"Cardinal Points" litetrary journal: www.stosvet.net

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LITERARY FESTIVAL IN NOVI SAD, SERBIA. AUGUST, 2009


POETRY




Jovan Zivlak


BAGPIPES

what more can I say
when in a noise-ridden hour
but nobody speaks of bagpipes
no more than of the shadows behind which past lives flutter.
rogues on one side, the just on the other
as if it were not enough of that
who is good and who is evil's very hand
who is the burning flame of beauty
and who joins, stitches and unstitches
is this know-how.
that I remember
that I inhale the ocean's storm
or that I hear the hurly-burly of those who rush into deep waters
to shelter their limbs in their breast.
he who has never plunged his pain into the waves
listened to the rippling somewhere on a shore
looked into mute emptiness
and has been in the cold of the dark
for long years
fenced in with wires.
when I thought to ask my father already
a bony elder what more he could say
he said nothing
as if his silence testified
to the macabre multitude riding under the banners of the monarchy
and shivering within the icy wires of Germania.

                              translated by Alison and Vladimir Kapor



Jean Portante


* * *

I had on leaving poured a cubic meter of light
into the crater as if between you and me the
toing and froing of things the swell and backwash
had systematically died out

do you know the work of the shadow around
our eyes and all that goes on
unobserved when suddenly we touch
the hour that falls like a sun

falls which when falling learns how
to fall there is in your last glance
unfinished work and in mine
the urgency of a dying day

and in yours once again a ladder
rising to knock the fruit off a tree
no longer from the north or south
as long as outside night and day

eat at the same table
nothing moves on this line
that goes from your eyes to mine
nothing moves and nothing is fixed

                              translated from the French by Anne-Marie Glasheen



Wolfgang Ratz


MEANDERS

where shadows fall on the river, the water runs slower
words come to a stop in the evening, thoughts
like patient ivy twining round the bridgeless pile
that juts into my memories
steeper the trails, the furrows, the look is caught in nettle gardens
I am losing sight of myself, burning the hours
I bury the embers under my heel
the shadow drifts toward the mud, I don't know myself
my hand is crumbling like the rust of metallic wounds
I draw green blood from the veins of the night

                              Translated from German by the author



Slavko Almazan


SPIRAL BIOGRAPHIES

Three snails travel
Three snails from the same forest
Three snails climb behind my ear every night
They cling to my smile
They cling to my tie

Three snails three spiral biographies
Race race
They will brake in pieces their homes
Cause they cope too quickly
In my new hat

                              Translated by Anda Almazan



Annemette Kure Andersen


* * *

Now that you have seen all my pages caught up in the wind and
carried away, what more do you want, I'm no longer troubled by the clock's
metallic tick, it's the sound of familiar voices that
makes me stay here, because the days wrap around my breath
like a steel wire that tightens harder and harder so that
I can only count, straining, each time the chest lifts itself
while you keep repeating a simple melody whose refrain
consists of exactly two words, for always, you must set your world
behind you, for always, for me, the notes go on and on

                              translated by Thom Satterlee



Nebojsa Devetak


THE FUGITIVE

There it comes
Midnight moves in with me
White midnight with black stars

Time halts, time freezes
Under moonlight's dark glow
I certainly never will arrive where I am headed
Out there you are smiling
Out there your hair is fettered by hairgrips
Your tiny feet steeped in the lake water
Out there your hands prune roses
Around the monastery
And bring them withered to my face
To smell
Oh, that scent of flowers and incense
That delivering and caressing intoxication

And I am just a fugitive
Distrustful and sharp as a blade
On which slumbers white midnight with black stars

And I certainly never will arrive where I am headed

                              Translated by Sergej Macura



Maja Solar


POSTMODERN STORY

we have a marvelous life
really love each other
we have seven children always hanging round our neck
sometimes we have nothing to eat
borrow sugar and flour from the neighbors
but we really love each other

sometimes he cheats on me
first I feel it, intuitively
than I read all his e-mails
go to the website and list all the numbers he rang
and the numbers that rang him
than I see that he's still fucking željka kristina olivera ana
and I tell him to stop
and we really love each other
and have a marvelous life
we are bound together by children
I mean, really really bound
sometimes broken dishes
miss his head
sometimes a hit
does not miss my head

crushed children's glasses
bruises of sleepy smugglings
in postmodern discourses

we just act while packing our bags
after that we again love each other
and fuck on our breaded couch

and children eternally hang on us like jewelry
our marvelous children
marvelous decoration of post-citizenship
we have a marvelous marvelous life



Dusko Novakovic


CINEMA LUMIÈRE

A celluloid-tape ring uncoils real street fights,
The real chest coming out through the chest, throwing out of the spleen
And there are no tricks when some people with nets
Catch other people, and other people, also, pour tar
Over other people which make them burn like heretics in Tourn

Pardon me, what are heretics? What a cinematheque is?
Is it a ball of umbilical cords tangled into a ribbon of dream,
While their circulatory systems are screams of canned, sounding meat?
Is it a sort of metaphysical coldness - absence of a being from a being,
Which in waves nears the eye from separate contours of distance?

Pardon me, what are distances? Pardon me, where does this
Mathematical past of distances take place? In which Bosnian Belfast
We have to humbly think about family crimes and salvation,
Or more familiar to us, about Sodom, about Gomorrah, about Tyre...
Pardon me, what was Nagasaki? A bird or a kind of an instrument?

Maybe a garden where people learned how to vanish in light,
Not a single gesture of eccentricity did they show about it in any way.

                              Translated by Mirjana Dragovic



Michael Speier


NON SEQUITUR

maybe the wind maybe nothing at all
in the deep wicker chairs
of this star
we've now arrived
where the waste started up
as though it had only been waiting

born into that antique sect
of wiped-out countenances
we'll hold out for sure
(retreat into patience and smashed-up crypts)
like long-legged flies
made of gold

                              translated by Richard Dove



Stevan Tontic


THE EVENT

In the besieged city,
After three months of fear about sheer survival,
Of running from bed to the bomb shelter, of starvation,
Wrested the woman - the Almighty must have given her the signal - one night,
During sunrise, just when the cocks started to crow,
From the body of the man a burst of happiness and bliss,
Wrested it with electrified fingertips and fell asleep
As one of the blessed.

The man stood up,
Bathed ceremoniously by candle light,
Lit himself ceremoniously the last cigarette
And thought not without a certain satisfaction
That the machine of his body could still be used
And the matter, out of which it is composed, does not belong entirely to dust,
Rather that his life makes equally, so to speak,
Here and there some sense.

                              Translated by Hatto Fischer



Oleg Woolf


* * *

On Wednesdays they just live here and paint.
The town is Romanian and poor.
Tuesday and Monday
Smell of water like a net.

Life is a Thursday, but after that Rain.
March has a return address.
Sort of mail
With the local marks of March and

Sort of a damp mail
To a former addressee.
Here you know too well
That this task was never for you.

                              Translated by Andrey Gritsman



Irina Mashinski


MAY 29TH

Tomorrow Pasternak dies
in Peredelkino, where on his grave
we spent our youth
reciting "August,"
surrounded by quiet men in dark suits --
they almost liked the lines.

Tomorrow is the day, the 30th. And three months from tomorrow
Tsvetaeva will hang herself
in a Tatar town on the black Kahma river
Kahma - a tribute to the fuller, solemn
Volga, which rolls her waters south farther from the yoke.
the town with a hook-like name: Elahbuga

A tributary to the yet unknown,
if only I could give her all my blood
to fill those cobalt rubble veins of a laborer!
If only - all the pine tree air to fill his tormented lungs -
I, illegitimate offspring,
looking for the two of you
on every bank
of each big frozen river
where boats are stuck in hummocks.