poetry

Mehmed Begić: Close your eyes so no to see flags

Mehmed Begić (1977) was born in Capljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He studied South Slavic languages and literature at Pedagogical Institute of Mostar, as well as comparative literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo. He has completed none of the above. Begić was one of the editors of magazine Kolaps.
He likes to believe that Kolaps is an ongoing dream, currently in hibernation. So far Begić published: L’Amore Al Primo Binocolo (1999) with Nedim Ćisić, Marko Tomaš and Veselin Gatalo, Tri puta trideset i tri jednako (2000) with Ćisić and Tomaš, Film (2001), with Lukasz Szopa, Čekajući Mesara (2002), Pjesme iz sobe (2006), Savršen metak u stomak (2010), Знам дека знаеш / Znam da znaš / I Know You Know (2012), Ponoćni razgovori (2013) with Marko Tomaš, Sitni sati u Managvi (2015).



  

LOOK TO WHATEVER SIDE YOU WANT

 

Look to whatever side you want, turn and look
Open the medicine bottle, shake the pills out, right amount
Never too many
Just enough to feel the pain
It has to last even as it's vanishing
Nothing has to stand in the way
No questions without answers
Where would she be
what would he be doing
who would die by their own hand
How many name changes are enough
and god damn it why
Bolivia is still cruel and wonderful
exactly as Cassidy's mountain buried bones remember it
and snow, each one of its names damned
and each one a shot at perfection
undress yourself
take off the pants
take off skirts and shirts
tear off what's underneath
leave nothing, give yourself a skin close shave
while doing it imagine the wildest of horses waiting for you
one who knows you by scent, by music, by some name
step into the ice cold creek, let the pain remind you
of those who can't sleep at night, city lights are coming
back to you in a blur, you don't remember them
as clearly anymore
Who is gonna dry your feet then?
Finish your letters, do it slowly, 
climax while doing it
You dream of a cabin by a spring, but are awakened
by toxic neon lights of the future
all that's left for us is a slow death
never in order
always in pain
and it's turning us bad
Flames are blood red
let them be reminders of the advantage of not being there
of why here will never exist
Some burned the cities
out of anguish

that doesn't make them less malicious
Granada, Nicaragua will not forgive them
Lorca was shot
Flamenco is The Music

 

 

BARRICADES

 

All our dreams

we have laid them in front of the barricades

knowing that's the best place for dreaming

and as if we are going to

now we'll pretend we want to

It's only true that with a smile we await

each other's misfortune

not for malice

but for misfortune itself

irresistible

connecting so completely

A perfect excuse

Memory

Lie unspoken

Backfired plan

Chains that bind us grow stronger

after each fall

after each nightmare realized

Yes

it's easy when it all goes according to plan

But it cannot be so

We won't let it

Bitter waters seek out their place

and each drag of smoke which hasn't been labeled air

Admit it to me

so I can admit to myself

Tell me you know what I speak of

It's all been done before us

The cities have been burned

Songs have been sung

Sadness is not make believe

and no life is given for it

for it only takes.

 

 

NIGHT THAT FOLLOWS

 

On the bridge someone will play

the night that follows

and just like that he will lay down

remains of lives past

Long lost gaze has returned

ready to talk

about fields

far away seas

roads which don't connect

rivers

running for themselves

And all is good

when you don't think about the bad

Conditioned

and stuck on similar shallow philosophies

he played Elvis records

over and over again

burned down the rooms

of the family home

and when he could go on no more

he wandered

into dark

and they do not mention him any more

even though they know why

he got that perfect bullet

in the stomach.

 

 

CLOSE YOUR EYES SO NO TO SEE THE FLAGS

 

That same man is on the street below your window.

The light is low and his face obstructed.

You know he's there and he knows you are too.

Cigarettes burning away in both your hands.

Telephone is silent and glass half full.

Telephone is an ominous blackbird -

you killed it a few days ago.

Before that the mirrors lost the war,

guitar and songs of a revolution you believed in.

In the hallway on a hanger a coat and hat are waiting.

You ask who your friends are?

Did any woman ever really love you?

Leave the armchair and seize your answers in the bathroom

you broken man of the desert

who harbours a cactus in place of a heart.

On every razor there is a testament that life is a dream.

Remember how you dreamed illusions away

like skirts fluttering in the wind.

You can run away from memories

try to forget the smells

close your eyes, still you see the flags.

None of them stand for freedom.

Freedom is a dress caught in the spring breeze.

The clock on the wall has struck you out.

It's silent but for the water dripping in the bathroom.

A hat and coat on a hanger

and a man below a window waiting.

Both of you know it's the last cigarette time.

 

 

TABLES AND CHAIRS

 

How dark are your darkest rooms

are they filled with voices

I ask you, as you listen

to the sound of a flowing river

and you shiver

How many are you able to count

and what does this cold winter mean

how many have been left with hearts still inside

because it all fell apart, all is written

in the noise and water and this voice

that leads you to confession

saying things

others don’t know how to say

making you do the unthinkable

forgetting how in vain everything is

narrowing the horizons

into miles which love you

as if it’s of any importance

how late it is, body is still

carnal and tight, body is poetry

stronger than ever

hungrier even

in the darkness of your darkest room

is a building site for a secret confessional

and a sweet torture chamber

 

 

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