Blesok no. 106, March-April, 2016
Poetry


Poetry
Translated from Bosnian: Elizabeta Bakovska

Dijala Hasanbegović



MEASURE


    People will talk
    people
    always talk.
    People will talk: the woman from the seventh
    floor who flies wrinkles her black skirt
    tied in a knot people will talk
    the woman from the seventh floor who
    disappears in the winter and one can only
    hear her voice sometimes people keep quiet
    but only to confirm
    in the silence of togetherness
    that they have talked that they will talk
    that they know. People know
    that there are pains different than theirs people
    know that there are souls that crumble under
    pain smaller than theirs and that makes them happy:
    the measure of other people's pain in his own makes man eternal.
    People will talk.
    People will sometimes keep quiet to hear a flock of birds
    leaving to sleep in the grove in the early spring evening
    and listen to the earth breathing out humidity and breathing in warmth
    and watch slowly the departure of another day
    in which they measure other people's pain to see
    if they are still there people
    will talk about love people
    will measure my love with their measure
    with their eyes slanted and secretly because love is measured in secret
    and pain always sits on the balcony and ties
    knots on the black skirt.
    People will talk and today I would like all of a sudden
    just like in novels just like in movies
    just like in songs just like passing by
    people measure that our love
    is one of those one does not talk about but
    smiles as it is measured in secret under the red
    bag full of ripe bananas.
    People talk and we walk among them
    our hands firmly pressed together our fingers intertwined
    in knots wet and warm in the summer
    cold and wrinkled in the ankles in the winter.
    People will talk they always
    talk out of the weight of their hours out of fatigue of their steps
    out of pleasure out of hate out of curiosity out of human malice
    out of everything that makes them fragile with the handfuls of feelings
    and nothing more. People will talk
    how we loved each other people will
    talk that you loved me even when
    my voice wandered along empty rooms and madly
    clashed with the walls and when I baked bread
    sweet and sour like children's mornings
    and I kept quiet smiling people will talk
    and all their words will fly away like dandelions
    to the wide open mouth of the sky empty and thirsty
    of human love.




FILTERS


    my aunt sits all happy
    with her cigarette filling toolkit
    in her lap and says: oh, I'm so happy to see
    again this building across.
    and she is happy
    with the view of the building across and this view
    runs into her eyes and fits in the glass look
    wet with tears rather that light
    she is happy with the with on the neighbouring building as if seeing
    a long lost pet running into her arms.
    I look through the balcony railings
    planted into the floor like a clay figure
    a Chinese one
    one of those that signify feelings
    such as: anxiety.
    they never come, aunty, I tell her when
    she suggests that anything can come out of this fog
    maybe inhuman and scary? they never come.
    even the human and scary don't come any more.
    my aunt is scared that there is everything in the fog
    I'm afraid there is nothing in the fog.
    maybe we will have to shove ourselves with tobacco from plastic
    bags and fill in hollow cigarettes which are now all of a sudden called
    filters and everybody used to call them hollow cigarettes but I guess it was too
    funny now the shorter the name the more expert it is the price is
    my aunt is afraid of things that can sit
    in the fog with her unnoticed
    in good neighbourly relations
    almost in tolerance
    sit in the fig with her and do nothing
    and I am afraid that we will no longer have anything to notice
    once the fog is gone.
    the firecrackers start around seven in the evening
    and the air already smells of childhood
    full with cheap pyrotechnics and serious weapons
    behind these patches of fog when they disperse
    there was nothing anymore
    nothing comes in my fog
    everything disappears
    and precisely a day before it disperses
    I pushed into long plastic bags
    all the clothes that I never wear because it looks at me ugly
    and I gave it to the woman at the door who filled it into Golf 2
    and left all fragrant with a quality copy of
    la vie est belle
    into the fog.
    The first breath for the first morning was incredible.
    I am so happy to see the building across again.




WOUNDS


    That morning she woke up late and
    she knew
    clearly that her wounds were there for a reason
    and that a body without wounds is colourless and faceless
    and he got up, put on his cap and said:
    Are you speaking about wounds in the first moments when you're awake
    to remind me that you're a poet?
    No, she said
    I am determined to remain in bed for
    another hour and half
    but my first wounds budded up under the snow
    and you'll also need gloves besides your cap
    if you want to pick them up in a bunch
    for the Sunday lunch.
    She raised and tossed her head and a wound on her neck
    blossomed it budded it lavished
    a wound on her neck just under her chin under his nostrils
    So you're showing me one, he asked, already
    pulling up his gloves because he always listens to her with his whole soul
    and half of his ear
    that's how you cook a relationship with a poet
    with lot of spices and a bit of bread
    OK, I like it, I can hardly wait, around two,
    I'll be waiting, don't let it cool down.
    I'm not showing, she said, I'm looking at the light
    cracked and dirty, full of dead full stops and commas
    I'm looking at the ceiling grave for flies and butterflies
    (Women who on Saturdays clean the empty houses
    of working people know everything about the graves
    of beings that were fried by lights cold
    and lights false)
    And put on your boots the soil is wet and put
    some primrose in the bunch maybe hellebore
    snowdrop acacia
    The two of them
    are among those who see each other even
    when they are not turned to watch other when they leave
    and it is not a pose
    they look at each other with their backs,
    their cheeks, their hair,
    with her shoulder blades
    she collected the pollen falling from the wounds on her stomach
    and shoved it into a paper bag
    she shoved it in yellow dry smelling of
    rotting and fertility
    earth and sky
    the way pollen usually smells
    the way seeds usually smells
    both of life and death. She collected
    pollen from her wounds and then she leaned
    over the kitchen window to air the wound whose thin petals
    trembled in the wind like snowdrop
    wounds in the colours of our insides
    wounds in the colours of our meals
    our dreams are painted with the same colours
    (red, blue, yellow, white)
    our loves are woven with the same nerves
    new sounds still blossom from our nerves
    because a wound is also
    a bang, a word, a whisper a flower
    a wound means that I am still alive she was certain
    she'd told him once: there are no healed wounds
    but there are people who do not dig their early garden they don't arrange
    they don't cherish their wounds in it but they let them rot and bitter
    I blossom in thousand and one pain
    she felt like screaming with happiness but her neighbour already
    looked at her body scared as she
    leaned through the window and withdrew inside like a bird
    in a trunk.
    She was cutting pieces of bread and a fly
    landed on her table – big enough to survive
    the nocturnal light temptations –
    she waved above the table as if chasing ghosts
    she put her knife in between two fragrant dishes
    she left some space for the gloves with primrose
    she sat at her place
    she waited for the return of the boots
    smeared in mud smelling of
    rotting and blossoming
    skies and earth
    life and death.




GAME


    When you grow up, the top of your head stops smelling
    of other people's palms your hair grows over the stitches
    on your skull and your crying remains sewed inside
    forever and comes out of your nostrils and eyes
    when the world starts to quiver in restlessness
    when your chest shakes they tell you
    that your soul aches – actually boiling inside you
    is the first clear painful breath which
    never goes out until you die.
    My grandfather, yes, my grandfather told
    me when I was five he told me
    that everybody can walk all of their lives
    walk, not take a ride, unless going for a long
    trip one should walk unless there is water
    in front of him and the water can be walked over
    and one should take care all of his life
    that crying because of too much pain does not come
    through his nose out of his skull – when it hurts, clench your teeth
    says grandpa, when it hurts close your eyes and walk
    further when the sorrow tears off your fingers shake them off
    and continue feeling the darkness with your feet.
    Today
    I resist the urge to sit at night
    and touch the hair of my children with my eyes
    looking for grandpa's stitches to make sure
    that he had not wasted his life
    with his breath inhaled and his jaw clenched
    as if suffering to make sure that nobody
    simply sews us in and we become
    people and I don't know why would anybody think
    why would anybody ever believe that it was true
    but I have and still every time
    in rage
    and every time
    in tears
    he taught me how to contain and not hide
    I wait for my soul to go out and leave me
    I wait to see on my palms
    myself, liquid and warm and I always look at my palms
    after tears
    pushed out with hardship – there is nothing on my palms
    but shallow basins and river mouths.
    I never told him that he had closed his eyes in vain
    that he frowned in vain that he tried in vain to close every
    opening to close the openings so there is no way out for
    the spirits voices tears breaths in vain
    I realised when I heard the first cry of my child
    that it was long ago when
    the presound screamed in our ears
    the prescream spilled
    and gave the tone to all of our hearing
    and that all first screams are the same that all
    screams
    are the same
    the ones of horror of delight of fear of laughter
    and that our clenched teeth and our frowned eyebrows
    diminish us bury us back
    to our birth and that was my revelation –
    at his death bed I could not close
    his eyes open wide.




ON RELIGIONS


    I am afraid
    as you are afraid
    that this is everything of life – fear
    and underneath a hard anatomic mattress
    which remembers the shapes of our bodies.
    Just as you do I turn on the bedframe
    when my bird genes wake up under the scrubby
    wings when it itches and when I grab
    the dawn with my paws to kneel on it for five minutes
    perfectly quiet
    and brave.
    I am afraid that
    life is full of random cuts and bad editing
    and at the same time I believe in it as one believes
    in God and I am afraid of it:
    I know now how to love God whom you fear and whom
    You hate.
    I know now how God is born from the emptiness of the day
    naked, full and gifted
    and how he conquers every religion that we have.
    I am afraid that everything was fake that nothing matters
    that our life is a verse from a hit ballade and we are but
    empty tapes for recording dreams.
    I am afraid that this is everything of life –
    Suffering.
    I am afraid that when the tape unwinds
    there will be no one in the room and that cats
    will tear it and roll it in yarns and nobody could
    wind us and play us anymore.
    I am afraid that all of this beauty is a result of my
    love to substances
    to solutions
    to mixtures.
    I am afraid that this is all that we can make
    of life: wake up and hide
    under the warm armpit of
    our God.




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