Poems by Andrei Ruse

translated from Romanian by Nigel Walker & Loredana Matei [MTTLC student]

#super hero

(…) no one knows that I am a super hero
A few might suspect it, but they wouldn’t bet a cookie.
I am a super hero and I light my joint
As a super hero does,
From a carbonized old trout,
An ex literature teacher
retired three years ago.

# the city wants me to screw his women

He wants to undress them all
In his buildings
In his apartments

The city wants me to protect

The city wants me to use gel

He wants me to travel in his opulent cabs
He wants me to hurry

The city knows I’m dying

The city wants to show me something

He wants me to buy cigarettes and coke
And a cell-phone with a smart camera

The city has thousands of complicated
pipes and sinkholes
just to take away my excrement
Somewhere I can’t smell it

The city wants me to use expensive perfumes

He wants me to write about him

The city has many flat screens
Many shop windows
Many churches and many casinos
Many dogs

The city wants me to believe in myself

He wants me to give him money

The city wants me to be the owner
Of an important company

The city has thousands of traffic lights and parking spaces

He wants me to have a sports car
In which I could drive all the women
He wants me to screw

The city wants to give me head

The city has beautiful coffins for the dead ones
The city has emergency numbers
He has hospitals

The city takes care of me

He wants me to smoke weed
He wants me to drink good wines
And draft beer

The city loves me for what I am

The city wants me to dance

The city wants me to imagine and innovate

The city wants me to eat in his restaurants

The city wants me to have children with his women
That I shall send to his schools and wars

The city wants me to have a big pension

The city has gym halls
The city has psychologists
Rehab centres and morgues

The city wants me to look good


I have been smoking for nine years,
A cigarette ot two, every night
in the same place

four square metres into the yard
from Colentina,
where I keep spinning.

this earth has inherited thickness
no blade of grass grows here
no tiny being approaches

nothing has changed in nine years
I wear 44 now and my foot won’t grow any bigger

maybe only that I pull harder from my cigarette

nothing new,only the same pantomime that I perform
the only sign, that in this yard
someone is alive.

# Error 1791

I have been ill of all diseases
And suffered all possible phobias
It’s sufficient to hear about them as I pass by
Or just read a line about
Their symptoms

A few days, a week or maybe more
I suffer, like a dog, from anxieties and pain which are not mine

I wake as what they call a healthy person
And I go to bed a schizophrenic

I hear voices if I want to, each more bizarre
Demonic and angelic simultaneously
I feel there is no atom
Of hate or love, wood or reinforced cement
There is no sexual intercourse and no murder
In which I am not present too.

I am everything at once and the merest nothing
I am sane and totally mad
I live in hours when I walk the road
And centuries when I walk my mind

I’m a cancer, I’m a psychosis, I’m anxiety
The mad beauty of this world and its sickness
The envy, the frustration, the fear
A hero who hasn’t found his battle yet
That which will make him immortal
An arrogant humbler

I am sick of something no doctor could tell me about
I am happy for no reason, sad so that I sink to my knees
For fear there might be places without music

I don’t know what to do, I examine them, one by one, carefully
To see which suits me

A simple patient, searching for his disease and it’s name
What do you have for me, healthy people?


The washing machine is shaking
My clothes are im pec ca ble
I repeat to you im pec ca ble
I have already put them through three times
I’m just waiting for the smell of solitude to rinse out
That they have caught

I download movies at 4mps
All the movies
All of them
Are made for me

I watch VH1
On mute
I don’t have the power to listen to slow songs
I’ve learnt not to take risks with lyrics that
Could remind me of anybody

I spent my last money on some huge bags of
Plastic sheeting
I spread them all over the house
I will collect each hair that falls
Every piece of dead skin
I will create from the pickings
The best imaginary friend

# I’ve been thinking about a beer since three hours ago

I’m thinking about the bottle
I’m thinking about the color of the bottle at the right temperature
I’m thinking of the pub where I’d drink it
of the store from where I’d buy it and the salesman’s face
of his hand which will open to receive the money
my yellow opener from the drawer
a glass taken randomly
Since three hours ago I’ve been thinking of what it means for me the word beer
About whom it reminds me and about whom it doesn’t
I’ve been thinking about the wild drunks,
About Niculae’s goal from more than 40 m away when nobody thought
That Rapid will eliminate Hamburg

In three hours I repeated so many times the word beer that
It wouldn’t make any sense
If I get up and go
To take one.

# brasov, 7 km

there is a place where you can see the entire town
the world is perfect, so quiet
and you feel as if you can sweep up everything in only a second

people are small, you perceive them, you invent them
you give them names
you buy them some cheap clothes
some appliances
you select a pet
a favourite bar
a childhood rather unhappy
(they will never know the fate that you have decided for them)

if you turn around too suddenly
like the time you have two brilliant ideas
and forget them both
because you do not know which one you should choose

you might believe that after the corner there’s a huge store
a supermarket from where you can buy everything on tick
without ever coming back and

I think that God
The way he should be- whether he exists or not
God must be really great,
And damn funny.

# I once saw an angel in Colentina

it was about 4 o’clock in the morning
I had been running out of battery, of money and of cigarettes
I was playing on a bench with my own breathe
I kept blasting from my mouth into my nose the acute smell of jack

then you came along

you weren’t aware of anything
you were proud that you had made 18 years old, that you were wearing D on your bra
and that you had graduated highschool with seven

you tell me that you are about to became a successful woman
and you would be leaving to befar away in africa and live
the rest of your life in a straw hutch
alongside a black man with whom you would
stroll into the jungle on an elephant.

your dream was to teach the baboons to play tig among the lianas

then you told me something about
a well-known case of murder from our neighbourhood
you were frightened
but were amusing yourself at the same time by the fact that it could be me.


now that I have seen the world
as it really is

a garden full of weeds
that bind to the most fragile
and beautiful flowers
that rapaciously cover their morning sun light
and suck their life slowly root and branch
until they drain,

now the only great thing and the single sureness
that I am aware of
is that love really exists and
that it may begin right here.

Poems by Andrei Ruse

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