Trpanj

Who sings thinks no evil

Since it’s Azra, this must be Trpanj. They go together so well. And yet, only the latitude matches.
“Who is singing over there” by Azra / Azra: Tko to tamo pjeva 

Translated by Manja Maksimovič

where do we go from here
compatriot
crowned heads stick out from the sand
where do we go from here
compatriot
crowned heads stick out from the sand
what are they doing?
farting into dust

kamo dalje
rođače
iz pijeska vire krunisane glave
kamo dalje
rođače
iz pijeska vire krunisane glave
što to rade
prde u prašinu

i have a feeling
compatriot
that standard has turned the people sour
they eat shit and daydream

čini mi se
rođače
da je standard pokvario ljude
jedu govna i sanjare

it will improve
compatriot
take off the medals and fill up the halls
the trophy street has run out of steam

bit će bolje
rođače
skini medalje i napuni sale
ulici trofeja ponestaje snage

abandoned girls
junkies and harlots
count on you

ostavljene djevojke
narkomani i bludnice
uzdaju se u tebe

Not my Balkan.

armoured boats
were taking you to all four sides
you were truly consistent

blindirani brodovi
vozili te na četiri strane
zbilja si bio dosljedan

and so generous
compatriot:
managing other people’s pain
is no small fucking feat

i velikodušan
rođače
raspolagati tuđom mukom
nije mala zajebancija

it will improve
compatriot
take off the medals and fill up the halls
the trophy street has run out of steam

bit će bolje
rođače
skini medalje i napuni sale
ulici trofeja ponestaje snage

abandoned girls
junkies and harlots
count on you

ostavljene djevojke
narkomani i bludnice
uzdaju se u tebe

Not my monkeys. Isola del Giglio. Photo: MM

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Poem from the board

There once was a board on my wall:

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It included many things, memories, places, each item deserving a special entry. Look, there is Trpanj and a little English town in the middle of nowhere, and postcards from A. and R. and one of a huge rock made of shells in Karpathos, which we first bought and then located the rock in nature and it was nowhere as huge as it appears, and the Kiss, and the little pin calling for 40 days without alcohol, which N. gave me for my 40th birthday and I didn’t see the zero and said: “Oh, four days, I can do that!”, and Jeanette, and Slavoj’s hand, and Mickey, and my tarok cards, and a very old cartoon from Mladina magazine saying “Sad ću ja turbo da uključim” (I’ll switch to turbo now), and poems: e.e., Kosovel, a short one on tango, and this one by Austrian poet, here in the original:

Ernst Jandl 

zweierlei handzeichen

ich bekreuzige mich

vor jeder kirche

ich bezwetschkige mich

vor jedem obstgarten

 

wie ich ersteres

tue weiss jeder katholik

wie ich letzteres tue

ich allein

I just found this poem translated into English by Peter Lach – Newinsky in his Word and image lab:

Two Kinds of Hand Signals

 

Before every church

I cross myself.

Before every orchard

I plum myself.

 

How I do the first:

every catholic knows.

How I do the second:

I alone.

But sometimes it happens that a poem really comes to life in a completely obscure little language, such as ours (close-up from the board, the postcard with the poem used to be distributed freely in a Ljubljana bookshop).

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