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  April 2007
volume 5 number 1
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  featured poets
  Lea Deschenes
  Jamie Asae FitzGerald
  Thomas KrÀmer
  Kirsten Ogden
  Traian Pop Traian
  Elisha Porot
  Ryan Tranquilla
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Traian Pop Traian April 2007



photo by tess. lotta

    Traian Pop Traian was born on December 10, 1952 in Brasov, Romania. He writes poetry, drama, and fiction, and is the editor of Matrix & Pop-Verlag, an international arts and literary magazine based out of Ludwigsburg, Germany.
    He attended the Polytechnical School of Timisoara (1973-78), and after graduation became a sound engineer as well as lyrics writer and player in rock & jazz bands.
    His publication and award winning credits include: International Workbook of Poetry (Criterion Publishers, 2000, 2001, 2002); Ochiul Boului // The Eye of the Ox (Marineasa Publishers, Timisoara, 2001); Jocuri ero(t)ice // [H]ero(t)ic Games (Marineasa Publishers, Timisoara, 2001); Miercurea de cenusa // Ash Wednesday ( Marineasa Publishers, Timisoara, 2000; The Writers' Union of Romania - Poetry Prize 2000 ; Developari discrete // Cautious Developings (Facla Publishing House, Timisoara, 1989); Saptamâna 53 // The 53rd Week (Marineasa Publishers, Timisoara, 1998); The Oradea Academy Prize awarded at the International Book Fair, Oradea 1999; Putere absoluta // Absolute Power ( Marineasa Publishers, Timisoara, 1999); The LITERART XXI Poetry Prize 1998/1999; The Oradea Academy Prize awarded at the International Book Fair, Oradea 1999; Schöne Aussichten, // Nicely and Freely Watching Together (Verlag im Wald, 2005); and Orasul piticotilor mincinosi // The City of Mendacious Dwarfs - dramatization of a text by Dumitru Toma for the use in a puppet performance (Puppet Theatre, Timisoara), 1988, directed by Magdalena Klein (The show was suppressed by censorship after only a few public performances).
    From December 1989 - January 1990, he served on the first editorial board of the Timisoara daily (the post-communist free press). Traian has been living in Germany since 1990l, is a member The Writers' Union of Romania, The International Association of Romanian Writers and Artists (LITERART XXI), The Romanian Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is currently employed as an I.T. coordinator for Dachser GmbH & Co.K.G. Z.N. in Kornwestheim, Germany.



Your Visage

he pretends he's writing that noon's biography
while pursuing an apparition with your visage in the rain
she tries obstinately to dry its blue tear
knowing that in its wake the unhealed thought
of the sleepless night will remain
fairly divided between one groping and another

(the one
who looked from a distance how others had abandoned his own foolishness
in the water and the one with his eyes swollen from too much crying
had doubtlessly the same visage
your own)

however much you'd hate yourself
you are and will remain closer to me
than the occasional swimmer who seized by panic
troubles the peacefulness of these lines
which a virus that doesn't care about the language they are written in
could easily lure them in a trap of wet cloth impregnated
with gypsum

just fit for treason's grin and terror
this last attempt
to recognize that the whole thing is but a farce

how have they all managed to borrow your visage and likeness
as soon as I began to examine
the clay leaves of the tree
which my father had had the whim of planting
right between the eyebrows of the high voltage transformer

Ludwigsburg, July 1998

(from the volume Miercurea de cenusa/ Ash Wednesday, Marineasa Publishers, 2000)

Translated from the Rumanian of Traian Pop Traian by Heat

copyright 1998 Traian Pop Traian



Timisoara, Timisoara

a hundred and fifty Deutsche Marks, of course not a single Pfennig more
for its old and broken and I cant tell how much the repair will cost (to say nothing of the ride to Budapest) I
you realize Im taking it only because I see youre hard up and I like taking risks come
lets strike the bargain this incident involving a photo
journalist buying a high-grade camera in mint
condition from a second-hand street vendor for something less than three point five per cent of
its value I did witness through the clumsily patched-up hole in a Romanian flag
after 89 it is sad that of all places it occurred in Romania
and at Timisoara to boot for it might have occurred any place else

it so happened that Timisoara God bless her was also the place
of some other exchanges in which some Roma had been cheated and several Romanians had been led only God
knows where to find their peace while Hungarians and Serbs and Croats and Czechs and Germans and Jews all
of them
had been aware of the risk they ran when taking money out of their pockets their wallets or out of their homeland
to say nothing of the legal" possession of hard currency
which the vigilant eye of the border-guard would spot
in the spare wheel of the ramshackle bus
in the bus drivers frightened eyes in the tourist guides distracted look
as he was dutifully filling out his report to the customs chief inspector
anyway it would be unjust and below our position and power
to regard all these as real, true, and incontrovertible
at a time when everything is ripe for a change / more than mere post stamps money clothes customs words
whether political administrative geographical sexual religious moral and above all

Timisoara, December 1995
(Translated from the Rumanian by Heathrow OHare)

copyright 1995 Traian Pop Traian



They Had Lots of Fun Down There

the soldier in his military outfit did have a great time
gunned down as he had been by the plain-clothes agent who himself
was having a great time gunned down by the sergeant
in a military uniform who in his turn had been gunned
down by his plain-clothes counterpart whom a uniform
officer (had he not?) and since the plain-clothes officer had to get rid
(by any means?) of his bullet somewhere it so happened
that he lodged it right between
the other fellows eyes
they did indeed have lots of fun down there in the streets
in the public gardens in moldy cellars in hospitals at day care centers
in cemeteries underground in the air everywhere
they did indeed have a very good time
and nobody seemed to be upset either
as if that had long been (written?)
or meant to be so

Cannes, June 1998

(from the volume Putere Absoluta/Absolute Power, Marineasa Publishers,Timisoara, 1999, p.95)

copyright 1995 Traian Pop Traian