Jacek Dehnel

Central Station

What drove them to come here, among the tables
of the station’s chrome and coarse design
with its foreign lexis (“latte”, “donat”, “mocha”)
and apparent comfort? What important holiday –
granddaughter’s first communion, godson’s wedding? –
drew them from their apartment by bob and cap,
tossed them from one ticket office to the next
and had their green valise of ordinary things
rumble across the Central Station’s slabs?

He, with an elegance

a trifle lower class, she in her “facial shoes”,
he carrying her golden-patterned cream handbag,
she telling him: “Staś , you’d prefer…” – a loud shout interrupts –
“…wouldn’t you? Take this chocolate, then.” What culture
did create her antediluvian hairdo, his neckerchief, her
unfashionable jacket? They’re like a pair of tritons
that some capricious current has washed up on the coast
of cast-out material, an heraldic relief you find, surprised,
between the logos of Reserved and Empik.

pdf EN

translated by Wojciech Maslarz

first published by New Europe Writers

Jacek Dehnel (born 1980) in Gdańsk, Poland is a poet, writer, translator and painter.  He lives in Warsaw. His first collection of poems was the last book recommended by Polish Nobel Prize Laureate, Czesław Miłosz. Dehnel has published his poems in various literary magazines, including Kwartalnik Artystyczny, Studium, Przegląd Artystyczno-Literacki, Topos, Tytuł, Undergrunt. He works also for an internet literary portal Nieszuflada.

Jacek Dehnel Laureat licznych konkursów poetyckich. Autor książek poetyckich, powieści i opowiadań. Publikował m.in. w “Studium”, “Toposie”, “Tytule”, “Kwartalniku Artystycznym” oraz “Przeglądzie Powszechnym”. Tłumaczył m.in. wiersze Osipa Mandelsztama (niepublikowane) i Philipa Larkina. Zasiada w Radzie Programowej Galerii Zachęta. Jest felietonistą portalu Wirtualna Polska (dział Książki) i Polityki (dział “Kawiarnia literacka”). Mieszka w Warszawie.