Blesok no. 101-102, November-December, 2015


Ahmed Burić

Buenos Aires

    to Milorad Popović
    Years pass by
    and there is less and less hope
    that I will see Buenos Aires.
    So I too could take
    a deep breath of fresh air.
    We are Europe
    we fight against nylon
    packaging, for human rights,
    for the rights of aquarium
    We who enjoy among
    artificial algae
    while they dose us with oxygen
    via a tube in our sovereignty
    limited behind the glass.
    So I could sing and dance the tango
    and yell at La Bonboniera
    and just like V. Grombovich’s Polish prince
    not care what they think of me
    back in my fatherland.
    That I make false plans
    for my fatherland,
    which will break apart with the first
    touch of the plane wheels to its ground,
    I, the former emigrant,
    the harbinger of freedom.
    They pretended they could hardly wait for my return,
    and then they started choking me
    with their bare hands.
    Years pass by
    and there is less and less hope
    that I will see Buenos Aires,
    my fatherland will be
    my fresh air.


Last night in the bar I saw an acquaintance
    I knew his father and his father knew my father
    I thought how much we both looked like our fathers
    and I asked myself: which war will be our last
    and whether it's death approaching in the shoes of the waiter
    who should put an end to our gloomy premonitions.

The Master of Skopje

    It’s getting dark
    I fix myself a whiskey
    in a while
    Skopje will fall asleep
    Gradski zid will sleep
    the broad houses on 29 Noemvri will sleep
    the Bazaar will sleep
    and the Albanian inscriptions in Cyrillic
    that will be gone when their owners die
    your goodness too will sleep, my friend,
    the barbells of my bodyguards will sleep in the gym
    my living room is the home to all of your problems
    here, where, they say, the Renaissance started
    I start a new Baroque lying
    the monuments too will fall asleep
    Nikola Karev on his horse will fall asleep
    The Vardar will fall asleep as a composer
    and this high grandstand under which Vasil Ringov once sat in the shade
    where talents grew immature in the sun
    as Samoniknati, as the Tobacco Pickers
    as you and I should be together
    Jazz and you,
    the crazy ideas about the bagpipes-techno connection will sleep
    all of this sleeps in my bedroom,
    and only the bad people can think that I am not good.
    You can say anything but my patriotism is proven
    the cross above my head is the biggest plus for our economy,
    although the poets make fun, claiming that it is
    a certain sign that these are graveyards.
    I speak the language of my enemy
    almost perfectly.
    Just don’t tell me
    that the black, dark dungeon
    at Idrizovo incarcerates a man
    and his daughter,
    what was I supposed to do let him doubt my affairs,
    betray me,
    everything that you see around is my vision.
    Skopje will fall asleep and the story about the king who died
    when he saw his army blinded
    and whose opponent kept all
    of his descendants at the court.
    It is dark.
    I am the master of Skopje and no matter how I end up
    you should know that I did everything for your own good.
    Sleep now, Skopje,
    I won’t, because there is a lot of unfinished work,
    a cigar waits for me, burning down slowly,
    like the patience of the people.


Translated from Bosnian by Elizabeta Bakovska  

The birds take off in time again today,
    but I have nothing to learn,
    for I too was taught not to think
    you are here just as long as I need
    to survive.
    Until the next love. Until the next death.
    You say: the birds do not fly long today, but they take off in time.
    And I no longer ask, anything.
    Back then, the Golden Horn looked like an ideal place for Moses’s path
    through the sea. And yet I departed, on the opposite side
    again, seeing for yet another time that being loved is
    but a different name for an addiction.


    I translate poetry
    it's a futile task, but
    I get a mark per verse
    It's 96 marks, if I've counted the verses well.
    And, of course, if I've translated them well.
    It's 96 loaves of bread and 96 bags with photos of
    football players, unless the prices continue
    to rapidly grow and follow the general crisis.
    I think I wouldn’t get a single loaf nor
    a bag nor a mark
    for no verse
    if I lived 96 years
    and if I would be certain it was not too much.

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