Sonnet of the Wishing Stone by Enis Batur

stones

If I were rain, and on your earth could rain

If I were a candle, could light your way

If I were fire, could set your bed aflame

If I were a pen, could write on your page

.

If I were sky, carmine blue

If I were desert, scorpion yellow

If I were stone, heavy black

If I were water, froth white

.

If I were a soul, if I could fly, a bird

If I were flesh, if I could swell, the sea

If I were body, if I could blow, the wind

.

If I were mist, could drop upon you, morning

If I were cloud, descend to your world, evening

If I were a candle, could expire inside you, night.

.

poet:  Enis Batur

translated: Cas Stockford

at DAM, Istanbul, September 2016

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Nicola by küçük İskender

nicola

rose

you decerebrate the rose. don’t do this.

verses, cannot find the poems they deserted

you become a humiliated evening

your hair wet to your waist

your eyes

turned away and fixed on a couple of cracked glasses

left on a claret, velvet coverlet

almost exploded. Soon to blow

before the storm

closely sheilding your face, poor and lonely child

storyless, bashful and amicable

you should have a macedonian name: nicola

I sat on your balcony, drank Choπcko beer,

over the way were

grand men wounded by the earth

grand women are sleeping

grand women wounded on account of grand men

turned into tramps by grand men

a pen knife, holds its blade inside like a secret

the pen knife I put on the table on leaving

a perfect portrayal

if it were nicola what would appear

if it were İskender what would appear

somehow, not far away

was a beautiful graveyard where songs are laid

poet: küçük İskender

translator: caroline stockford

First published in translation in Assaracus Journal of Gay Poetry, Feb 2016

‘They looked at me’ by Ah Muhsin Ünlü

 

 

                while walking in the street today

                all the girls looked my way

                allah allah!

                why are they all looking at me?  I asked myself

                later on, to my surprise, I realised

                I’d been wearing Murat’s shirt

 

 

poet: Ah Muhsin Ünlü

translator: Caroline Stockford

publisher:  Sel Publications 2005, 2013, 17th edition.

book title:  gidiyorum bu

About the poet:  Ah Muhsin Ünlü was born in İzmit in 1973.  He lived his life from the age of six as a student, for twenty-three years.  He began writing poetry at quarter to six on the evening of the 22nd of June 1993 and stopped at twenty past eleven on the morning of the 4th of September 1998.  He hopes for favourable conditions to prevail one day under which to pursue poetry once again.

 

 

surahs for slovens – küçük İskender

Image result for flaming snake mouth

 

surahs for slovens

in the flood tide of the first sound the full moon grew
we were dreaming as we passed through the flaming snake-mouth
in the fat eye was that look, dragging its capilliaries along
dark rage of innerwords, that utter oubliette
that unheard sabotage, inferno, that last blazingblame

we knew, it was wrong to be scared
of the graveyard overhead – – segregation
the smile we winnowed out of passions: deep dismay, and
that incidental paleness. what happened to: my lover! i got lost,
yeah, that night inside the secret passage, the
secret passage that opened onto your soul, the flesh candle
in one hand, in the other my enzyme bracelets.. lips’ curls..
i know, that sometimes this city doesn’t exist
it’s not the ones who left I miss,
but the era I didn’t witness. how can you do this,
you, who say my shoulders are like copper,
my hairs like golden grass,
how can you do this,
(all sons are strung on crucifixes raised by their mothers,
our failings bought on credit,
most of our misdeeds – childhood heists)

i know, that sometimes this city doesn’t exist
hauling, bearing, carrying like a
solitary backward-growing tumour of dust,
love is a stream of allusion
love, causing the glut of you to overflow in my face

the sprite fell out, i am the fairy
of the fullmoons, waning famously, you petal
are feral. take / me. he kisses the foal on the head
and kills it in the secret passage!

or according to one hypothesis
i am the decomposing houseguest
in the place where the moon touches
the beach seen from his bedroom window
– at that time. my legs
are plastic and if you glimpse a letter drawn by a scalpel
on what can be glimpsed of my chest
through the open collar of my shirt
if the bloodbrimming from this letter’s opened wound
is salty and a little mushy.. take / me. armageddon
is pregnant with betrayal.

poet: küçük İskender
Translated by Caroline Stockford 2015
(c) küçük İskender, Sel Yayıncılık

 

mendebur süreleri
ilk sesin med’inde dolunay büyüdü
düşleyerek geçtik yanan yılan ağzından
iri gözde damarlarını sürükleyen o bakış
içerisözlerin karanlık hiddeti, o çok zindan
o duyulmaz kundaklanış, yangın, o son yanışbiliyorduk, ki yanlıştı korkmak
yukardaki mezarlıklardan – – tecrit
aşklardan ayıkladığımız tebessüm: hüsran, ve
o tesadüfi sararış. Hani: sevdalım! içine
giden gizligeçitte
kaybolmuştum ya o gece, ruhuna açılan
gizligeçitte, elimde et mum, ötekinde
enzim bileziklerim.. dudak bukleleri..
biliyorum, ki bazen bu kent yoktur
terkeden, özlediğim değil
kaçırdığım çağdır. Nasıl yaparsın bunu,
omuzlarıma bakır
tüylerime altın otu
diyen sen nasıl yaparsın bunu,
(annelerinin tuttukları çarmıha gerili
bütün oğullar; hatalarımız
veresiye, hatalarımız çocuk soygunu)

biliyorum, ki bazen bu kent yoktur
yalnız tersine büyüyen toz bir ur
gibi taşımaktır taşımaktır taşımaktır,
taş bir ırmaktır aşk
aşk, sende taşırmak’ı yüzüme taşırmaktır

cin düşmüş dolunaylarda ben peri
şan, sen gül
yabani. Al / beni. Gizligeçitte öldürüyor
çünkü tayı alnından öpen elişi kişi! .

Ya da bir varsayıma göre
çürümüş misafirim ayın
yatakodası penceresinden görülen sahi
le dokunduğu yerde- o zaman. Bacaklarım
plastik ve gömleğimin açık yakasından
görülebilecek kadarki göğsüm üstüne
neşterle çizilmiş bir harf görürsen
bu harfin açtığı yaralardan akankan
tuzlu ve hafif peltemsiyse.. Al / beni. Mahşer
gebedir ihanete!

küçük İskender

The bow by Behçet Necatigil

 

The Bow

Sounds well up from the deep
not even your love can help
Wait until it passes
Don’t strain the bow much tighter
you’ll snap it

The eye within you cannot see
the crawling thought in the dark
For now I am swathed in layers
from you the cloths have fallen
you are naked

A cool breeze is blowing
You, are all heat
My hands have slipped from yours, the bridge destroyed
How can I bring you to my side
You are distant

by Behçet Necatigil

translated by Caroline Stockford

at the 2015 Cunda International Workshop for Translators of Turkish Literature

 

Yay

Derinden sesler geliyor
Durduramaz beni aşkın
Bekle geçinceye kadar
Yayı daha germe
Kıracaksın.

Karanlıkta kımıldayan düşünceyi
Göremez sendeki göz
Örtülere büründüğüm şu anda
Düşmüş senden kumaşlar
Çıplaksın.

Eser serin bir rüzgar
Sen çok sıcaksın
Koptu senden ellerim, köprü yıkıldı
Seni benim tarafa nasıl alabilirim
Uzaksın.

So many by Behçet Necatigil

Image result for unsent letters

 

So many

What became of
So many love letters
That illuminated
Nights of longing
Maybe they weren’t sent
For fear of the dark

So many love letters
Written, left unsent
Years later
Read without being received,
Answers came
Without being sent
So many love letters

by Behçet Necatigil

translated by Caroline Stockford

at the 2015 Cunda International Workshop for Translators of Turkish Literature

Nice

Nerelerde kaldı
Özlem gecelerini
Aydınlattığından
Nice aşk mektupları
Karanlık korkusundan
Belki de yollanmadı

Nice aşk mektupları
Yazıldı yollanmadı
Almadan okunduğundan
Yıllar sonra yanıtları
Geldi yollanmadan
Nice aşk mektupları

 

Poem for evening by Behçet Necatigil

Image result for evening

Poem for evening

Suddenly you remember
And he you – suddenly sometimes
Where is he? What’s he doing now?
A longing sparkles between the memories.

This ‘evening’ – what a strange word
It’s like hearing it for the first time, it makes me uneasy
Evening: Will I find him if I look upon the roads?
I don’t know

The fire will extinguish soon
and longing cool
We’ll meet again one day
One day, one half evening.

by Behçet Necatigil

Translated by Caroline Stockford

at the 2015 Cunda Workshop for Translators of Turkish Literature

 

Akşam Şiiri

Birden hatırlarsın,
O da seni – – birden bazan:
Nerde, ne yapar şimdi
Parlar bir özlem anılar arasından.

Bu akşam ne garip sözcük
Sanki ilk duydum, yadırgıyorum:
Akşam. Bilmem bulur muyum
Yollara baksam?

Söner yangın birazdan
Yatışır özlem.
Bir gün karşılaşırız
Bir gün, bir yarım akşam.

Blood by Behçet Necatigil

 

Blood

Within sheaths and layers, blood cannot be seen
A pink wave on rose cheeks
A blue ribbon on snow-white hands
Red blood cells suddenly drop
In blind wells, lost

Family traits passed on in white milk
Greed hides for years in a generous soul
Ugliness in the skin-tight shirt of a beauty
Imposes itself on a coming generation
Blood can’t be seen buried under the skin

The murderer, psychopath, the epileptic
Wakes, having slipped into transient sleep
A dirty drop seeping from far-distant breasts
A poor soul still in childhood
Suffers sins of faces he’s never seen

Year upon year a friend hides his enmity
Pus building up within
Releasing its familiar voice through us alone
The buried link in the chain of genes
Awakes, slyness of the deep exposed

Blue or red
Leaks down from deaths
Arriving in strange feelings
A so-distant relative lives in our body
Suckles the same hope as us in our sleep

Suddenly a thin vein is blocked by a blood clot
One always cheerful, never seen to be sad
Hears from a secret voice hushed in his artery
The awful news that toppled his grandfather
And collapses whilst walking the street

Ferhat and Kerem walk towards a mirage
Their legs are tired, the road is long
Thirsty for Şirin, hungry for Aslı
They are united, is that the lot?
Blood pushes, it is weary.
Held back by shame, pride and fear
On the outside people veil what they say
topped with foam
Blood
Says everything
Openly.

Eve lives on in blood from girls and women
In guns and knives
Cain
Lives on

Tomato carnation cherry blood
Sun fire coral winter summer blood
Humankind earth water air
First there was blood
Only later
Came white

 

Behçet Necatigil

(Varlık, 418, 1 Mayıs 1955)

translated by Caroline Stockford and Arzu Eker-Roditakis

at the 2015 Cunda International Workshop for Translators of Turkish Literature

 

Twenty-seven steps by Gökçenur Ç

The-asylum-project-empty-bed-erik-brede

Twenty-seven steps

(Darkness is the only excuse for the mess on the paper,
the shadows are clawing the walls of the ward
I sit crossed-legged on the lower bunk, as the meds mix with my blood
the sherbet of sleep thickens sweetly,
I hold my battery torch between my teeth, and as I try to shroud its light
with my blanket, I rip the back cover off my favourite book

and write to you
-just as you’ll guess straight away The Eternal Stone-)

I wandered by the riverside reading your letter
took a grasshopper in my hand
and walked for twenty-seven steps not knowing what to do with him
I thought of the day I brought you my manuscripts

You and me, you’d written,
we’re like two small spoons forgotten
in a bowl of cooling angel-hair soup
two toppled chairs
a blue table – made love upon

You and me, we’re like a door
and a note slipped under it

Two boats floating towards eachother
that think they’re approaching the pier

You and me, constantly
write down what we are like
without really knowing what we are

(NB. Remember that night when we sat on the sea
the brush of pure touch and salt igniting the leaves)

.

Poet: Gökçenur Ç
Translated by Caroline Stockford at the Cunda International Workshop for Translators of Turkish Literature, 2014

photo: Erik Brede