Ion Buzu, Nina Cassian, Nora Iuga, Aura Maru

Transitions №7

Translated from Romanian by Daniel Ionita – with assistance from Professor Daniel Reynaud, Dr Adriana Paul, Eva Foster and Rochelle Bews


Ion Buzu


3ml of Konfidor

Andrusha and I spray the potatoes.
We each have a spraying machine on our back.
The beetles formed colonies on
our potatoes,
as if they’ve discovered another planet,
or another existence sheltered
from agony, snares, and absurdity.
We spray the potatoes with 3ml of
Konfidor dissolved in 10L of water,
soon the beetles will fall, one by one,
only three hours and the beetles will feel
nauseated and will die.
They cannot vomit when feeling nauseous.
The poison is flowing down
my back and Andrusha’s,
the bloody spraying machines are
Listen Andrusha, did it ever occur to you
that somewhere up there someone is trying to
exterminate us
in the same way that we are doing with these
him spraying us with some kind of poison too,
not quite konfidor,
but with a longer-lasting efect,
so that we get very nauseated, but do not die
straight away,
and in turn, his spraying machine will also be cracked
and the poison will flow down his back.



Nina Cassian


I Wished to Remain in September

I wished to remain in September
on the beach, deserted, for example
I wished to be filled with the ashes
of cranes, my own cranes, so inconstant
the ponderous wind brings in slumber
in my tresses with water the fishnets.

I wanted to light up one evening
the cigarette whiter than moonlight
and around me – no one – save the sea
its power mysterious and solemn.

I wished to remain in September
attending the passing of time,
a hand in the trees and the other
in sand getting grizzled – and glide
at once from the summer to autumn…

But for me, it has been preordained,
it seems, more dramatic departures.
I’m doomed to be torn from the landscapes
with my soul unequipped for this shove
as I’m destined to pull out of loving
while still, I have plenty to love…



Nora Iuga


Reading the Coffee Dregs

my lord
one can no more compete today
the Japanese cup lays in shattered state
and black, the coffee dregs seem to convey
a vicious dog appearing at the gate.

the musketeers you hope that soon you'll see
three foils in their buttonhole polite
to tell you that a new poète maudit
using a garter, hanged himself last night.

the error’s in the cardinal mauve bright
which saw sweet lorelei disguised and scheming
as fishermen  were drunk and sleeping tight
while of some tigris and euphrates dreaming.

you are condemned my lord
to cultivate
for each and every day a pink carnation
in vestal paradises snakes mutate
beneath your sole your own deification.

what more a king could dream for, what indeed,
when quaint, the window’s triangle grows blue
my lord
one can no more compete today
take off and hang your coat, for that will do.



Aura Maru



late, when on the hallways the weed
smell descends towards the wooden floor,
I suddenly feel like dancing, the locals
pull back – they know the dance can
transform into punches at any time, thus,
the body of the immigrant throws to the
surface all sorts of calculations,
frustrations, comparisons, injustice was
revealed to him from all angles, like a
whore from a window in amsterdam not
even injustice, contingency, the body
tires, in the end, the brain says that things
are fine as they are and finds justification for it.
ditto the immigrant