Blesok no. 47, March-April, 2006

Would You Care for a Lifting
Translated by: Elizabeta Bakovska

Jovica Ivanovski

Woman Codriver

The woman codriver
owns half of the windshield
and the mirror on the lowered sun blind

The woman codriver
would not stop speaking – but then she also does
at home – as the codriver in my life

The woman codriver
often doesn’t even know to drive – but
it doesn’t deprive her of the right to be my instructor

The woman codriver
(actually) should respect the man driver just
like the flight attendant respects the main pilot

The woman codriver
can wear a mini skirt
that shows her nice bare knees next to the emergency brake

The woman codriver
can also be handy – if you have a flat tire
or your car dies and there’s nobody to push

The woman codriver
can have a perfect profile
with garbage dumps on the fields framed in the window

The woman codriver
is most beautiful when she sleeps – then you start to enjoy
the driving and you do all that takes

not to wake her up


Would You Care for a Lifting

Your mood is written on your face
but a small surgical intervention of the word
with an honest broad smile opposite
with an encouraging stimulation of a real friend
with a small joke that makes the worry go to hell
your face can tighten your nose can become smaller
and your dying eyes can shine again –
come out of home out of that skyscraper tomb
and join us in our group therapy

you don’t need a shrink
you need a bartender with a character

Ten Years Ago

”The boar doesn’t need a market research
          to find truffles in the forest”
so we found each other – I’m the boar and you’re the truffle
we hold hands as if one of us is a child
in a fiesta crowd of the strange city

the day ends slowly – in a fade-out
the tree wrapped its shade as a picnicker
wraps his blanket from under a tree
semi-bending we pass under its low branches –
as if coming out of a helicopter

we look for a free bench at the river bank
by the street lights whose reflections in the river
          will be killed by the sun
it’s fresh but not too warm
we watch the old people go somewhere
slowly and security – in a fade-out

would we have something to say to each other in 10 years –
we’ll know each other better and we’ll avoid
these moments of presentation of
the best we think we have are great
and let the flaws and irreconcilable differences
    remain covered – for now

we are no longer kids to get a bench
but this is our first holiday together
and we get to know each other by knowing the city –
we’ll meet get to know each all of our life getting to know
                    the life
and when we truly know each other
one of us will have to go

People that Keep on Whining

People that keep on whining
are boring and you avoid them
the best you can

but it's hard to avoid the people
    that keep on whining
(especially in these whining times)

sometimes you feel stinking sick
you want a careless happy crowd
people who don't nag when they go down

but whines creep in dark corners
like magicians hopping out of toilet
seats when you rejoice the empty bar in vain

there he is – at the only shady table
how can you choose between two evils –
better burnt by the sun than bored by a fool

people that keep on whining
can sometimes really make you laugh
but to hell with this laugh that only makes you cry

troubles poverty are tragic
and it's virtue not to mention them
glory to all who try to be careless

it’s hard to avoid the people that whine
but if you join them and whine louder than all
they’ll escape and panicking avoid you in the future

Well, I Write on Everything

OK – I prefer paper
but that doesn’t imply I have something
against napkins and sheets

Henri drew on everything he found so
why shouldn’t I write anywhere
(screw it – I’m not a tennis player, my game
          doesn’t depend on the field)

Of course, I can also do it on sheets
but most of the time I write on napkins
and then I blow my nose with them

You Can’t See the Fog from the Sun

You can’t see your two hands in front of your eyes
you can’t see a damn thing
the sun is so strong it
melted the look of the passer-by

an awful damn thing – one would not believe it

and then two girls lit cigarettes
and they blew like Turkish railway women
the train came by and ran the rails
and it was lost in the smoky eyes

strange thing – you close your eyes and
continue where you
stopped before you woke up to
the noise and locomotion smoke

on a bench on a train station platform –
to hell with it

Doesn’t Matter – I Greet Everybody

Years and faces – many
acquaintances meetings old friends –
can anybody remember them all

I’m bad at memorizing faces
and there was rarely a reason for it
a youthful mistake and now I pay the bill

I know some people only by face
I might have hanged out with some
I’ve seen the others (I guess) on TV

From primary school or high school
from an old trip to the sea –
I bet they’ve forgotten me too

but in those simple walks
even if I just imagine that
I know them – still I great them all

So that they don’t say I look down on them
”look at this asshole showing off”
”he turns his head and I've blown him once”

”Good morning” “Hi” “Good afternoon”
a greeting that doesn't oblige me to stop
and elaborate on my right to greet them

”there's the guy who greets all” –
they say and cross the street
they run in panic so I don't catch them unprepared

some greet back by inertia
some turn their heads and mumble
some ignore me with utter indifference

they give themselves airs, jerks
but they’ll get mixed up too some day
they’ll say hi and I’ll just keep my head straight


Three Pregnant Women at a Party

They measure each other’s bellies
they guess their months –

the one that comes out of the toilet
tomorrow enters the ninth

the food is delicious
       but they restrain
they’d light a cigarette
       but their husbands nag

three chairs in three corners –
wherever they sit they’re in a waiting room

three states of bliss
       with a vomiting urge
(they also vomited last year – from tequila and beer)

the first one would like a girl
the second one her first to be a boy

the third one is about to explode
“whatever it is – if only it’s fast”

they deceit themselves that they’re successful
whose careers will end by
       ironing diapers

but they will really only
       be pregnant for a while
and only then they’ll become proven
       successful women

We Learn to Eat

With a bib and a spoon
then with a knife and a fork
(we slurp soup as if it doesn’t taste good)

no smacking – keep your mouth closed
(if you speak while you eat
you’ll marry a…)

straight as warriors
with our newspapers under our arms
we break a place to bite as men

you can eat fish with your fingers
because it has a lot of bones
but use pliers for the lobster

(eating with Chinese sticks
is like writing haiku)

we learn how to eat all of our lives
and finally we still end
just as we started

with a bib and a spoon
almost flat on our backs
fed by someone else

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