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Sample of the limited edition, large-format version of the 1st bilingual anthology from OFF_Press. Layout, artworking and typesetting done by Samuel Taradash

Sample of the limited edition, large-format version of the 1st bilingual anthology from OFF_Press. Layout, artworking and typesetting done by Samuel Taradash

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Off Anthologia V1 Off Anthologia V1 Document Transcript

  • OFF_Anthology OFF_Press 2009 OFF_Antologia
  • An OFF_ Original First published in 2009 by OFF_Press, London, U.K. All the work is copyright under the Berne Convention No reproduction or other use without permission Copyright © OFF_Press All individual stories and poems are copyright © their respective authors, 2009. All rights reserved. The authors in this collection are hereby identified as the authors of their respective works in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and the moral rights of authors and editors have been asserted. Cover design by Marcin Piniak – www.piniak.org 3D Photography by Hubert Rudowski – http://fotohuber.co.uk/ Layout and print design by Samuel Taradash – www.samueltaradash.com Printed and bound by Lulu OFF_Press 361 D Regents Park Road London N3 1DH UK www.off-press.org
  • Contents Spis rzeczy Introduction vii Wprowadzenie ix Doing Two Things at Once 1 Phil Robiąc dwie rzeczy 3 Boiarski w tym samym czasie Under a Sky 7 Agnieszka Pod niebem 17 Czachor Walrus Man 27 Marta Człowiek-Mors 41 Górska Comma 53 Farhan Przecinek 57 Jamalvy At the Border 61 Maria Na granicy 65 Jastrzebska Subtenant 69 Cake 71 Marcin Sublokator 73 Jurzysta Ciasto 75 Prequel Manifesto 77 Piotr Prequel Manifesto 85 Makowski T for Two 91 Paul T jak T 97 McGuire
  • Ten Prose Poems 103 Tomasz Prozy poetyckie 107 Ososiński Soup Bowls 111 Barbara Talerze do zupy 121 Zaragoza Authors 133 Autorzy 137 Acknowledgements / Podziękowania 141 Contact / Kontakt 143 vi
  • Introduction Marek Kazmierski D ear Reader, We set up OFF_ as an on-line bi-lingual literary magazine in February, launched OFF_Lit’Comp ‘09 in April, and published this, the ten best entries in dual-translation, a few months later. From what people in the book trade tell us, an adventurous schedule. But then OFF_ itself is an adventure... in literary collaborations that don’t end in feuds, in using the Web in ways that work, in exploring the possibilities offered by translations, in using multimedia to our ad- vantage – the people behind OFF_ not only write, but design, perform, film and so on and so understand the future of publishing is all about cross-genre interaction. Thanks to everyone we owe can be found at the back. Most of all, huge thanks to the writers who contributed to this anthology – from England, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland and the US, the response, in quality and quantity, has made all the mad effort worth it. For now, enjoy the tales, explore the translations and, all that done, stick with OFF_. vii
  • viii
  • Wprowadzenie Paweł Gawroński O d redakcji. OFF_Magazine narodził się w lutym bieżącego roku i od pierwszego dnia swojego istnienia zaczął rozwijać się bardzo szybko, zwracając uwagę wielu osób ze środowiska wydawniczego. Chcieliśmy przy wykorzystaniu najnowocześniejszych technik multimedialnych promować dobrą literaturę, dlatego najpierw znaleźliśmy swoje mie- jsce w internecie, potem ogłosiliśmy Międzynarodowy Konkurs Liter- acki, by wreszcie dziesięć tych najlepszych tekstów mogło zaistnieć na papierze. Tak więc, z olbrzymią satysfakcją możemy Państwu życzyć przyjemnej lektury. Nasza rola jeżeli chodzi o ten projekt powoli się kończy, nadeszła chwila, kiedy trzeba poszukać nowych wyzwań, kole- jnych talentów. Na pewno będziemy pamiętać długie godziny spędzone na otoczonym agregatami pięknym balkonie Północnego Londynu, który musieliśmy przerobić na potrzeby redakcji. Gdy patrzyliśmy na liczne, ciekawe teksty napływające z całego świata, z Anglii, Nowej Ze- landii, Pakistanu, Polski, czy USA już wiedzieliśmy, że było warto. ix
  • Doing Two Things at Once Phil Boiarski Prism of my cracked wind shield refracts Across the pages, a slash of colored light Layered like spilled fruit juices watemellontangerinelemonsugarmellonblues. I turn the wheel and it disappears. A red rabbit blurs by. Sun glares intensely on the Rear window of the white car ahead, I can’t make out the driver. Moving snake of ink tracks Across the page, making a road, Where time stops thought; Pours content like concrete Into the void of the page. I accelerate to 60, While writing sumac, locust, The bony white body of a sycamore As they loom up then zoom Peripherally, like roads going off Like the road my hood is eating, all part Of the blur of blooming that retreats to The black at the back of my head. The splash of light is back, quite By accident, the road winding to the right. I am now doing 52, behind a white-haired man In an old white car. Here are two black men In a big blue car. A black couple in a silver One. They have all lived on the road while I scrawled words at the wheel. 1
  • Doing Two Things at Once Boats across the green median, pulled by blue Pick ups and in the sky; a red-tailed hawk floating In another time. A canoe overturned on the roof Of a green Barracuda strains against its bonds. The prism flickers on the back of my hand, Moves up to cuff my wrist, crawls up my arm Into the shadow of the visor and is gone. Suddenly slowing, the traffic grows so thick for a time I have to close the tablet and put the pen down. Hay in cylindrical bales, fields of soy beans yellowing. It is easier to write at 55. Not to mention the savings. I notice that I mistook the white-haired woman in the white Car for a man. Distracted, I suppose. Lost focus. The prism lies quiescent on the journal. I pass the woman again and come up to The couple in the silver sedan. They have Two children who wave. I wave back and Pull around them, accelerating. The prism fades. Black and white cows in an open green field, Car-high corn fields, green blades fluttering, Traffic closing in and braking down, 40, 30, 15, A wreck burns on its back, a red rabbit in flames. 2
  • Robiąc dwie rzeczy w tym samym czasie Phil Boiarski pęknięcie jakby na przedniej szybie auta na bielusieńkiej kartce tnące kolorowe światło albo rozlany owocowy sok arbuzmelonmandarynkajabłkopomarańcza kręcę kierownicą i to wszystko znika czerwone zwierzę przemyka poboczem słońce razi tak mocno ocierając się o samochód jadący przede mną że nie mogę rozszyfrować już kierowcy prowadzącego długimi zygzakami atramentu tworząc drogę wzdłuż stronicy wylewa zawartość jak cement na pojemną przecież kartę pisząc o cisach i szarańczy przyspieszam do sześćdziesięciu a kościste białe ciała przydrożnych drzew pojawiają się potem zbliżają błyskawicznie jakbym właściwie stracił kurs albo maska mojego samochodu pożerała asfalt błysk rozkwitu co powraca w mej pamięci plama światła już tu jest szosa zwija się ku prawej jadę pięćdziesiątką tuż za siwowłosym facetem w starym białym samochodzie dwaj murzyni w niebieskiej limuzynie i podobna para w srebrnej oni wszyscy przecież żyli na tej drodze w czasie gdy ja bazgrałem słowa za kółkiem 3
  • Robiąc dwie rzeczy w tym samym czasie łodzie na zielonym równiku ciągnięte przez niebieskie ciężarówki a na niebie gdzieś daleko płynie jastrząb kajak przewrócony do góry nogami na dachu zielonej Barrakudy walczy z własnymi słabościami światło przebiega wzdłuż mojej ręki mankiet nadgarstek ramię znikam pod dachem samochodu albo to ono się skrywa ruch uliczny znowu gęstnieje zwalniam wyłączam komputer odkładam długopis ułożone już bele siana żółknie fasola i to wszystko działo się tuż obok kiedy ja bazgrałem za kółkiem łodzie na zielonym równiku ciągnięte przez niebieskie ciężarówki a na niebie gdzieś daleko płynie jastrząb kajak przewrócony do góry nogami na dachu zielonej Barrakudy walczy z własnymi słabościami a światło przebiega wzdłuż mojej ręki mankiet nadgarstek ramię znikam pod dachem samochodu albo to ono się skrywa gęstnieje ruch uliczny zwalniam zamykam komputer odkładam długopis łatwiej się pisze przy pięćdziesięciu ekonomiczniej pomyliłem siwego mężczyznę ze staruszką biały samochód z człowiekiem przypuszczam że rozproszony umknął na chwilę cel światło układa się spokojnie na pamiętniku 4
  • Phil Boiarski wyprzedzam kobietę i dystans do pary w srebrnym sedanie pozdrawia mnie dwójka dzieci macham przyśpieszam zostają w tyle robi się ciemno spokojne jak zawsze krowy kukurydza wspina się na wysokość samochodów zielone źdźbła drżą korek znów się zwiększa takie czasy trzydzieści czterdzieści piętnaście jakiś wrak niszczeje na poboczu czerwone zwierzę w płomieniach 5
  • Under a Sky Agnieszka Czachor E izas was sitting on the veranda. Through the stains on the window he watched the courtyard. The sandy earth around the stables and under the walnut tree shimmered in gold fragments. The sun spread its arms over the crowns of the woods, shooting its myriad beams across the estate. The field and all living things surrounding it slowly shep- herded by fire and bumblebees. Horses trotted along the fence. The man giggled. Well – he muttered – go, Old Girl, jump! Almost simul- taneously, as if responding to his word. First the largest, grey mare, followed by others, the braver, leapt the barrier separating them from the stables. Eizas clapped his hands. But the stable gates were shut. The grey mare stopped before the veranda and fixed her gaze on his form. A moment later, she whinnied, quiet at first, pleading. Then loud, aroused, as if displeased. Eizas rubbed his hands. Gulping his beer slowly. You fiends – he mumbled – you just hang on there, learn you a little resilience. He matched the mare’s gaze a while, then rose and crouched by the glass wall. Rested his outspread fingers against it. Sighed. Stud- ied both his hands. Chose. Which would be best. Decided the right for today. Unpeeled the left from the glass, leaving a wet imprint. Chose again. First bent the thumb, then the fore and the index fingers. Hesi- tated a while between the middle and the pinkie, but this did not last long. Quickly bent the middle. Used the pinkie as a brush. Decided. He went outside. The windows rang. The horses turned their elon- gated heads toward him. Whinnied. Turning on the spot, they kicked up a storm of dust. Bumblebees were everywhere. Cutting the animals’ hides until they bled. Eizas didn’t so much as look. His back turned, he begun a new masterpiece. 7
  • Under a Sky The moist finger smudged dust from the glass. Leaving lines which became entities. Apparitions. They did not frighten. Grotesque, rather. Each of the figures had at least one human body part. The rest came from dreams. When he closed his eyes, he desired sleep. Then a fever flared within him and he screamed. They approached and studied his face. He opened his eyes. But did not turn on the lights. Soaked in sweat, he waited for the red scar of sky, desiring once again to confirm that dawn would come. They were in his head. When it got light, their forms fad- ed, though the sense of their presence remained. Painting them onto the windows stripped them of power, which at night disarmed him. Stripped them of life. Later on, a storm would come, or maybe just a rain shower and they would vanish. The window panes glistened for a few days and then once again started gathering dust. Quickly enough to accept new etchings. He could not remember if the figures were different, or the same as before. He was now finishing a dragon, which instead of eyes had the heads of children. With long hair, unsmiling. Then in the window he saw the face of a woman. Froze. Wiped his hands on his trousers, rose slowly and, without hurrying, turned on his right leg to stand face to face with Ihwar. Squinted. Stood against the sun. Not a muscle twitched in either of their faces. Eyes which had mo- mentarily glistened turned dull. – What now? – he murmured. – Noth- ing – she shrugged. Turned past him. Walked a few steps behind the house, entering the shadow of a huge yew. She rested her hands against the trunk. Her head spun. A light wind twisted the air. An acute–dull smell settled on her nostrils. She couldn’t quite decide if it was acute, or dull. Resting her forehead against the trunk, she felt the rough bark line her skin. Then raised her head. Stared at her own fingers. They were long and white. She heard his voice. – Friend of foe? – he asked, standing behind her. With effort, she pulled back her hands. – Surprise – she whispered. 8
  • Agnieszka Czachor Eizas lived in the middle of a forest. Among horses. The herd num- bered twenty, among them several foals. He was fifty years old; cheeks lined with wrinkles, sunken, dark eyes and yellow scleras. He ate next to nothing. Drank all the time instead. The animals ate often. Or so he said. They were covered in straw and shit. Tangled manes rolled up in round folds. His dream had come true. He had built his stables, dug a heart–shaped pond, fenced in two hectares of meadow and let the horses loose. – You have come to collect – he straightened, and raised his head, without squinting – I knew you would crawl back here one day. She watched the movement of his lips carefully. Unconsciously, she hunched her shoulders, blinked and quickly dropped her gaze, burying it in the blades of grass stretching their necks between their feet. – No – she whispered, choking on something heavy near the solar plexus – It’s not like that. – I have nothing – he said proudly – I’ve changed nothing in myself, none of my self-loathing. He looked down to her slim shoulders and walked away. She heard him close the door of the veranda. Felt her eyes sting. Moved towards the herd. She climbed between the fence beams and found herself out on the pasture. The grass-covered space reached as far as the woods, dark crowns low over the bright green baize. Fiery beams bit hungrily into these two elemental greens. She whistled. And nothing. Whistled again. The horses were out to pasture, lifted their heads with interest. Seeing nothing frightening in her movements, they ignored her and continued to nibble on the grass- es. She walked in among them slowly. Didn’t know any of the animals. She touched the foal, which jumped away in fear. The rest followed. She returned to the courtyard. Searching. Feeling her head pulsing. Old passions waking. Clutching her throat, she cut off the air supply, hammering the centre of her forehead, sending sweat flying. She im- agined she had a thousand hearts, beating simultaneously. Free from thought, she felt pure waves of emotion exploding around her. I have to be somewhere, she mumbled. Opened the doors to stable after stable, 9
  • Under a Sky ran from room to room. Wiped moist hands on her trousers. Sensing sand beginning to cover her wet feet. She tried to shake it off from be- tween the straps of her sandals, but it was futile. The gentle grind of tiny stones accompanied each step. When she stopped in the centre of the courtyard to catch her breath, her eyes fell on a narrow window tainted with bird droppings. She ran. With a loud crack, she opened the barred doors. And froze. The mare rested the whole of her right side against the wall. Started to sweat instantly. – Hey, beautiful – she reached out her hand, felt grains of sand at the back of her throat. The red hide reminded her of sandpa- per, stuck together with dirt and sweat, sticking up along the spine and belly. The faded, thick mane took on the colour of dust. – She’s mad – the words fell on her shoulders – loves it when you stroke her face, a certain little girl taught her, but now she won’t let you near. – Why do you not let her out with the other horses – she turned with fury towards Eizas. – She’s trapped, like me. – It’s only an animal. – Just like me – he muttered. She tried to exit too rapidly and tripped over the doorstep, hitting the ground, scratching her elbow. Then jumped up just as quickly and ran on. At night, she could not sleep. The moon raised its golden face and scattered all clouds. It ran the room through like a searchlight. For the first time in a decade, she thought about her childhood. About the ma- ple by the river, conifers and the foal whose bone marrow strengthened the conifer’s roots. She looked down at her hands once again; slim fin- gers topped with nails the shape of almonds. They were shaking. That night had had a similar face. The moon gold, and vast, shining for itself. Travelling low, as if it wanted her to touch it. To have her long, white fingers caress its per- fectly round cheeks and forehead. The Eye of God. She spoke softly. Eizas burst out laughing. – You are mad! – he shouted. She felt his dis- gust. More so than ever before. She had found him lying with his legs 10
  • Acknowledgements Podziękowania Thanks be to OFF_Team Joanna Czajka, Justyna Daniluk, Ewa Paw- lak, Kinga Pilich, Marcin Piniak, Kinga Stanczuk, Samuel Taradash, the Translators (P. Gawronski, M. Kazmierski, J. Malcolm, P. Siwecki), MINIMAL BOOKS, Polish Cultural Institute in London, Instytut Mick- iewicza in Poland, PAFT for their kind donation and everyone who has given us a chance thus far. Couldn’thavedonewithoutya. Dziękujemy: grupie OFF_ Joannie Czajce, Justynie Daniluk, Ewie Pawlak, Kindze Pilich, Marcinowi Piniakowi, Kindze Stańczuk, Samowi Taradashi, tłumaczom (P. Gawroński, M. Kazmierski, J. Mal- colm, P. Siwecki) MINIMAL BOOKS, Instytutowi Kultury Polskiej w Londynie, Instytutowi Adama Mickiewicza i PAFT-owi. Bez Was nie byłoby tej książki. 143
  • Contact / Kontakt OFF_Magazine 361 D Regents Park Road London N3 1DH UK info@off-press.org www.off-press.org 145