Photography: ©JStadnicki, 2018
Photography: ©JStadnicki, 2018
‘The Unmoving is a dark and delicious exploration of post war landscape.
Maria Stadnicka’s beautifully crafted lines cut like a knife,
her poems come to the page like water from a deep well, only the well has been poisoned. Masterfully succinct and shrouded in Stadnicka’s trademark sense of mystery,
The Unmoving is as vivid a poetry chapbook as you’re ever likely to read.’ (Broken Sleep Books, 2018)
Ward 7H. The spring jumped on me. Donald broke a leg in the playground. The nurse ‘nitialled his file and admitted him last week. We spen’ the evenins playin’ cards. After dinner, I give ‘im chemistry equations and leave ‘im to it. But let’s continue the session.
I’m telling ya, doctor, I’m defined by objects lost in a train carriage. I am sayin’ this only to you, not to ‘hem, but I know they can read my thoughts anyway. I just know it. A burst of laughter chokes me. I zip it. My arm is num’, my smile too. Donald is watching. He breeves down my neck and I know he is smokin’ behind the curtains. The ward is full of ash. I can hear his lung. Aren’t you tired, mate? ‘Cause I am. The night guard watches. ‘come play wif me’ over a cuppa. Overall quiet.
I’m defined, as I said, by lost fings. I lost a revolver, some stamps, an umbrella. Some childhood pho’os and my dog, Derek. A plastic ruler, my dad’s jacket, my eyeglasses. A few other fings. It could be thirty or so bits of ‘istory. Stop starin’, doc’, you make me itch all over.
I’ve only known Don for a few days but I can tell he is a good egg. He ain’ talkin’ much now as he used to in 2017. Kindda lost his shine a bit, his hairs, but he’s watchin’ over me like a God. I’ve started prayin’ to him now and he’s chuffed. He likes me. This morning he came by my bed and gave me a present. A nuclear boomerang. Hallelujah!
Published in ‘International Times’, available here.
©Maria Stadnicka, 2018
via Picket Line
I wanna protest
against Trump but mama says
I’ve got eczema,
there’s ironing left
the lawn, the beds,
scrub the stairlift,
move the mouse-trap from A to B
once I’ve finished with that I should
make a start at
Seventy-quid-train-fare should feed us all
the week after the picket.
I wanna protest
against mama but Trump
turned the noise right up
in my slum we think
earmuffs should do
she has a whole load of washing
my homework needs checking
for subversive context
a neighbour lost a cat and
she’s now on the phone with 111.
I am not heard.
@Maria Stadnicka, 2018
– unedited preview from ‘The Unmoving’ coming out next month at Broken Sleep Books, published this morning in ‘International Times’:
I imagined the return at the end of my sentence
on a street in Moscow
thinking the worst was already over.
[ more to follow…]
When I was a child and lived in an overheated three-bedroom second floor flat, my brothers used to make water bombs. They would fill plastic bags up with cold tap water, tightly knot them, and throw them over the bedroom window every time they would see a pretty girl crossing the alleyway underneath. The water splashed all over the victim and they laughed their heads off, behind curtains. This detail came to mind watching the Brexit process taking place, month by month.
On reflection, the ‘hahaha-hihihi’ is coming this time from Downing Street as I get on with my form-filling life.
It’s has been hot recently (anyone noticed?!), even I can admit to that, and I’m used to Siberian summers. However, the heated discussions among the ministerial flock have raised the warning level from orange to red as nobody seems to have a clear view-point, nor an exit plan or a rescue package. It feels more and more like we’ve all been hoarded up into a long-haul flight, with a crew of unqualified attendants. In case of crash, it’s going to be ‘each to their own’.
Earlier in the week, the BBC mentioned how the PM is risking a revolt (I wish!) if the ‘type of Brexit she promised is not delivered’. Come on, Duncan, calling the PM ‘insolent’ on Twitter will not bring a velvet revolution. When Tusk issued a ‘last call’ at last week’s summit in Brussels, he didn’t mean your plane to the Maldives was about to take off. He meant business as you were about to sip another cooling lemonade. Last Saturday, a ‘livid’ Gove physically ripped up a report (did he really?!) for a new customs partnership with the EU. Qui prodest?
I get to understand miss Vicky when she said we needed a ‘practical, pragmatic deal that gives certainty to business and trade… not an ideological one’. The only things with it is …. everything on paper stays on paper and, therefore, is ideological. I’m back, for now, to reading Nausea. It makes, by far, a clearer point.
We are about to leave, I’ve got used to the idea by now, but there isn’t a destination on sight. We might find ourselves flying over the European economic space until the engine runs out of fuel. And then, let’s see who’s got a parachute.
©Maria Stadnicka, July 2018
published in ‘International Times’ / 3rd July 2018