I lost myself in the Norwegian wood
I thought it was just weathered, bald and bristled…
And I believed that for a day or two
okay, then, let it be a month,
I’ll come to grips with it, will solve it,
and will get used to the Norwegian thorny trees.
however, the Norwegian wood, turned out savage…
I found myself in the Norwegian wood
some time past midnight
(one needs no watch – it’s constant darkness anyway)
the Moon was shining in a slumberous mode
the birds, long gone to lustful South,
had left their empty nests,
a few feathers on guard…
the wild Norwegian wood now gave a sigh…
I got absorbed in the Norwegian wood
my sweat cast frosty glances at the landscape
scratched all over long ago,
clutched at roots
got fresh lines
as if my fate was changing
right under my nose
holes wide open, gaped,
the night resounded
the streams stopped short
I fell, and rose,
and it was then,
when day and night merged into one
the sky collapsed
refilled the wood
and all night long the trees dreamt summer.
На български език / Bulgarian version
How is one to write a single poem
when on the sheets of paper slowly crawl
midges, giggling and bearing teeth?!
This sheet for them is just a desert island
for me it’s pure bait for rhymes.
Why should they snarl at my writings,
when God made up his mind to have them
Leaving an open bottle of wine,
they cannot care less for rhyming
and breathe out winy stains along the lines,
tiny legs plant winy spots, no whining…
The trunks of trees cut down sighed,
because for characters
they crossed the whole wide world.
Read in Bulgarian / На български
Come on, dad, get up!
In your den
even the time has dozed off.
We’ve made the jam.
Mum’s waiting for you,
brewed your chamomile tea…
for your nerves.
It’s time to
what you’ve sown
Come on, dad, up you get,
mum’s waiting for you
with your favourite plum spread.
Your daughter will be all right.
But mum’s waiting for you
with chestnuts freshly baked!
I see an ugly picture on the wall
of my memories. I cannot draw it
any more. Petals of burnt flowers
dance in a film of dust. Shark’s jaws
bite me… the match-box-size pleasure
of the wine I drank. Cigarette smoke
penetrates my body, before
the Flood… of lively lies.
But here they are! white
clouds envelop my room belonging
to the future… or past
Dressed in dust. Devastating desire
to taste the red eyes of night and lust
and to die. For I don’t mean eternity.
My fingers are glued
with mud. I can’t touch the air,
but here it is my mountain
that will mother me.
all lack of space is not here.
My prison disappears
in this rainy place.
But what if the smog
tries to devour my flowers
and make their heads droop?
I’ll become a slave
caught tightly in the fist of
this dressed truth of theirs.
Welcome to Sofia!
The volcano’s still asleep. But
you may see still roaring his marriage
with flatness – down deep
in the heart – on the faces of
everlasting monsters of stone
and in the party going on.
They smile and make you
feel like an ant superimposed
on the mountain. Teenagers
on boards shaking hands with the peaks…
Pictures of paparazzi in media res.
The Mother of Faith
Hope and Love will smile crucified.
Written during the British Council creative writing workshop, back in March 2001. Thanks to Richard Aczel!
people say I should put
on top of the poems,
in other words,
that I should also
harness them in frames
the same frames
I’ve always hoped
people say I should give them
‘coz how are they supposed to call them after all?!
They want to scold them
to have them
for amusement and for fun
they want to have them lazy, indolent and sluggish
ready-made, junk poems,
poetry to go;
yet others want
to have them indexed,
labeled and inscribed,
strung through… and, honestly, what not…
I’d rather have them
wanderers and vagrants…
these shaggy poems,
poems of the moods,
more often thumbed through,
by vile stray dogs
along pavements, among rubbish,
for centuries on end;
then I won’t worry –
for they are anonymous and
no one will ever get the chance to say:
“bite the hand that writes you!”
Bulgarian version / На български език