Evaldas Mikalauskis, Būsscenos V, aquatint, soft lacquer, etching, drypoint, 16, 7 x 37, 6, from the MO museum collection.

Poems from the book “Apie reiškinius” (On Phenomena)


On Phenomena III

I remember watching a documentary once
about soldiers returning home, it seems, from Iraq
or some other unfriendly place:
moving scenes, of course – crying daughters
women, sons, brothers, all crying, falling
into embraces, around the neck, at the feet of this
suddenly shy bull who spent years killing people
and now he’s standing there with roses and
a giant pink bunny

but that wasn’t the saddest part
that wasn’t what made me sob so much
that my girlfriend asked me what
it is that I’m watching

this is what I saw:
a still young man, maybe twenty-four,
not more, no balloons, roses or rabbits,
returning to his trailer in some shitty neighborhood,
one of those where you’re even scared to walk during the day,
returning to be greeted by nothing more
than his now doddering
golden retriever


On Phenomena VI

walking to the store the other day
I saw a miracle

this band of brats – the oldest
was not more than eleven – a well-known
gang, the very worst, hard-drinking parents
driving them into the streets

the aforementioned eleven year old
is blazing a trail with clear intent, as if to war

and yet, not at all –
she’s going to the store

then I, leaving, took another look:
she’s standing by the cashier
showing her this baked bun, standing
straight, shaking, her lower jaw
protruding, a veritable storm
in her eyes, wild, demonic

but a silky voice
escapes her lips:

look at this


Eglė Queen of Serpants Relates an Incident from a Bad Neighborhood

after leaving the grocery store
he was walking through the neighborhood
carrying a liter of milk

and some tenement Bonaparte
got in his face, asking
him questions – for the time
for some cigarettes

up to the point, of course,
of threats, complaints about
the lack of cigarettes, until
he got the liter of milk
smashed across his ear,
a fist in his nose, with precision

he was on the ground at once,
lying there, moaning, and
the first one is now really mad –
he straddles the guy and really
gives it to him: nose shot, nose shot

yelling: you fuck, you think
you can fuck with me, next time
I swear I’m gonna kill you

and in the world all around –
just milk and blood



after GG

he’s the best student in class
he’s also the best on the football team
he’s the first of his friends to find a girl
he knows perfectly well how to plane and polish
he doesn’t lack knowledge of ancient Hebrew
he plays poker and hearts without fault
he’s an avid Christian believer
he doesn’t only reject other gods – he doesn’t know of any other
he likes to identify himself with Jesus
he’s a rebel and a soldier
he’s passive aggressive
he can when attach himself to an eighteen wheeler when needed
he can defeat the army of the evil Megatron
he doesn’t like it when people say his intelligence is artificial
he has nerves of steel and a steel sternum
he has a steel nose and a steely expression
he has a steel shaft and his girlfriend worships him for it
he speaks with a charmingly electric accent
he’s not reticent because his wires know no resistence
he’s modern in every way
he’s the newest version, working without scruple

at this point, I could invent some dramatic
end, such as,
he blew up
or, he suffered
a short circuit

but no – he’s still functioning:
marching through the desert
cursing out Duracell
with his last words



and so they live
reproducing with relish
they build an underground communication
system, cultivate fungi
take up agriculture
and animal husbandry with
no less than one out of
domesticated species

and generally, they seem
much more advanced
than humanity – there is no altruism
or egoism, there’s just do your job
for pleasure or the community’s
benefit, in other words
all ants take pleasure in
all other ants taking pleasure
and there’s no damn GDP
or human social development

pure theoretical communism
in its very essence
you just work and work
day after day
night after night
dragging home all kinds of things
whose weight is forty times
greater than your own

then some cretin
shows up and kicks
it all to hell

your community
your progress
and your progressive


A Person with Questions

he asked all kinds of foolish questions

as if he were some small child
he’s accost you with – and why? and what is it?
and for whom? and what for? what’s the meaning?
or, what’s not the meaning?
and what’s the point
of all this?

we tried to coax him gently
into some monastery or something
but no – he refused, saying
he would only be taught not to ask

(he had
no tact
at all)

once, it’s true, he tried to rehabilitate
himself, believing that there is no one
correct answer, no absolute truth
and that opened up an all new hell –
he tried to find all the truths at once

he annoyed people to the point of rage
men wanted to punch him in the face
women ignored him as much as possible
remaining cold and distant

and no one
had any idea
what the answers where


Reader’s Digest

I know what they need
I know what they want
from me

they want mystification
they want a veil of secrets

they want to look at me
and think: what is going on
inside him

why does he speak like that
always using recondite and
obscure words and
doesn’t let us feel
how full of shit he is

and why does he walk like that
as if  we don’t matter to him
at all

why doesn’t he walk
but go and where
is he going

why doesn’t he like frivolous
flirtation and romance and
why does he only get with girls
when drunk as a skunk

we have the right to know
they think, getting more and more



Translation by Rimas Uzgiris your social media marketing partner



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