Author’s Prefatory Note: Two Excerpts


The interface between fact and fiction opens new understandings in contemporary world history…. Life itself is a play which goes beyond the limits of actuality. For the poet, Carl Jung claims, the transition from reality to imagination fulfils an…obligation:

… the poet comes to meet the spiritual need of the society in which he lives, and for this reason his work means more to him than his personal fate, whether he is aware of this or not (1929, 171).

No matter what intuition tells the artist, Jung [during the course of his own voyage from 1914/1915 onwards into the imaginative “inner world”] also contends that there are no obstacles for “the truth” artists articulate:

There are no paved ways into the future. We say that it is this way, and it is. We build by going on. Our life is the truth that we seek. Only my life is the truth, the truth above all. We create the truth by living it (2009, 350).


In the new world, science…connects all its valences with art…. …the Word is to be changed accordingly; the rhythm should bring together the languages [of mathematics and science], especially in poetry….

Mathematics is no longer an autonomous…domain to be studied by scholars but a link to literature, a hypertext to be studied by discourse analysis. Or, in Daniel Marcu’s terms,

Researchers in linguistics…have long pointed out that text is not just a simple sequence of clauses and sentences, but rather follows a highly elaborate structure. Still, a formal theory of free, unrestricted text, one that can be easily implemented [scientifically or mathematically] … is yet to be developed (2000, 1).

As poetry’s intelligence would recognise the specific call for the new experience, our avant-garde’s response will take steps to acknowledge the generation to come, to make believe a new form of verse in world of an Oblio, the only round-headed person in Pointed Village [to draw upon the 1971 Harry Nilsson album and its animated adaptation by Fred Wolf]. Innovative, promoting radical social, political and economic reforms, its discourse utters the language of personal struggle or the battle with exterior forces…

From the loneliness of the heart (Ripples) to Janus, the Roman God of transitions (The Character), from the decline of the World and Belshazzar’s feast (The Feast) to the brave new world (The Day Before), from the causative verbs (Up against the Wall) to information technology’s (“IT”) syntax of love (The Stone Waves)…, the theatre (The Stage) will break the fourth wall to redefine the dramatis persona’s existential crisis or madness…


C.G. Jung (1929). “Psychology and Literature,” in Modern Man in Search of a Soul, tr. W.S. Dell & C.F. Baynes (London: Kegan Paul, Trubner & Co., 1933), pp. 152-172.

C.G. Jung (2009). The Red Book: Liber Novus, ed. Sonu Shamdasani, tr. Mark Kyburz, John Peck & Sonu Shamdasani (New York: W.W. Norton & Co.).

Daniel Marcu (2000). “Introduction,” in The Theory and Practice of Discourse Parsing and Summarization (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), pp. 1-10.



For me, my friend,
the place where I live
is inside a painting.
They move me every day
from one hall to another,
by the windows and the chairs,
every time looking for a good shape.

Oh, child! A shadow is my body
and a hole is my eye.
Nevertheless, I can smell fresh air
and see a path in your forest.

Too far, my dear lover,
seems nothing would destroy your gift;
authentic our meanings crumbled down together
and false its signature, in shift.

Too late, my sweet October
Spacer20is the weather,
too thin the spider’s web above my reference bright,
on Earth,
I cannot fall forever,
a hero now, my bed is white tonight.

[Originally published in the Paramatta-based ZineWest, Issue Eleven, 2011 and subsequently in Confluenţe Literare, vol. 3, no. 1006, 2nd October 2013, accessible at: and republished in this Issue with permission.]


Mă aflu, prietene,
înlăuntrul unui enorm
Acolo sunt mutat în fiecare zi
dintr-o cameră într-alta,
pe lângă ferestre și scaune,
de fiecare dată
în căutarea unui loc mai bun.

De aceea, copile,
corpul meu este o umbră,
iar ochiul meu – un gol.
Mai am speranță să miros aerul
și să găsesc propria potecă prin pădure.

Prea departe, iubite,
și pare că nimic nu te poate distruge,
înțelesul nostru autentic se sfărâmă,
într-o semnătură divizată.

Prea târziu, dragul meu octombrie
în toamnă,
prea subțire pânza de păianjen
prin raza de soare.

Pe Pământ,
să cad nu mai pot,

sunt un erou
al somnului lin.

The Day Before

The Day Before

The day before
all generations ended
into the stream of thoughts

had been a sunny day
of old-fashioned smile,

an energetic necklace
printed on a lady's chest,

a sudden flash
of midnight stories
climbing down
through the core of hesitation.

The day before
all generations completed
their performance

became the initial letter
of the words
crashed and crumbled
into a sea
of golden
and antique bricks
of grammar

[Originally appearing in Confluenţe Literare, vol. 4, no. 1314, 6th August 2014, at and republished in this Issue with permission.]

Înainte vreme

Chiar înainte
ca generațiile să sfârșească
într-un curent de gânduri,

zilele au fost însorite
de un zâmbet trecut,

un colier energetic
tipărit pe pieptul unei doamne,

o lumină neobosită
a poveștilor de seară
coborând către miezul ezitării.

Chiar înainte
ca toate generațiile să împlinească
concertul lor

ziua a devenit o literă inițială
a cuvintelor,
zdrobită și sfărâmată
într-o mare
a deșertului
și a cărămizilor
de structură.

Up Against the Wall

Up Against the Wall

This morning,
just before breakfast was served
Spacer20with elegant hand gestures,
the sky had been divided in pieces of crimson sand
and I’ve perceived the side of the water
Spacer20smashing into minimal stones,
one by one,
running and climbing up the thoughts,
days into minutes,
seconds into seasons of drops.

Up and against the wall
the evening turned blue,
speeding up towards lights
Spacer20and thunders.
The justice of dawn into my sight
was blinking on high frequency
in front of the unsecured gate
while the Sun forgot its own explosions,
concealed its nature
Spacer20and received the night.

Vertical painting against the wall,
they see vertical stone waves
Spacer20of time structures only
in search for
a bygone grammar,
some recent implicatures
and code-mixing fortresses
expected from all causative verbs
of the past.

Cu faţa la zid

În dimineața aceasta,
chiar înainte ca micul dejun sa fie servit
Spacer20cu gesturi elegante,
cerul s-a divizat în felii de nisip roșiatec
și am simțit apa
Spacer20sfărâmată în pietre minimale
una câte una,
curgând și cățărându-se prin gânduri,
zile către minute,
secunde către anotimpuri căzătoare.

Cu fața la zid,
seara a devenit albastră,
grăbindu-se către tunete
Spacer20și fulgere.
Justiția răsăritului în privirea mea
clipește pe frecvență înaltă
în fața porților neprotejate,
pe când soarele își uită exploziile,
își ascunde natura
Spacer20și primește noaptea.

Tablou vertical cuprins de zid,
ei privesc valurile drepte de piatră
Spacer20încastrate de timp
în căutarea gramaticii trecute,
a unor înțelesuri recente
și a limbajelor mixte
pe care le așteptăm
de la sursa primară
a verbelor cauzative.

The Stone Waves

The Stone Waves

When they laughed
along the shore,
pencils wrote a vague response
to the stone waves.

An inevitable ship
requested for the trip to the bottom of the sea
could not be altered
from hard to soft –
drain thin cloth for the next weekend wish,
sudden pipe dreams.

No distance
in the water of gems.

Boats flashing the facts
in areas of joy
when they laughed
along the stone waves.


[Originally appearing in Confluenţe Literare, vol. 5, no. 1615, 3rd June 2015, at and republished in this Issue with permission.]

Valurile de piatră

Când au zâmbit
de-a-lungul țărmului,
tocul a suflat un răspuns ușor
către valurile de piatră.

Nici corabia inevitabilă,
cea îndreptățită spre fundul mării,
nu a putut fi schimbată
de la pământ, la val –
pânză subțire și uscată păstrată pentru
dorința viitoare,
o fantezie neprevăzută.

Fără distanțe intramoleculare
în apa nestemată.

Vapoare fulgerătoare
odată s-au petrecut
pe când ei au zâmbit
către valurile de piatră.

Acolo, aici

The Feast

The Feast

This is the weather
I like.
Still there
after the forbidden
dinner time
in the garden.

Tonight the campaign is over,
we have fire
for verse.

Write the hour and the second to me
on an articulate computer
so that
I can perceive
the discourse analysis *

Show it to me,
tell the words
to fight
the jealousy
of expression.

A vertical writing on the wall
paid the price
within the frame
of never-ending mirrors
in distress.


I would have heard
the sound
of unspoken
winter visions.
Instant to re-load
the solving issues
from the beginning.

This is the weather I like:
green light
against the wall of silence.
Once again on the battle field
the end will die
in its own
great expectations.

[Portions of this poem originally appeared in The IT Solander: Romanian and English Poetry (Brăila Editura Sfântul Ierarh Nicolae, 2015).]

Discourse analysis (l. 14), also mentioned in the author’s Prefatory Note, refers to ways of analysing written, spoken, or signed naturally occurring language beyond the realm of words and sentences or any other communicative forms of making meaning. Such an approach arguably gained impetus last century with the 1928 exploration of stylistics by Leo Spitzer (if not his subsequent translation by Michel Foucault four decades later).


Aceasta este vremea
pe care o iubesc,
urmând încă stabilă
din gradină.

Astă seară campania s-a încheiat,
focul rămâne
pentru vers.

Scrie-mi ora și secunda pentru mine
pe un computer articulat
și voi simți
discursul coerent.

spune cuvintelor
să lupte
cu expresia geloziei.

O scriitură verticală pe perete,
să plătească prețul


Aș fi auzit
viziunilor nerostite ale iernii.
Să încărcăm
într-o secundă
de la început.

Aceasta este vremea pe care o iubesc:
lumină verde
proiectată în șoaptă pe perete.
Încă o dată pe câmpul de bătălie
sfârșitul va pieri
în propriile sale
mari speranțe.

The Character

The Character

I cannot write a story without characters:
the plot will be desperate and annoying
leaving a space to allow access and vision
to no one.

A story
to be uttered
without thoughts for a land in distress,
would engage
an open portico
levelled by empty drawers,
and ruined white marble
along the beautiful crimson afternoon.

This Roman Empire,
Janus in his own magnificent significance, *
for an hour to be postponed
in words and syntax.

A story to be written
in ages,
dreamed by a crocodile
and forgotten by a dark bat
in his cave.

This character,
the only possible
to be talked about,
those range of intelligent behaviours
sustained by columns and piers
looking deep down, on the bottom of the lake.

I cannot write the story.
A request has been made
so that the days could be accomplished without any assessment:
years to find the character,
decades to search the lake.

[“The Character” is the first of three poems published as “One Day Theatre” in Confluenţe Literare, vol. 5, no. 1719, 15th September 2015, at and republished in this Issue with permission.]

Janus (l. 14), the primordial “Roman God of transitions” according to the author’s Prefatory Note above, is without an equivalent amongst the ancient Greeks and is usually attributed the function of presiding over beginnings and endings, whether sacred or profane, spatial or temporal, specific or general, typically portrayed as two-faced (Ianus Bifrons) looking to both the future and the past.


Nu pot scrie o poveste fără personaje:
intriga ar fi disperată și plictisitoare,
nelăsând spațiu nimănui
pentru imaginație,

O poveste
pentru a putea fi rostită
fără gânduri periculoase
ar angaja
o galerie deschisă,
etajată pe nivele arhitecturale diverse
ruinând marmura albă
topită în după-amiaza roșie.

Acest Imperiu Roman,
Ianus în toată splendoarea sa,
pentru o oră să zăbovim
în sintaxă.

O poveste de scris
în veacuri,
visată de un crocodil
și uitată de un liliac mătăsos
în grota lui.

Acest personaj,
unicul posibil
pentru poveste,
aceste categorii comportamentale
susținute de coloane și estacade,
uitându-se drept în jos, spre adâncimea lacului.

Nu pot scrie o poveste.

S-a trimis o cerere
pentru a împlini zilele lipsite de opinii:
ani pentru a descoperi un personaj,
decade pentru a căuta lacul.

The Stage

The Stage

One by one
inside the tiger’s mind
the rays became sufficient and straight,
conventional music or respectable succession of monads *
for its prey to understand
the disease of the enemy,
deaf struggle to accumulate light
within this tough steak
of his dreams.

Not any move,
his paws standing still
higher and higher
on the escalator
to the stage.
His performance: to cry out for protection
in poisoned grief
every single birthday party,
every play.

[“The Stage” is the second of three poems published as “One Day Theatre” in Confluenţe Literare, vol. 5, no. 1719, 15th September 2015, at and republished in this Issue with permission.]

Monads (l. 4) or elementary units refers to the design pattern within computer programming of how functions and operations help construct and link within a sequential arrangement common or generic types of data (first described by Eugeno Moggi in 1991). Readers may find it illuminating to read Cristescu’s “Monads” in Confluenţe Literare, vol. 4, no. 1131, 6th February 2014, at


Una câte una,
în mintea leului,
razele au devenit suficiente și drepte,
ritm convențional sau succesiune respectabilă de monade
pentru ca prada lui să înțeleagă
boala adversarului,
o luptă surdă pentru acumularea luminii
pe lângă trăsătura
viselor sale.

Nici o mișcare,
cu labele inerte
mai sus și mai sus
pe scara

Prestația lui: să poată plânge pentru protecție,
îndurerat și otrăvit,
de-a-lungul fiecărei petreceri,
și pentru fiecare piesă.

Mihaela Cristescu, a Romanian-born and, since 2009, a Sydney-based writer, has academic qualifications in Engineering, Literature and Linguistics. Her volumes of short stories and poetry have been published in her native country, including Douasprezece hierofanii: între Australia şi România (Twelve Hierophanies) (2012), Viaţa ca ritm (The Rhythm of Life) (2013), Generative Fortresses (2014), and The IT Solander: Romanian and English Poetry (2015).

Shortly after migrating to her new city of Sydney, Cristescu began with the prize-winning Sacred, a set of seven stanzas, for the October 2010 ZineWest10—and was quickly regarded as “a character who meets Hamlet in The Waste Land.” For readers interested, Sacred, which has been reprinted in Confluenţe Literare, vol. 3, no. 977, 3rd September 2013, is accessible at: .

As part of her tireless promotion of new and multi-lingual writers, Cristescu is the editor of the Romanian-Australian Anthologies of Poetry and Prose series, notably Pounding the Pavement (2016), On the Wallaby Track, A Journey Across Memories (2017) and Romanian and Australian Perspectives Between Dusk and Dawn (2018).