Thought

Just before midnight, in the unpreventable moment

my mother woke up to give birth to me,

I jumped out and spilt her blood on the floor.

 

My first angry poem, scream at the top of my lungs,

in the pale room.

 

A dormant city blessed the muddy wreath above the cradle

and

asked me to keep the noise down.

 

Mother went back to bed.

 

The following day I learnt to

write on white walls with red letters.

 

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Games During the Cold War

The winter Clara and I secretly discovered socialism

we had nothing left in the house

that was worth burning.

 

The frost surrounded the bedroom,

we talked to keep warm

and I suggested to write on the walls.

 

We used the kitchen knife to sharpen crayons

and kept at it for a couple of hours.

‘All western countries, enemies of the people!

Kill the foreigners!

Kill Ronald Reagan!’

I thought Ro-nald was such a bad name

for a man who never wrote children books,

probably he deserved to die.

 

My spelling was not very good at that age,

so the room filled with rainbows instead.

Clara and I laughed.

 

At that point, we felt hungry and I remembered

mother kept the bible covered with cloth

on top of the fridge

so I lifted the shiny red cover, sliced it in very small pieces

and added water and salt.

The feast carried on for a bit.

 

Clara and I chewed with determination several chapters.

We almost got half way through

when I read: ‘Then there shall be a time of trouble …for

every one that shall be found written in the book.’

 

And then, in the middle of our small apartment,

the game stopped.

I went back to the wall

and changed the words around.

‘Ro-land, orphan but free’.

piazza-del-duomo-milano-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photograph: @John Stadnicki, ‘Piazza’, 2016

 

Soldiers

The dreadful day we had feared

arrived at last. Possibly March the first.

At the picket line.

We held hands with the same familiar tenderness

maybe shared the same memories witnessing

the course of events as the revolution unravelled.

With a kind of regret my fist hit

the walls of a prison surrounded by weaved carpets.

With photographs stored in books

different directions awaited.

Never to see each other again.

mm

Fractal

At night I can only look at you
through a keyhole.
Sitting on one knee, on the floor,
I go on writing my thoughts
on pieces of cloth.
Locked in a motionless day
I keep busy
cutting my memory in perfect squares
to check how small
you became over the years.
I measure and trim
the infinite distance
between the rooms in my heart
with blunt scissors
and wish
we had more time or at least
we had more courage
or beauty.
But all we did in those days was sleep.
We were very good at keeping quiet
until the moment
silence, at last, settled in.

2015/01/img_3982.jpg Photo: John Stadnicki

Childhood memories, identity and games – Open Studios Exhibition, May 2014, Stroud Arts Festival

The exhibition for the Open Studios, Stroud Arts Festival, May 2014 is now open to the public in Stroud (http://www.sitefestival.org.uk) and it will be open the following two weekends in Rita Fenning’s studio. (http://ritafenning13.wix.com/ritafenning-web)

The address is: Fieldside, Brimscombe GL5 2SW, Stroud.

You will see a selection of installations, collages, artist books Rita has produced inspired by my poems ‘Birthday Present’, ‘Family Photograph, ‘Lesson of Admiration’, ‘Games’ and ‘The Warm Bones’.

You can watch a video I made and listen to me reading the poems, with a selection of photographs produced by John Stadnicki (http://www.johnstadnicki.co.uk/Site/Welcome.html) for my collection ‘A Short Story about War’.

Here is a preview with some of the exhibited art work and a fragment with my reading. The video contains photographs produced by the artist John Stadnicki.

Many thanks to the sound manager Marc Fairclough from South Gloucestershire and Stroud College and to the video editor, the artist Clare Bottomley. (http://www.saatchiart.com/account/artworks/149322)

Games The Warm Bones project-rita1

Poems: Maria Butunoi

Installations: Rita Fenning

The exhibition will be open during the Open Studios Festival, May 2014.

 

A new collaboration with the artist Rita Fenning, part of The Open Studios, Site Festival, Stroud, Gloucestershire, May 2014

The 18th edition of The Site Festival, Stroud Gloucestershire, starts on the 1st May 2014 and it will bring a dynamic programme of visual arts, performance, music, screening and open studios. The artist-led festival promotes collaborations and projects including a wide range of visual media, ceramics, textiles and poetry.
http://www.sitefestival.org.uk

My collaboration with the artist Rita Fenning for the Open Studios http://ritafenning13.wix.com/ritafenning-web explores the concepts of ‘memory’ and ‘identity’, in an attempt to define and compare childhood stories and games in two different cultures, British and Romanian during the Cold War.

Rita has produced a series of artist books and installations as well as a doll’s house which will be the centre of a new exhibition open to the public in her studio. The exhibition is part of The Open Studios Festival which will be launched on Friday, 9th May 2014.
http://www.sitefestival.org.uk/2014%20support%20material/OS%20Directory%202014%20for%20Web%20v2.pdf

The exhibition in Rita’s studio will be open to the public on 10th, 11th, 17th and 18th May 2014.
A preview with some of the included work and video clip, to follow shortly.

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Early Memory

Just before midnight, in the unpreventable moment
When my mother woke up to give birth to me
I jumped out and
Spilt all her blood on the floor.
That was my first angry poem
Which I screamed at the top of my voice
In the pale room.
I had good lungs. The doctor’s verdict.
But the still asleep city shhhed me and
Asked to turn the noise down.
Mother went back to bed.
The following day I learnt to
Write on white walls with red letters.

20131203-222056.jpg
Photo: Georgiana Calinescu-Barber