Three Poems By Katarina Sarić

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Translated from Montenegrin by Dr. Ana Stjelja 

The poetry by Montenegrin poet Katarina Sarić is a voice of a brave woman, the one who doesn’t leave the battlefield, but boldly takes out her sword and fights until the last drop of blood. And her sword is her pen, so sharp, and powerful. Her poetic discourse is following the poetics of great feminist poetesses. She is one of them, of their kin. She speaks out, she stands for women, she loves, she hates, she cries. She is a woman, fragile and weak, but still strong and fearless. Her poetic cycle Women’s Courses is challenging women’s inner and outer world. She goes from details to a wider picture in order to depict the world of a unique human being called “woman“. The poems of this poetic cycle are tales told by a sincere free-spoken woman and poet. They call for thinking and engagement. They can be disturbing at times, but that is what the poetry is for, to evoke feelings, to “wake up the dragon” in our sleepy, dull hearts.

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Sugar Rain

You will not approach me with a text on the messenger:
“Sugar”

with the usual question of where I’m from, what I’m doing

You will immediately feel
that I’m horrified by colloquialisms
that ready-made formulas disgust me
That I was born in March
and that I love the color blue

You’ll run into me in the leap of a messy Viking
tormented by the headache
of an overbooked parking

It will be Sunday and the pharmacy will not work
the one in which I buy panthenol tubes for my
hypersensitive skin

You will not be married or fired or in a complicated relationship
only in passing tired of driving through the mud

It’s going to rain
and I will not have an umbrella as usual

You will ask me if I have ever touched a turtle in the Indian Ocean
felt pride or shame

I’ll show you the coral-colored nails I collected under the tsunami cliffs
when the coast of Ceylon was wiped out
 
You will take me to the back lodge
of the nearest restaurant for a tea with rum

and along the way tell me about your friendships with the road

The  sound of the wiper will be heard
I’ll blow into the foggy windshield
you’ll tear up the road map
and my armored house will shatter as if it were made of glass

I’ll leap over your eyelashes
through barbed wire
and with one jump of the swallow dive to the fundus of the eye

You’ll know then that I rewound “Butterfly” a million times on that old video recorder
dreaming a flight to freedom

You’ll take a bag of golden-yellow tobacco out of your pocket
we will roll up and smoke all of our fears
our imaginary desires
We’ll pass through the bluish circles of smoke
we’ll shake the ashes
and plant a flower in the cinder

It will rain

It will grow like from water


 

Flash Back

I cannot stand rainy afternoons
jazz and always the same flashbacks
Looking back at our car drives at sunsets while with my folded knees curled on the seat
I’m finishing up a cigarette in flight
nailed to your profile your beard, two or three days old and that cavity above your upper lip,
one funny hair from the mole on your nose,

I cannot stand tasteless chewing gum
strawberries and the bursting of balloons that sweet teasing without inhibition
Petting my thighs at the traffic lights
in a standstill
Lolling out
in stunts
when I throw my head out of the window
and the wind ruffles my hair

They remained cramp tied I cannot stand
tears or hangouts by the road chips for jukeboxes
and cappuccino from the machine poetry evenings
And always the same lesions that break my shins at every new step
Or long-distance love

I cannot stand this accursed weakness that burns every bridge
but in vain its attitude
it strands me on the very bar spats me on that very shaft
with a spray of mud through an eternally open wound
Which again only pours me out
instead of killing me

I cannot stand rain
neither the sound of jazz
These flashbacks intermittently always along those unchangeable rails
The burst in the temples
and the smell of burnt by the road
always from those unchangeable ashes


 

Shell

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 burial
it went straight to spam
When she gets up and stretches
dusty
raped
ragged
scratched
earth
mother
woman
in the last cry
of epic storm
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


 

About the Author

Katarina Sarić (10.03.1976 Budva) – At FF Nikšić she graduated in  Philosophy and South Slavic literature and at FPN Podgorica she is completing postgraduate studies in social policy. She writes socially engaged poetry and prose. She is a writer and performance artist. She is the author, represented along with numerous co-authors, anthologies and in all major regional portals. Research works have been written about her poetry and prose. Her works were awarded, translated into seven languages, and published not only in the region but also on the global literary scene.