époque press
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Katarina Sarić

100 Years with Aleksandra Kollontai

But I only wanted to protect and defend you

to bury every memory of painful embryo and woe

of social wrong

trenches and weeded roofs

I wanted to prick off your eyes with a golden hook

so you see

to act as your speed bump

that whore at the corner of the street

an orphan a patient a widow

a saint a sinner a boxing bag a spittoon

so you feel better

to drop off to the size of a bean

grey afternoon with no whiff

to be the voice of the first bugle

and that grindstoned sabre

from the hook and the rake

to unbury from the cradle to the grave

each and every sore pestiferous

and to be the first to lie in it by choice

For you I wanted to clench my teeth

to stretch you in the body of a timid runt

and back to break so I can prove

how much I love you with deeds not platitudes

To break all of your windows and your bogus nails

displays and the windshields

to drag you by your locks onto the waves

of a new revolution

a new word to make up for it

and not be left high and dry

on a ripped off declaration

on consumer basket with flour and oil

on an action sale

on a doormat at the Delta exit

on a bag of soup a sack of grits

To be your Lupa

to mother for you Romulus and Remus

should we build on those forums our world new and brave

so that upstream rushes all that still can breathe

free and out of the groove and forever

against the disgrace of us all

From the handful of ash I would have risen for you

if you could only pardon my extended hand

The Third Tango

My daughter is playing on the square with the city band

a contraption
which stands for a classical piano
synthesizer it is called--
abusively says my dad 
who is horribly unnerved by noise
synthesized time unites all the sound and sense
and I still somehow hope that it will unite all the old
Slavs
he kept beseeching god that she not be like me--a naked whim
not to stitch for score
She plays the waltz from the First Echelon

of a Soviet film I've never managed to see 
but I do remember some of the remakes 
local allusions
to the theme
Komsomolets on for the steppes of Qazaqstan

on to get rich overnight
I didn't have to see
well, haven't I seen the one
the Kopaonik excursion
the years in which rock'n'roll died

and there was no one to drive with me on the midnight train

when drunk I shed my hymen with the first machinist man

from the discotheque
in an unease less I'd be the only chaste
before the certificate of graduated maturity
and to be continued
some domesticated and already famed bone-breakers
-- who translate every imported idea unspeakably literally -- 
pulled the first guns against real bullets 
of some
who had but billiard cues

there is again a fault in the brain
and the conk broke before it flowered

our shortened graduation excursion 
through our shortened land
No one danced with me the graduation dance
for there were thirty two of us skirts at that language school
My daughter is playing the first tango from the Echelon 
she really stamps on it with her left foot
yet still in the drained land
I am dancing to her earthquake
on my own path
and I know already
that it has never been for nothing
that not me is
she
that she will pay them my debt

I Need Air

When stretched under the bark

she

whose womb is torn up by her sons

and the fear has gone from

woman

mother

life

I will collect the hem of the pleated dress

and will sew in a new heart

to suit a solemn affair

as sewed on

this face and this picture

sick from anemia

 

-        I need air

 

the cast of mining shaft

is recast in the last

cycle of alchemy

dried out tears from the cradle

When the sea spits out

the last bones of the domesticates fossils

I will be sitting on the beach

plucking stones from stones

positioned as the postcard girl

in that cliche

stuck

and unavoidably dreamy

in white

with that lovelock over the brow

smoothed down

I will pose in the glory of innocence

of the new birth

while, actually, I would want to scream

and destroy the frame

 

-        I need air

 

under Heracles' stairways

the Greek tragedians who glorified patricide

rape of

mother

earth

woman

justified it as ignorance

dead is my shame

and no-one came

to its burrial

it went straight to spam

When she gets up and streches

dusty

raped

ragged

scratched

earth

mother

woman

in the last cry

of epic finale

who stays breathless

When father and brother and friend are gone

I will come back to that old place of ours

under the Iron bridge

I will cut out from cement the names long engraved

take them away

to Africa

I will become the ring of time

a verse

that closes the circle

away from the land of our ancestors

 

 

Katarina Sarić is a poet from Montenegro, whose work here is translated by Dr. Marija Krivokapić.  Her work explores love and the disturbing relationships between man and woman in this new age of the internet.