Adisa Bašić in translation: Censorship

CENSORSHIP

From all future family photos

you disappear as if deleted

by the hand of a merciless censor.

Beyond redemption.

As much as we smile

the shadow of your absence

from now until eternity

will set the tone

in each photo.



IMPROPER LOVE

You have strangled your love like

an underage girl committing infanticide

“preserving honour” by tightening her grasp around the little neck.

Buried it secretly behind the house,

pretended it was never there.

Only the milk gave you away

as it dripped for days

from your ready nipples.



PEOPLE TALKING

“They never said a bad word about the people who did this to them. Except for expressing disbelief at what was done to them.”

Jean-Rene Ruez, Chief Investigator for Srebrenica speaking about the survivors



IGNORANCE

He says: Cross yourself!

And I cross myself.

But I didn’t know

so I used my whole hand.

And then he takes

the blunt edge of the axe

to my hand.

But, believe me, girl,

I didn’t know.



NATURAL DISASTER

They brought us here

to a complex:

a bunch of houses and

garages.

You go into one, into another,

into a third.

And then you come out dead.



REVENGE

I know who killed my wife and

son and

daughter.

I know, one of them came back.

Opened a bakery.

But I make sure

I never buy anything there.



SHOWERING

They sway like algae

as the guards wash them with

fire hoses.

About thirty men I

don’t know. All naked.

And Hajra Hodzić, the bank

teller, among them.

To this day,

as far as I know,

the bodies have not been found.



OCCUPATION

I used to be a lawyer.

Today, I’m a victim.



BIRTHDAY

We all gathered

there. In front

of the car battery factory.

And it was hot, July.

Next to me

on the asphalt

at the same time

a child was being born.



SURVIVORS

Twice 

quietly

so mother wouldn’t hear

and get a fright

I took father

off

the gallows.


(Ključ, Sanski Most, Prijedor, Sarajevo, Srebrenica)


Noted down by Adisa Bašić, Sarajevo. 


News

'I like to use the languages of the various arts – literature, music, theatre...I think that is the spirit of the modern global era.'- poet Ivan Hristov spoke to SJ Fowler of 3AM magazine about the evolution of the contemporary Bulgarian poetry scene.

---

Cosmin Borza discusses the work of Romania's 'Generation 2000' poets, including Radu Vancu and Claudiu Komartin in an essay at Asymptote.

---

At the Sofia Poetics festival, which was organised by Word Express participant Ivan Hristov, Scottish based poet Ryan Van Winkle caught up with fellow festival guests SJ Fowler and Tomasz Rózycki. To hear Fowler and Rózycki discussing their work and reading some of their poetry, listen to the Scottish Poetry Library podcast here.

---