Tadeusz Pióro



You have no business here, madame. The animals govern themselves, fall looks like spring, composers keep composing unreflectively. When he’s not dancing, the Caucasian male has to put on airs like a head of state in a scarecrow museum. All right, have it your way – like a Bolshevik at a frontier wedding. We’re still far from gender. But everything else is a matter of choice.

Our knowledge would be broader, my nose more believable, were the choice limited to blood

and taste. And art would be better off, especially the art of living in the Tesco parking lot. Life

calls for legalization like bottles for excise bands, but that’s up to the historians: our opinion

was not solicited when they closed the bar for good. On cold and rainy days we discuss this in

the Tesco parking lot, and friends from the parking lots of other Tescos send us the same text message, over and over: ,,Sunday and despair.” But the rest is a matter of choice, and with a

little persuasion should accommodate you, madame. We’ll put on airs like a nudist who’s lost

his way on the beach.

Tadeusz Pióro (1960) has published six books of poems. A brief selection in English, Infinite Neighbourhood, was published by Equipage in 2000. He translated many of the poems in Altered State: The New Polish Poetry  (Arc, 2003), an anthology he co-edited with Rod Mengham and Piotr Szymor. His translations into Polish include work by Barrett Watten, David Gascoyne, Rod Mengham, Harry Mathews, John Ashbery, Ronald Firbank, Ishmael Reed, Edmund White, Ezra Pound and Paul de Man. He teaches American literature at the University of Warsaw and is finishing a book about Frank O'Hara.