Inga Pizāne

You get used to everything.

To contemporary dance and poetry.
To Bukowski, who drinks and fucks in every third poem
and sends everyone to hell.
I am reading a book of his selected poems in my countryside home.
On a bench between the well, woodshed, and greenhouse
and lavender, which won’t be here anymore tomorrow.
With coffee in my childhood mug, which has lions on it –
they don’t realize I’ve grown up
“Maybe for a change you want to go hunt for mushrooms?”
I hear my mom’s voice and exchange Charles for chanterelles.
I pick enough for a sauce.
What would you take: the sauce or a poem?
In the evening – the room is full of mosquitos. You get used to everything.
I pretend not to hear them as I fall asleep,
thinking about unanswered letters.
What awakens in you, when you fall asleep?
And what falls asleep in you when you awaken?
I wake up and ask my mom to sew
a face mask for me with the words “Silence Before Poetry.”
She sews it, and I watch, “as my lost childhood
dives into the frozen sea like a dolphin.”
You get used to everything.
If you wake up.


She died in March.
On the way to a funeral. She fainted. The snow was deep,
left over from the winter.
They found her the next day.
She liked making boxes by sewing greeting cards together,
which had photos of flowers on them.
She adored flowers,
She had a garden.
She didn’t have work.
She tried to pull herself together and didn’t drink for a time.
She hadn’t drunk on the day of her death.
She loved another man.
I remember how we colored coloring books
at her place with my sister.
Outside there was a table, covered with an oilcloth.
I only met her a few times in my life.
One of those times was at her funeral.
She died in March.
My mom cried a lot. I cried,
because my mom cried.
I didn’t know much about death,
but I felt that you don’t come back from there.
They placed her next to my grandfather,
who had died a year prior.
She was born in March.

INGA PIZĀNE is a Latvian poet who loves cinema and photography. She is the author of three books of poetry. Her collection Having Never Met (2018) was published by A Midsummer Night’s Press in an English translation by Jayde Will. Inga has taken part in many European Poetry Festival events as well as the Poetry Festival in New York among other festivals and workshops. She lives in Riga, Latvia.


JAYDE WILL is a writer and translator. Recent translations include Alberts Bels’s novel Insomnia (Parthian Books, 2020), Arvis Viguls’s poetry collection They (Valley Press, 2020), and The Last Model, an anthology of Latgalian poetry (Francis Boutle Publishers 2020). His poetry, short stories, and essays can be found in Words Without Borders, Vilnius Review,, Strāva, Avīzes Nosaukums, and Panel Magazine.