A boy with the sign:
The first December freeze…
Will he get help from the men
in yellow boots?

Or maybe their partners in Polish
nutria fur hats?

After an hour of begging he goes into
the REMA1000 supermarket.

He comes back quickly, bearing a bag
full of local beer and a small pack
of dates.

He cheated us and the president,
the cold pavement murmurs.

Meanwhile the president told
the G20 chiefs that his country
is not ready yet.

The crucial thing is always to sow


Translated by:

Adam Zdrodowski, born in 1979, writer, translator, DYI musician (records under the monicker Moon Machinery), working in English and Polish; the author of four collections of poetry: Przygody, etc. (2005, Adventures, etc.), Jesień Zuzanny (2007, Susanna’s Autumn), 47 lotów balonem (2013, 47 Balloon Flights) and Moon Machine (2019). He translated authors such as Sarah Perry, Mark Ford, Rod Mengham, Vahni Capildeo, Henry Green, James Schuyler, Gertrude Stein, William S. Burroughs, Raymond Roussel, Harryette Mullen, and Grzegorz Wróblewski. His poems appeared in journals and anthologies, including “Jacket,” “Past Simple,” “3:AM Magazine,” the Danish Polsk poesi (transl. Frej Larsen and Paweł Partyka, Forlaget em, 2022) and the Swedish “OEI.” He lives in Warsaw, Poland.

Ben Borek grew up in South London. His previous novel in verse, Donjong Heights, published by Egg Box, was a cult hit back in 2008 and his poetry has been published in City State (Penned in the Margins), London, A History in Verse (Harvard University Press), and Dear World and Everyone in it (Bloodaxe). He has read his work at festivals throughout the UK and Europe and audio of his work is available at the Archive of the Now. He lives in Warsaw with his partner and son and is employed variously as a copywriter, editor, translator and voiceover artist.

Grzegorz Wróblewski was born in 1962 in Gdansk and grew up in Warsaw. Since 1985 he has been living in Copenhagen. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, drama and other writings. A renowned visual artist, he has exhibited his paintings in Denmark, Germany, England and Poland. English translations of his work are available in Our Flying Objects (trans. Joel Leonard Katz, Rod Mengham, Malcolm Sinclair, Adam Zdrodowski, Equipage, 2007), A Marzipan Factory (trans. Adam Zdrodowski, Otoliths, 2010), Kopenhaga (trans. Piotr Gwiazda, Zephyr Press, 2013), Let's Go Back to the Mainland (trans. Agnieszka Pokojska, Cervená Barva Press, 2014), Zero Visibility (trans. Piotr Gwiazda, Phoneme Media, 2017), Dear Beloved Humans (trans. Piotr Gwiazda, Dialogos Books, 2023). Wróblewski also authored a book of asemic writing Shanty Town (Post-Asemic Press, Minneapolis, USA, 2022). He has been awarded with scholarships from Danish Literature Council (Litteraturrådet) and Danish Arts Foundation (Statens Kunstfond). Read other articles by Grzegorz.