All these people speaking of the revolution are
empty—their fingers and elbows
cremated in secret by Ceausescu
in that sainted January—all
we talk now is the future
EU prices, Belgian tourists, and low interest loans.

But you are the only one reading my poems before
I publish them (if I ever do); there is no
other Authority in the studio-apartment
we proudly possess in the milltown outskirt.
“You seem so disengaged with your literature—
engagé,” this is how you sometimes chaff me
in the cold mornings.

Yes, that’s right, maybe I’ve run out of
patience, we have certainly run out of cigarettes
and the latter, as Cioran used to say

hold more fire than the Gospels in our blessed country.

Chris Tanasescu is a Romanian poet and translator. His second collection of poems is forthcoming this autumn from Versus Publishers (Iasi). He has also launched two multimedia CDs with Margento—an internationally acclaimed band that won the Fringiest Event award at Buxton Fringe (UK) 2005. He lives in Bucharest with his beautiful wife Raluca.

Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former USSR, and came to the USA in 1993. He is the author of Dancing in Odessa, which won the Whiting Writers Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters Metcalf Award, and was named the “Best Poetry Book of 2005” by ForeWord Magazine.

Martin Woodside is currently working as an Assistant Editor at Poetry International. Martin has published a number of children’s books, and his poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Limestone, Poetry Motel, The Hazmat Review, and the Conncecticut River Review.


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