia Litvinchievici and the poet, New York: Spuyten Duyvil / Meeting Eyes Bindery imprint, 2004); and Crusader-Woman (translated by Adam J. Sorkin, Claudia Litvinchievici, Madalina Mudure and the poet, Boston: Black Widow Press, 2008).

Books of her poetry has been translated into Italian (Coma, translated by Giovanni Magliocco, Rome: Aracne, 2012; and Venezia dalla vene viola. Lettere di una cortigiana, translated by Giovanni Magliocco, Rome: Aracne, 2015) and Hungarian (Keresztesasszony / Crusader-Woman, translated by Visky Zsolt, Koinonia, 2007).

Ruxandra Cesereanu is also the selector and hobbyist of the anthology Moods & Women & Men & Once Again Moods – An Anthology of Contemporary Romanian Erotic Poetry (Forward by Margento, Tracus Arte & Calypso Publishing House, 2015).

Ruxandra Cesereanu has produced seven books of fiction: the novel Calatorie prin oglinzi / Voyage Through Looking Glasses (novel, Cluj: Dacia, 1989); Purgatoriile / The Purgatories, a collection of short stories (Bucharest: Albatros, 1997); the novel Tricephalos (Cluj: Dacia, 2002; second edition, 2011); Nebulon a volume of short stories (Iasi: Polirom, 2005, awarded the Prize for Prose of the Lions Club); another volume of short stories, Nasterea dorintelor lichide / Birth of Liquid Desires (Bucharest: Cartea Romaneasca, 2007); Angelus (Bucharest: Humanitas, 2010); and her most recent novel, Un singur cer deasupra lor / One Sky Above All (Iasi: Polirom, 2013). One book of her prose has been translated into Hungarian: Utoferfiak / Post-Men, translated by Selyem Zsuzsa, Pecs, Jelenkor Kiado, 2009. Her novel Angelus is translated in English and published in USA în 2015 (New Orleans, Lavender Ink, 2015).

Cesereanu also has been notable for producing major research and critical monographs, with eight books of non-fiction published in the first decade of this millennium. The last until now is Fugarii – Evadari din inchisori si lagare in secolul XX / The Fugitives – Escapes from Prisons and Camps in the Twentieth Century (Iasi, Polirom, 2016, granted the PEN Romania Prize in 2017).

Ruxandra Cesereanu’s poetry has also been selected for inclusion in anthologies in English, German, Hungarian, French, Chinese, Armenian, Flemish, and Spanish. Her attainments have been noted in Who’s Who in Contemporary Woman’s Writing, edited by Jane Elridge Miller (London and New York: Routledge, 2001) and Harold B. Segel, The Columbia Literary History of Eastern Europe since 1945 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008). A more recent full-scale portrait of Cesereanu and her work can be found at


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