Night Music for Summer by Onur Caymaz

To you, Llorona…

 ‘si porque te quiero, quieres,
quieres que te quiera más’ ¹


first, evening succumbs to wine’s red glow

but who do I seem in this lessening light?


pale summer days pass between us

your letter will arrive before you, Llorona


your boat pulls away, separation, scent of coffee

bright bird of my fortune sticks fast in the lees


leave Proust, let him sleep by night’s cool side

stars will lean down to kiss his dreamy eyes


full-stop deep green, comma bitter blue,

happiness so fine-spun, sorrow wide and loose


you rose at night and laughed like sips of water

full of life as we rode between the railway cars


I once thought water fickle, mercurial

I was wrong, Llorona; the faithless one was summer


a song that says you must never cry

my winter flower hides under the canopy


death, a winter twilight, streetlamps

a window closing on forever


there in the oaks an orange half-moon

thinks empty beds the most heartbreaking view…

Poet: Onur Caymaz

July 2009, Maslak (part of a collection to be published in October 2013)

¹ (anon. Mexican folk song) ’Because I love you, Weeping Woman,

you want for me to love you more,’

La Llorona/Weeping Woman is a South American legend:

Although several variations exist, the basic story tells of a beautiful woman by the name of Maria who drowns her children in order to be with the man that she loved. The man would not have her, which devastated her. She would not take no for an answer, so she drowned herself in a lake in Mexico City. Challenged at the gates of heaven as to the whereabouts of her children, she is not permitted to enter the afterlife until she has found them. Maria is forced to wander the Earth for all eternity, searching in vain for her drowned offspring, with her constant weeping giving her the name “La Llorona”. She is trapped in between the living world and the spirit world. (Wikipedia

© Onur Caymaz 2009

translation © Caroline Stockford, April 2013

Please contact Nermin Mollaoğlu of Kalem Agency with Rights enquiries:


Sky Cinema: Double Feature by Onur Caymaz



It was our empty, white curtained childhood,

wet by the rain

and set to the constant banging

of the whitewashed door in the wind…

and you never liked it.

All through the early hours of the morning that wet, banging sound carrying on and on…

The first glimmers of daylight had not even begun to show when he ran away from the waterside villa.  But now the coppery illumination of morning was lighting up the faces of angels smiling in the old stained glass windows of the church by the Bosphorous.  And blood was trickling in a thin sliver from his wrist: a sleepy river…

Day was breaking.  Far into the distance the expanse of the sea was convulsing like a sick man taking his last breath, turning its face to the night, its twinkling lights writhing in the throes of death.  Out at sea the little fishing boats rode up and down as if pushed by the gentle hands of unseen youthful gods.  The fishermen sitting in the bows of the rowboats, each one as deep in thought as a Classical philosopher.  The cigarettes hanging from their lips growing more distinct in this dreamy darkness with each deep inhalation.  Fire picking out the spines of the fishing rods as water runs off them.  Silence holds the whole scene tightly in its arms so that even the sound of conversation from the furthest boat carries to the shore.

On the shoreward side the neighbourhood cafe.  The steam from the boiling hot tea has whited out the windows.  The cafe sits facing the steep rain-washed streets.  This is the Bosphorous’s quietest hour.  A car or two pass by.  Ghostly buses are setting out for their terminus.  Empty.

I’m empty inside, he says to himself.

The empty, rushing buses remind him of all the painful sights he’s ever seen.  Their white florescent strip lights shining off the empty brown seats.  Even when events are now so far away the hell of remembrance is full of what you’ve seen, remember and know.  Even when you’ve acknowledged it all and drawn a line right through it and said you’ll start afresh.  Like it was easy…  Especially when everything in your life was just so hard…

At dinner


is banging



against something;

women caressed, loved,  paths that have been chosen, traced and followed, friendships that couldn’t be pursued, lies and stories, games and destiny all banging against each other; the last glass raised…  And all those drinks he’d been given in the capacious and comfortable lounge of the big house by the Bosphorous.  Aperitifs before dinner, Rafet would take pleasure in announcing: ‘This is Scottish whisky my boy.  Drink it carefully.  There’s coal in this stuff.’

And yet he saw nothing but the fire inside clear amber liquid.  It couldn’t be coal with its dust black face, hard labour and deep imprisoning mines.  The long courtyards of Mamak Prison, covered in snow.  The smell of soot in the Ankara frost as its cold seared your face…  the prison wards being readied for winter, the coal bunker…  Getting even bit by bit with the song that starts,  ‘When we came the shoots were green’.


Drinking green tea and watching TV with Rafet’s wife Aysun and her daughter from her first marriage.  The housemaid making the final preparations in the kitchen….  Rafet trying to instil enthusiasm into his voice as he said, ‘Come on, come on; may our worst day be as good as this one my son, eh?’.

Author – Onur Caymaz

Copyright (c) İletişim Publishing, Dec 2012

Translation copyright (c) Caroline Stockford 2013

Adı   Gökyüzü Sineması
Alt Lejant   İki Film Birden
EAN   9789750511226
Fiyat   17,70 TL
Yayın No   İletişim – 1821
Dizi   Çağdaş Türkçe Edebiyat – 256
Sayfa   243
Baskı   1.Baskı Aralık 2012, İstanbul
Yazar   Onur Caymaz
Kapak   Gül Arı
Uygulama   Nurgül Şimşek
Düzelti   Müge KarahanMelis Oflas
Baskı ve Cilt   Sena Ofset