The Other Side of Skin
Translated by Barbara Jursa
Wishing for a poem is like a humidity
in the air, 80% and rising.
At night I walk through this city in the shape
of a wet puddle, lights blur in its waving
and dry islands of life are named:
a pump, Nobel Burek, Hot-Horse,
Day and Night. “Good morning,” grins
an aged motorcyclist in leather
with his helmet and motorbike
and a rock-n-roll youth,
enters the shop.
Everything moving repels off
my body, a longhaired cat swiftly
puffs beside me, this hour is torn out,
into itself in spirals, we are waiting in queues,
everyone with their tattered auras,
with marbles of lust scattered across the ground.
The city gives us an infusion of glittering
rhythms and saves us from a sweaty
apartment, flowers in pots that are quietly dying away,
the city is a recourse of cellophane
and we wait patiently—rabid dogs.
This selection comes from Jana Putrle Srdić’s book Anything Could Happen, translated by Barbara Jursa and available from A Midsummer Night’s Press. Purchase your copy here!
Jana Putrle Srdić (1975, Ljubljana) is a poet, art film reviewer, and translator of poetry who lives in Ljubljana, where she works as a visual art producer. She has published three collections of poems to date, and also translates poetry from English, Russian, and Serbian, including collections by Robert Hass, Sapphire, Ana Ristović, and other authors.
Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.