Tuesday, March 17, 2009


go and wear the medallion of my patience
wear the medallion of my patience on your lapel
show it or flaunt it or
else throw it into the sea
when you walk along the sea shore
with your new footprints in the new sand
under the new moon of your new life
ignoring funeral pyres along the shore

go and unremember the poems we read together
discard the amulets of known times
forget the melancholy we shared
the discreet nostalgia for old trains and attics
and lonely wooden barns
and the pain of a lonely owl hooting

you don't know what kneeling is
or what an altar looks like and
what remembrances are
you don't know even now that
when the moon sinks into the sea
a feverish haunting throbs
go ride the riptide to infinity


Lupe said...

It's the best I've read from you so far. Especially the first stanza, with that furious set of well-chosen images of calmness. That's not easily accomplished.

Jigar said...

I loved this poem, especially these lines....

-go and unremember the poems we read together
-the discreet nostalgia for old trains and attics
-the pain of a lonely owl hooting

in fact, all your poems echo melancholy and solitude. I feel that beneath the sadness there is a sense of "want" in your poems. As if, the person who could pamper has left and all that remains is longing, and the indiscreet things one does in that phase -- be it writing poems (like in one of your poems, you write: So must I write a poem every time you leave me?)

I like reading them nevertheless!

Roxana said...

and how I like this! for me, the second stanza 'works' best, whatever this 'work' means here. perhaps it means that the images echo in me so strongly that I can make them 'mine', as if I had written the lines myself.

Kubla Khan said...

Atenea, hi


Jigar....thanks for visiting. from what i have been told, jigar means liver. you have a fascinating name that works well in Urdu.

Roxana, hi. after reading your furious Time poem, i must admit this one is so weak. am glad you like it. have you read Vasko Popa? there is a poem of his on my blog. my poem in itself is a weak, very weak and feeble echo of that poem. do read that one.

Roxana said...

oh, I don't know how I missed that Vasko Popa poem, it is very good, indeed, and very intense. you are right, your style is somewhat similar (not a copy!). I think there is much more violence in his, especially towards the end, yours is diminished by the use of a more metaphorical, 'literary' style.

a friend of mine posted this today, I wonder whether you like it, it has a very alluring aggressivity and directness:

Mostar Rains (I)

i loved a certain svetlana in mostar one autumn
if only i knew whom she was sleeping with now
i'd chop her i'd chop her
if only i knew who was kissing her now
i'd knock his i'd knock his
ah if i knew who was picking apricots
still unripe in me

i was telling her you are a child you are green
i was telling her everything
and she wept on my hands at may words
i was telling her you are an angel you are a devil
your body is ripe don't pretend to be a saint
and all night blue rains were raining over mostar

there was no sun no birds there was nothing
she asked me whether i had a brother what i studied
whether i was a croat whether i love rilke she asked everything
she asked me if i could do the same with every girl god forbid
she asked me in a low voice if i loved her
and blue rains were falling over mostar
she was luxuriously white in the dark od the room
but she wouldn't give she wouldn't
or she didn't dare devil knows

it is autumn that dead autumn in window-panes
her eyes a bird her thighs a doe
she had a mole a mole she had i dare not say
she had a mole small and violet or so it seems to me
she asked me if i was a croat if i had a girl
if i loved rilke she asked me everything
while in the window like christmas bells of my childhood water
drops rang
and a night song softly along downtown
hey suleman mother's son

she spread her years upon the floor
her eyes were full ripe peaches
her breasts were warm as puppies
i told her she was stupid she was putting on airs
svetlana svetlana do you know this is the atomic age
de gaulle gagarin and such nonsense i told her everything
she wept she wept

i took her to the bazaar dives
i toke her everywhere
i hid her in caves carried her to a balcony
under bridges we played hide and seek the neretva a filly
under an old bridge i spoke of crnjanski
how marvelous he is how marvelous

i drew her knees in wet sand
she laughed so merrily so innocently like first lilies
i took her to mosques karadjoz bey dead too dead
under his heavy tomb
so shantich's grave she carried some flowers cried a little
like a women
i took her everywhere

it is this summer now
i am now quite different i write some poems
in a newspaper half a column gor pero zubac and nothing more
and all the night blue rains were falling over mostar
she was luxuriously white in the dark od the room
but she wouldn't give she wouldn't
od she didn't dare devil knows

that sky those clouds those roofs
the pale sun of the hungry boy over mostar
i can't forget
nor her hair her small tongue like a strawberry
her laughter which could hurt like a curse
that player in the chapel on the white fill
god is great she said he will outlive us
nor those heavy blue rains
oh autumn her barren autumn

Pero Zubac: Mostar Rains/ Translation: Branko Momchilovicj

you can find the whole poem here:

Jigar said...

In fact, I have been told that 'jigar' in Urdu means heart! Anywyas, it means "something" - thats all that matters!

Kubla Khan said...

Roxana hi

you don't know how but this poem that you so kindly posted here has saved me! what a poem. there is such music here, such sadness, so much of everything.......

plz don't even think that i meant the Popa poem in reference to my own. after i wrote 'go', i thought of the Popa poem. it was in my head somewhere.

Roxana said...

I am so happy to hear this! I was so sure that you would love it, I instantly thought of you when I saw it.