Katarzyna Biela

silence is the air here

I close the door

and feel the handle vibrating

inside my grip

a tram is coming along the street

on the other side of my flat

taking people to different places

they want to

or need to



It takes me eight steps to approach the window

it’s the longest one-way walk possible in this room

I rest my hands on the windowsill

the tree leaves below me

seem to form a green whispering tapestry

I could step onto

were I not an inhabitant of the reality I know and was taught

it’s a broad look from the fourth floor

while my neighbours’ dog is barking down there

a threesome going for a walk together


while passing through the room

I forgot to look at objects from the times

spent in other spaces

gifts from my international friends

some of whom I haven’t seen for long

staring in the faces of the doll and plush animals

makes me feel cosy and loved

then suddenly sad


I miss looking into real eyes


underneath there are books

not enough of them some could say

but one of the shelves is for

the borrowed-from-the-library guests

so the bookscape transforms regularly

if that’s allowed


yet another shelf hosts multimodal literature

this one goes by its own rules


opposite the bookcase there’s the computer screen

with thousands of words on it

written by me, my supervisor and my students

inviting me to engage in the infinite reading editing scrolling




silence is the air in here


I like to experiment with it

when I finish work

I shout out to my sister

in her home office in the other room

or invite a friend from across the street


I play some music

in a city flat a small speaker suffices

to fill the whole space with sounds

I may even dance

let my body find its way

through the invisible particles


or rain visits me

rushes loudly through the old pipes outside

knocks on my window

and covers it with multiple droplets



Katarzyna Biela is writing a PhD about theatre and multimodal literature in the Institute of English Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland.

Website: https://www.usosweb.uj.edu.pl/kontroler.php?_action=katalog2%2Fosoby%2FpokazOsobe&os_id=193130&lang=en