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Poetry

Željana Vukanac, poetry

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We ponder separated
In self retracted
Ponder about each other
With our crooked thoughts
(ponder).

There is no sound between us
Hoarseness separation
Insanity smothering
They all begin with an “I”
First I then You
in both streams
Not surrendering

If we only knew
That we know nothing of closeness
Or how to build it
We wouldn’t wait for the better days
We would rush to each others words
Hoarse on the edge of dawn
We wouldn’t drip on paper alone in corners
Shaking siren tails in mute eyes.


Max and his conscience

Max is an ordinary citizen
Work at the office, wears hat and suit, and round glasses
Max is an ordinary citizen
Not a Jew, not a Gypsy, not a Muslim
He work at the office
And the year is 1941
And you know how it is
He has a Jewish grosser, a Gypsy flower girl
And a Muslim baker as neighbors.
So Max passes by them every day
With a smile
Since he is an ordinary guy
And these are not his worries
When they beaten up grosser, raped flower girl
And burned the bakery
Max became a Jew, a Gypsy and a Muslim
And an ordinary citizen.


Autumn afternoon

The light of the last sun
Elongates faces in metal wheels
Smoke of our plastic burning
Says there is something escaping us
We don’t see the fog around us

We don’t see the sky above
Something escapes us
We don’t learn anymore
Something escapes us
We just run into ourselves again
Something escapes

We will burn

With food preservation in us
Thinking about allergic reactions
Concrete is our bedding
We won’t see forests
Or green giants around our houses
Paper trails are nothing
While we envelope last silk worms
Around our chicken necks


One prescription for the Miss, please

Its not that I love you, but you are ok
It was nice being with you
Thinking of your unspoken words
That summer I moved away
It not important
But the warmth you spoke with
Holding your feathery heart in the open
I never thought of it
And now I miss it so

You came for a hug
And I don’t deal with space well
Put my elbows too high
I hate to show odour
And it was a hot day
But you came so easy
Pressing my body
And I remembered childhood
And happiness of summer

I was convincing you there is
Nothing better than foreign lands
And leaving footprints in them
Sometimes I walk through city
Without telling anyone
Just to feel neon lights
I don’t look like before

One third of Earth is a desert
Life is hidden from sun
Spiking here and there in adrenaline
There are less and less brave acts
Walls hide hide and seeks
And if others get busted I might get by
Without telling who am I
I took my feelings from the library
All solutions of solutions live in books
Sometimes I cry for you
And tell myself
My condition has a prescription

I saw half of this Earth
And saw nothing
And found myself, wet on a graveyard


Željana Vukanac was born in 1990 in Zadar. She has lived in Žegar, Obrovac, Obilić, and Belgrade where she graduated from the 5th Belgrade Grammar School, and finished her undergraduate studies and postgraduate studies of Serbian literature at the Faculty of Philology at the University of Belgrade.

She is a participant of conferences and projects such as “Days of Interactive Education ReCreating Tesla – Practices which forge a genius”, “Hand and voice” (workshops and presentations of the work of poets and adolescents with impaired hearing), Collaboration within the MediaPholigon project, “Poetry on the road – Refugees and Migrants”.

She is a participant in creative writing workshops under the mentoring of the poets Ognjenka Lakicevic and Ivana Milankov. Her work was published in blogs (“Anonymous poets”), web portals (“Strane”, “Afirmator”, “Astronaut”), collections (“Manuscripts 38”, “In the Labyrinths of Abandoned Demons”). She was awarded first place of the literary competition “Mak Dizdar” for her poem collection “Spaces” within the cultural event “Letter of Bitterness” in Stolac in 2018. The Authoress has two poem collections, “Spaces” and “Name the Wave – Wave”. She lives and works in Belgrade.


Translator, Dragana Rudić: Born in 1986. She finished her master’s degree at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade at the Department of Comparative Literature. She lives and works in Shanghai where she is involved in the literary circles. She translates poetry, writes and publishes short stories and visual art.


This article was published in March of 2019, within the Awakening topic.

Read the other texts published in the Poetry section.

This article was originally published in Serbian and you can read it here. Translated into English by Dragana Rudić.

 

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