28.1.10

Midnight and Something

Rush hours hurry up very often
Many minutes can't compete with a single
Second spent after late night
As it may happen
When something sudden shatters
And settles down for a brief longer moment
starring as the walk-on actor
Caught in another
World weary ring-a-ring-o'roses.

25.1.10

How To Resign Graciously

I wonder why
wonder how wonder what's
next.
I do apologize
and care and drop and give
up.
To whom it concerns
no will to sentence.

24.1.10

The Blank State

Wrapped up in whatever
There's no need to quicken our pace
As a break never happens
In each single step we may take

The Copywriter

Sirs,
I would prefer not to
make your own advertisement
with my part-time temporary contract
for the relief of an unbearable urge
that made you call me "words director"
of your forthcoming strategic campaign
coordinating by chance
a wider and younger creative team
in order to persuade
readers, listeners, viewers
rather than asking for our overtime extras
Sirs,
I would prefer not to
work on this purpose on the following list:
tv and radio commercials, scripts
press releases and sales letters,
catalogs, billboards, brochures
direct mails, pieces, taglines
jingle lyrics, web page contents
white pages and postcards.
I hereby specify that this decison of mine
is not to confuse with an act of rebellion.
But still
as a result of these afore-mentioned factors
there is no more storytelling or
big ideas shaping and no more slogan selling
I will work on as a copywriter,
thus from now on
you would prefer to
consider me just a below the line resource.

9.1.10

Janusz Korczak - King Matt the First


Rating 7.5

As far as I know, King Matt the First is a novel for children like no one other around. I was particularly glad to get this book as a present from my girlfriend.
Being rather fond of Polish literature lately, I have to confess how I had never heard before about this book as well as its author.
This ignorance of mine made the surprise even greater.

And yet, King Matt is apparently a milestone in children books in Poland, while Janusz Korczak himself was a famous pedagogist with an interesting personal story and brave ideas on how to educate the young generations.

What I appreciated of this book is the way it treats its young readers. There is no need to hide unpleasant things of life like war, death or even bad-mouth speaking behind a marzipan made curtain. Korczak explains many things in a patient and peculiar way skilfully managing to don't be didactical or paternalist.
Of course there is a moral also behind King Matt the First, but children are required to get it by themselves, page after page.
At the same time boys (this book may bore girls, I guess) grew up somehow with Matt who's not the succesful young hero he could have been, but as a child makes mistakes and sometimes behaves irrationally and with impulsiveness.

Another thing I liked is Korczak ability in being modern. He wrote this book in the 1920s and set up war descriptions based partly on WWI put also anticipating some aspects of WWII. There are automobiles, planes, strategic seaports to get and a key-role played by the mass media.
I confess how I was almost falling off from my chair when I read about "red flags" punctuating a strike parade and being explained has "the flag of workers worldwide". Finding those lines in a children book without any socialist message hidden somewhere was a pleasant thrill.

As a reader of the English version, I had the impression of a very good and careful translation with just a few forgetfulnesses while leaving some things in original Polish and others not. I mean, I don't think many people out of Poland knows that the "kielbasa" is a kind of sausage, while choosing to change the name of the protagonist from Maciuś to Matt, I don't get why other typical names such as Tomek, Felek, etc. were left the same.

But, hey! This is just pedantry of mine: on the whole I highly enjoyed this book. And if I had a 5-6 years old son/daughter I would probably try to read him/her the adventures of King Matt the Reformer. There would surely be many questions to answer in order to explain how many grown-up things work, but whys are the salt of childhood.

Catapult

All down then
up, up, Up!
heave ho!
Then once again
down.
No states between
it may take just a minute:
somersault
done.

This see-saw gives us
a sort of awkward
balance
Up!
Down!
backwards and forwards
let's cover
The longer distance we can
With a single unwilled
effort
No matter where we will
Fall.
Does it always matter having
a goal?
You better not cross
our flight path.

7.1.10

The Suitcase Syndrome

There is so much that has to be left
too many things I would like
to regret
as soon as I will get
out of this timeless place,
refreshed – I guess
by a forthcoming longed-for emptiness
And yet
at the moment I stare at them – they blink at me
like that, like this – have you seen it?
Bring them on, if you can!
Ah, all these thought-provoking odds and ends
those knick-knacks with a soul by their own
unfolded mementos exposed
doing their parade on my
bad-made bed,
they look so naked, so vulnerable but still
so familiar ready-made willing stuff
unbearable
it's just bric-à-brac wishing for
an extra backpack – that one, yes
I can't get.

6.1.10

On Coal

We sleep, we dream, we draw
(castles in the sky, their marzipan walls)
above a wooden platform
also known as "the ground floor"
below us lies the basement
a second and forbidden home
we can walk on its ceiling
standing on the shoulders of beams,
like Gods, Emperors or even better
a whole Sweepers Brigade made of two.
Word of mouth says
there's a kingdom downstairs
with Royal gates, but not for all
(we know where)
There we were told to store
all the coal we needed
for the rest of the season
shovelling deep
in a mountain where breath
has to be kept behind our teeth.
That's all the coal they actually need
because as for us
this occupation is hard labour
merely a treason played for a purpose
then we both say:
(whispering to each other, undercover)
Down With the Tyrants!
Someday
we will inherit what we might reign over
hereby the promise
that no other coal peak
will cast its black choking shadow
on our Free Basement Kingdom.