Great Known: An Autobiographical Cairn
Prose poems by Stefan Lorenzutti
Seasonal journal. Poems and prose dispatches from the Beskid Wyspowy range of southern Poland are woven into an ambulatory scrapbook with an emphasis on weather and wandering.
Edition of 300
160 pages, paperback, b&w offset, sewn & glued
Printed on Arctic Munken paper
Designed by Pilar Rojo & Stefan Lorenzutti
Cover drawing by Jeremy Schneider
Little Suns (Great Known extract)
Home from hike. First day, Iikka and I slogged our way through chill mudsuck and mist for six hours. Crossed whole ridge in claustrophobic fog. Reached junction of trails. Usually you can see a small lodge in the distance from this point, but the lodge had been swallowed up by the fog. We peered and peered. Nothing. Circled for fifteen minutes. Still nothing. Hoping we might, at the least, accidentally walk into the damn thing. But no. Lodge had vanished.
Eventually heard clang of hammerfall repeating. Dented but effective code led us in the direction of our unseen lodge, which appeared as a ghostly contour twenty or so steps from its front door. Man repairing roof with hammer resembled flesh-seeking and overalled Minotaur, attempting to penetrate sheet metal in order to devour backpackers in bunk beds below.
We entered small dining room, ordered coffee. Dim behind dull curtains, this cramped cafeteria, its frowsty interior pinned beneath Bunyan-felled beams, and benches crowded with strangers hunched tired and tongueless over powdered brew. My glasses misted over, and I had the uncanny impression of sitting down in a room full of people without faces or voices.
On Friday, we hiked down from Błatnia through dark forest—the powerful push and pull of eerily warm mountain wind swaying lassoed pine trunks overhead—with Iikka a meter or two behind me, his headlamp’s beam of light bouncing like a rope and keeping us tethered as we descended along pitch-black trail.
Crossing one ridge, we saw suppertime Bielsko spread out before us, dusking firepit of a valley and each house a twig catching flame. That was to the right. To the left, the town on the other side of the mountains was still experiencing day, sun setting the sky ablaze, and lights in houses not turned on yet.
Was so strange to see nighttime to our right and daytime to our left. And we were in the middle, hiking by lamplight while staring at the sun.