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Nerijus Cibulskas was born in 1987 in Kaišiadorys. He graduated from Vilnius University, where he studied Lithuanian language and literature. He worked in the library of Vilnius University and wrote articles for the Lithuanian cultural media, including Metai, Šiaurės Atėnai, Kulturpolis.lt, MiestoIQ.lt, and Bernardinai.lt. He still writes book reviews for 370 magazine.

He published his first poems while still in school. In 2012 he won the First Book Competition organized by the Writers’ Union, and his debut poetry collection Nutrinami was published. He was an editor of the Poetry Spring Festival anthology in 2016. His second book, Archeologija, was published in 2016 and was awarded the Young Yotvingian Prize, which is the most important prize for young poets in Lithuania. Veneros was published in 2019 and epoché  in 2022.

His poems have been published in all the main Lithuanian magazines and anthologies: Metai, Naujoji Romuva, Literatūra ir menas, Šiaurės Atėnai, Nemunas, Krantai, Gintaro lašai, Literatūrinės Vilniaus slinktys, Poezijos pavasaris, Poetinis Druskininkų ruduo, and Vilnius Review. His poems have also appeared on the European poetry platform Versopolis.

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reflections on belonging

a palmers chronicle right bw

Graphic Novels

Dovilė Dagienė, from the series "Boy With a Stick". 2016, paper, digital print, 40x60 cm. From the MO Museum collection.

Poems from the poetry book “epoché”

Translated by Rimas Uzgiris

 

 

New Moon

what else can I learn
from the botanical books of memory

except how to forge a ring mount of first frost
for the gleaming stone of a plum

maybe I can also learn about white peony ceramics
glazed by ants in the heat of the sun

how fading light from the bowl of blueberries you picked
hatches a new and previously unseen moon

then we’ll sit on the meadow’s empty table
and wait

for tall Urania to rise to her full height
and button him up into proper orbit

 

 

Lava Lamp

 

I am reading her a poem before sleep
while an old lava lamp lights
the dark craters of the room

it lights the width and height of the everyday
the box she sometimes wishes
had more depth

we are comets with the tails chopped off
our burning heads crashing
to rest

 

 

Nida Blues

 

we are uncircled announcements
written on scraps of cold rain
I’m taking a leak in the old graveyard
feeling the gaze of a wooden reptile
like a nail hammered into my back

after six years the rotted-out
vacation cottages hold on ever more
hopefully above the abyss
and a cormorant unfolds his wings
into an elaborate hieroglyph

that even he can’t read

 

 

Parrot

 

Serenity is always homeless.
It stands on the gray platform and greets
empty intercity trains.
Her coat is too big, sporting
silly foam shoulder pads,
but it’s on them that all of our worries rest.
If on some gloomy April Saturday
you would be waiting for your train,
serenity would come up to you
and ask for a cigarette. Give her one.
Exchange at least a wordless,
sympathetic glance.
A purple parrot perches on her crooked shoulder.
You’ll never know how much it weighs.

 

 

Stone

 

condemned more than once for insatiability
I absorbed the touches
of all those fatuous believers

closed up and somber I accepted
the dates of longing engraved on me
by the mason’s weakening hands

but I swear I never had
the pride of my gray neighbor
lying there in the garden

who just the other day went hoarse
telling me how he comes from the ruins
of some multilingual high-rise tower

 

 

Fractions

 

fragments

fragments

nothing more valuable

collecting baby teeth

preserving a bloody silken string

scraping the moss off trees
the pelt off a young animal

sorrow with a new roof

within our bodies

always
fighting peace

the singed but sweet antidote

cream of wheat
jam

a meat tenderizer
scarred white doors
the volcano of inoculation
I secretly gaze
at how your birthmarks open
two brown fox’s eyes

I didn’t see

but I remember

we tread the emerald light of nettles

a bobber leaning to one side
the common rudd
swan metal

cu
ck
oo

fragments
fragments

apathy with Beckett’s face

souring yellow plums
heavy blankets

the cheapest bath gel

sperm washed down the drain
filming a ladybug coming apart
taking pictures of the dark
your name slowly lets me in

stones
canals
ultrasound

ultramarine
childishly black

green blood pastels

a highway gone dark

frogs failing to migrate

an indigo sky above the garage

fragments
fragments

crumbs

for a path leading out of the forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

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