Poems by Andrei Guruianu (Romania)
Published in The Ofi Press issue 38.
GNAWING ON THE CRUST OF LULLABIES
(hum the bloated belly of your bedroom)
(hum the first-born’s smile nailed to the wall)
(hum the idle alphabet that answers to its kind)
Only certain grain grows in the most important fields.
Bones that break to fit a twisted frame
are broken more than once—
know they work to keep the roof from leaking starlight.
Only certain grain is lifted from the most important fields,
sifted on fat winds.
Loaves gutted by hand turn into lumps of earth—
while the country you fell from
settles like song over the living and dead.
HISTORY AS PREROGATIVE
A collection of pauses
long enough for something to happen,
pedestals to be raised,
and much patting on the back.
One can always anticipate the moment,
the preemptive burst when the lights are about to go out,
the partygoers get fleeced and do nothing,
too scared to make a false move.
When the lights come back on
the record books get another page.
The beat stutters, pulses on
and from a distance it sounds like a rhythm—
the war drums that have never stopped sounding.
Andrei Guruianu was born in 1979 in Bucharest, Romania. He is the author of a collection of short stories, memoir, and several collections of poetry, most recently The Museum of Brief Sentiments, a limited edition hand-assembled double volume chapbook. He is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee and his poetry has been featured by former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser in his column American Life in Poetry. From 2009 to 2011 served as Broome County, NY’s first poet laureate. He currently lives in New York City where he teaches in the Expository Writing Program at New York University. You can follow his work at www.andreiguruianu.com
Image: "Barksley Hall - The Far Chamber Cot" by Elliott Brown.