By Robert Rybicki
Translated by Mark Tardi
The comforts of ritualized shopping, Greek mythology intersecting with 1980s Polish punk music, poetic string theory and time travel and psychedelic dumpster diving all rolled into one.
The Squatters' Gift is a poetic travelogue through numerous languages and locales, both real and imaginary. Like Miron Białoszewski, Paul Celan and Tristan Tzara before him, Rybicki excavates syllable and song, mind and muck, to invent a transnational poetry pointedly unapologetic and utterly unique. Karol Maliszewski observes that Rybicki has taken over from the Surrealists and the Dadaists: “the hero of these poems is language –– escaping from a man and suddenly returning in flashes and dazzles."
“The hero of these poems is language –– escaping from a man and suddenly returning in flashes and dazzles. Some of these dazzles are of the highest quality, withstanding comparisons to the dazzles of Max Jacob or Rene Char.” ––Karol Maliszewski
Robert “Ryba” Rybicki (b.1976) is a self-described “happener.” He creates poetic events as he works at the intersection of performance and disruption, theatricality and confrontation going back to figures such as Rolf Brinkmann, Tadeusz Kantor and Stanisław (“Witkacy”) Witkiewicz. He is the author of nine books, including Epifanie i katatonie [Epiphanies & Catatonics], Masakra kalaczakra [Kalachakra massacre], and Podręcznik naukowy dla onironautów [A Scientific Handbook for Oneironauts].
Mark Tardi’s books include The Circus of Trust, Airport music, and Euclid Shudders. Prologue, an award-winning cinepoem collaboration with Polish multimedia artist Adam Mańkowski, has been screened at film festivals throughout Europe and the United States. He was a writer-in-residence at MASS MoCA in January 2020. A former Fulbright scholar, he is on faculty at the University of Łódź.