Monthly Archives: July 2013

Poem 52 in Solidarity: after the fiction

by Olumide Popoola

after the fiction

when the credits drop away below
horizon level just below where we can

read the urges that push, that initiate to
say that it will not always be like this

will not end here, not be one of those after
the happy ending, glaring like a creepy sunset

blinding so much, one cannot see
like the credits vanish from the screen

like news that disappears and finds itself
re shaped threats, irregular reporting wavering

banners of uncertain truths. reporting being in
the facts and in fact something is not right here

now long before or long after anything can
be declared ending, declaring always so telling

of who gets to speak what when where and how
much with which media, but when starting it is

rising it is, gaining momentum. so, long before
ends should be uttered, where words find new

connections and we can look comfortably at
the horizon or any screen without the sharp drop

of disappearance, of any alarming sort and no words
will need to fall off any screens to serve the illusion

long before or long after, whichever comes first
we taste this. the way it doesn’t silence but

promotes. the way reality drops close in the is here
is really here. in the way we shape our longings

our intimate encounters, imaginations of space,
shared, emanating voices rising, moments

un-drowned, un-dropped, un-blanked or hidden
but. available. now. rising. rising.

Olumide Popoola (c) Regine Romain

Olumide Popoola (c) Regine Romain

London-based Nigerian-German Olumide Popoola presents internationally as author, speaker and performer. Her publications include essays, poetry, short stories and the novella this is not about sadness, the play Also by Mail as well as recordings in collaboration with musicians.

Poem 51 In Solidarity: Zones of Frequency

by Theodoros Chiotis

Zones of Frequency


“Let it be told
to the future world”:

We will still be able to breathe
kkkkkkwhen the air turns thicker.

We are learning from Doctor Moreau
kkkkkkthe codes needed to assemble new faces.


Summer soldiers
twilight zealots
homes turned into barracks.

All these are echoes of previous years:

“We did not make proper use of
last winter,
kkkkkkkkkkkkneither could we,
while we were in a dependent state”


Play Grand Theft Auto.
Lay on the ground.
Don’t cause trouble.

An invasion, described in a once familiar language:

“If you are not contributing to (the) movement
then why are you here?”


Give (your) body
to what does not resemble you.

You might think otherwise but
Psycho was never about hygiene.



Sit still.
Displace the mirth.
Break the meeting.
Occupy all four hemispheres.
Repeat something that did not exist until now.


A map for a new respiratory system.
Nitrous oxide replaced by tear gas.
Our head and face boundaries collapse.

kkkkkkkkkkkkNow: cut across the canvas.

Occupy Gezi – by Adbusters

Occupy Gezi – by Adbusters

Theodoros Chiotis has studied Classics and Modern Language at the universities of London and Oxford. His work has appeared in Adventures in Form (Penned in the Margins), Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot (English Pen),Otoliths, Fit to Work: Poets Against ATOS, Tears in the Fence, Bad Robot Poetry, Ποιητική, Εντευκτήριο, Παγιδευμένοι στο διαδίκτυο (Patakis), aglimpseof[φρμκ] and Poeticanet. His work has been featured at the Book Festival of Croatia (2012), in the Invisible Architecture installation (2013) and in the Mercy/Liverpool Biennial podcast.

Poem 50 In Solidarity: तीन कविताहरु (Three Poems)

Durgalal Shrestha

तीन कविताहरु

तारमा अड्किएको चङ्गा झैँ
बेरिइरहनेछ मेरो आवाज
यो वायूमण्डलमा,
भोलि यो बाटो आउनेहरुलाई
सुनाइरहनेछ यसले मेरो कथा ।

कत्ति छैन चालचुल
न चलेकै छ पातपतिङ्गर,
मौन– सबका सब मौन Û
हैन, यो निदाएको हैन,
बरु हो– पर्खिँदापर्खिँदै
पर्खाइको पराकाष्ठामा पुगेको ।
घाम डुब्नै आँट्यो
मेरो जाने बेला भयो,
सम्झना Û
हिँड, सँगै जाउँ
फेरि यता
आइरहन नपरोस् मलाई ।

Three poems

Like a kite caught in wire
My voice will be enduring in space,
It will keep passing on my story
To the passersby for all time to come!

Everything is unmoving
Not even the crackle of leaves,
Silence… everything is quiet,
No, this is not a state of slumber,
Rather, it’s reaching the climax of wait
On the process of waiting.

The sun is about to set down
It’s time for me to go
My memory!
Come, let’s walk together
So that
I wouldn’t pass this way again.

Durgalal Shrestha

Durgalal Shrestha

Durgalal Shrestha has been writing since the early ‘50s and is a living legend of Nepali literature.

He has crafted a realm of poetry and fought on behalf of voiceless people. Durgalal’s works have been translated into many languages. He writes fluently in both his mother tongue Newar and Nepali language.He is also known as a songwriter.

Poem 49 in Solidarity: Love in Every Language

By Serkan Engin

Love in Every Language

Love me in every language of the world
Let’s make love in Lazuri,
Let the waves of our tongue dance The Horon
At the northern Rockies of your body.

Love me in every language of the world
Let’s view one another in Kurdish.
Let the hawks’ East wings fly from our eyes
To the purple mountains of love.

Love me in every language of the world
Write my heart in Turkish.

Translated from Turkish to English by Serkan Engin with James Pickersgill


Original Turkish by Serkan Engin, and translations to Kurdish and Lazuri:

Her Dilde Aşk

Dünyanın bütün dillerinde sev beni
Lazca sevişelim
Horon tepsin dilimin dalgaları
Kuzey kayalıklarında gövdemin

Dünyanın bütün dillerinde sev beni
Kürtçe bakışalım
Doğu kanatlı şahinler uçsun
Aşkın mor dağlarına gözlerimizden

Dünyanın bütün dillerinde sev beni
Türkçe yaz kalbimi

Bi Her Zimanî Evîn

Bi hemû zimanên dinê hez bike ji min

Em bi Lazkî bi hev şa bibin
Bila pêlên zimanê min rabin horonê
Li bakur zinarên di bedenê min de

Bi hemû zimanên dinê hez bike ji min

Em bi Kurdî li hev binêrin
Bila teyrebazên baskeşerq bifirin
Ji çavên ber bi çiyayên mor ên evînî

Bi hemû zimanên dine hez bike ji min

Bi Tirkî binivsîne dile min

Translated to Kurdish by Mehmet Caymaz

Mteli Nenapete Oropa

Çainat’işi mteli nenapete mioropi ma
Lazuri bistvat
Xoroni cixoronas nena şk’imişi 3’ari şxaşxala
Şozişi kvalopinape xura şk’imi

Çainat’işi mteli nenapete mioropi ma
Kyurduli ok’ob3’edat
Yulvaşi msvalepe muşite atmacape putxas
Tolepe şk’unişen oropaşi uça isinapeşa

Çainat’işi mteli nenapte mioropi ma
Turkuli minç’ari guri şk’imi

Translated to Lazuri by Selma Koçiva

Serkan Engin

Serkan Engin

A Laz poet from Turkey, Serkan Engin was born in 1975 in Izmit/Turkey. He studied at the Navy Military Lycee but was dismissed from the Navy Military High School in 1995 because he was undisciplined. He then studied at technical high school in Kocaeli University, and is now a vigorous antimilitarist. His poems have been published in more than fifty literature journals in Turkey and he has also published a poem manifesto in a literature journal in 2004, Imagist Socialist Poetry. His poems have been published in English and Japanese journals.

Poem 48 In Solidarity: Sem Título


diante da grandeza do universo

nos contentamos em ser meia-coisa

estamos produzindo

tanta unha para o sec. xxi

ninguém calculou

o impacto das nuvens

sobre crânios sem chapéus

concluiu-se apenas que

os fumantes tem duas almas

ou ao menos desculpa para ir ao ar livre

os comerciais da free

definiram afinal o que é arte

e o que poderia ser

deixamos que outros decidam

nada resta por duvidar

acreditamos em tudo o que

não tem mistério:

sobrou somente a busca incansável por atlântida

essas pedras submarinas

empilhadas sob outra história

atlântida nunca esteve no passado

tão somente no futuro

o passado – sabe-se –

é daqueles que o enxergam primeiro

e o caminho dos pedestres

tem outro traçado que o dos carros



Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1978. Writer, sound and visual artist. Author of four books of poetry and essays, he has collaborated with newspapers including O Globo, Jornal do Brasil, O Estado de Minas and with numerous brazilian and international magazines. His works have been translated into eight languages. He also has poems published in the anthologies Poetas do Mundo, O que é poesia?, Todo começo é involuntário – a poesia brasileira no início do Sec. 21, Poétes Brèsiliens d´aujourd´hui, 24 letras por segundo, among others. His poetry inspired the short film “The Gospel according to the Sea”, 2011, directed by Iva Kvasnicka.

He has taught advanced courses in creative writing and sound poetry at the University of Coimbra and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. As a translator, he has published texts of Gherasim Luca, Gilles Yvain, Serge Pey, Mathieu Bénézet, Hagiwara Sakutaro and Forrest Gander. In 2008, he received the National Library Foundation Scholarship, for the book of essays Pética das Casas (Poetics of Houses) and in 2009, was resident poet in Monsanto, Portugal. He is also one editor with Confraria do Vento (Brasil/ Portugal) and curator of Cidade aTravessa, performative and literary event that takes place in Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

An experimental poet, with works in the area of sound and visual poetry, installation and performance, M-A has performed in the United Kingdom, France, Portugal, Ukraine, Hungary, Spain, Netherlands, Argentina, Peru, Canada and several cities in Brazil, sharing the stage with artists such as Bruce Andrews, Stephen Rodefer and Ana Gesto. He has read in the festivals Poetry International Festival Rotterdam, Silêncio, Balada Literária, Encontros de Interrogação, International Meeting of Poets in Coimbra, Fórum das Letras, Marché de la Poésie, Poéticas plurales, Festival Internacional de Poesía de Córdoba to name a few.

Along with Maria Bethania, Edu Lobo and Zeca Baleiro, he read poems in the documentary and video installation Há muitas noites na noite, by Silvio Tendler. Thanks to his Radioactive-Poetic Conference (2007) in the ghost town of Chernobyl, in Ukraine, he became “the first radioactive poet in the world.”

Márcio-André lives in Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Poem 47 In Solidarity: On Istiklal

by David Shook

On Istiklal

Mustache flecked with chicken pudding,
the ice cream trickster juggles scoops,
flips cones for tips,
never smiles.

Perched behind his analog scale,
the salesman invites my mass aboard,
a lira for my passage. Generous,
he rounds up, gifts me weight I have not earned.

The needle’s thin tongue trembles
when I lift my boot in explanation.
Today he’s weighed at least 400 kilos for
the chestnuts he’ll eat walking home.

The weight that’s crossed this city means I’m nothing.
Luxor’s obelisk re-righted with manpower and a plan,
a trough of lokum heavy like a coffin
but filled with sweeter meat.

For all I weigh, I weigh almost nothing,
I increase the earth’s gravitational pull
by an insignificant degree,
this street will not remember me.

Still: I will not be rounded up nor rounded down.

          Look! / Hey! / Dumb-cluck! / Chuck your twanging noise-box.
—Nâzim Hikmet

David Shook

David Shook

David Shook grew up in Mexico City before studying endangered languages in Oklahoma and poetry at Oxford. His debut collection of poems, Our Obsidian Tongues, was published by Eyewear Publishing in 2013. He has translated Roberto Bolaño’s Infrarealist manifesto, indigenous Mexican poetry from the Isthmus Zapotec, and oral poetry by the Burundian Batwa. He served as Translator in Residence at Britain’s Poetry Parnassus at The Southbank, in 2012. There he premiered his covertly shot documentary about Equatorial Guinean poet Marcelo Ensema Nsang. Shook lives in Los Angeles with his wife, the poet and pastor Syd Shook, where he edits Molossus and Phoneme Media.

Poem 46 In Solidarity:The Barbarians (Round Two) Hebrew,English, Turkish, French, Spanish, German, Greek, Japanese, Macedonian, Polish, Romanian, Chinese, Italian and Serbian.

by Amir Or

הַבַּרְבָּרִים: סִבּוּב שֵׁנִי

לֹא לַשָּׁוְא חִכִּינוּ לַבַּרְבָּרִים,
לֹא לַשָּׁוְא נִקְהַלְנוּ בְּכִכַּר הָעִיר.
לֹא לַשָּׁוְא עָטוּ גְּדוֹלֵינוּ אֶת בִּגְדֵי כְּבוֹדָם
וְשִׁנְּנוּ אֶת נְאוּמָם לִכְבוֹד הַמְּאֹרָע.
לֹא לַשָּׁוְא נִתַּצְנוּ מִקְדָּשֵׁינוּ
וּבָנִינוּ אֲחֵרִים לְאֵלֵיהֶם;
כַּדָּת שָׂרַפְנוּ אֶת סְפָרֵינוּ
אֲשֶׁר אֵין חֵפֶץ בָּם לָאֲנָשִׁים כָּאֵלֶּה.
כִּדְבַר הַנְּבוּאָה בָּאוּ הַבַּרְבָּרִים,
וְנָטְלוּ מִיַּד הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת מַפְתְּחוֹת הָעִיר.
אַךְ בְּבוֹאָם עָטוּ לְבוּשׁ כִּלְבוּשׁ הָאָרֶץ,
וּמִנְהָגָם הָיָה מִנְהַג הַמְּדִינָה;
וְעֵת צִוּוּ עָלֵינוּ בִּלְשׁוֹנֵנוּ,
לֹא יָדַעְנוּ עוֹד מָתַי
בָּאוּ הַבַּרְבָּרִים.

The Barbarians (Round Two)

It was not in vain that we awaited the barbarians,
it was not in vain that we gathered in the city square.
It was not in vain that our great ones put on their official robes
and rehearsed their speeches for the event.
It was not in vain that we smashed our temples
and erected new ones to their gods;
as proper we burnt our books
that have nothing in them for people like that.
As the prophesy foretold, the barbarians came
and took the keys to the city from the king’s hand.
But when they came they wore the garments of the land,
and their customs were the customs of the state;
and when they commanded us in our own tongue
we no longer knew when
the barbarians had come to us.

Tr: Vivian Eden


Nafile değildi barbarları beklememiz
Nafile değildi şehir merkezinde toplanmamız
Büyüklerimizin resmi giysilerini kuşanmaları
Ve tören konuşmalarını çalışmaları nafile değil
Tapınaklarımızı yıkıp onların Tanrıları için tapınaklar dikmemiz de nafile değil
Olması gerektiği gibi yaktık kitaplarımızı
İçlerinde böylesi insanlar için hiç bir şey bulunmayan kitaplarımızı
Sonra kahanetin duyurduğu gibi barbarlar geldi
Şehrin anahtarını aldılar ve kralın kellesini
Ama onlar gelince toprağın kumaşlarını kuşandılar
Ve adetleri bizim devletin adetleriydi
Ve ne zaman ki bizim dilimizde emrettiler
Hiç bilmedik ondan sonra
Barbarlar ne zaman gelmişti bize

Tr: Neshe Yashin

Les barbares (deuxième round)

Ce n’est pas pour rien que nous avons attendu les barbares,
ce n’est pas pour rien que nous nous sommes réunis sur la place.
Ce n’est pas pour rien que nos notables ont revêtu leurs robes officielles
et répété leurs discours en prévision de l’événement.
Ce n’est pas pour rien que nous avons démoli nos temples
et en avons érigé de nouveaux pour leurs dieux ;
tout comme nous avons brûlé avec raison nos livres
qui n’ont rien à dire à des gens comme ça.
Comme annoncé dans la prophétie les barbares sont venus,
et ont reçu les clés de la cité des mains du roi.
Mais quand ils sont venus ils ont endossé les vêtements locaux
et leurs mœurs sont devenues celles du pays ;
et quand ils nous commandèrent dans notre propre langue
nous ne sûmes plus jamais quand
les barbares étaient venus vers nous.

Tr: Aurelia Lassaque

Los Bárbaros (Segundo Round)

No fue en vano que esperáramos a los bárbaros
no fue en vano que nos reuniéramos en la plaza de la ciudad.
No fue en vano que nuestros grandes hombres lucieran sus trajes de gala
y que ensayaran sus discursos para la ocasión.
No fue en vano que destruyéramos nuestros templos
y que erigiéramos otros para sus dioses;
quemamos nuestros libros como era debido
ya que no ofrecían nada para ellos.
Como auguró la profecía, llegaron los bárbaros
y recibieron las llaves de la ciudad de las manos del rey.
Pero cuando llegaron se vistieron con las prendas de nuestra tierra,
y sus costumbres eran las costumbres del Estado;
cuando ellos nos dieron órdenes en nuestro idioma
ya no supimos cuándo habían llegado los bárbaros.

Tr: Karla Coreas

Die Barbaren, zweite Runde

Nicht umsonst warteten wir auf die Barbaren,
nicht umsonst versammelten wir uns am Hauptplatz.
Nicht umsonst kleideten sich unsere Honoratioren in ihre Ehrenkleider
und studierten ihre Rede anlässlich des Ereignisses.
Nicht umsonst zerstörten wir unsere Tempel
und bauten andre für ihre Götter;
dem Gebot nach verbrannten wir unsere Bücher,
in denen solche Menschen keinen Nutzen sehen.
Wie prophezeit kamen die Barbaren,
und nahmen von des Königs Hand die Stadtschlüssel.
Aber als sie kamen, trugen sie die Landeskleider,
und ihre Bräuche waren die Landesbräuche;
und als sie uns in unserer Sprache Befehle erteilten,
wussten wir nicht mehr, wann
die Barbaren gekommen waren.

Tr: Michael Sternheimer

Οι βάρβαροι (Δεύτερη φορά)

Τους βαρβάρους δεν τους περιμέναμε άδικα·
Στην αγορά δέ συναθροιστήκαμε άδικα.
Δεν ήταν άδικα που ύπατοι και πραίτορες τις τόγες φόρεσαν
και λόγους έγραψαν γι’αυτόν τον ερχομό.
Δεν ήταν άσκοπο που τους ναούς κατεδαφίσαμε,
άλλους, στους δικούς τους θεούς για να κτίσουμε,
κι ορθώς στις φλόγες ρίξαμε τα βιβλία μας,
που τίποτα δε γράφουνε γι’ανθρώπους σαν κι’αυτούς.
Όπως τό’χε πει η προφητεία, οι βάρβαροι ήλθαν
κι έλαβαν της πόλεως τα κλειδιά από τον αυτοκράτορα.
Όμως με το που ήλθαν, έβαλαν ενδύματα όπως της χώρας
κι οι συνήθειες τους ήσαν όμοιες μ’αυτές του τόπου·
κι όταν πια στη δική μας γλώσσα έδιναν τις διαταγές τους,
ούτε που ήξερε πλέον κανείς να πει, πότε
ήλθαν σε μας οι βάβαροι.

Tr: Tania Demetriou


蛮人たち (第二ラウンド)

もうわからなくなる いつ

Tr: Yuka Tsukagoshi

ВАРВАРИТЕ (ВТОРА РУНДА)Не беше попусто што ги чекавме варварите,
не беше попусто што се собравме на градскиот плоштад.
Не беше попусто што нашите првенци ги облекоа свечените рува
и ги вежбаа свечените говори подготвени за настанот.
Не беше попусто што си ги срушивме храмовите
и кренавме нови во чест на нивните богови.
Како што е редот, ги запаливме нашите книги
што не содржеа ништо за луѓе како нив.
Пророштвото се исполни и варварите стасаа,
ги зедоа градските клучеви од раката на царот.
Но штом стасаа тие се облекоа во градски рува,
обичаи им станаа обичаите на земјата,
а кога почнаа да ни заповедаат на нашиот јазик
повеќе не знаевме
кога тоа варварите стасале меѓу нас.

Tr: Хелена Берг и Фиона Сампсон

Barbarzyńcy (Runda Druga)

Nie na próżno czekaliśmy na barbarzyńców,
nie na próżno staliśmy na placu.
Nie na próżno nasi oratorzy nakładali togi,
pilnie ćwicząc stosowne przemowy.
Nie na próżno w gruzach legły świątynie,
by dać miejsce bogom, co przyjdą.
Słuszne było, że księgi spłonęły,
bo ich mądrość nie dla takich jak oni.
Jak głosili prorocy, barbarzyńcy przybyli,
a król wręczył im klucze do miasta.
A kiedy przybyli, oblekli się w szaty tej ziemi,
i obyczaj ich stał się majestatem prawa.
I gdy w naszym języku wydali rozkazy,
na wieki opuściła nas pamięć,
kiedy barbarzyńcy przybyli.

Tr: Beata Tarnowska

BARBARII (Runda a doua)

Nu în zadar am aşteptat barbarii,
nu în zadar ne-am adunat în piaţa cetăţii.
Nu în zadar şi-au vopsit mai marii noştri robele
nu în zadar şi-au pregatit discursurile dinainte.
Nu în zadar am distrus templele noastre
şi-am înălţat altele pentru zeii lor;
am ars, după cuviinţă, cărţile
în care nimic nu era scris pentru oameni ca ei.
Aşa cum spunea profeţia, barbarii au venit,
au luat din mâna regelui cheia cetăţii.
Dar cum au venit s-au îmbrăcat în veşmintele locului,
obiceele lor au fost ale acestei ţări;
apoi au rostit poruncile în limba noastră
şi atunci noi n-am mai ştiut
venirea barbarilor oare când să fi fost.

Tr:Ioana Ieronim

野蛮人/ 阿米尔•欧尔,蔡天新译


TR: Cai Taxin

I barbari (secondo round)

Non abbiamo aspettato i barbari in vano
non ci siamo riuniti nelle piazze in vano.
I nostri grandi non hanno indossato i loro abiti ufficiali
e in vano hanno provato i loro discorsi per l’evento.
Non abbiamo mandato in frantumi i nostri templi
e in vano ne abbiamo eretto dei nuovi per i loro Dei;
come dovuto abbiamo bruciato i nostri libri
che non contenevano nulla per gente come quella.
Come predetto i barbari sono venuti,
e hanno preso le chiavi della città dalle mani del re.
Ma quando sono arrivati hanno indossato gli abiti locali,
e i loro costumi erano i costumi dello stato;
e quando ci hanno dato comandi nella nostra lingua
non sapevamo più quando da noi
i barbari fossero venuti.

Tr: Mena Savore

Nismo uzalud čekali varvare,
Nismo se uzalud okupili na gradskom trgu.
Nisu uzalud naši velikani odenuli odore
i uvežbavali govore za tu priliku.
Nismo uzalud srušili naše hramove
i podigli nove za njihove bogove;
spalivši usput sve naše knjige
jer u njima nema ničega za takve ljude.
U skladu sa proročanstvom, stigli su varvari
I uzeli ključeve grada iz kraljevih ruku.
Ali kada su došli, nosili su odeću iz ovih krajeva
I imali običaje iste kao što su naši;
a kada su počeli da zapovedaju na našem jeziku,
mi više nismo znali kada su
varvari došli kod nas.

Tr: David Albahari

Amir Or Photo: Gerald Zörner

Amir Or
Photo: Gerald Zörner

AMIR OR is the author of 11 volumes of poetry in Israel and 13 volumes in Europe and America. His poems have been published in more than 40 languages. He is the recipient of several poetry prizes, among them Levi Eshkol Prime Minister’s Prize, Fulbright Award for Writers, Bernstein Prize, and Oeneumi Poetry Prize.

Or has been awarded fellowships of the University of Iowa, the University of Oxford, and the Heinrich Boll Foundation among others. His translations into Hebrew, include The Gospel of Thomas and Anthology of Erotic Greek Poetry. For his translations he received the Minister of Culture Prize.

Or studied philosophy and comparative religion at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and lectured there on Ancient Greek Religion. He has taught creative writing in Israel, Europe and US. In 1990 he founded Helicon Society. He has been Editor-in-Chief of Helicon’s journal and poetry books and set up the Arabic-Hebrew Poetry School. Or is a member of the World Poetry Movement stirring committee and of the European Association of Writing Programs.

He serves as national coordinator of the U.N.-sponsored Poets for Peace and as national editor for the international poetry magazines Atlas and Blesok. He is editor of Catuv poetry series.