Blesok no. 85, July-August, 2012

Too Many and Too Few
Poems from the book The Abduction of Europa (2012)

Ivan Djeparoski

Too Many and Too Few

Too many jam-packed suitcases
Too many train stations
Too many cities and states
Too many guides and maps
Too many museums and libraries
Too many sights and impressions
Too many organized performances
Too many discussions and round tables
Too many days and nights
Too many European writers
Too many cameramen and journalists
On one single train.

Perhaps that is why I managed,
In one and a half months –
The length of my journey –
To read only one book!

My worst average ever, since the time
I learned how to read and write!

Locking and Unlocking

At first I was amazed and then
I enjoyed being surprised at every first
Encounter with a locked door:
Not in a single European hotel
Of the eighteen cities
Of the eleven states I crossed
Did I find two systems the same
For locking up the hotel rooms.

So many different
Locks and keys
As numerous as the concepts
Of united Europe!

Turkey and Europe

Perhaps Europe was what
The Turkish poet
And laureate in Struga,
Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca
Wrote about, among other things:

You are so far away
That God himself
Stands in the middle
Of our distance

Or perhaps it was
Just an exalted
Love song read
In St. Sophia in Ohrid.

At the Tomb of Kant

The speech I gave
At the tomb of Immanuel Kant,
In famous Königsberg,
Today Kaliningrad,
(Probably chosen because I was
A rare philosophical owl
Among prominent writers,
All falcons and falcon-gentles)
Was rather sad,
As there was nothing left of
Kant’s Königsberg.

Even the inn was gone
Where every day,
After finishing work
On his famous Critiques,
He indulged himself
In playing cards till late.

Not a trace of that free play
Between imagination and understanding.

No signs remained
Of the never-deserted city
Except for the old Cathedral,
Being renovated by
Some German foundation.

Who knows, maybe Russians
Still think of Kant
As a philosopher- idealist,
Yet, it seems that all of this
Has nothing to do with
Materialism or idealism:
To extinguish the memory of Kant
Is the same as to extinguish the memory that
Once, this had been Prussia.

But who can put out
The starry sky above
And the moral law within

On Kant, Again

I wonder, in a disinterested way:
Would the famous Immanuel
Spend all of his lonely
Life in present-day Kaliningrad,
If he were, by accident,
A philosopher from the beginning of the 21st century?

Critique of Pure (T)reason

Enlightenedly steady,
I re-examine my mind,
Which has set out on an inner journey
To plan critical overturns.

What is man?
What am I?
What am I as man,
Travelling by train
Along outer (t)reasons?

Inside space
And maybe inside time,
Inside the train that is moving
Or maybe not moving,
Along northern coasts
Of over-aged Europe,
Who secretly rejuvenates herself,
Hundreds of writers
Revel, indifferently,
In the thought that
All this makes sense.

A wonderful aimless aim!
Searching for beauty
At the end of the century!

Clear road before us
And practical mind within us.

“Beauty, you start to make me tired!”

Even the Critique of Judgment
Cannot bridge the gaps.


I envy the over-aged
University professors
Who read aloud their lectures
From yellowed papers
Written many years ago,
When they were young.

I envy priests
Who’ve mastered
And learned
By heart their only book,
Though it is
Long-lasting and holy.

I envy politicians
Who know nothing
But repeating words
Of their agendas,
Always going
Over economy, Europe and NATO.

I envy famous
Macedonian writers who
Haven’t read anything,
Except their own ingenious work
And works of the like-minded,
But think they know everything.

I envy businessmen
Who read Coelho and Dan Brown
As if they were the world’s literary crown,
And brag about their choice
On the pages of weekly family magazines
Full of sensational contents.

I envy those who drive
Their luxurious cars and jeeps,
Empty their ashtrays in the streets,
At traffic lights
And throw away their plastic bottles while
Driving through countryside.

I envy all those
Who buy (or get)
The most expensive concert tickets
For world-famous musicians
And then applaud between movements,
Keeping rhythm with their feet.

I envy all of them, but wonder as well,
How on Earth I was lucky enough to escape
Becoming one of them!


[1] Is it possible that I’ve recently become homeless at home
In our happy Europe only through fear that
Sooner or later, what was suppressed will return again?

Should I keep on dreaming of my own freedom
Away from the fragile home, at an age when many
Find themselves attracted to the calmness of the eternal resting place?

My fear of being influenced by those from the other side of reality
Is not just a matter of poetic or philosophical influence,
But a fear that I am already Beyond the PleasurePrinciple.

A play of repetition as the play of existence:
I and Europe, Europe and I. You and Europe, Europe and you.
Ritual circling. Dizziness.

An ideal love towards being homeless at home


1. Unheimlich – literally "un-home-ly", but idiomatically, "uncanny", "scary", "creepy", is a Freudian concept of an instance where something can be familiar, yet foreign at the same time, resulting in a feeling of it being uncomfortably strange.

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