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Syndic Literary Journal

A Kind of World We Live in Somehow

Written by Marius Chelaru

Translated from the Romanian by Olimpia Iacob and Jim Kacian

Narrated by Bill Wolak


          For those who flow

          like a water of birds between past and future


the people were like some birds

with branches for hands and cut wings

so that they can fly


some people try on words

as if clothes


others seem to have always been gathered up in camps

teeming by the fire

in which they burn their memories

in silence they bite at their past they do not want any more

spitting a piece of their yesterday’s bodies


one of them looked at me

as when you understand that everybody dies all alone

and lives more lonely than dying


another lay before me

as if a transparent carpet

I looked at him

he had a bullet for an eye

and for a heart he had but broken memories full of blood 


a child

passed through my glance

as through an angel’s tear


instead of smiles he had his boyhood’s absence

instead of words I felt

only hatred’s fingers of he who had hit him

tearing off my glance


at home

the streets are all the same



this day lacks a few people

I barely felt them

passing like mist through this world



the people were like birds

with tears for hands and cut wings

so that they cannot fly


Marius Chelaru is a Romanian poet, editor/director/contributor to various national/international cultural magazines and journals from Romania and abroad. Chelaru has contributed articles, poems, essays, literary criticism, prose, translations, interviews, and book-reviews to various international anthologies, magazines, and journals from Romania and abroad. He has published over 40 books including novels, poems, and essays. His works have been translated into over 25 languages.
Olimpia Iacob  graduated from the Faculty of Letters of the “Al. I. Cuza” University from which she earned a Ph.D. in 2000 with a dissertation entitled Translation Theory Applied to the Poetry of Nichita Stanescu.  Her book-length translations include works in poetry by Cassian Maria Spiridon (translated with Jim Kacian), Gabriel Stanescu, Mircea Petean (translated with William  Wolak) Daniel Corbu (translated with Jim Kacian) Marius Chelaru (translated with Gabriel Rosenstock), George Vulturescu (translated with Adam J. Sorkin). She is a member of the Writers’ Union of Romania. 
Jim Kacian is founder and president of The Haiku Foundation (, a world-wide non-profit that seeks to archive the first century of haiku in the West, and to create new opportunities for its second; founder and owner of Red Moon Press (, the pre-eminent dedicated publishing house of English-language haiku in the world; editor-in-chief of Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (W. W. Norton, 2013,, the definitive work on the subject; author of more than a score of books of poetry, primarily haiku; and translator of another score of books of poetry, from Japanese and (especially) Romanian (with co-translator Olimpia Iacob).



































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