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Ieva Rudžianskaitė was born in 1985 in Kaunas. She graduated with a degree in theology and philosophy from Vytautas Magnus University and earned her PhD in 2017. Rudžianskaitė writes literary reviews for Šiaurės atėnai, Metai, and Literatūra ir menas. She is the former editor of the publishing house Kauko laiptai and currently works at a gymnasium. Rudžianskaitė published her debut poetry collection Kita (Other) in 2019, for which she earned the Zigmas Gėlė Prize in 2020. Her second poetry collection Iš gervių (From the Swans) earned her the Antanas Miškinis Literary Award in 2022. In 2023, Rudžianskaitė published her third poetry collection Tryliktasis mėnuo (The Thirteenth Month).

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Graphic Novels

Ričardas Šileika photo, A Book as a Fir-tree.

Poems from the poetry book “Thirteenth Month” (Tryliktasis mėnuo)

Translated by Rimas Uzgiris

 

 

sickly

intoxicating rhythms of a clinic
as the rain settles down outside
it turns out it’s possible to feel cozy
while waiting for a vaccination

the guy next to me has a rose tattooed on his arm
about which everything has already been said
you just have to remember it

we are standing in line connected by unseen binds
and it’s likely we’ll never meet again
but for now we are bees in a single blossom

and all of this must be preserved against time
though once a doctor made it very plain:
if there are some patients who feel cool
because they wrote a poem or two
let them try and operate on someone’s brain

May 2021

 

 

the scales

radios spin songs of love’s martyrs
forgetting the necessity of weighing each word
on cumbersome scales – the balances
you used to see on childhood’s counters

when you couldn’t imagine you’d carry this heavy burden
that would weigh you down like a fly –
the kind of condition where you’re still alive
but one wing is already crooked

you didn’t throw sand in the eyes of the righteous
but couldn’t see how the infection had already spread
to all your mornings and evenings
grown a little numb and reminding you of tooth aches
caused by toffees whose sweetness knocks you out of balance

June 2021

 

 

in the waiting room

when you sit by the doctor’s office door late autumn
thinking the strangest thoughts about leaves
preparing to lie down in the ward of winter –
will they really get better in spring?

your eyes follow the ones wearing scrubs –
they don’t care one bit about how you really feel
but you can’t exactly blame them –
the answer may lie in their sardonic jokes about patients
who shoot off to clinics because they were stung by a fly

a few years later you’ll remember this grim afternoon
but first you’ll dream a confident person’s gestures
and hear the condescending tone of voice
though even in the dream you’ll understand –
the last time you saw them was lying in a coffin
like a dry matchstick waiting for the white flare to come

July 2021

 

 

obstacle

windshield wipers patiently preserve parking tickets
old posters smile and cold gusts of wind
scare passers-by who cower like crocuses in spring though
there’s no need to confuse things for this is summer whose anger
blows biting air into the back of autumn and you’re standing
with your crutches wondering how to get onto that damned sidewalk

November 2021

 

 

rainy morning

I don’t understand how Chopin could hear the rain
whose roar drives me out of my mind –
though growing a little calmer
it’s just a boring thrum
whose drops on the window greedily drink up the view
and yet a rainy morning is a perfect time
to learn how to play a new piece
you begin with scales and arpeggios
you feel your fingers warm up
just like those which gently caress
a recalcitrant lock of hair
while you can only yearn for yourself –
egoism? fear of attachment? something else?
I don’t understand
how it’s possible to hear
the clouds gathering around a heart
which is itself about to crack like the mad trees with white trunks
so white they need to be pruned away

May 2021

 

 

Vilkija

the ferry sails
from one shore to another
the church spires shine like sharpened knives
not far from Serenity Street two women chat
and then go their separate ways

maybe this is the best place to begin a journey –
this place which has held me too long
someday I’ll tell my students about the compass needle
but I’ll need a teacher myself
for the compasses have all gone bad

I remember feeling aggrieved in a cold cold church
but was told simply to remain
and that really is the only way to see
how Saint Florian puts out the fire
how Saint George lays out the dragon
how the blue wolf gets out of the poem

but the ferry
just sails from one shore to another:
it can’t make up its mind

July-October 2021

 

 

 

 

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