Irina-Roxana Georgescu, translated by Corina Moise Poenaru

Corina Moise Poenaru is deputy principal and English teacher at Technical College Buzău. Her academic work focuses on ESP, pursuing a PHD in Applied Linguistics at the “Lower Danube” University of Galați, Romania.

BACK IN BUCHAREST. BACK IN SOLITUDE

We are listening to Oasis. One more day of holiday?

(We can’t afford an extra day.)

Shortsighted Sun. We each talk about our interests. About Marius Voinea and

Dominique Fernandez,

the first gay accepted in the French Academy. About Pasolini’s life. About the grandmother 

at the end of the alley, holding her grandchildren by the hand. About testimonies 

made to the absent father. About Vasko Popa.

Loneliness without a crack.

Loneliness carried away.

Remembrance of the Caribbean Sea breeze through the hair of smoke.

Calcified waiting on the cox bones, on the luminous femur.

The shadows of the night are surrounding me.

My Life – road-movie.

(I want to watch again the scene where Mads Mikkelsen returns 

limping in the shop and beats up those who have punched him, 

demanding his shopping.

Men with shoulders and azure eyes in a Danish film.)

I wondered through rain for two hours after I left you at 

the airport. I changed four buses in the muddy Bucharest.

Cold, humid, loneliness. On the kitchen table: 

confiture, two cups of unfinished coffee. Then the image 

of the taxi in the rain. Our picture, under the dome of the iron and 

glass installation shielded by surveillance cameras.

Ridicule apartment blocks under the bald sky.

Neighbors in their narrow flats preparing food, doing their laundry, 

nagging their children, they feel a sense of loneliness too, for sure.


The elementary notions are permanently blacken out

by the stubs of this day.

I’m a gray Tillandsia under a glass dome.

Translated from Romanian by Corina Moise-Poenaru

APPLICATION VI. PRADO AL REVÉS

I spend regularly a small fortune

on cosmetics and jewelry.

I can feed on my whimsicals a village in Africa.

But in the persistent light of Madrid,

where the sun sets only sequentially,

these handsome women

light cigarette after cigarette, without getting into routine,

accepting with great weight

that the sun would collapse like a Tesla car on their eyelids, on their

naughty breasts, on the firm shaft.

I feel like an impostor.

A tourist dreams

the same penitence of eternal beauty.

And these women can choose another place

to tame illusions.

Infinite mirrors carry them through silver and crystal chambers.

Translated from Romanian by Corina Moise-Poenaru

APPLICATION XV

Tinarewen sounds discreetly in the white room.

Here’s a story about freedom and power games.

In the honeymoon we will go to Latin America.

We’ll tattoo our eyelids, neck and shoulders.

We will seek peace and quiet.

An Argentinian maté, a chimarrão or a cimarrón will drink

like the Tupí people and we will nest in the sweet fear

of Ruhala Reznik or the characters of Borges or Cortázar.

We’re in Wonder Wheel, baby,

we go downhill on the spiral arms

of the flow of danger.

On the detailed map of cold matter, we hunt caimans in the black

lagoon,

anaconda, piranha, small fish

as our late fears.

A continuous cycle of transformation of life.

On the way home, the only bus is overcrowded.

I walk in the urban mud and I feel like a well-preserved corps, bathed

in formaldehyde, cut into each laboratory:

necrotic skin, eyes free of any sparkle.

I leave thermal prints on the cold glass,

in the stomach of the animal that contains me and is continuously

rumbling.

Bodies once disposed of heat, then opened as a gift box

every day, no longer transmit anything in the

continuous gesturing of the disease.

`You know that half of them

would give their life

to have

at least ¼ of your

serenity, with all your insomnia and panic.`

In front of the gate, we saw each other. Two strangers

broke into Plaza Bib-Rambla

the illusion of the Andalusian summer.

I plunged into the Jewish district of Granada,

I was wearing the white summer dress and the yellow hat under which

no one knew me. We have tasted Sangria in the shop of the Algerian

from the garden of Alhambra. I laughed all the time, free of a sickly

attachment. I walked under the vaults of jasmine, hyacinth and palm

trees as a Moorish empress.

In Europe, only Belarus continues to execute convicts.

They just disappear from the face of the earth,

as if they had never existed.

A single executioner pulls a bullet in their head,

a single executioner chooses the place and the moment

in which execution takes place.

Translated from Romanian by Corina Moise-Poenaru

LOVELESS

Next to the black coffee, the arabesques of the handwriting.

I retrace the main moments of the week, but

nothing is memorable.

We are, most of us, versions of Borys and Zhenya.

It is snowing. The empty yard, at the edge of the lake, the slush

that keeps track of indifferent or just

tired steps, the hundreds of gulls on the Colentina sky surround the

deserted & frozen streets as disarticulated limbs: imperfect frames of a

Zvyagintsev film.

We are the mad kings of Corneliu Baba, dragging our misery into the

statistics of undifferentiated days.

We deposit bloody ads on shelves,

the most varied range of products

in the whirl of summer promotions – autumn – winter.

We live our loneliness at maximum speed.

We regulate our emotions.

The image of the Philopappos pine forest grown from the cliffs and

mosaics under our hurried steps, dreaded for a while by the flavor of

citrus and olive trees:

we live the blind panic of an animal that struggles beyond the harsh

hills, beaten by the winds.

My life is not in the past.

The locusts jumping out of the luggage, scattering pieces of chocolate

and

pistachios over maps and travel guides.

I read The End of Attila Bartis and I’m going to ask you:

‘Are you happy?’

I run my fingers on your face, but your mouth does not smile.

Your face becomes fainter and fainter for me.

I want to live in a Chinese box, not in this room,

not in this city.

‘Let everything I put inside disappear. As if it would have never have existed.

In vain I look for it, I can only realize from its weight that everything I

put inside is there’ says Éva Zárai.

The woman lies on one side with her knees gathered under her chin.

I close my eyes over the image of the gulls that plunge,

rise, fly.

Translated from Romanian by Corina Moise-Poenaru

Irina-Roxana Georgescu

Born in 1986 in Romania.

She obtained a PhD in Philology (2016) at the University of Bucharest, with a thesis on the influence of Western criticism on Romanian literary criticism (1960-1980).

She worked as a French-language editor at the Euresis – Literary and Cultural Studies Magazine (2009-2013). 

She publishes poetry and literary studies in various magazines in Romania and abroad.

Translations of her poems appeared in Serbian, in French, in Spanish and in Italian.

Writings: Intervalle ouvert (L’Harmattan, Paris, 2017), Noțiuni elementare [Elementary Notions] (Cartea Românească, Bucharest, 2018.)

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