Selected poems by Bianka Rolando

The Last Open Meeting Point

Trembling I rise, my chilled hands rustle

as I wrap letterhead around four rhomboids

At the side, a data transfusion, a blood transfusion

Subtle clots, of which the papers do not speak

due to illegibility


At the station, nearby, a terrified girl

gazes at me, awaiting my ascent


In the past, in the future Fattening Animals

The coarse tongues of calves drinking my blood and yours

in hallways packed with the tobacco of the grace of god

Of the presumption of innocence, ha

Everything around us is awaiting, a-wailing

“Give my food, give me food ahead of time

At least half of portion!”


Come after midnight, with a sure step!

Wait a Moment, We’ll Soon Head for the East

White underfoot, backwater of might

tongues of fur, empty warehouses 

choking up, choice enemies

looking away, and yet, perhaps

a moment more and we’ll flee to the East

Stealing into favour with the morose

camouflage, evading the cold


The echo from the West carries this far

those distortions reach greedy ears

doctored grammars, chippings

What’s the East, screw it

wasting away, needless flowers

you can shove them into the ground cut

They won’t catch root, but it will seem

What we get isn’t what we had a moment ago

besides, as they used to say around here

I’ve left the heathlands and nightmares behind

I was a bit late, December traditions

The best always comes last


In the East a moment lasts millennia, and so

I discovered the cure for immortality, everything depends


Paper Chase [1]

Lost on boards, found by a bitch

that caught the scent in the rising cry of a rooster

A word in traps set by a rat

glistens like broken bottles in an imaginary toque

An aversion for words chanted at the wholesaler’s

choking outside of a slab cut down by white


How goes it with this abundance of bulb, bland  and white,

with extracting it in the field from a very dead bitch

Who do you want to save in amounts fit for wholesale,

swindlers woken up by dead roosters?

Am I holding their coin in this mirror’s toque,

can I trade it for a ticket to the city of the rat?


He lowers his face, calling for the return of the rat

“Words are fake mirrors, worm-ridden is the color white”

Remonstrates the last one, putting on for the seventh time his toque,

“Will she have to seek the game again, that same bitch,

after all she wasn’t called to prayer by the roosters

in our crack-ridden warehouse


I have to scrap golden gates for sound wholesale

appropriating the rubble, riffing this voice of a rat

The pennants of innocence on the graves of roosters,

black pawns on the board pounded years ago into white

“Will she seek out failure again, that same bitch

to roll our bones in a six-sided toque?”


Behold the race of the path in the concrete toque

after which we’ll steal something else from the warehouse

some six times mis-leading the breach we’ll reach Hecuba

drawing our escape route even with the head of a rat

from the black pages of judges, from lines of white

and from dreams I will bring forth the entrails of the rooster


a girl’s garbage truck buried it in the light of the rooster


when they chocked on their own cackle, with the toque

they counted the points with edges burned white,

smashed are the mirrors of eyes of all the wholesalers’

and the tribunes collapsed howling at the sign of the rat

and pompoms of string and, holding it, the bitches


A rooster’s prayer “according to the rules white has disappeared”

in the warehouse of the sole toque, in the gymnastics of the rat

bitching for the gates, it exits through the audience.


[1] The sestina is based on six words I found graffitied on the walls of the old Edmund Szyc stadium in Poznan (Poland). In the 1940s it was the site of a forced labor camp where Jewish workers were hanged. A group of young women would come to watch these ‘spectacles’, actively cheering.

Billions are in the West

I am a favourite in the cities round here, my name is on their lips

The traditions of western billions, they’re gathering dust

their patina carved off by an accidental touch

we murmur after victory, but in truth for defeat

To the west, my skin is nearly indigo, yes

hair, almost fair, covers me like heavy tassels

Wealthy fathers have unjust whores sent to them

from the East, from the South and the night is already extended for them

Divided, apportioned in billions, they are in the West

Hidden in the eyebrows and of whorish porcelain, I exhort

 “Count my eyebrows and their glistening tips, protecting me

Let’s play cricket one more time, let’s take a short run

while making a racket and a billion funny, dainty steps                                                                                                      

Everyone clothed in white, we will look at each other haughtily

We will look, appraising the immaculate cut of our jackets and bodies

Sometimes however I wet my lips with foreign wines

it then appears to me, that I’m that forefather

who flew into space and discovered all things

that death and boredom alone are written for us in the stars

They say in the South, in the East, that God has not died

for billions I’ll go into your jungles, I’ll prove

I’ll grab hold of some kind of green help, a hint

I’ll grab your vines as they dangle, limp from above

I’ll seek out where and whence their source is, defined

I’ll stand in the middle, surrounded by promises unfulfilled

You can imagine unknown kingdoms

but I assure you, you’ll find only greenness, only cold”

And there is surely something lacking up above, surely

yes, surely there are billions in the West

Digging for Diamonds

Let me whisper something in your ear, Brother,

Here, hold this contrary backhoe

in these bootleg mineshafts of ours,

we’ll plunder each other tonight

and I’ll take everything from you save the chain,

the one that jangles, betraying a clammy hand

Come, we’ll drink in a ravine of wicker,

with cracking beams, it will collapse on us,

they will know you by lack of spirit,

and they will know me by you

translation: Anna Purisch