September 2023 Poetry Feature: Uljana Wolf

Poems by ULJANA WOLF, translated by GREG NISSAN.

Six poems from kochanie, today i bought bread, New from World Poetry Books.


shoes danced to shreds 

as a fable
1 soldier danced
12 maidens to shreds

i am beautiful
at heart a ballroom
woman chamber woman
for a lifetime

if my father
oh my father                           
weren’t world
above ground
world of 1 soldier

who cracked what                                           
in the dreams of 12 maidens—                                    

(still no talk                                                   
of legs)       


legnica północna

legnica your direction is uttered: night halfnight
legnica your sirens rise in the gate-keeper’s lodge
and keep the flag on all clear:
            yellow yellow the direction’s right
a crooked wave the gate the cross
legnica in singsong of tracks land trickles away
legnica your sky directs itself toward: light halflight  



my friend: this is
our pothole love
our little border traffic
clumsy under tongues

our dimmer-time blessing
now caress me
on this ink pad
until we make it
through customs

my friend: maybe we’ll
smuggle fully-fledged  
taste buds
gazeta wyborcza and                            

coin some coins
in a fleeting
oral cavity stuffed
to the brim 
at rush hour


crunch I

that you
always search for
the door behind the threshold
this kiss is not
a house


crunch II

only you call
from my lips
as if from banks
riverorphaned gravel
back to its mouthbed


kryż polny

summer kneels
on the fringe of fields

whoever is stronger than his father
older than his auto

drives dust
around the field cross

from wheels
rise bright walls

summer has a girl
riding shotgun

with red straps hair
breezes many meters

behind each braking
an arch straddles the fieldpath lord

in a hot
dry skidmark



Uljana Wolf, b. 1979 in East Berlin, is a German poet, translator, and essayist. Her work crosses poetry, translation, and languages in between. She has published four books of poetry, numerous poetry translations, and a collection of essays and talks, Etymologischer Gossip (Kookbooks 2021).

Greg Nissan is a poet and translator living in New York. They are the author of The City Is Lush With / Obstructed Views (DoubleCross Press) and the translator of War Diary by Yevgenia Belorusets (New Directions).

September 2023 Poetry Feature: Uljana Wolf

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