First Aid

The patient doesn't want to collaborate:
his reluctant behavior cannot
be tolerated any longer.
Pray, make sure he gives all that up
surrendering his naughty body
to those who will heal it.
We're not here to hurt anyone, my dear
please stay where you are, stand still
arms up, tongue out, breathe in. 

Praga North, some time ago


Business As Usual

One day in the life of a corporate man
goes from 9am to 5pm
plus some overtime hours if he cares at all
for another coffee chasing a cigarette break
again and again.
One week in the life of a corporate man
goes from Monday to Friday
weekends are sacred, but for the underlings
fresh faced privates pursuing a career
in vain, just in vain.
One month in the life of a corporate man
goes from week 1 to week 4
minus any annual leave he may get
waiting for payslip til the twentyseventh 
is insane, so insane.
One year in the life of a corporate man
goes from April to March
due to fiscal reasons he won't object
this time he knows what happens next:
his bane, his bane. 


Targowa Six By Nine

The building dates back to nineteen sixty-three
at that time it was the jewel of a bare crown
for those were difficult days down in Praga North
where and when horsedrawn carts roamed free.

Whatever stood here before the building rose up
nobody in Warsaw seem to know for sure
if I spoke their same language, I could ask better
and perhaps gaining access to an old battered cupboard
along one wall of a single roomed pre-war flat
there at the very first floor of a tenement house
What treasure I've found! What treasure I'm shown!
It's a thick crispy stack of Praga North photographs.

I see long bygone people and many things past
I see the parallel scalpels of straight trolley tracks
cut open the wet slabs of stone of once paved streets
I see you and I see who could have seen me
had I moved to the building back in nineteen sixty-three.

Targowa AD 1968


An Escapade in Radość

There happens to be a village
named “Happiness”
a half-dozen train stops
from my gentrified flat
down in the leafy outskirts
of the Polish capital.
Pinewoods and kindergartens
workers wearing orange
semi-fluorescent overalls
busying themselves fixing fences
whose spikes challenge those of
the half-hidden parish church
caught between the latest wedding
and the last goodbye of a funeral.
Amen. It's Monday morning:
Happiness townsfolk walk past
drive fast, speed up.
Behind heavy curtains, someone
keeps careful track, looks out
for the wandering stranger.