Blesok no. 29, November-December, 2002

Start without me
Translated by: Elizabeta Bakovska

Jovica Ivanovski

After New Year

Last night million crackers deflated
       million balloons
we watch not to step on them
as if they were condoms filled
       with explosive
magical are these first-yearly morning
walks along the deserted empty streets
only old men and lost celebration guests
who drink the first morning sun
          as a raw egg
last night here they counted down scrubbed
their faces and sprayed each other with foamy hope
there were as many of them as F-words
       in mother’s dictionary
now they sleep as babies with their bibs
       of bicarbonate in their cribs
both flowers and winter rest
dances and dawn and cabbage rolls and ladies
the mayor rests and
the first baby and the TV and the doctor
only us with eyes thick with sleep
searching for an open store
we pass by the trees with multicoloured
          shiny fruits
by the needles of evergreen trees stuck in
white hairs of the beards of the red
by nice decoration  papers (probably)
impatiently torn away from beautiful gifts
by the taxi driver who does not react to thumbs
by the only open store
where we buy a loaf of bread
and with an unjustified uneasiness
we take the small change
that might be useful
for the Christmas Eve bread.

Book by Jovica Ivanovski published by Blesok:
Selected Poems


They always start with the
and thorough lamb slaughtering.

they feed the cement with water
they feed the anaemic concrete
       with iron.

they pray to Lord not to rain
during their lunch break.

they put glasses to short-sighted

they comfort the cold rooms with chimneys
and in the end they roast tiles for refreshment

they make winter supplies they distil brandy
they call the names of streets
          for a drink

and they get smashed to forget
their debts

and then with their craft fresh they go
to work abroad
and they start in the cellar again

they return the debts but they don’t

and when some of their family at home
asks them for their empty house – for a while

they are serious when they say that they wait
    for the lacquered floor to dry

and that they expect to come back any moment


Sonja’s profile
when she sleeps on her side
on the bed lined with

while I blow in her eyes
and I hit her cymbal
       on her ear
while I open the sliding
(that presses her
    socks with flowers)
to lower the sun
to increase the chlorophyll
       in her eyes
while I unstuck her nose
with the smell of four fried
(frying on moderate fire
covered with love and lid)

perfectly regular and calm
some  untouchable sweet peace
hugged by her eyebrows it connects
       her lips

only a fool would wake her

Alone Again

You go out the balcony
you take a puff on your smoking stool
the protective vine over the fence is neglected
and because the neighbours are short sighted
    it shields you from yourself
you coax the shower with solar boiler
    to last as far as June
the eaves are dirty the clothesline clean and white
    garbed in your nappies
which cry out with the merciless pinching
    of the pegs
to your right spring applies make-up
    to that peartree old as you are
then you unfold the hose, you water
the roof so that i may grow another storey
    you feel like drinking, but who with?
the neighbours´ cats have figured you out a long time ago
to your left is the window of that room
where you once used to write it has opened
its nostrils to get a bit of air
    while you are away
son it will be dark and your TV´s
    broken down
you light another cigarette on the same stool
you make yourself comfortable   waiting
    for the film of the stars to start
whose run has never ended
because of the great interest of the public

Translated by Zoran Ančevski

It would be Awful
not to Read the Papers

First of all you’d spoil your breakfast
you could miss some of those
so-called life changing shows
you’d probably get out of home in clothes
that are not on the meteorologist lists
you’d come to work completely unprepared
you could not get involved in the chat
you could miss the death of someone you know
or God forbid some seasonal discount
you’d miss learning something new from
             crossword puzzles
not to read the papers would be an awful thing
you’d not have anything to put on the floor when the painters
present their circus skills
you’d die of boredom on the toilet seat
(it would probably have a bad influence on your marriage)
your apolitical views would become absurd
you could not treat the celebrities and
Hollywood stars as your relatives or neighbours
you would not save a lot of money although
it is not really a small item on the family budget
if you didn’t read the papers you’d probably watch TV
and you could not use the TV (just in case) for sure
          to wipe off your ass

Start without me

Feel free to start without me
I will be somewhere here
although I won’t be present
I trust you immensely
pretend I’m everywhere
and just start
distribute the invitations
put on the posters
call the journalists
of all stations and papers
and provide them the promised
drinking until they shit
wait for the dark
and switch on the spot lights
play soft music
and blow (in the microphone)
check the actor if he had
read his text
and don’t forget to praise him
provide free of charge books
and signing them for each other
call several living poets
maybe a doctor, priest and policeman
and open the door wide
check the introductory speech deliverer
if he knows how to read – give him a bottle
and keep on repeating him
the word (not to forget it)
don’t start on time
wait for the room to fill up
and close the door
throw them tear gas
and start with the show


The first crying and the last sigh in it
the first moaning and the last erection

between mother’s placenta and family tomb
          it is our main interim stop

it checks whether we brushed our teeth before
             hugging it
whether our feet are clean or are we
             suffocating it
(and we in plaid uniforms for dreaming
          lie down lie down lie down)

it knows which side we sleep on when we screw
          when we snore

it knows our weight better than a scale
our curves better than our dear

climbed on it we travel around the world
riding it we fuck up the reality

between the first piss and the last bedpan
between the first drool and the last seed

there is Mr. Bed
as long as a lifetime

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