Jana Putrle Srdic


The Other Side of Skin

Wishing for a poem is like a dampness
in the air, 80% and increasing.

At night I walk through the city in the shape
of a wet puddle, lights blur in its waving

and dry islands of life are named:
a pump, Nobel Burek, Hot-Horse,
Day and Night. „Good morning,” grins
an aged motorcyclist, who in leather
with his helmet and motorbike
and a rock-n-roll youth,
enters the shop.

Everything moving repels off
my body, a longhaired cat swiftly
puffs beside me, this hour is torn out,

time spirally collapses
into itself, we are waiting in queues,

everyone with his scraped aura,
with marbles of lust, scattered over the ground.

The city gives us an infusion of glittering
rhythms and saves us from a sweaty
apartment, flowers in pots that are quietly dying away,

the city is a recourse of a cellophane
and we patiently await– the rabid dogs.


The World of a Thousand and One Fairy Tales

all this world with millions of headlights
snakily crawling somewhere, always somewhere else;
little fires at night burning Ganges and dead bodies,
perishing in it; clouds of midges above a steaming hot
field, above the piles of things, frying on a rubbish dump
under a hot sun; while shining shopping carts, stuck
one into the other await near the shop entrance.
bottles of milk, left
at the back doors of houses;
your smiles, when you're waking up;
the long line of yogurts we have eaten. I can't
choose among 78 satellite channels; shooting stars
are observing us from the sky, they will come down, wrap us up
into cotton and carry off, soak, wash, empty,
fill us with glass and pin our veins, stretch them,
send fluid through them, glittering in the dark,
to cover the world.

the world of a thousand and one fairy tales, countless
music rhythms interfering in me; I have lost
so many keys, watches, umbrellas,
pencils and erasers;
I have lost so many scents, faces, gestures, words
and leaflets: entrance, bus, railway tickets,
shopping lists, lists of guys I have slept with,
receipts, postcards. I don`t remember people, who have
filled a glass of water for me, not even all of my dates,
sitting in painful silence; letters I have sent –
two hundred words, we live in hope; films I have watched
with slight dizziness

how much are nights in a city worth? I have walked down
endless kilometers of streets, bearing reflection of
lights, glass, walls, passersby; fluently absorbing
objects, words, noises, music, touches to be
absorbed, dispersed, forgotten, blank.

Translated by Bridgette Bates & the poet


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