"The King of Concrete..."
by Wojciech Boros
(translated from Polish by Daniel Bourne)

  1.     To the memory of Stanisław Gostkowski (1948-2000)
  1. The King of the Concrete now lies in Srebrzysko
  2. In his haste he forgot to bring along his poems.
  3. The umbrellas of words that weigh us down to life.
  4. The rain’s cold blade in the middle of autumn.
  5. Huddled down. Bleeding with leaves in the midst of our prayers.
  6. To hear the dull executions of shovels.
  7. The chunks of earth flowing in our eyes.
  8. The grave suffering its own illness of wreaths.
  9. We line up to light our candles,
  10. While in secret abandoning our faith.
  11. The older ones seek out their artifacts of remembrance
  12. While at this stuffy table we dry out more and more—
  1. My daughter Julia cries in the night.
  2. I look at the granite uplift of the city.
  3. The world cuts its own teeth in silence.
Packingtown Review – Vol.14, Fall 2020

Wojciech Boros was born in 1973 in Gdańsk, and for many years has been the poetry editor of the literary jouranls Bliza and Autograf. He is also been very active in promoting multicultural events in the Gdańsk literary scene, including organizing and emceeing a literary reading of Arab poets in the Gdańsk City Institute of Culture. His own collections of poetry include Nierealit górski (Mountain Non-real, 1997), Jasne i pełne (Light and Full, 2003), Złe zamiary (Bad Intentions, 2008), Pies i Pan (Dog and Master, 2014), and the audiobook Pusta noc (Vacant Night), with music by Marcin “Emitter” Dymiter.

Daniel Bourne teaches at The College of Wooster in NE Ohio, where he edits Artful Dodge, a magazine of American fiction, poetry and essay with a special interest in translation. He is currently working on an anthology of Gdańsk/Baltic Coast poets, and he was awarded a fellowship from the Polish Ministry of Culture for his work on a translation of the novel The Month Between the Hammer and the Sickle by Stanisław Esden-Tempski.

  1. Wojciech Boros
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