a literary critic wrote some
thirty years back
i have an inner strength
and would succeed
in the end
to convince
i haven’t convinced anyone
and i have no inner strength
other than when I fight
for nothing like how it is
all poets believe in friends
as they do God
only i don’t believe
and so i fight and don’t have friends,
well, maybe some women
but the story of women
doesn’t count, is something else,
a cold world beyond an even colder world,
and me, i’m frightened by men
as friends, and still
they attract me
like a glass of vodka
infected with blood






un critic literar a scris acum vreo
treizeci de ani
că am forță interioară
și că voi izbuti
până la urmă
să conving
nu am convins pe nimeni
și nu am forță interioară
decât atunci când mă cert
pentru un fleac cum ar fi
că toți poeții cred în prietenie
ca în Dumnezeu
numai eu nu cred
și de aceea mă cert și nu am prieteni
poate ceva prietene
dar povestea cu prietenele
nu se pune, e altceva,
o lume rece în afara unei lumi și mai reci
pe mine prietenii bărbați
mă înfricoșează
și, în același timp, mă atrag,
ca un pahar de vodcă
infectat cu sânge




Angela Marinescu (b. 1941) is one of the most influential literary figures in Romania. She made her poetry debut in 1969 with the collection Sînge albastru (Blue Blood), then followed with a number of volumes that would distinguish her as an exceptional poet. In 2006 she was awarded the Mihai Eminescu National Poetry Prize for Opera Omnia. Marinescu is the author of more than a dozen poetry collections, two volumes of essays, and a book of prose. In 2015 Editura Charmides published Subpoezie. Opere complete (Subpoetry: Complete Works), from which this poem “Attraction” was chosen.


Tara Skurtu is a Boston-based poet and translator currently living in Romania, where she is a 2015-2017 Fulbright lecturer at Transilvania University of Brașov. She is the recipient of two Academy of American Poets prizes, a Marcia Keach Poetry Prize, and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship. Her recent poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Poetry Review, Tahoma Literary Review, and Poetry Wales. Tara is the author of the chapbook Skurtu, Romania (Eyewear Publishing 2016), and her debut poetry collection The Amoeba Game is forthcoming by Eyewear in 2017.

Issue #65 December 2016
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