Blesok no. 111, January, 2017


Gjoko Zdravеski

we have nothing to say to one another

    silences weigh heavily between us
    where we are supposed to say
    I love you.
    Once, we used to scream for each other.
    And reach in one day
    the world far away.


you live in the midst of the cross.
In the fourth of the seven houses
in the one painted green.
In the most humane one, between
the god and the beast in me. There,
between the lotuses, you are safest.
At night, ashiq-dervishes
visit you. And we start
turning in circles. In circles
till sunrise. Till we disappear
in each other.


we met in another city
after years of wandering.

And you said to me:
I will go, you – stay.

And I said to you:
you – go, I will stay.

And then year after year
we came and went.

And then other people
came along
and sat on the free seats.

gumilyov and the kitchen tiles

sometimes I wonder if
my messages make you
nauseous and if I should perhaps
conceal that I am overcome
by some warm yearning while i seat
on the cold marble tiles
of the railway station in ljubljana
and – reading nadezhda mandelstam,
who speaks of osip, of akhmatova,
of gumilyov – I remember
gumilyov’s verses written
with your handwriting on the tiles
of your kitchen in moscow.

I know, you shall say: the tiles
are long gone. Everything
is gone. The yearning alone has remained.

dream. Time. Death.

you’ve had a bad dream.
You tell me to be cautious when I drive
these days. All right, I’ll be cautious.
Yet, you know that time is not linear
and all our deaths and births
have already happened.

two poseidons

    I know. It’s not easy.
    I come as the ocean and engulf.
    That’s who I am. I have in me two poseidons.
    But I do not wish to conquer you.
    I am attached to you with love alone,
    paradoxically, since only love
    in this world liberates.

someone will say: love

Translated to English by Kalina Maleska

    the two of us are
    an empire in decline.
    We have glorious past
    (songs, stories, photographs in colour, and black and white),
    the present exists because of the past
    and the stories we retell every day.
    The future seems more remote from day to day
    and less clear,
    as though we watch it with eyes half-closed.

it is not easy on this side

to be obliged to persistently choose
between words. To measure them time
and again so that none weighs too much.
To anticipate each confused smile of the person
the word is addressed to. To think
of a new one that will alleviate, explain further,
to come up with footnotes, to make up
new meanings. To hesitate when alone
and to lower yourself to the root of evil,
to fumble into your depths. As if you should
know everything. As if you should see it all clearly.

And wherefore all this? Just because you have
the chance to love, and because you love dearly?


you are my favourite unrest,
that overwhelms me in the loneliness
of night. I am silent before your
face, and heaps of words in me
outscream each other and align
in some tangled lines,
creating meaning that
I cannot convey to you.


    having so much to say
    I keep quiet way too often.
    I even choose words as an old man
    buying food on the open market: I have to
    feel each one between the fingers. to sense
    the taste on the basis of the smell.
    I close my eyes and inhale you
    on the basis of memory. I exhale whole worlds
    of stone and of water

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