Irena Matijašević: No one's around

Irena Matijašević, born in Zagreb in 1965, graduated with a degree in English and comparative literature from Zagreb's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. She served as a member of Croatian Semiotic Society’s board of directors and currently she works as an editor at Croatian Radio where she edits programs on poetry and literature, as well as on human sciences. Her work as a translator is marked by translations of theory, anthropological (Clifford Geertz, Interpretative Anthropology, 2010) and psychoanalytic (Anthony Elliott, Psychoanalytic Theory, 2012). Her publications include essays, published in literary magazines and newspapers, as well as three books of poetry: Naizgled (Seemingly, AGM, 2007), Južne životinje (Southern Animals, AGM, 2010) and Danska H20 (Dennmark H20, AGM, 2012). Her poems were translated into German, English, Slovakian, Swedish and Polish. In 2015 she published the novel Black Letter (Algoritam, Zagreb) and presently she is writing a novel Diary of the sea to be published by Hena.com in 2017.



f# is sharp pitched, the work of the armchair system, the radio is on
blanket set carelessly aside, to begin dreaming again is cracked
glass mornings, a little hope pinned under the blanket, packed in the closet
that serves as a chest, without drawers, here, next to a few autumn jackets
there is no one, except for the cat that sometimes prowls in, and a movement or two
i'm waiting to turn around myself, two or three moves, the composition is given
that's why i can borrow you a piece or two, some tissues at least, you could reply to
my text message at least, that’s tasty, not aggressive, and at once i will help you
discover, when i find out i will send him an email, too, saying i don't hate tuesdays but him,
when i say sunday, damned sunday, no one’s around
it is graceful, through the gauzy curtains to the neighbor’s balcony
the waves of pleasure rise, rage is set aside and waiting, i can't swallow it, not yet
but we’ll learn who lies awake in their darkness, at home a surplus of tissues
to wipe your nose, two or three pieces of feelings scattered around, seemingly like clothes over chairs
because feelings are always more important than the illness, no matter of what kind
Translation: Irena Matijašević
big flowers
in concrete pots. a child running.
a number, a halt, vivisection
there is no better day
for the buzz of engines.
also: smoke, lead
sometimes, flour, a ball of fire. the sun burning
the white canvas of the curtains. reflections
shining on the pavement.
everyone is ready to take a nap, reduce the movement.
so it becomes clear, with the sound of a cold voice
who manages the day. on the ground floor
a secretary diligently types. the phone rings. she answers.
her blonde hair in a tail shakes. same as today
or was it yesterday. the taste of familiarity in the summer dust
of the street. a digital camera. when i fell in love with emblematology,
an acquaintance said. can he list the thousands of dispersed names
in the white pages, sort voters by counties, swim breaststroke,
ring the bell at the front door so that the words say enumeration,
tell you what to do with yourself,
every clock mechanism is empty and the fruits ooze emptiness, and the pots.
watch out, you say to yourself, to continue that way. whitening of the dust,
big flowers, and all these concrete pots.
across the street a child is running, smoke, lead,
canvas of the curtain, the sun as it forms the reflections.
Translation: Irena Matijašević
maria, maria, you have the most beautiful name in the world
you are of spanish blood, hot, you are big on the streets
big in corners, as big and round as barbara
still, you’re not barbara but maria on street
corners, following me, speaking spanish
you are good, a well-known preparation for a holiday
for a gift, for confidence received
for the building of trains, of countries, which will be on the map.
when it comes to me that you hate me, i hate myself too, but never you
you i always respect and understand.
in my zagreb style i celebrate your
temper, your little black hair let loose and your choice,
flower dresses, your lifestyle, maria, sufficiency
of the streets you walk, the fullness of town parks
with steps, hips, fruits, hair
locks, sandals in colors of the sun, bracelets, colors
lit up, your heat and warmth,
my zagreb autumn and i are starting from this level
a new cycle of life, from an idea to realization
a new movie, death and life, but, first and foremost, life,
time is a standard language and you are parts of that language as long as,
a foreword and a measure.
maria, maria, you have the most beautiful name in the world
people go on a general strike when they see you,
anns and richards, and rudolphs
a speech is organized, education is covered by your name,
the policemen stop and let the passers-by,
nine euros, meaning ten, homes are filled,
the secretaries of urban development are making plans,
maria, maria, cloudiness, in layers,
there is a possibility that you’ll eat it, that you’ll smile,
throw back your hair, grow freckles, but it doesn't matter, forever,
my empress,
horsewoman, an adventure, your weapon, we are getting in,
many thoughts, in your sandals i find grapes,
on your arms transvestite’s hairs, but i still dream of you, maria,
you have no idea
what it’s like to live here.
Translation: Irena Matijašević
ready for mustaches
unpleasant to touch
i’m not sleepy
it just a phase i’m going through
a self-hatred phase
blind following
maybe I can grow mustaches
maybe a shadow is already visible
in small pneumatic handbooks
how to grow mustaches overnight
how to win a month’s
vacation in the galapagos
or to have perspective on your life
and life is notoriously female
and then eternal female eternal
in you
you find it as an attitude
and it lives before and after and always
you manage to receive it
from mothers, from majorettes
erin brockovich rise out of nothing
motif of phoenix fused with woman
renaissance is certainly female     
birth is woman’s nature
nature preaches birth in the nature
but i think
it’s all the same
we change our opinions and fashions
our fury lasts for millennia
but now it stops
now we have mustache and beard
erin brockovich rise out of nothing
she become the female force
the snake was bisexual
but i’m not that
my sex is eternal

Translation: Miloš Djurdjević


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