- Danville, Virginia, USA
- June 22
- I was born in a refugee camp in Germany after World War II, and came with my Polish Catholic parents Jan and Tekla and my sister Donna to the United States as Displaced Persons in 1951. My parents had been slave laborers in Nazi Germany.
Growing up in the immigrant and DP neighborhoods around Humboldt Park in Chicago, I met Jewish hardware store clerks with Auschwitz tattoos on their wrists, Polish cavalry officers who still mourned for their dead horses, and women who walked from Siberia to Iran to escape the Russians. I write about these people.
MY RECENT POSTS
- 70th Anniversary of the
Liberation of Auschwitz
January 26, 2015 03:04PM
- Deflated Poems
January 23, 2015 07:44AM
January 22, 2015 08:25AM
- The Last Man on Earth Walks
into a Bar
January 20, 2015 07:54AM
- Never Enough
January 17, 2015 09:10PM
MY RECENT COMMENTS
- “@lyle -- the people who
track genocide say more people
been killed by
- “The Polish director
Andre Wajda made a movie about
after the war.
January 26, 2015 04:56PM
- “Sorry, I just found it
today in my notes and wanted
January 23, 2015 07:28PM
w about the following poem?
January 23, 2015 05:53PM
- “Dear Alsoknownas, sorry.
It was just a joke between
I'll try to
January 23, 2015 02:22PM
John guzlowski's Links
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On January 27, 1945, the Russian army came upon Auschwitz and its various camps and subcamps.
What they found was terrible.
Afraid of anyone seeing what they had been doing in Auschwitz, the Germans went on a killing spree before the arrival of the Russi
I have never deflated a poem.
I will never deflate one.
When I pass a poem on to you, you can bet your air pump that it is fully inflated.
I write poems about sparrows too often, I've been doing it for years.
My first sparrow poem wasn't really about sparrows. It was about St. Francis and how his hands taught sparrows to fly. Since then sparrows are my go to bird.
If I need… Read full post »
The last man on earth walks into a bar.
There is no rabbi there, no priest, no imam.
He sits down and has a drink.
He wonders if God is lonely too.
He wonders if that's part of His plan. He took a sip… Read full post »
At the end of the year, I made a list of everything I had published during that year. It was amazing--about 25 stories and poems and I placed a novel with one publisher and a collection of poems with another.
I kept been complaining about not getting stuff out,… Read full post »
I spent my first Christmases in a refugee camp in Germany. I didn't learn what Christmas was until I came to America.
We were living in an apartment with 4 other families.
One night an old man in a red suit came to the apartment. None of the… Read full post »
I hear a lot of complaining about one of my favorite writers, William Faulkner, and I think 95% of it is undeserved.
I've read all of Faulkner--some books more than 4 times. Most of the books are straight forward reads. There are probably 3 that are difficult: S… Read full post »
Mark Strand, a former poet laureate, was one of my favorite poets.
Here's one of the first poems I read by him.
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.
So I'm staring out the window waiting for the Fedex guy to show up and pick up this case of wine we never ordered and didn't want, and I'm wondering what can I do while waiting. I don't want to do anything where I have to focus too much… Read full post »
I wrote the following poem to thank my parents and all of my relatives who suffered in World War II. Some like my parents survived and others didn't.
Thanksgiving Day Poem
My people were all Polish people,
the ones who survived to look
in my eyes and touch… Read full post »
Landscape with Dead Horses, 1945
In the end Hitler sat
in his cold bunker
and asked his soldiers
about his horses,
“Where are they?
Where are my horses?”
And no one dared
to tell him,
“They are dead
in the fields
with the Poles… Read full post »
Continuing my occasional posting of poems from Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust (ed. Charles Fishman), here's Jerome Rothenberg's Dos Oysleydikn (The Emptying), a mediation on Poland after the Holocaust.
Here's a link to Mr. Rothenberg reading the poe… Read full post »
My friend Anglo-Polish artist Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk posted some of his family photographs on Facebook recently and wrote some remarks about them. Originally, he planned only to post 5 photos and his commentary, but the project has expanded. At this point, he has written about more… Read full post »
End of Summer:
Summer comes early to southside Virginia. I start mowing usually around the start of March. For me that's the official start of Summer. The calendars tell you it's sometime in late June, but don't believe them. Calendars are created b… Read full post »
I watched Kerouac: the King of the Beats, a documentary on Kerouac and 10 minutes of a movie based on K's novel Big Sur this morning, on Netflix. In the 60s I was a big Kerouac fan, read my first Kerouac novel as I was walking home from finding… Read full post »
I first heard of World War I when we came to America as Displaced Persons in 1951. We were refugees after World War II, and we moved into a basement apartment on Hamilton Street in Chicago.
Our landlord was a veteran of the First World War. He was a… Read full post »
I first saw him in front of the barracks. He was walking with six other prisoners, a German soldier behind them pushing at them with some kind of rifle. Your father wasn’t how he is now. He was skinny then, like two shoelaces tied together.
I was not… Read full post »
The Day My Mother Felt Good
Monday she’d been crying a lot
thinking she’d never walk again.
It was the Jerry Lewis Telethon
that did it to her, listening to him
talk about the kids who can’t walk.
She felt he was talking about her.
My/… Read full post »
Dreaming in Buchenwald
The world burns before our eyes,
and the smell of everything red
is on our skin.
We wait in line for bread
that never comes. We speak
to strangers thinking they will
tell us where our lives are.
We pray in the barracks
and the fields for the mi/… Read full post »
The Coming of Columbus
their slow growth
upward and outward
and leaves stopped
the waiting air
In the tallest branches
their crooked beaks
into the wind… Read full post »
He stood up and braced himself against a crate and unbuttoned his trousers. He had to relieve himself, and this was a good place. Even though it was cold in the bus, he could smell that other men had done the same thing here, and for the same reason. It… Read full post »
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