Sunday, May 6, 2018

one for the old master Shi-tou

Old Shitou knew, no matter how fast you row, how deep you bow,
cow dung or snow, high and low, it all comes to the big ho in da ground,
damp or dry, it does dampen one's enthusiasm does it not—for 
it all go-e the shitou way. 

Bo Gregoric
Copyrights Reserved

My Chocolate Apocalpyse

I am your chocolate apocalypt, your Godzilla crisis,
the eye of the storm, the revolution long time coming—
I am that storm in a teacup, the Uranus moving into Taurus
Every three-and-eighty years I come to mess up
Your sterile world, to turn it upside and inside out
Releasing the prisoners, the wind of change unstoppable,
the walls collapsing, the liberty, o, magnificient, brilliant
Liberty beckoning the freed slaves—hopefully
rid of rancor and vengefulness. 

Copyright Reserved,
Bo Gregoric 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Momcilo Nastasijevic: The Quietude of Trees

Momčilo Nastasijević:

Mirovanje drveća

Study of Trees, Ink on paper, b.g. 

Sve boli. Mili druzi,
rad' mene mirujete.
Trepetom ne ozledi me ni list.

Tiho i tiše,
umin iz rana
ovaploti me u reč.

Celivam stabla,
braću moju redom,
milujem ožiljke nežno.

Mili druzi,
boli li kad vam
sekira zaseče telo?

I umine li,
kad za vas neme
ja mukotrpan kriknem?

Ako je skrnavljenje,
prostite, srce mi je dano.

Rad' mene mirujete:
tiho i tiše,
umin iz rana.
To mukotrpno,
druzi, za vas neme,

šapatom visinama
kazujem blagu reč.

The Quietude of Trees

All hurts. My fellows,
because of me you stay quiet.
With tremble, not a leaf can hurt me

Quiet and quieter still,
from the wounds ceased
incarnated into a word.

The trees I caress,
brothers of mine in order,
caressing the scars gently.

My dear brothers,
does it hurt
when axe strikes into one's body?

And does it cease,
when for you with no voice
of pain full I shout out?

If tis' a sacrilege,
forgive, for Heart has been given me.

Because of me you remain quiet:
quiet and quieter still,
from the wounds ceased.
Thus full of pain,
comrades, for you with no voice,

whispering to heights
I speak the gentle word.

Momčilo Nastasijević (1894 –1938) was a Serbian modernist poet, novelist and dramatist. His poetry is imbued with deeply felt pantheist sensibility; his prose work often makes the use of fantasy & horror elements from the West Balkans folklore (e.g. My Cousin's Gifts).

Monday, January 29, 2018

Matej Bor A Traveler Went Through the Atomic Age

Matej Bor:
Šel je popotnik skozi atomski vek

painting by Kaspar, Friedrich

Šel je popotnik skozi atomski vek
in je na tržnicah, kjer prodajajo vse,
tudi marelice in šmarnice
zgodaj pomladi,
prodajal svoje srce.
In ko ga je razprodal,
je rekel: Kaj sedaj?
Vprašal je kanarčka: Ali naj kupim tebe?
- Kaj boš z menoj zdaj, ko nimaš srca?
Vprašal je psa: Ali naj kupim tebe?
- Pretepal bi me zdaj, ko nimaš srca?
Vprašal je zvezdo: Ali naj kupim tebe?
- Kam me boš spravil zdaj, ko nimaš srca?
In nazadnje je sklenil, da si pozida
tam na obronkih atomskega veka.
In tako je tudi storil.
In ko so ljudje hodili mimo in vpraševali:
Kdo živi v tej hišici,
da nikoli ne odpre ne oken ne vrat?
je rekla hišica:
Človek, ki se je skril vame,
ker ga je sram, da je prodal svoje srce.
- Gotovo ga je prodal slabo,
so dejali in pognali svoje limuzine
naprej skozi atomski vek.

A traveler went through the atomic age
and on markets, where everything is sold,
even apricots and lillies of the valley
early in the Spring,
he was selling his heart.
And once it was sold,
he had said: What next?
He asked of a canary: Can I buy you?
What will you with me now that you have no heart?
He asked of a dog: Can I buy you?
You'd beat me up now that you have no heart?
Of a star he asked: Or should I buy you?
And where would you put me now that you have no heart?

In the end he decided he will build himself
a tiny house
there on the edges of the atomic age.
And so he had done.
And when people would be walking by asking:
Who dwells in this tiny house,
hardly opening either windows or doors?
the house would have replied:
A man who hides inside,
the one ashamed that he sold his heart.
He must have sold it cheaply,
they'd answer and off they'd go, firing their limos,
onward through the atomic age.

Matej Bor (1913-1993): was an important Slovene modernist poet and a member of the modest Slovene anti-fascist resistance during WW2.

This allegorical poem was written in the 1950's and was part of the eponymous collection. Curiosly enough, it has been translated into English language twice, both, I believe, in British editions. 

Translated from the Slovenian

by Boris Bo Gregoric 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Three short ones on Love

you,  sense of humor, you're so high on my
shopping list, right up there with the best of them,
the avocadoes and green zucchini, wild conjectures,
and girls waking in the morning.


for Henry

all his life he wanted nothing but
to be loved and —yet—
no love was to be found,
even after six or seven of his
marriages—like a butterfly
he hovered in superifice,
one drop of honeyed dew to the next—
each successive one more bitter,
after the spell wore off—
and once more, Henry loved
was not, least by his
stone-hearted mother.


o, let's touch and say nothing, for words are such a waste, like a water of ducky's back. and heads, such a heady affair, but nothing to get a hold of really. for hands know everything. for hands know more than heads can ever know. and hearts even mean so little, are a pale second fiddle. no, let's have the hands touching, vibrating the only truth accessible to us. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Vladislav Petkovic Dis Tamnica Dungeon

Vladislav Petković Dis


Poetry in Motion, digital art by Boris Gregoric

To je onaj život gde sam pao i ja
s nevinih daljina, sa očima zvezda
i sa suzom mojom što nesvesno sija
i žali, ko ptica oborena gnezda.
To je onaj život gde sam pao i ja

Sa nimalo znanja i bez moje volje,
nepoznat govoru i nevolji ružnoj
i ja plakah tada. Ne beše mi bolje.
I ostadoh tako u kolevci tužnoj
sa nimalo znanja i bez moje volje.

I ne znadoh da mi krv struji i teče,
i da nosim oblik što se mirno menja;
i da nosim oblik, san lepote, veče
i tišinu blagu ko dah otkrovenja.
I ne znadoh da mi krv struji i teče,

I da beže zvezde iz mojih očiju,
da se stvara nebo i svod ovaj sada
i prostor, trajanje za red stvari sviju,
i da moja glava rađa sav svet jada,
i da beže zvezde iz mojih očiju,

Al' begaju zvezde; ostavljaju boje
mesta i daljine i vezuju jave;
i sad tako žive kao biće moje,
nevino vezane za san moje glave.
Al' begaju zvezde; ostavljaju boje.

Pri beganju zvezda zemlja je ostala
za hod mojih nogu i za život reči;
i tako je snaga u meni postala
snaga koja boli, snaga koja leči.
Pri beganju zvezda zemlja je ostala.

I tu zemlju danas poznao sam i ja
sa nevinim srcem, al' bez mojih zvezda.
I sa suzom mojom, što mi i sad sija
i žali k'o tica oborena gnezda.
I tu zemlju danas poznao sam i ja.

Kao stara tajna ja počeh da živim.
zakovan na zemlju što životu služi,
da okrećem oči daljinama sivim,
dok mi venac snova moju glavu kruži.
Kao stara tajna ja počeh da živim.

Da osećam sebe u pogledu trava.
I noći, i voda i da slušam biće
i duh moj u svemu kako moćno spava.
ko jedina pesma, jedino otkriće;
Da osećam sebe u pogledu trava

I očiju, što ih vidi moja snaga,
očiju što zovu kao glas tišina,
kao govor šuma, kao divna draga
izgubljenih snova, zaspalih visina,
I očiju, što ih vidi moja snaga.


That is the life into which I also fell
from distances innocent, starry-eyed
with a tear of mine that glistens unknowning
and mourns, like a bird from the knocked-off nest.
That is the life into which I also fell

With no knowledge and against my will,
unknown to speech and ugly misfortune
I also wept then. Nor have I felt better.
And thus I remained in a sad cradle
without any knowledge, against my will.

And I have not known that my blood flows and runs,
and that semblance I bear that calmly changes;
and that the semblance I bear, the dream of beauty, an eve
and silence tender like the breath of revelation.
And I have not known that my blood flows and runs,

And that stars are fleeing my eyes,
that the sky is being made, this here firmament
and the space, the lasting for the order of all things,
and that my head gives birth to the world of woe,
and stars are fleeing my eyes,

Thus flee the stars; leaving the colors
places and distances and connected realities;
and thus now they live like my being,
innocenty tied to the dream of my head.
Thus flee the stars; leaving the colors.

With the flight of the stars the earth remained
for the ambulance of my feet and the existence of words;
thus then the power within me became
the power that aches, the power that heals.
With the flight of the stars the earth remained.

And this earth today I've known myself
with innocent heart, yet without my stars.
And with a tear of mine, that even now glistens
and mourns like a bird from the knocked-off nest.
And this earth today I've known myself.

Like an ancient secret I've began to live.
riveted to the ground that serves the living,
to turn my eyes to gray distances,
whilst the wreath of dreams my head surrounds.
Like an ancient secret I've began to live.

To feel myself in the graze of the grass.
And nights, and waters, and to hark to the being
the spirit of mine that mightily sleeps in everything.
like a singular poem, a singular discovery;
To feel myself in the graze of the grass

And the eyes that my power sees
the eyes that cry out to the voice of the hushed things,
like the forest's speech, like a wondrous lover
of dreams lost, of heights aslept,
And the eyes that my power sees.

Translated from the Serbo-Croatian
by Boris Gregoric


Vladislav Petković nicknamed Dis was a brilliant Serbian modernist poet who died in 1917 at the age of 37 on a cargo boat sunk by German U-boat. 

His form of a beautifully simplified sonnet, with recurring themes of world weariness and foreboding, is still highly regarded in the South Slavic literary canon. Its ababa rhyming pattern cannot be aptly translated, however the diction and the voice of this unique poète maudit hopefully resonate with the reader.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Gulag Light and Others


loved by thousands, yet actually by no one, dear Morrisey, bemoaning the fact, but keenly aware of the grand paradox. still, better than so many millions loved by no one, neither thousands, not one single soul—all those loveless, shameless, millioness sprawling harlots, all those loveless, lonely, unloveable monkey-men in their lonely monkey-men beds. then some, the lucky ones, now and there, loved by one, but usually loving some other, unfulfilled one. no, almost always, loving some one else while being loved by somebody who, in their turn, are often unloved. so, what is better—these 'stars' loved by thousands and millions, but in fact loved by no one, except for their status or money of course, or the sad millioness hydra-headed loveless? for in the day of human life, lovelessness is far worse than lawlessness. thus, even if your mom loves, you win. and your dad, which is much rarer, even better. and, yet, your gazillione'd kitts&pups do not really count, sorry to say. love yourself first, some shout from the rooftops—yes, great, but not quite, close, but no cigar frankly. you can do better. still, you say, what about the dead, wet ashes of yesteryear loves? so much time wasted, so few moments of brightness and laughs that shook those low, overcast skies. much ado about nothing.

Big Lonely, Utter Melancholy seeps into you, through the dense, low, overcast, late October skies, this acoustic magic, the sweet, brooding voice, the utter melancholy, the big lonely, the moorlands and the wind—is it Denmark again, o, Denmark thou sweet hopelessness seeping deeply, dripping in with the sugary memories of cinammon, of tumeric, of ginger roots —hidden too deep.

things were talking out of his ass...

it sounded as if things suddenly started talking out of the friend's ass as he hastily took leave to one or another of his daily stops, it sounded very much like the NPR broadcast, it made you both laugh, the phone with its automated, nonsensical rigmarole—its frightufl bullying insistence not much different from the so-called pundits, the politicians, the professors that keep telling and explaining us what is what and who is who and why why every single minute of our lives in chains invisible.


Gulag Light

you can see the Gulag light system in a workplace, in the way the system is being set, the way the various hand-picked obamas and clintons will climb over the dead bodies to the supposed top of the gulag pyramid. you can see always the mediocre, often the very worst, get the promotions, the pay raises, the position in which they can bully and manipulate their work minions, you can see the blatant militant stupidity of it, reflected on every level, every corporate dungeon much like the other, with the top incompetents firmly perched up there somewhere off-shore—the higher up the invisible hierarchy the more clueless, the less aptitude surely—and yet you have these top mountaineers shoved up your ass every single day, these gates, these buffetts, these creepy, nonentity youth zuckerbergs shoved up your ass as the paragons of everything, the determiners and bright lights of a dollared universe —or else, or else, here comes the bombs and here the bucketfuls of democracy, the uranium deplete galore.