Poems by

Floarea Ţuţuianu 

The Lion Mark


Every morning a woman

slips out of a man’s skin and throws herself on the flames

I no longer know what I look like

here where the eye rolls in complete circles not seeing itself

here where the sand makes you one with the earth that fills you

I write on sand: Nexus Plexus Sexus

Minodora Mitrodora Nymphodora until

the sand rushes off helter-skelter (I. A line furrowing the sand)

I’m flat on the ground I tell myself pressing my face to the soil

mumbling shameless words through nose and mouth

I’ll have to prepare a word with flesh of my flesh

and blood of my blood

He is going to fill me. This word will be my soul

I’ll give birth to him through my mouth. I stand up and stumble

in my wings


Over his shoulder the Lion Mark gazes at me with meek yellow



Leda and the Swan


I laughed cut loose turned cartwheels

I invented men of paper

from paper head to paper toe eyes bulging with words


I laughed squandered words

until mere skin and bone I survived in just one word


I threw that word high in the air

Then golden rain fecundated the poet in me

(while on the wall I drew the shadow of my sex)


The lunatic the virgin the man poked their heads out

They breathed fire through gaping mouths at the stroke of each



Oh Lord God, let me stay woman

I want to be Leda the swan between my legs


„He Hasn’t Yet Been Born“ [or: ***—use either Romanian or American way]


He hasn’t yet been born

the man who could be half what I am as a woman


Even if they weep between my thighs

my lovers are the good old boys of other women

Together we make paper children whom we raise with zeal

When we get bored we fold them into airplanes

because it’s endless and tiring for the body

to read books


You can’t take a man from another woman’s mouth


Wasted on page after page their seed swells my books


Pale I feel the tree of life rustling through them


Their smiles I cut myself on each morning

The blood I bathe in each night

because love is as indomitable as death tramp tramp tramping

toward life


He hasn’t yet been born

the man who could be half what I am as a woman


The Art of Seduction


Ear doesn’t hear me. Eye sees what it believes

Tongue doesn’t obey. Time is against me


Somebody comes leafs through me goes away. Somebody else


Tramps all over me waits. The last to come

shall also be the first who:

Puts a finger on his tongue then riffles through me

page by page: only sophisticated words with a model’s legs

He sees in color everything moves. Let him lead us on


I prolong it through words. Only milk and honey

He squeezes me between pages. He wants to know so much


I pour a little poison. Just enough to. I bathe it in words

I stay on his brain on his tongue. I spew fire and pearls from my



Loneliness gets transmitted from me through oral contact


He turns pensive. Sees blue. Is someone else

Wants to capture me alive. Skin me

I scream discreetly disappear with easy elegance between the



Ear doesn’t hear me. Eye sees what it believes

Tongue doesn’t obey. Time is against me


A Kingdom for a Man


Little nightmares nip at me

I’m sitting on a thousand and one needles. The sand eddies

Silver scales glisten in the soil

                        I see the snake-woman


An angel comes and goes comes and goes. Bends above

a siren who scarcely can breathe through her bronchi

But who covers her hand with her sex (her sex of shells)

                        I see the fish-woman


A kingdom. For a man

 Nothing can be compared to the dew of his browthat dropped on my lips while he sweated above me 

Oh, Nonnus, it’s not for you to understand but the gods

applaud me


Translated by

Adam J. Sorkin and Irma Giannetti 



» anul XIX, 2008, nr. 7 (218)