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Tadas Žvirinskis – a poet, prose author, and translator. And a pharmacist, too. Because of this, his eldest son calls him a poecist (poet+pharmacist). Born in Vilnius during the sexy year of 1969. This fact ought to be mentioned because the progressive women-critics like to accuse the poecist of sexism – but just blame it on the year of birth! Žvirinskis graduated from secondary school in 1987 and moved to Kaunas to study pharmacy. He managed to serve a little in the Soviet army, too, which he detests to this day. Luckily, as Lithuania regained its independence, this army took a hike and hauled off all of its tanks and rockets with it and – as luck would have it – to this day hasn’t returned. Tadas got his degree in 1993 and returned to Vilnius. He still lives, works, and writes here. A nonideal father of three children. Author of eight poetry and prose books. He really adores the Neris River, the poetry of Jim Morrison, dogs, birds, and other innocent inhabitants of this and the other world. Deviser of Fried Eggs Day and an absolute misunderstanding of the Lithuanian literary scene. Member of the Lithuanian Writers Union.

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reflections on belonging

a palmers chronicle right bw

Graphic Novels

Illustration by Daiva Kairevičiūtė

 

 

The beginning of the end

 

Snowy winter in a cold church, we
Clambered up scaffolding,
Covered with a dirty cloth.
You showed me unveiled frescoes -
Few centuries old,
Grayish green,
Pale. Tuberculosis-like.

I saw you loved them no less
Than me. I saw your eyes sparkle
When you were talking about them.
And I was staring at you thinking:
“My God, I have never been
So close to you and never
So far away from this woman.“

I took a picture of us two
In this rosy dusk.
What an interesting picture – as if
Even hell could not part us.
“So nicely said"
You purred, though we both knew,
That we would not be together.


 

Tooth pulling

During the globally celebrated Poetry day,
Father‘s hand, abundantly soaked in
Daughter‘s tears              
Steals the baby tooth so
Swiftly, that miserable youngster
Is just pleasantly surprised –
And that‘s it?
Yes, that‘s it.
We place the tooth
Into a box
We are waiting for the tooth fairy
Coin under the pillow.
Daugther cuddles up to her father.
Happy end.

Happy endings like these should be
Shared with the City and the World!

But no, not here -
Because here is a tired poet,
Working as a salesman, he
Can‘t find peace.
Only old Sicilian friend
Nero D‘Avola
Can still calm him down for a moment.
Everything is heading towards resolution,
Most probably it will be atomic.
And there will be neither City,
Nor World,
Just a little baby tooth
In a tin box -

A perfect monument
For the end of perfect time.

Tadas Zvirinskis 03Illustration by Daiva Kairevičiūtė

 

Blasphemous Gospel


We live on ancestors‘ bones.
We drink water
Deluted with their last
Sighs.

We are plowing the tear-watered
Earth, reenacting the miracle of birth,
Which most likely we received
As a punishment.

We try to change the world,
Which is too slow to change us,
We are a reoccuring mistake,
Fatal and uncorrectable.

Does death play the lute well?
Does it dreamilly close its
Eye sockets while blood rain is falling
Into the sunset‘s gifted Venus‘s sash?

See and go blind,
My neighbor.


 

Looks like a butterfly

Our child’s name - Phalenopsis.
Nobody is surprised by the rare name  anymore.

I get him from the nursery,
Gently carry him in my hands to the car,
Carefuly place him in the back seat,
Buckle him down.

We start moving towards you -
To a cozy old town cafe,
Where you are waiting for us to arrive.

On our way we chitchat about trivial things
I ask something non-essential,
But get no answers.
I try not to be pesky,
As evening is always dumber than morning.
I just drive
Lights all around blinking and flickering.

Finally – the destination.
I take Phalenopsis into my arms,
We go to meet you.

You see us, view the child
As if you’ve seen him for the first time -
So much joy in you, so much hapiness!

Happy is the moment
When we all meet and  are all together -
One happy family.

And it doesn’t matter that our child is
An orchid in the pot.

Tadas Zvirinskis 04Illustration by Daiva Kairevičiūtė

Missed oportunities


That’s how it happens:
Robotics academy, prepaid,
And I am waiting for my relationships
with God and people to resolve -
I can’t make the first step with a stretched out palm:
God doesn‘t care about live matter fragment,
And people would think that I am asking for alms.

Or even like this:
Young man chooses death in a grove,
Office plankton debauches till dawn,
Because there are leftovers from teambuilding.
Gas station operator always smiles,
Though there‘s little good of me -
Just a cup of imitation cocoa.

And for sure it doesn’t happen like this:
The sun is drowning on Maiami beach,
After releasing a master manicurist,
I make myself comfortable
In a leather armchair of a fancy hotel room,
And wait for Ricky Martin to appear,

‘Cause he wants to tell me something important.

 

Translated by Živilė Symeonidis

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