Małgorzata Myk translates Maria Cyranowicz

document 0.21

to be used specifically
by a sudden supervision adjusted with pieces of equipment to the speech apparatus
inserted into the stem’s flower whose interior
shines in an outline of their organs marked for skin openings
                                                                                      smooth commonalities of seashells apricots come to mind
                                                                                                                   like pleasant accessories felt by differences
                                                                                       of narration centers when the couple first meet in gender
are visible naked lying on a colorful sheet
of subsequent montage series rashly causing a volcano
of quick clippings of fish eyes somewhat unstable in an intense
color of the bulb x-rayed into palpable shape visions
usually unlike the shivering of structure
                                        bodies like pulp parenchyma pomace create an analogy with objects in themselves
                                                                                                                                    call forth contraries of the search
                                                                                                        of radiating sacrifice of a contagious celebration

document 0.25

                                                                        the more messages before sleep the more the map of the territory
                                                          exhausted with transrepetition of possibilities
                                                                                 oozes occasions of the sensational
                                                            burnt make-believe sparkling in tall cocktails
                                                                                                             at live sales parties
                                                               of violent salty fresh sensations of boredom
                                                                                                         packaged in frames of those smeared with hands
                                                                                                    with a bullet of sweat on the forehead in macro lens
                                                                                                                      published on the front page of the domino
                                                                                                                  effect without moving anybody’s spinal cord
                                                                                                                               at the moment of circuitous pressure
                                                                            beating against the hearts of armchairs arranged softly ahead of
                                                                                         a pesky presentation of the bilateral defeat of expectation
                                                                                                    of a sudden plot twist along the audience trajectory
in the fourth dimension they are measured in viewership doses
but we disappear when they doze off at the intersections of specters
tearing the remains of national substance from the series’ further episodes

document 0.18

                 interpretation encounters resistance in the model of a dream
always in someone
                 unclear content due to upending the trauma
                 leads to the hidden that imposes
                 with irrefutable violence when it becomes repressed
                 in the embroiled impression references the plane
                 murkily hidden in the lack of automatic recognition
                 the commotion gets deepened
                 defeated at the multistoried difference
                 by the plenitude of a fiction category it entwines             entangling with the place dimension
                 and a consequence brought
instead of someone

document 0.24

unloading of the physical memory in progress
the lack does not account in the sources for the forbidden
trickles deconstructions of tissue into the muscles meets
expectations of confession of the common peace
                                                                                                                    a parade of elation weighs in this moment
                                                                                                                   absolutely over the gap’s place
                                                                                                                intoxication daze ecstasy roll on
                                                                                           convicted for a possibility of differentiation
                                                                                            they hide in the open looking at not seeing
                                                                                    the gap where the event’s passage is underway
                                                           what escapes the singing in the march of hours for grinding
                                                                                  celebration cared for from the flag to the gun volley horizon
                                                                                   breaks the weather of satisfaction with the loss spent alone
when the parade passes by the gap of places
one way turned toward a procession of pictures and images
bought for one term of the past
they stay in their directoriate positions anticipatory assurances
that in gaps of places they continue the montage of plastic remains
                                                                                             of emotion motioned again to occupy the place in gaps

document 0.11

                                         I don’t suddenly swim to the surface but actually
the other way round the subtitles remain
                                         separated from me by a clipping
                                         a blind spot of paralysis
                                         a scratch caused by a crack
                                         in the film they show an accident but actually
the other way round the subtitles remain
                                         a cut overgrowing the outside
                                         pointed at me on the other end
                                         something cannot be given back returned to the scar but actually
the other way round the subtitles disappear

Translator’s Note:

Maria Cyranowicz’s book den.presja, from which the five translated poems have been excerpted, is a conceptual project that interrogates the poetry of witness genre through linguistically innovative lens. In the sequence of thirty “documents”, the poet creates a complex archive, based on the visual model of a screen interface, through which she investigates impossible states of language and interrogates opaque notions of postmemory and witnessing that bring to mind the concept of “no one’s witnessing”, proposed recently by the Canadian poet Rachel Zolf through Paul Celan’s apophatic writing.

Reflecting on an uneasy status of those who have become witnesses of testimonies, the texts also constitute an intimate record of depression and psychic suffering. Cyranowicz situates her writing as a ground of contestation of hegemonic discourses and an environment for reorganization of our internal capacity for psychic survival. Her machine-like writing is poised between a state of language positioned as a cold medium (gesturing towards protocols of concrete poetry) and extreme emotional intensity, both enacting the pressures of postmodernity and striving to reconstitute the reader’s capacity for intimacy, emotion and sensation.

Cyranowicz’s poetry shows a long-standing interest in the Polish historical avant-gardes (among others, the work of such Polish poets as Miron Białoszewski, Tymoteusz Karpowicz, Tadeusz Peiper, and Julian Przyboś, as well as the concrete poetry of Stanisław Dróżdż) with a strong emphasis on various forms of social pressure leading to overdetermination of identity.


Maria Cyranowicz (b. 1974)—Polish poet, literary critic, teacher, and editor. In 1999 she received the Ludwik Fryde Award for Young Critics. Associated with the avant-garde writing known as “neolingwizm”. Author of five books: neutralizacje (Biblioteka Frondy, 1997), i magii nacja (Zielona Sowa, 2001), piąty element to fiksja (Staromiejski Dom Kultury, 2004), psychodelicje (Staromiejski Dom Kultury, 2006), den.presja (Fundacja Mammal, 2009). Co-editor of two anthologies: Gada !Zabic? Pa)n(tologia neolingwizmu (Staromiejski Dom Kultury, 2005, with Pawel Koziol) and Solistki. Antologia poezji kobiet (1989-2009) (Staromiejski Dom Kultury, 2009, with Joanna Mueller and Justyna Radczynska). Co-editor and contributor to art/literary magazines Meble (now defunct) and Wakat/Notoria. Her new poems have recently appeared in Strefa wolna. Wiersze przeciwko nienawiści i homofobii (Outside the Box, 2019), Queer. Dezorientacje. Antologia Polskiej Literatury Queer. Eds. Alessandro Amenta, Tomasz Kalisciak, Blazej Warkocki (Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej, 2021) and the anthology Świat Się Wiecznie Zaczyna. Antologia Juliana Przybosia. Ed. Uta Przyboś (WBPiCAK, 2022). Her new collection of poems machinacje is forthcoming this year. She lives in Warsaw.

Malgorzata Myk (b. 1975)—teaches in the Department of North American Literature and Culture, Lodz University, Poland. Author of the monograph Upping the Ante of the Real: Speculative Poetics of Leslie Scalapino (Peter Lang, 2019). Co-editor of the two volumes: Theory That Matters: What Practice After Theory and the Polish Journal for American Studies Special Issue on Innovation in Contemporary American Poetry. The Kosciuszko Foundation Fellow in the academic year 2017/18 (UCSD). She currently serves as the Co-Editor-in-Chief and Content Editor of Text Matters: A Journal of Literature, Theory and Culture, published by Lodz University. She has translated into Polish the writing of such North American authors as Leslie Scalapino, Lisa Robertson, and Kevin Davies. Her translation of E. Tracy Grinnell’s poetry appeared in the volume Odmiany Łapania Tchu: Pięć Amerykańskich Głosów (Variants of Catching Breath: Five American Voices) (Dom Literatury 2022). Her translations of Maria Cyranowicz’s poems have recently appeared in Modern Poetry in Translation, periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics, and AzonaL. She lives in Warsaw.