vr banner19

reflections on belonging

a palmers chronicle right bw

Graphic Novels

Kerry Shawn Keys. Druskininkai, Lithuania, 2021. Photo by Vladas Braziūnas.
I have people visiting me – Martin Heidegger came and we talked about the Black Forest and Celan. Li Po comes sometimes, Hanshan, and we get drunk on moonshine with my friend Sergej Jeriomenko. Omar Khayyam and Chorizo and Ko come a lot because they like currant and apple wine.

Photo by Dainius Dirgėla
Surely we remember the last couple of years, with all that talk about 5G, the pandemic madness, and all the conspiracy theories. One insane theory is replaced by an even madder one. These theories are what influence large numbers, even masses of people. All the while the sphere of poetry, however small, I think, still holds sway over its people, perhaps even exercising its ability to change them.

Photo by Dainius Dirgėla
I wrote this three years ago: “Nature can bid us farewell quietly, easily. Our vacation here will end here and now, in the most surprising of ways.
I do not try to oppose culture/civilization with nature. I sometimes think though, perhaps we should be a little slower, more silent? More humble? Can we not feel how the axle on the rollercoaster ride is starting to break?

Photo by Anton Lukuszevieze
We litter our virtual world as much as the physical one. It gets more and more difficult to find anything genuine in this torrent, especially when those pesky search engines think they know better what you really want. My way of dealing with this torrent of information is to deconstruct it by appropriating it and using it in my work.

Photo by Dainius Dirgėla
I believe everything lacks resonance these days: not just the outstanding literary writing and prominent figures who remain on the sidelines, but also those positioned very close to the “mainstream.”

It seems to me now that by discovering the things that naturally captivate your attention, but through the lens of science, philosophy, or politics, you acquire immense power and become more conscious. You finally find a way to discuss these topics with others. Without that, everything is relegated to the level of emotions and hunches, and maybe that is a very vulnerable position.

So, when we change our mode of speech, or if we manage to find a more personal, routine, micro-perspective for a global topic, we imbue it with a new quality. Tones, half-tones, shadows, variations between humor and (self-)irony—these are very important tools for me both in life and in my creative pursuits.

Photo by Regimantas Tamošaitis
And yet I ask myself: is there a person in this world whose life can’t be portrayed both in one way and another? Both strange, intriguing and a participant in various events, and at the same time as completely boring? Most likely there is no such person. The writer only needs to make the right choice of viewpoint. 

Photo from monthly "Metai"
So my text grows like an infant – rocked and carried around. It’s a really pleasant and delicate sensation. When I sit down to write, everything is already done and clear to me. All that’s left is the technical bit.

Photo by Laima Stasiulionytė
The idea of freedom is very important to me – the freedom to choose, to make mistakes, to make decisions and thereby live an authentic life, as much as that is even possible. Perhaps that’s what some readers of Malalietka found to be abnormal: the narrator behaves as she sees fit, not caring about the opinions of others, seeking to test every “truth“ herself.

Photo by Rimas Užgiris
And anyone who wants to write poetry should be reading contemporary poetry, and they should be asking themselves if the language they are using is right for their experience, or are they just re-hashing old themes with the same old linguistic devices?



logo lrsThe Lithuanian Culture Institutelogo lim

Write us