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3 Romanian Poets Elena Vladareanu  Ruxandra Novac  Adrian Urmanov

The Red Ceilings Press MMX [rcp 7]

3 Romanian Poets

Elena Vladareanu  Ruxandra Novac  Adrian Urmanov

Edited by S. J Fowler

3 Romanian Poets Though the history of Romanian poetry in the last hundred years can be arguably defined by figures that appear as prophets, or mystics perhaps, (Bacovia, Eminescu, Sorescu and by birth Celan) and take on the roles of unbounded figures, that in their mystery as much as their work come to represent the romantic idea of Romanian soul or poetic vernacular, there remains a stringent sense of tradition within contemporary poetry circles at large. Romania can be a conservative country politically as well as culturally. Almost inevitably as the globalised world adapts, and the youngest postCeaucescu generation gains access to the developments of poetry across the world there will be experimentation and rebellion. In many countries, this would be embraced, absorbed, even ignored. The cadre of younger poets represented here has sprung up in direct opposition to the limits of rhyme and metre, establishing themselves poets in the face of their nation’s cultural milieu. They have not been welcomed in doing so, yet their work is unmissably valuable – caustic, cynical, adroit, sharp, they have maintained the dark humour so prevalent under dictatorship but with it they have a voice of anger, of disbelief and of liberation. The three most prominent of these poets, Elena Vladareanu, Adrian Urmanov and Ruxandra Novac, all once part of the literary groupings that grew around the University of Bucharest around the millenium, are presented here to mark the occasion of the first 3am magazine Maintenant series reading, in which London will have a chance to witness the poetic vitality emerging from a new Romania. SJ Fowler

Elena Vladareanu From the collection ‘private space’ eating myself I’m a word beginning with “pu” one I can’t pronounce, to hell with it Eve Ensler and that world-wide mob of sweet cunts that keep the vagina cult. yeah! I’m a word beginning with “pu” making reference to that place between the legs. I’m your tongue. I’ll slap you one on the face. when you least ex pect it. I’m your good tongue for licking the wound. I’m your wonderful rom anian tongue. I’m only milk and honey. You desire a neutral tongue a language in which “I” can’t have sex a tongue un sullied and sexy moving all over I am old traditional and full of mud.

Saturday we wake up at 9 drink coffee in bed read later watch a movie take a trip to the market buying vegetables fish fruit an expensive wine cook something not too complicated eat around 3 we get back in bed doze half and hour before we have sex drink coffee with milk dress up and head into town see another movie we read two-three more pages before bedtime exchange two or three words. sometimes we run the vacuum get out mop bucket plastic gloves sponges cleaning solution for wood floors cleaning solution for sinks cleaning solution for glass. we read two-three more pages before bedtime exchange two or three words. other times we meet up with a friend for two-three hours tell stories from work drinking together maybe ten beers and he tells us what girl he’s been fucking try to figure out if we know her or not then we all get in a cab. translated by Martin Woodside

Elena Vladareanu was born 1981 and graduated from the Faculty of Letters in Bucharest and has worked as a journalist since 2001. In 2002, she published her first volume The confessions of the distinguished lady m. The collection Pages followed in the same year with fissures being issued by Pontica in 2003. In 2005, Elena Vladareanu was awarded a creative scholarship in Berlin and released europe, ten funeral songs. Her latest collection is private spaces.

Ruxandra Novac …from ecograffiti. pedagogical poems. flags on towers and your gestures are sweat and your words – solid blood And they work with them bearings, spark plugs, screws without knowing they’re crocheting your life out of the neon lights of the city a wedding – corrugated and grotesque But I know everything I’ve seen how they unbury their dead every morning from the red latrines of the city and kiss them on the mouth with the wonder of the little girl who opens up a doll and sees its liver, its heart, its kidneys Because I live here in the centre of the disaster and I’ve seen I, antonin artaud, my father and mother and I myself

… from like a small fence, like metallic lace Bucharest opens like a huge syphilitic flower and I know that nothing, nothing can any longer prevent the disaster of the rags of my twetny three year old mind Neither the holiness of Tanger, nor the narcosis, nor the butterflies groping their way in slaughterhouses, terrifying the workers. None of all these Neither the training, nor the small churches, nor the sex of the city raping the night nothing Only the silence of a drowned dog floating down the river, in the sun in my body there is a place where they come on motorbikes and a place to attract insects and in the left arm – a place to carry out sacrifices the skin explodes sometimes like in a city a bomb after war – and then they come and camouflage the places with wool and – because I wanted to learn sometimes they do it wrong and use something else – sometimes artificial snow and – because I wanted to learn they brought my pills and I swallowed them and slowly they all mixed up inside me and behave yourself and behave yourself don’t torture people and animals     Ruxandra Novac was born in 1980, studied at the University of Bucharest and has released two collections of poetry.

Adrian Urmanov sushi now you talk you utter your warmth and fear. and the lamp swallows its light. and the room wraps itself in silence like the room of a newborn and no breeze moves any further and I stop the beatings of my heart and my face is cemented in the definition of abandonment and agreement to be maltreated to be killed because right now your finger gently caresses the table cloth and that drawing is the wonderful face of the soul

sshhh‌ (I look for a guilt / I look for a guilty one / somewhere a big mess happened. someone / did evil to me / sometimes these thoughts take all my day sometimes this / consumes my whole heart) one of those days / when I was a boy and / I had beautiful morning and things / that made me happy / there was / a certain someone / in a particular situation / who turned a key in my brain / my soft / morning brain / my brain filled with beautiful things and / since then started this MACHINERY which later on I could never stop. if only I had a gun / if I could arm / and shoot if this world could one day TOMORROW build some kind of link between me and that certain someone)

Adrian Urmanov studied at the Academy of Economic studies in Bucharest, the Pushkin Institute in Moscow, the University of Warwick and currently the University of Durham. He has published five collections of poetry Canonical flesh (Pontica 2001) Utilitarian Poems (Pontica 2003) Skeleton (Pontica 2004) Cheap Literature (Vinea 2005) and Sushi (2007).

The Red Ceilings Press

MMX [rcp ]

3 Romanian Poets  

A sampler of the work of 3 exciting contemporary Romanian poets