Amateurs borrow, professionals steal, and this month we're accessories after the fact, presenting a collection of pieces based on, alluding to, and just plain pinched from the work of others. Our contributors target writers from a variety of countries and eras to mimic and riff on, and subvert plots, characters, and the authors themselves. Venezuela's Slavko Zupcic finds theft can be fatal. Eduardo Halfon traces the steps of Hemingway in Paris. Mexico's Guadalupe Nettel channels Haruki Murakami. Lion Feuchtwanger Prize-winner Michael Kleeberg introduces a lighthearted Heidegger. Juan Antonio Masoliver Ródenas honors his fellow poets Álvaro Pombo, Eugenio Montejo, and Antonio Gamoneda, while Dutch poet Nachoem Wijnberg meets bards of the Song and Tang Dynasties. Lúcia Bettencourt keeps watch at Marcel Proust's deathbed. Algeria's Mohamed Magani talks fishing with Richard Brautigan; Muharem Bazdulj conflates a Serbian classic with a British bestseller; and Christopher Kontonikolis proves that form follows function in his odes to ancient Greece. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, these subjects receive the most honest compliment of all.

Elsewhere, we present a group of contemporary Polish poets, selected by the critic Grzegorz Jankowski, including new poems by Jacek Dehnel, Julia Fiedorczuk, Justyna Bargielska, Edward Pasewicz, and Piotr Sommer.
 


Polish Poetry

Alterity

There’s no such thing as comfort for unhappy men.


I Wish I Had a Master

for one stray word/would mean the fall of kingdoms


only i am

only i am cruelty-free


Old-Fashioned

And then she died on us, utterly.


Adjectival Poem

Amazing spring, warm, humid / and full of backlit trees.


Bugging

All the hazel eyes are rotting now underground.


Utensils Shrink

Verbs swell before your eyes or / burst their seams.



Book Reviews

Sergio Chejfec’s “My Two Worlds”

Technology, for one, has begun to batter life’s perfect syntax


Raymond Roussel’s “Impressions of Africa”

Imagine an extravagant pageant during which a marksman shoots off the top of a soft-boiled egg


Eduardo Chirinos’s “Reasons for Writing Poetry”

At the heart of "Reasons for Writing Poetry," there is a figure: ostensibly, it’s all zebra from the waist down, but from there up, the Okapi, as it’s called, looks like a giraffe


Requiem

I was the one who killed Borges.

Bonsai

If I was a cactus, what kind of plant was Midori?

For Antonio Gamoneda

Maestro, I said, tell me, / reveal to me the secret of poetry.

For Álvaro Pombo

Because we lived in brothels / and in dungeons

For Eugenio Montejo

That night / Of Greek drunkenness/ In a Berlin tavern

from “A Garden in the North”

He recommended Valium and a trip to London.

On Tao Qian

He writes the way someone who is no longer impatient speaks.

Du Fu

Every word Du Fu uses, he read somewhere.

Marcel Proust’s Last Three Days

And you need to promise me one thing: don’t let them give me any injections.

Timon vs. Newton

By Zeus, do you know how to bring owls to Athens!

Timoniad

Hard as he tried, he could not save himself.