Lingua Franca

Installation ©Maria Stadnicka

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Habitatum

Photograph: ©John Stadnicki

I bring white little stones from the market

and place them, like pills, in long straight lines on my desk.

 

Although full of stuff, my body lives at the top floor –

with a view towards a perfect car park.

 

I watch the beheadings through a narrow hole in the sky

and

I point a fully-loaded gun against the world.

 

The earth rests

suspended between wild heavens and landscaped gardens.

 

And yet the sun is still rising above the silent bell ropes,

hanging loose among people who stand up to

look at the death pit as if

nothing has happened.

 

©Maria Stadnicka

 

First published in Your One Phone Call, Wales, available here

(August, MMXVII)

Miss Susan Warlord Ibrahim

Photograph: @Maria Stadnicka

For many years, I had received no letters, no news. I had my tea at six, I went to bed at ten. I had good dreams, lined with bleached fabric, well-ironed. Stark. I had a dog, I had a cat and that was all. But it was Susan who called me ‘dearest’ in a long-winded email, sent from her West African google account. Susan whose father had recently died. On Thursday 28th April 2011. In a fight with the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast. She admitted she had found me through the internet and that I would see the whole thing as a pleasant surprise. She wore blue, she said, and came to me with a business proposition. As she was looking for a long-term relationship and for investment assistance, Susan promised me a hefty fifty percent. If only I said ‘yes’, if only I agreed to kiss her back with my account, to help her find a way around a hundred million. Miss Susan Warlord Ibrahim at gmail dot com. She loved me. She did. Every day for a month, at half past seven, her love arrived in my spam box. I thought to write her back and call it off; or just to ask if she had considered pet allergies. And send her a detailed review which looked at the recent increase in reported cases of British dermatitis. But Mondays and Tuesdays, between eight and nine, I work to correct the grammar errors in my final draft. One hundred and twenty pages so far. And still writing.

 

On the Move

piazza-gae-aulenti-milano-2
If the time reflects on us
such a terrible burden,
we pretend that it is
only one way out but
it is simply not true.
Not allowed to assume the world on the move,
not allowed the reality of an argument
we might have had with Nietzsche before bedtime.
Now, when a revolution is almost unavoidable
the children endure for us
the refusal to kneel down
in a confession which faces a wall, not a god.

With Naked Eye

On the way to the palace
I paused and thought for a moment whether my fresh linen coat
Was really appropriate for her majesty;
My feverish hand brushed the pristine fitted jacket and checked
The size of the buttons,
As golden big studs would have looked rather disgusting
To her well trained eye.
It started raining so I had to turn back
As I quickly gathered that my attire would get soaked
And rather mouldy;
So, to avoid a rather embarrassing situation for both of us,
I thought I’d better try a wet suit instead.
Surely I looked better in a suit than a jacket but
I could not find suitable shoes to go with it
And the rain wasn’t that bad after all.
I was by then very late and rushing
To get a front row seat
When suddenly after a short deliberation
I realised with clarity that her majesty appreciated
Me
For who I was
Rather than my fashion sense
So I took the Lycra skin off and
Rushed outside naked in the broad daylight.
The police stopped me
Just as I was about to call for a taxi.
Even to the day I think
Honest people should be treated with more respect
And I secretly believe that
Her majesty needs a good dose of
Postmodern reality check.