The first poem was "What to Carry" reproduced below, and the second was the title poem "Slicing the Bread" - reproduced in an earlier issue of this blog.
What to Carry
You never know when the war will come,
her mother said. You have to be ready.
Most things are unimportant.
You must take your gold, your family jewels.
Diamonds will buy you food.
Gold will save your life. Forget silver, too heavy.
Take sturdy boots with two pairs of socks,
a warm, goose-down comforter on your back,
one picture, no books. Leave it all.
You will have to walk, sleep in a ditch, walk.
Pack lightly. What you carry, will protect you.
From starving, from freezing. That’s what matters.
Goose-down and gold. Hunger and snow.
She still has her goose-down coverlet,
useless in California. Her mother squished it
into a suitcase the first time she came to visit.
The down came from geese plucked decades ago
in Bielewicze, by her Grandma, Nina.
Diamonds? She sold her rings
to pay for the divorce, keep the house
with pomegranates and orange trees.
Her shoes are useless too –
a rainbow of high heels in the closet.
READING DATES AND ADDRESSES
Friday, February 20th, at 8:30 p.m. Santa Monica Third Fridays at the Rapp Saloon Poetry Reading Hosted by Elena Secota Featured Poet, with Joe Camhi
The Rapp Saloon, 1436 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401, https://www.facebook.com/events/332585603610874/
Sunday, February 22nd, at 4:30 p.m. Village Poets Monthly Reading. Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042. Featured Poet.
Thursday, February 26th, at 7:30 p.m. Ventura Ventura Poets Reading hosted by Phil Taggart “Voices of Survivors” book reading from “Slicing the Bread” with Ed Rosenthal reading from “A Desert Hat” inspired by being lost and found in the Mojave Desert
E. P. Foster Library, 651 East Main Street, Ventura, CA 93001 Phone (805) 648-2716
Friday, February 27th, at 8:00 p.m. Featured poet at Poetry Open Mike, Host Victor Sotomayor, Sylmar
Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural, 13197 Gladstone Avenue "A" Sylmar, CA 91342
(cross street/210 exit: Hubbard) Phone:(818) 939-3433
Sunday, March 15th, at 4-6 p.m. Louis Jane Studio, Pasadena Poets And Verse – An Exploration Of Life’s Journey with Guest Artist: Lynda Pyka, and poets Cindy Rinne, Lois P. Jones, Deborah P. Kolodji, Taoli-Ambika Talwar, Gerda Govine and Kathabela Wilson
Louis Jane Studio, 93 East Union Street, Pasadena, CA 91103, (626) 796-8333
Sunday, April 5th, at 7pm (Easter Sunday) co-feature at Catcher in the Rye for the "Speakeasy Sunday" reading organized by the Los Angeles Poet Society. 10550 Riverside Drive, Toluca Lake, CA 91602 http://www.losangelespoetsociety.org/#!speakeasy-sunday/c8wb
Sunday, April 19th, at 2:00pm Moonday Poetry Hosted by Alice Pero and Lois P. Jones “Woman in Metaphor “Group Reading from an Anthology edited by Maria Elena B. Meyer
Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse, 1010 Foothill Boulevard, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 9101, Phone:(818) 790-0717 www.moondaypoetry.com
Saturday, May 9th, 3 p.m. Saturday Afternoon Poetry, Pasadena, hosted by Don Kingfisher Campbell.
Santa Catalina Branch of the Pasadena Public Library.
999 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena (east of Lake Blvd).
Saturday, May 16th, 4 p.m. Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, Venice “Crossing Dark Borders: The Poetry of Shadow, Shade and Long Night.” Lisa Cheby , Georgia Jones-Davis and Maja Trochimczyk celebrate the publication of their new chapbooks. Beyond Baroque 681 Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291 (310) 822-3006 www.beyondbaroque.org
Saturday, June 6th, at 4 p.m. Unbuckled Poetry in North Hollywood hosted by Radomir Luza. “Voices of Survivors” – a joint reading with Ed Rosenthal, author of The Desert Hat and survivor of being lost in the Mojave Desert. 10943 Camarillo Street, North Hollywood, 91602 818-769-1145
Tuesday, June 9th, at 7 p.m. The Palace Poetry Group Presents "Slicing the Bread / Krojenie Chleba"
A Bilingual Poetry Reading by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk at the DeWitt Community Library, DeWitt near Syracuse, NY 3649 Erie Blvd. East, DeWitt, NY 13214 Tel.: (315) 446-3578 www.dewlib.org
MORE ABOUT THE BOOK
ISBN-10: 1622296877 ISBN-13: 978-1622296873. Available on Amazon, Finishing Line Press, etc.
Published by Finishing Line Press (December 2014)
This unique poetry collection revisits the dark days of World War II and the post-war occupation of Poland by the Soviet Union that “liberated” the country from one foreign oppression to replace it with another. The point of view is that of children, raised by survivors, scarred by war, wary of politics. Children experienced the hunger and cold, witnessed the killings, saw the darkening blood spilled on the snow and hands stretching from locked boxcar windows. Some heardthe voices of murdered Jews like “bees in the breeze,” others learned never to throw any food away, because “war is hunger.” The poems, each inspired by a single object giving rise to memories like Proust’s madeleine (a spoon, a coat, the smell of incense), are divided into three sections, starting with snapshots of World War II in the Polish Borderlands (Kresy) and in central Poland. Reflections onthe Germans’ brutalkillings of Jews and Poles are followed by insights into the way the long shadow of THE war darkened a childhood spent behind the Iron Curtain. For poet Georgia Jones Davis, this book, “brings the experience of war into shocking, immediate focus” through Trochimczyk’s use of “her weapon: Language at its most precise and lyrical, understated and piercingly visual.”
According to Pulitzer-Prize nominated poet John Guzlowski, Maja’s “poems about what the Poles suffered both during World War II and The Cold War afterwards are written with the clarity of truth and the fullness of poetry… Here are the stories of how the people she loved experienced hunger and suffering and terror so strong that it defined them and taught her, and teach us, the meaning of family.” A fellow Polish-American poet, Linda Nemec Foster praises the “unwavering honesty” and “stark imagery” of Trochimczyk’s poetry that “bear witness to the hate that destroys, to the truth that restores, and to the poetic vision that honors our common humanity.” The Tieferet Prize winner and Poets-Café host Lois P. Jones points out the “vivid and heartbreaking detail” of poems that “will move you to appreciate the simple privileges and necessities of life.” As Jones wisely observes “It is the duty of the poet to convey story, but it is the art of the poet who can transform our often cruel and brutal history and affect forever, the way we look and listen to the world.” Poet Sharon Chmielarz concurs: “You will remember the taste of this book.”