poetry

Petra Rosandić: I can move south anytime

Petra Rosandić (Split, 1985, poet/editor) graduated with a Master's degree in Croatian and English language and literature from The faculty of humanities and social sciences at University of Split, Croatia. Her works are published in all relevant Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian literary magazines/collections. Book of poetry, 'Ako dugo držiš usta otvorena' was published in Serbia in 2014, while her manuscript in English, 'Why I died' was selected as one of 25 semi-finalists for the international award Tomaž Šalamun 2015 by the American magazine Verse. Several of her poems have been translated to Italian and Albanian. She is currently based in Dublin, Ireland, studying interior design.



 

AUTUMN 

Everything peels off though the fruit doesn’t change. I’ve got nothing to wipe my hands with. The mould full of lead leaks when I leave: I restore white broken lines and double yellow lines. In the toilet queue at the gas station people are staring at the floor squeezing their packs of tissues. Their shame is a weak minded giant with sun-colored urine, as warm as oranges.

 

SPRING

That was a good night. Mosquitoes have just started to bite and I’ve officially become the child of a cleaning lady and a boat carpenter. I couldn’t go back home for I decided to bring a brick into my room for each of my lies. When I got my last paycheck and her mother left her with some money and wine, she explained the situation in Syria to me. I was already winning at Risk the following day.

 

WINTER

Time entangled like a clowder of cats asleep. Ivies entwined around already half-dead tree trunks. If we hurry we’ll welcome everyone from the after party in a freshly wiped stairwell on Sunday afternoon. We’re sitting behind the window as in Munch’s Tête-à-tête and we can’t recall if the painting’s really in yellow. The Sun glides to others and if so, I could very briefly be that chunky girl who smiles.

 

SUMMER

To scream like the heart is a piece of styrofoam you rub against a house wall. To climb apishly up the lote tree to hear the muteness of a bird. To lay down and ruffle pieces of food under the bed with your fingers. To feast on deers and ask if we killed it. Then hear the cracking of the footsteps on floorboards. To enliven it each few months by sticking a real flower among the fake ones into the vase on the marble.

 

THE RETURN

 

The hinterland hills inspire pity in a similar fashion as oversized noses.

If bivalves were meant to be cast as a rock and to swim through everything aloft

the wiredrawn wind would masturbate. Pelt the fields with the gardening tools.

All through the skin, organs would sieve from innate reflexes,

grace, nights that pull you back with infantile paralysis.

 

It rapes me with my hands against the city. I'm silvering, it sings.

The sand beneath my heels becomes the ocean floor.

It’s impossible to ever be alone. Each bloodstream looks like lightning.

Only those who wait long enough we shall

hit across the eyelids with porcelain and a mace.

 

It is evident where the remains are and who came back lustful with the tide.

The safest way to spread the news in the plains is trough glances now.

Endlessly I wet the sea. I swear I prospered by

the wind's unobstructed breakage

of the windows kilometers far to the south.

 

 

ALESSANDRO MARCELLO:  OBOE CONCERTO IN D MINOR

 

Honey has fallen on top of trees

I can move south anytime

yellow roads always make you squint

it’s sometimes relaxing to do things by heart

I get distracted so much that I should

never sit behind the wheel

but if we spin one more time

I won’t mind

some of my friends have survived

I would like to be driven

by someone with whom I can’t have a conversation

They promise to show me

the man like Van Gogh

when we see the sign Santa Maria di Leuca

which we keep missing

A lot of things comfort me

everything will be silent in the coming days

I will look at empty plates

smiling to myself because of the feast

and become calmer

I will sometimes hear only trains

playing the tracks

warmly and masterfully like

panting oboists near retirement

Nature always

takes care of the best things

of dying in one's sleep

I can move south anytime

 

 

ARTEMISIA

 

I dreamt about joining the Masons

took a ship to an island cab to a fort

ran into a local festivity

and was late for the ceremony

for the whole twelve hours

I just had to watch the sky

 

it is about to shatter and it’s good

to have it looking like bismuth today

rainbow drops shall fall

cards dice and children's games

hieroglyphs shall fall all shall learn to write

everything shall be nullified

Goebbels' children shall come back

I shall never get cancer

 

I knocked and apologized

asked if they could offer robes

because I only brought a pair of panties

they told me not to fear

all Masons are prominent intellectuals

 

I fell on marble by slipping on the robe

split my skull open

it depends on where it comes from but blood in general

smells like iron

the doctor told me not to be afraid

that I'd be okay

 

told me not to be afraid

that I'd be okay

 

that I'd be okay

 

The dome is about to shatter Look!

It’s painted in bismuth colors

 

But I still haven't managed to grow up

you grow up when your mother dies

 

 

JUGO

 

I.

 

Wet! Just that it’s wet!

The first thing we’ve learned

was how to draw an escape

and why birds get truculent

after a cloudburst

Even today, this southern city

cuts children’s throats

Later they constantly dream of flying

and their milk teeth

rustle in guitars

 

II.

 

So it’s better for you to die beside me

there’s the city behind the window

and that city is an assumption

it’s not what you see but

what you can feel on your skin

after you smile to a man on the street

and he doesn’t recognize you

 

III.

 

Our bodies don’t smell anymore

why should we cast off

Magellan brought cloves

cinnamon nutmeg

 

all

for us

naked in the chamber

quite unnecessary things

 

IV.

 

As we’re in Pirate Bay’s aluminum padded room

Like staccato, we haven’t got an aftertaste

Don’t be scared, Lilli Marlene

 

America loves us.

 

 

HOW I WASH MYSELF

 

I pull the dubious eyelash out before it penetrates the eye

and I feel disheartened. It's time to proceed to the bathtub without scenting

the next warm opportunity for washing.

My father's not a literary critic. Although I have no wish to be loved

I don't mind waiting long.

Assuming another position in the bathtub and glancing towards water

is looking at an open coffin.

With fingers like this, I should write plays.

My parents urinate behind the open doors of this same bathroom.

The fourth dimension is best reflected in Chinese torture

and fixing the faucet seems implausible.

I stir up a quarrel between my two feet, I synchronize them and howl

Decency is Indecency’s Conspiracy of Silence.

I'm gliding naked towards the door and eavesdrop through the keyhole.

I want someone to grab me by my arm and warn me,

to put old and valuable things in front of my entrance door

like a Bible in Kentucky before excommunication.

There's no filth in the bath water after all, but my nails have gained a new elasticity.

If you keep your mouth open, you'll begin to drool

and that's what drags you back to the beginning.

 

 

                        Translated by Ivana Čović, Stefan Kostadinović and Petra Rosandić

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