Blesok no. 50, September-October, 2006

Market Day
Translated by: Daniel Brcko

Olja Savičević Ivančević

Bossa Nova

Let the summer shiver outside our door
Do not let him in let him burn with desire
We will laugh naked and black
And try on madam's dresses
We will dance all day long, girl
By the old record player
As lazy as cats
On our toes on our heels we turn
Your hands are in the air
My hands are on my waist
Sailors beneath the window are calling us
They know our names
You are Plum Jam
I am Bitter Orange

The Little Admirals' Departure

Our street is quiet but at night
I can hear the city snoring
Its monotonous sound in the background
And the munching when it turns on its side
This evening all the admirals from Matejuška are leaving
They will untie the ropes on their litttle boats
And seek for a new world
Quietly while the heavy town is asleep
Without pomp quite covertly
They will slide onto the dark sea
Cut the night wave
Somewhere in the open sea the engines will start roaring
The heavy odour of oil and of the stale sea
The smell swaying in the ship's womb
Will return to the harbour with the wind
And in the morning
What are we going to do without them
That is why my chest is always prepared
To a desert island I would carry
A metaphor

Talk to Me

oh I do not need anyone to listen to me
come and talk to me and if you want touch my hair with your fingers
taxidrivers have grown tired of my aimless ride
I am going round and round the city looking for my great love
everyone is a drag, a drag and I am stalking the silence with my mouth wide open
I need the right words say them speak to me
come and talk to me I do not need a confessor of any sort
or a shoulder or an ear just a mouth that speaks
as if it kissed every word before letting it out
truckdrivers are tired they are driving me at night
my yearning is a dangerous burden a wild loneliness
I am spreading my intercity chakras searching for you
we might miss each other at the traffic light
and in that case I will follow that voice saying the right words
I will follow you up until you slam the door of your car
and ask me: what do you want?

Market Day

I have a beautiful daughter
today I am taking her to town in my convertible
to see the market
overhead the sky is ideal for a picnic
by the roadside
people with powerful jaws
are chewing gum
and putting their hats up in greeting

I have a beautiful little girl
I kneaded her out of pink flesh
out of my own vigour
at night when we sleep on the pillow
her golden hair
gets entangled in my black hair
and by day we go down to the beach happily

today I am taking her to see the market im my convertible
for the first time
I will buy her anything she wants
colourful golden and useless things
just to hear her laughter
on our way back we will sing together
a song about a bird

I am telling you, I have the dearest daughter
I am driving slowly so that she could see
the world that I have put together for her
from the most dazzling cities
and the street that I used to tread
on my way down to the sea
for her I have made it endlessly long


They sleep on the docks
And piss into the harbour
But they will not embark
(Except maybe the Supetar ferry)
Too many good movies
And bad ways of spending one's time
And the pernicious influence of literature
Boy they will break our bones
Down there in some park
This tenderness is provocative

They live on the hands of the harbour
Extended in flight
My friends
Hardened dreamers
Fogging other people's brains and buying a smoke
Incomplete students finished children
Girls past their prime

I watch them in the morning as they go to bed
Then the coffee ritual
And the silence as sticky and talkative as Turkish delight

They happen in certain intervals
Occur every day
In uncertain circumstances
Like a call at midnight (for help)

They are angels who lift me up and put me down
On a trapeze
Dwarves who drag me into inns
Winged fishes idlers clowns
My incurable tendency
From a collector's point of view


So much silk is unfurling
Non-stop under my skin
That my guardians had to give me refuge
In that Shaolin temple, among the inn-attending clergy
Here, little girl, they said, you will
Learn how to write on wind with your foot
And following the wind across the city seas
You will learn the skill
Of throwing little winged pencils
(Of untying the navel with your eyes closed
And cutting the nipple)

I have seen crazy teachers sing and love
Seen them jump over lime trees and water towers
And sometimes run alongside walls of houses tipsily
But in the morning they sweep up their bare rooms soberly
They gently clothe their bare wives and lads
Tie up what is left of their hair
Into a pigtail of sentences
And hover over sacred keyboards

The first lesson I have mastered it in domestic science
I have wound all the silk into bolts
As if in a little yard-goods shop
It took me thirty years
And it will take me another thirty
To classify the buttons of words
And all those applications

I am afraid that, in the meantime,
The teachers will grow old, they will finish their pipes of faith
And with them their boldness and wisdom
I dread to think what is to become of their bones in textbooks
No man alive will ever again be able
To piece together a poet

created by