Paweł Kuziemski

Drink Ovid, Drink

I live next to a rubbish dump,
an ideal place to learn Latin.
So I tried and I was lucky:
among broken glasses and
crushed cans, I found an Ovid.

His fingers were broken like bottles.
His eyes, his letters, were grey
and faded like beer labels.
His robe was torn like the paper
which covered his heart.
And his skin was nothing more
than decaying trash bags of muses.

I felt sorry for him. He, the great
poet, he – the book of love - was
nothing more than another bit of rubbish
left to be forgotten, smiling slightly
and drinking the rain’s cheap wine.

I felt sorry, so I tried to help him.
I wanted to grab him, but my hands
were small and I was weak.
There was nothing I could do
when he was taken by the old man
in a bright jacket.

If only I were talented enough
to express the precision in Mr. Tulp’s eyes,
or to say how that little crowd is happy
that they are still alive and someone is dead.

Every inch of an arm is followed with interest,
not even to mention, how proud Tulp is
that the show of science and death
hit the painting headlines.

But I doubt my talent.
I can’t see the beauty of corpses.
I barely notice a few mortals trying to solve
the eternal riddle of the body.

And the only thing that speaks to me
is the wise book in the corner. Calmness madly
driven into my heart. That life is like a page:
from top to bottom. Simple as that.

Therefore, being the one who holds the scissors
is like being thrilled in the crowd,
which is not so different from being cut.
It’s only a matter of time.

So the books know that life is life,
science is science, Tulp is Tulp,
body is body and death is death.
And there is no riddle to be solved.

When I Have to Write

Yesterday, while looking for a poem,
I looked through my window.
I saw five big, black cats hunting
a snake (poor creature surrounded by
the fur and tails of scorn).

One of them held a golden dagger –
almost as big as its paw.
The other one held a big axe and
the third one was shooting a gun.

The snake had no chance, but it had to try.

It bit one of the cats, and for a second
I thought that a miracle would happen.
It didn’t. The dagger was too short, the axe
missed, but the gun was sure.
Just a small hole in the reptile’s head.
Soon after, the cats were dancing
on his very fresh grave.

I closed my eyes. “It couldn’t be real,"
I said to myself. So when I looked again,
I noticed only five fingerprints and a bit
of dirt that someone left on the glass.
Everything is a matter of focus. And the only
thing I could see was my horrified reflection.

About the Author

Paweł Kuziemski is a Polish writer, poet and playwright. He writes about everything unusual because - as he claims - “the most important purpose of writing is to have it written.” He recently completed a Creative Writing Master’s at Lancaster University, and he is currently preparing for his Ph.D. Like all good writers, he owns a cat, and he is not afraid to use it (but most of his friends say that the truth is that the cat owns him!).