A Simple Story
Year of Creation: 2006 | Published: 2016-05-13 | Theme: life

closed season is ending
for layers of waste rock
for a long time I thought
it was wasted rock
that’s how everybody said it
in mining school

I wonder what Katarzyna Młynarska is doing now
she probably changed her name
her youth and good looks always seemed to embarrass her
all the mining students stared at her
her glasses glinted sternly as she assigned homework
a diagram of a mine
with shafts ramps drifts and rifts
in ink on tracing paper on the kitchen table
what torture!
straight from mining I would jump on the highway
Kalwaria-Bielsko-Skoczów-Cieszyn
travel expands the mind
there is just one Cieszyn, only divided in two
as Zbyszek firmly maintained
so the train from the Czech half to Bratislava via Zilina
did not cross any borders
and the ticket was little more than two cheese sandwiches
it’s not that I miss those days
I’m just telling how it was
with your head spinning from a night on the train
you walked over to Austria on a long bridge
under the watchful eyes of guards with submachine guns in watchtowers a Czechoslovakian customs officer discovered in my mining notebook
a mine diagram among the poems which then
I regarded much more important than shafts and ramps
Czechoslovakian customs officers were obsessed
with paper, printed or handwritten
and so was this fellow
he started digging deeper and deeper, even I was surprised
with what he was bringing to the surface
life seemed indivisible to me
I carried the same bag everywhere
things fell to the bottom like diatom shells
sedimented, compacted, etc.
now his fingers lifted up all of this like some orogenesis
that is the process of mountain formation
(I should be more careful not to use too technical words
the twentieth century with its modernisms has ended
and the angry young old fans of understandability
sharpen their birch pencils)
anyway a leaflet
with hotheaded utopian slogans
signed by one hotheaded Kurzyniec—
(Jan Riesenkampf wrote a touching poem
about the anarchist Marek Kurzyniec, if anyone is interested,
sometimes we learn interesting things from poems
sometimes we learn the name of someone’s puppy)
—in fact forgotten in the abyss of my bag
sedimented, compacted, cemented—
once lifted by the orogenesis of the officer’s Finders
grew to the size of a dramatic mountain
of international anti-state propaganda
the officer started running madly with it
from one customs officer to another
they tried to ignore him
and one said, what’s your problem?
this is from Polska where this is normal now
it was mid-fall
in less than three weeks the alliteration
Havel to the Hrad would become a reality
nobody knew it yet but all sensed it
finally after two hours someone came
and told me to get lost

what happened then? I think highway A4 to Vienna
and then down south on the A2
but then what happened to this story?
what’s the moral
how does the closed season end
for the layers of wasted rock?
well, if I knew
I would tell you.
 

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