Three Poems
ILZĖ BUTKUTĖ
translated by RIMAS UZGIRIS

Black Glass Shade

The lake lies in shivers –
gazing up through gaps in the ice,
crossing the arms of its streams
above its aching head.

The summer lost its slipper here.
And in a neighboring field, nestled 
in a hornet’s nest, the blind moon 
slumbers in fullness, late to rise.

I stand nearby, gazing at the grass
where the lampshade of twilight ends.
A grasshopper raises its eyes
from August’s orchestra pit.

This confessional of stars. A pew
for the wind. We are a hand’s breadth
away from words we will not say, 
and from time that will have to wait.



Juodo stiklo gaubtas 

Ten ežeras guli pašiurpęs.
Akivarais žvelgia į viršų,
sunėręs upes lyg rankas
virš įskaudusios savo galvos.

Ten vasara pametė kurpę.
Ten pievoje, miegančių širšių
lizde pasislėpus akla
pilnatis išsirist pavėluos.

Kur baigiasi sutemų gaubtas,
sustoju ir žiūriu į žolę.
Čia žiogas pakėlęs akis
prie rugpjūčio orkestro duobės.

Žvaigždžių klausykla. Vėjų klauptas.
Ir mes, tik per sprindį nutolę
nuo žodžių, kurie nesakys.
Ir nuo laiko, kuris neskubės.






The Place

Night has come –
the city has been taken.

Time’s heart has stopped
in the towers.

Spears and shields clatter,
falling into fog.

The steamship’s wheel 
stops spinning its dreams.

Here is the harbor –
the place
where gods

drown us in drink,
having cursed us to dance
and make love.



Ta vieta 

Sutemo –
miesto paėmimas baigtas.

Ir bokštuose
sustoja laiko širdys.

Į miglą žvanga gula
skydai, ietys.

Sapnyno garlaivio
sustoja sraigtas.

Čia uostas –
ta vieta,
kur mus nugirdys

dievai,
užkeikę žmones šokti
ir mylėtis.






Rooms of Pollen

Come to the room of pollen, my friend,
Come – I’ll make you a bed for sleepless nights.
You will hear how the wind lies down in the grass 
and rises anew – how it clasps the waxing moon 

to its tired body, and covers itself again and again
with the frayed blue mantle of evening.
Charmed by the nonsense of nightingales,
the wind will not rest until the bog begins

to hum a lullaby sung by fairies in their youth.
Come here, my love – into this hall of pollen.
Come and see how sweetly we’ve learned to err.

How sleeplessness fattens its kids on our longing.



Žiedadulkių kambarys  

Ateik į žiedadulkių kambarį, mano bičiuli. 
Ateik, aš paklosiu tau patalą nemigos naktį. 
Galėsi klausytis, kaip vėjas į pievą vis gula 
ir kelias iš naujo – jis priešpilnį segas lyg sagtį

ir gailiai sudilusią mėlyną sutemų skraistę 
vis klojas ir klojas ant savo pavargusio kūno. 
Lakštingalos jį užkerėjo – kažko jam pripaistė, 
ir jis nebegali užmigti, kol vienišas liūnas 

 jam ima dainuoti lopšinę iš laumių vaikystės. 
Ateik, mano mylimas, čia – į žiedadulkių menę. 
Ateik ir žiūrėk, kaip gražiai mes išmokome klysti. 

 Kaip nemiga savo vaikus mūsų ilgesiu peni.











​ILZĖ BUTKUTĖ (b. 1984) is a poet. She studied photojournalism, and worked seven years in advertising. Her first book of poetry, Karavanų lopšinės (Caravan Lullabies) won the Zigmas Gaidamavičius-Gėlė Prize in 2011 for most significant debut and it was listed among the twelve most creative books of the year. She wrote (and published in 2013) a practical guide for workers oppressed by their employers, Atleisk savo šefa (Fire Your Boss). In 2014, her second book of poetry was published, Karnavalų mėnuo (Carnival Moon). Her poems have been translated into English, French, German, Russian, Latvian, Ukrainian, Catalonian and Basque. Currently, Ilzė works in the field of creative and personal development.  

Her first book of poetry in English will be published by A Midsummer Night's Press in the fall of 2016, translated by Rimas Uzgiris.



RIMAS UZGIRIS is a poet, translator, editor and critic. His work has appeared in Barrow Street, AGNI, Atlanta Review, Kin, Quiddity, Per Contra, Hudson Review and other journals. He is translation editor and primary translator of How the Earth Carries Us: New Lithuanian Poets (Vilnius, 2015). He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers-Newark University. Recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Grant and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Translation Fellowship, he teaches literature, translation and creative writing at Vilnius University.
The Adirondack Review
SPRING 2016