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Two Poems

Two poems by Kārlis Vērdiņš.

Come to me

I was bringing you a little cheese sandwich. It was two in the
morning, everybody sleepy, shops closed but in the I Love You bar
they gave me a little cheese sandwich.
I was in a taxi bringing you a little cheese sandwich ’cause you
were lying there sad, perhaps even ill, and there was nothing good to
eat in the house. Was real expensive, around one lat, but that’s OK.
So I was in the taxi with my little iluvu, all squished, practically
cold. But for some reason I didn’t make it home. Somehow I ended
up where all were merry and witty, and starving. So I drank, I sang,
but I saved my little sandwich.
Must have been the third day when I could finally treat you to it,
you were so angry, you ate the sandwich hardly looking at it. Had I
had more courage, I would have said: but you know I love you, you
know I admire you. Don’t make me say it again.

In the drama field

We sit here eating potatoes, whereas Rimbaud and Verlaine have
long since gone to Brussels. They say they’ve written many new poems.
We sit here in the Great Cemetery drinking beer, educating one
another and turning really sour ourselves. There’s a child crying by
the side of the path.
Said Arjuna: “I have no need for a kingdom or happiness, just one
more day away from that stinking computer.” And he collapsed by
some grey headstone.
Shush, go on reading! They say they are already in London! Yellow
fog all around. Whereas we have a shoot of bamboo thriving in a
vase in the kitchen.
Spy messages from London are already examined on Brussels
computers. Whereas we have an onion in a blue bowl in the kitchen.
All withered, given its strength to a green clump of sprouts.

Translated by Ieva Lešinska


The poet, critic and translator Kārlis Vērdiņš was born in 1979 in Riga and graduated in cultural theory from the Latvian Academy of Culture. Vērdiņš has a PhD in Literature from the University of Latvia (2009). Since 2007, he has been working at the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia. Vērdiņš is also a member of the editorial team of the literary magazine „Latvju Teksti”. For several years he has worked as an editor for the Latvian Encyclopedia. He is the author of three poetry collections – ‘Ledlauži’ (The Icebreakers, 2001), ‘Biezpiens ar krējumu’ (Cottage Cheese with Cream, 2004) and ‘Es’ (Me, 2008). In 2001 and 2008, he received the newspaper Diena Culture Award, in 2006, the Copyright Infinity Award and, in 2007, the Olivereto Prize, awarded for his poem „Soldiers”. Vērdiņš’ is also a recipient of the Poetry Prize 2008 (for the book of poems Me) and Annual Literary Award 2007 for his children verse book „Alphabet Soup”.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Sunday, October 9th, 2011.