poetry

Irena Delonga Nešić: A note to yourself

Irena Delonga Nešić (Sinj, 1984) is a Croatian poet and former editor of the The Split Mind magazine. In 2010 she published a poetry volume ''Riječi kupuju zločine koje ćeš počiniti" and was awarded Goran prize for young poets. She lives in Split, where she hosts literary events.



 

THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM

 

I said: third time's the charm and swallowed a razor. I was scared

to lie down because it might not go down, slide down, stream down

I sat on a wall and cried into the sea into the blue into ships

into three islands

I sat on a large sun-broken stone

still warm when night falls

walls are as tall as I am, only a head short

so when I sit I cannot see anything but the sky

then I feel as if I were in a pool

without water.

I sat in an anthill and spoke on the phone as if I were talking to myself

or I was talking to myself as if I spoke on the phone.

I sat on the beach stranded and forgave everything

(I wanted to lay in a boat and rock like in a cradle)

so much blueness made me forget my sunglasses and my new perspective

I had wine stains under my nails and could not remember when it was that I hurt you.

I sat on a blue chair until my petty petit cyberheart broke

so I became childish and ran away from home

(it is hard to find a forest in a city

even if you do, it is always a step, two, a hundred

too short)

I sat on the bath tub and gently asked it to sail

when we did not move, I realised that nothing is in my power

to change. I can only give up. so I lied down

in bed.

just as I feared,

the razor got stuck in my throat.

 

 

GENIE

 

from time to time

a woman must clean her bag

dump the crumbs of tobbacco from the bottom

excite over recovered lipstick

lost twenty days ago

smilingly pick up bombons

murmur

fool does not know how to open a pack of bombons

smile with content

because the fool is two metres tall

and has hands that would drive you mad

from time to time

a woman must open her wallet and take out

old bills

small papers, wrappings, tickets

from time to time

a woman like me

must be scared

by that big genie in a bag

which devours meaningless things

(it does not fullfil wishes)

it lives only to remind

of the irrelevant

the almost forgotten

kept only in the numbers on a bill

in a date on a ticket

from time to time

a woman must throw her time in garbage

just to make room for some new past

worthless

always short-termed

replaceable

do you know that the greatest messages are carried

in the smallest of things

do you know that we contaminate everything

with the breath of wistfulness

and that your own retrospective

can be found in your garbage

do you know that a reciet is a confirmation of life

that your garbage is your testimony

and that only papers can tell a story

do you know that we are all

cripted in letters and numbers

and we have a special code

do you know that every crumpled paper

thrown behind you

is a letter in a bottle

a note to yourself

where were you

last Friday in October

and until you find

in a bag, in a pocket

in a drawer

a genie with huge eyes

filled with un-forgetting

you will not believe

that someone remembers everything

 

 

*

 

I got tired of effeminate poetry

and subordination

now I am strong and not a bit meek

I roll tobacco as a bearded Turk

with honey, mistletoe and plum brandy

I wash out conceited loves

when I walk, my step is soldierly

and beats asphalt like a curse

when I think I will turn into a little girl

I adorn my arms with bracelets

and tinkle to the coffee-house, to the port, to the alley

to the first corner

in which I can smile

like a woman

with a husky voice and a heavy makeup

a woman with a cracked heart and predispositions for arthritis

from too much writing, overtired grandmas and their genetic testaments,

from washing dishes in cold water

and spasmodic clinging on small utopias.

 

 

*

 

On Sunday afternoon

I wish to wash your laundry.

a lodger’s quadrature perfectly endures

solitude

or softness in twosome.

I have a sun, yellow walls and dead lilies of the valley in a glass.

the day is lazy, soft and without teeth. come tired so I won’t be afraid of you.

take all your clothes, and the bed linen

stuff everything into bags as if you were running away

to me.

 

we will strip everything off ourselves, everything needs to be washed

we’ll be lying down hungry and naked

we will fill ourselves up with fingers and flesh of shoulder blades and thighs

I will let you eat me and love me

in that wild way of yours.

you can’t run away while your clothes is sluggishly turning

inside the washing machine

lazy, drowsy and more and more mine.

 

*

 

there are mornings

when I get up

alone in the world

I don’t see any householders

they walk around me in concentric circles

tightening the noose

until they encircle me entirely

and confront me

with their little rosy lips

that mutely move.

there are mornings

when I don’t see my householders

they seem to me like a draught in the hallway

sometimes I count toothbrushes in a glass

and I don’t know who they belong to

I don’t know who I belong to

(are families glasses

with toothbrushes?)

sometimes a round of cards

passes in a silence

that can devour good will

because I don’t see anything

except

too many stains on the tablecloths

I shuffle myself with the cards

in the deck

one of my householders says

that verses ovulate in me

and that this is why I am quiet.

sometimes I ride in an elevator too long

because that is the only place in the city

in which you can truly be alone

my claustrophobia is

almost insignificant

but still I never stop the elevator

though it comes to me like that

to sit in a tin box

hanging over a thirteen-floor abyss.

to sit alone.

 

*

 

everything that is really horrible

fits into very short sentences:

snow hasn‘t fallen in years.

turtles will outlive us.

god died, resurrected and I never found him.

I think I dream of naked women

in your bed

I think I am superfluous

and that there is no place for me at all)

who has you?

who has you?

why, people are not key-rings

or beads on a thread

that anyone can possess you

(but I know that you are wolfish and hungry

and that there are key-holes through which you peek

and which you unlock

more easily than you unlock me)

August is a deception. time flows

without a shift. it steals from us.

I have a light purple-coloured lump on a thigh

that darkens and blackens when I am cold

when I look at it too long and when I think that I will die from it.

 

 

             Translated by Serena Todesco, Silvestar Vrljić and Irena Delonga Nešić

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