To read / 22 December 2023

different is the picture of deep sadness


The boy

mature enough to feel
but not mature enough
to take the blows
when alcohol causes grudges
against the wife who is your mother
and against you when you say
using your young imperfect tongue
daddy please
daddy please

an example of perfidy
a four-year-old who has no idea
how to use cynicism to defend
look at you
your father didn’t give a bloody penny

no motion
dripping saliva
a pathetic picture of being powerless
the snail crushed on purpose
the legs torn out of insects
give hope that he will improve
his methods of fighting off aggression
and will become one of us

The most popular

the girl jumps out the window
on the tenth floor
a light sweater
white sneakers
well groomed hair

I can see as much
in an amateur video
different is the picture of deep sadness
when she passes her waste in the bed
does not take care of the appearance
stares at the wall

a usual day
a radio audition

the man who weighed the cabbage
changes paper in the cash register
a bus splashed the woman
who greeted her yesterday

a failed attempt
Peter help
I won’t hold it

she climbs
climbs again
comes off

the video ends
with scream
a vague image

a thirteen-year-old boy
in an empty flat and dim light
touches the cold

The youngest life

it threw teddy bears all over the room
without any reason but persistently
it was carrying the toys form one place to another
from the pram to the coffee table
from the coffee table to the chest of drawers

it was standing on its legs
falling on its bottom
showing its teeth

removing the bowel is not a disaster
you’ll have a bag
you’ll be fine

the death too weak to be fulfilled
was looking through the window
it was snowing

the youngest life saw her
put its hands up
and focused on the interactive board
with a handle a wire a plug in a socket


we were lucky
we arrived ten minutes after it happened

the fate did not want to involve
anyone more than required
by the multiplication table

the firefighters looked vague from a distance
they gave us instructions
which did not make us change our plans
we passed

mathematics was helpless
we did not feel guilty
about the excessive number of beneficial circumstances

we survived
like blind animals
touched by a noun
but an abstract noun


Michał Kaczmarek

Michał Kaczmarek (1986) was born and raised in Głogów, Poland. He graduated from the University of Wrocław (Faculty of Philology, English Department). He is an office worker and a tutor. His poems have been published in Polish literary magazines such as Afront, artPAPIER, eleWator, Migotania, Odra, Pro Libris, Protokół Kulturalny, Śląsk, Tlen Literacki.


Photo by Marlena Kaczmarek