Two Poems by Maciej Melecki (b. 1969)

Nothing Further

A total drowning, a shallow dip, legs barely

Sticking out, limbs barely exposed and everything that is

Allegedly in place grows moist and changes

Shape. In the touch there is no dryness, though it doesn’t get wet

At first, not a particle is left

That could pierce the wooden leg or the table top with its

Beating; it is dry only on the outside where an empty cement bag


Is rolled up; in the corner of the yard — a patch of mold on the peeling

Plaster. Decomposition in the heat, a feeling like a scrap,

The light picked clean off the bone. No coming back, because what’s next

To stand, then, as if at the crossroads, next to somebody, next to a wreck,

But in the distance of half-closed eyes, clearly hearing something like

A swelling stream, in non-separation, through somehow

Stay and always go, here, in the square, a molted rhombus


Of grass, in this flattening, in a state of non-matter, a transitory

Murmur, in the tingling marrow and in the arborized circle

Of buildings, not houses, amidst the hum of swallowed scales

And the rustle of shadows where nothing reaches the summit, in the falling

And the fall, leaving with non-contact, in a strained intention

Of staying, with no opinion on any case. A pit left

By the lightning — yes, to stay there until the ensuing of ceasing, in the atrial


Fibrillation and a nervous movement, yes, now, then and some time later to have

Only later and right away. Always later, always not now, maybe

Some time later, not like this, like somebody else wants it, right now and

Immediately. Hurdy-gurdy, drums and trumpet. Spawn and scratch.

Sounds filed down, imprinted dates, a postage stamp idyll,

A wedding card, the melody of a wedding march. And then

A stray desert, a moth on a white wall, and then a blind wall.


Translated by Adam Zdrodowski




Fullness of Faults

The tip topples, the meadow flows out of horizon’s knot, nobody

Is fuller of being than shadows accumulated in buckets — that’s the way it goes,

It rubs against the wall, the eye’s grater weaves from the upper edge down, thereby thinning

The given fragment. Do not drill any further, the skeleton of light

In the tunnel will be like metal bars at its end; the hand’s empty flare will soon

Induce many lips to pout, the parings and the strands of hair will mix


In one cauldron, cement and sand will stiffen into a preburial mask,

Faced with this we will achieve an ideal cast of the given moment

We will find out together how long each one of us has till the end

Of Autumn, for the thresholds of departure already begin to snow

Into rutted measly vanishing, at the door straps are hanging dead bridles

Of meticulous work, ditches evaporating from wet nests, dry stars screeching


Up on poles more room hatches, and there will be enough swoosh

In every meantime of distance celebration, and yet meager is

This world for such obvious and populous perdition within one filing

Of the vibrating swirl, in the fishponds the granaries of fraying veils get ready

To have their tails shredded by wishes of another happy year, the steady tread toward

The increasingly known gait into gravity — this memorable


Fullness of faults. I am being drawn there by the rusted sledge ruts, into the hilarious buzz

Of portioned out pleasures on mud-stained corridors of scars, baked in

Bruises of wood grains pulped into the panel they will lay you on, the pleated ropes

They will lift you down all the way to the first handful of dust. You, ghostly

Stretch of the road, may you fast become shorter, nothing remains that could

Last in a blind hole. Defeat yourself. Bury ourselves — we must do without.


Translated by Kacper Bartczak