- 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
- The Last Man on Earth -- A
February 23, 2015 03:59PM
- Winter Dreams -- Buchenwald
Concentration Camp, Winter
February 19, 2015 01:26PM
- Valentine's Day Re-Post: A
World War Two Love Story
February 13, 2015 06:42PM
- Proofreading: The Devil's
February 02, 2015 05:21PM
- Super Bowl Sunday 2015
February 01, 2015 10:53AM
MY RECENT COMMENTS
- “I remember talking to a
woman who survived a Siberia
camp. She was
February 19, 2015 05:56PM
- “How did they survive?
Luck. Hope. Optimism.
February 19, 2015 05:53PM
- “It would be interesting
to talk to the survivors and
February 19, 2015 03:35PM
February 03, 2015 11:14AM
- “When I was in college I
loved proof reading. For 4
yrs, I was
even the copy
February 02, 2015 09:42PM
John guzlowski's Links
- MY LINKS
By the winter of 1944, my father had been in Buchenwald for 3 years.
He thought the war would never end and he would die there, some cold winter morning. I wrote a long sequence of poems about that winter. The sequence is called "Third Winter of War:… Read full post »
My parents met in a concentration camp in Germany toward the end of World War II.
My mom had been brought to Germany by the Nazis to work in a slave labor camp. The day she was captured she saw her mom and her sister and her sister's baby… Read full post »
Proofreading, The Devil's Curse
There's a funny
Isaac Singer story
about a proofreader
who keeps losing
a line of type.
from one poem
"Tears, Idle Tears"
it pops up
in Robert Frost's
"Fire and Ice."
This is what
hell will be.… Read full post »
Super Bowl Sunday
I never watched football much when I was a kid. My dad, a Polish farm kid who grew up without electricty or football, didn't follow the game and neither did most of my friends. Their dads had also grown up without football.
So I… Read full post »
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 »