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Bookshop "E Per7shme"- Tirane, Albania (WPM) — 15 Comments

  1. Dear friends,
    In frame of the global reading “100 thousand poets for change”, at “E per7shme” bookshop will perform ten Albanian poets, which are as follows:
    Lulzim Haziri
    Besnik Mustafaj
    Olimbi Velaj
    Luljeta Lleshanaku
    Primo Shllaku
    Ledia Dushi
    Alban Tartari
    Agron Tufa
    Ana Kove
    Manjola Brahaj

    They will perform poems in Albanian and will be anticipated from a very interesting program. Further details we’ll be posting after the reading, of course 
    You may find above poems in English of some of the invited poets to this event. You are welcome to post and share thoughts with us. Thank you!

  2. The one fish in the aquarium

    (prologue)
    the flora from this side of the window makes you see
    long faces with bulging eyes
    staring ironically
    you ask yourself
    who brought it into this aquarium
    or did it enter by itself
    running away from the golden hook
    so much time has passed
    that it does not remember any longer

    (this is called solitude)
    you wander in the streets to meet somebody
    suddenly you catch your self talking to the windows
    with the leaves and the sun
    head down (love sinner) you find that you are
    running to the well known path
    with trousers wet from the morning dew
    while the blissful world is sipping coffee indolently
    you clutch onto your key in your pocket
    all rusty from perspiration
    that could not possibly open a single door
    or key holes or ears or lips all grown with moss
    times when doors are opened with bells

    (and this is called solitude)
    standing behind the bar he orders two glasses
    the barman finds it difficult to talk and drink at the
    same time
    having counted all drinks in the glass buffet
    while his paths intertwine beneath his feet
    he fixes his eyes at the door with a lost glance
    awaiting vigorous words
    to cure his head like an aspirin

    (this is nothing else but solitude)
    he leaves the entrance door wide open
    lingering hanging and counting gates
    like a jacket on a hanger
    waiting for a notice or inditement
    he has so much to say but to whom
    his tongue is numb from the juice of the words
    spiders have raptured his fingers on the keyboard
    windows are sealed

    (this is solitude not creativity)
    at the working table eaten up by worms
    he sits down to write about pain about evidence
    letters march like black ants
    eating up his paper like a cookie
    he throws paper at them over and over again
    treating them like late guests

  3. Olimbi Velaj

    I’ll always write about you

    ***

    I’ll always write about you
    I’ll always be uncertain
    whether you exist
    much time has elapsed
    since the last day
    anxiety was at the beginning
    then there came a slow killing of phone calls
    letters that got cold
    like magma on the earth…
    Now longing for you is a definition
    resembling any kind of attribute
    attached to old buildings
    There inside I wander about sleepy
    the misty times of love
    your face
    that I can’t remember any more
    and the things that died of not being touched
    Probably there would be the two of us this night
    if we didn’t use indifference
    But we remained strangers
    along our fossils and memories

    Memory

    ***

    Beyond privations and papers
    where I write and erase words
    there comes the rain
    carrying roads that lead to mists
    Nothing else is clear
    Yes, I know, beyond language
    at the silent windows of your solitude
    I am
    beyond water and guessing
    in the dry hours of waking up
    near my words
    images of uncertainty run over
    between news and journals
    growing old in the evening
    While rains pour down
    next to cold window-panes
    on the time that widens
    along our separating segment

    In absence

    Into the ears’ deep mucosis
    news fell
    like pollen powder on hedgehogs’ backs
    since that time
    arrival has remained crippled
    a grave of rust on banisters
    a victim of flame at vegetative speed
    filled with ideas and words
    The reflection of amazement
    wakes up strangely again on hills of inert bones
    cold memories in porcelain bowls
    and the crash
    more piercing than skulls running into…
    pieces of cactuses
    there arise the obelisks of the wet season
    with yellow lines of natural needles
    and only potentially with bloodshed
    Background always remains free
    for other eyes
    that prefer
    the captured space

    In the messages to you

    In the messages to you
    words are found with the same anxiety
    of the soldiers writing letters
    and in the same secrecy
    that they dream
    of their distant loves
    between lines
    through all coldness
    and the unchanged view of things
    you burst
    with your thirst that doesn’t exist
    hitting me against the past
    like a mined graveyard
    without the history
    of the regions I’ll never see
    I miss your amazement
    coming to me once in a while
    and your comprehensive appearance
    But again
    time flew away without seasons
    and without you
    while the messages would arrive
    like shaking avalanches

    Always there’s no time

    Always there’s no time
    for the indispensibility of judgement
    or idispensible judgment
    far pause is over before tiredness
    and we rely on straining
    there’s no time to see each other
    under the light sliding
    like a repeated absence
    we won’t be able to feel
    the violet taste of impression
    drying outside
    under abstaining herbariums
    while we use a bit of memory
    behind window-panes, behind vapor…
    where hands get pale like currents
    brought by drawing with water
    With the indifference of speed
    we’ll leave
    being especially here
    without crystals
    only with spherical sounds
    dancing in reflection
    an impersonal cycle of fear

    Return

    ***

    You remember our bewilderment
    on the wall of the monastery
    with tired flying angels
    and winter’s falling to shreds…
    I didn’t the pale frescos
    where they had nailed the present
    you were there, in front of me
    like a crosification
    wearing an impossible sadness
    when we both said:
    “After life doesn’t exist”
    wild birds rushed
    at the remaining grains
    between the stones
    of the paved floor
    You lowered your head
    like a silent Christ
    nailed in our eyes
    Everything was timeless
    and still I don’t know
    where my present is going to
    carrying your cross on its back

    Imperfect

    Wish of the complete perfect
    always gets lost somewhere
    thinking
    that further beyond the visible
    something is living
    like the unexplained mistic of being
    and suppositions
    Then you plunge into the botomless
    depths of frozen actions
    closing inside your hands
    like a skull in the darkness of the earth
    buried little by little
    others move without bewilderment
    to the places they think
    they are clear
    due to guessing
    they burn even the last day
    Whereas in front of them the untranslatable sky
    announces my impersonal hesitation
    doubt becomes obsolete
    like a distant echoe, undefined
    in the exiles of men
    watching with pleasure
    what they feel to be the present
    while grammatical tenses
    slide through lobbies
    like flocks of awkward cows

  4. Agron Tufa

    Elegy on Light

    And the light has emerged, each of its rays
    Breaking and shattering like a crystal flute upon the rocks
    Swelling in colours all its own.

    Forth pours the light, rising
    Like dough from sombre troughs.

    Moist is the soil, overcast the sky,
    At brookside gorge ghostly figures of soldiers
    Tousled by rosy fingers.

    Streams long gone dry
    Gurgle now in a rave of murmurs.

    And the light has emerged,
    Bales, their golden hay tumbling gently
    ’gainst the tiny cottage windows.

    Hastening, the sunlight touches,
    Hastens and touches,
    Kisses the bell at dawn
    With its painted lips.

    With sobs of apprehension, I gush:
    “Praise be to God for the light
    Given unto us, greater than the Illuminator himself!”

    Wave after wave, wave after wave,
    Its licks with its tongues the body of Aphrodite,
    Sweeping night away
    Until the sun has seized the summits.

    [Elegji për dritën. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie.]

    Orpheus

    Your tears – so well disguised –
    Enveloped and finely fitted
    Within the curved peelings of an onion,
    That sacrificed – alas – its very essence
    Hidden in the core
    When it was stabbed by the gleaming blade
    That minced your tender heart
    Sleepy with fictive erudition.

    Eurydice’s tears in the kitchen
    Have no source
    But you,
    The only lachrymogenic ingredient
    In the prosaic family salad.

    (Moscow, 2001)

    [Orfeu. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie.]

    Angels in Crisis

    … I had just returned from the last war. My hands were longing for the plough as I headed for the shed. I pushed open the door and, when I got used to the dark and the damp that reeked of mould and mildew, I was overcome by the vision before me – a bale of angels sneezing in the corner. One had swollen glands and couldn’t swallow, another gasped and struggled for breath. The other anaemic angels stammered in low voices to explain that one of their number had fallen tragically in love with the curved blade of the coarse-toothed saw on the other wall, but it had shown no interest in him. The third angel was all in a flutter trying desperately to say something, but failed because a fourth angel was squeezing his oesophagus for fun as the poor fellow gaped and belched for a full two to three minutes. A sorry sight they were indeed, sallow and covered in fungus, all huddled in a corner with less space than the sheaves of rye. I poked at them with my pitchfork and threw them out into the sun. Then, telling the farm hand to give them a cup of hot tea and some biscuits, I cautiously inquired if they could remember the goal of their forgotten mission.

    (Tirana, 1 January 2002)

    [Engjëj në krizë. Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie.]

    * * *

    Do you remember that other sky – so fathomless and foreign,
    The shifting crowds in the streets, the cars,
    And the snow swirling down upon us, covering
    Like a glittering veil all the noise, visions, seasons – but
    Above all – the shiver-white naked bodies
    Of desperate loves.
    Whatever happened to them? Where is the enigma
    That dissolved in the purple of their fleshy lips?
    Inevitably then, like a maimed carousel, the lame fragments
    Falter frozen in landscapes and interiors,
    Daubs of phrases, vows in the dark… Suddenly and forever
    The perspective is severed,
    As if some retina had burst behind the canvas -
    From the inhuman glare at the tunnel’s end.

    (Vienna, September 2005)

    [Ty të kujtohet... Translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie.]

  5. Besnik Mustafaj

    The Heroes and I

    The heroes were huge when I was little,
    Larger than the figures of their statues.
    As I grew
    I looked at them
    Less and less
    From below
    Until one day we were eye to eye.
    What will happen now?
    Will I, or will the heroes, learn
    Which of us is superfluous?

    DONIKA

    We speak of George
    of his long days and nights at war,
    Of the savage sieges, victories,
    Of his clever courser, his strong sword,
    But we often forget you.
    We forget how he returned battle-weary
    To find you waiting at the door.
    Your body took on his anguish at the wounds of his fallen soldiers,
    At seeing fields of grain torched,
    At glimpsing wells drained of their water,
    So that he would have nothing.
    He had to rest a while
    To be ready for combat the next day.
    His head, which never bowed to heavy cannons,
    Yielded to your soft shoulder.
    You watched as his lids grew heavy,
    As his eyes closed
    And, to make his dreams sweeter,
    You entered them yourself.
    If you were needed in those long sieges,
    You are needed all the more in eternity.
    How could we otherwise claim to know
    the true George,
    Without that part of him he left with you?

    PROPHETIC POEM

    If, instead of Christ and Mohammed,
    The Bible and the Koran
    Had written of the tragic fate
    of Tristan and Isolde,
    Exemplary lovers,
    Mortals on this tiny planet,
    They would have had a hard time denying
    The concept of the divine.

    Whence your Fear of the Wolf

    My son, you were born in the city
    And have never set foot
    in the dark forest.
    Where did you get that terrible fear
    of the wolf?
    What is a wolf, I ask you,
    What is it like, I inquire.
    You only know it’s rapacious
    And when it’s hungry,
    The water bloodied by lambs
    is churned up to its very source,
    Stopping the flocks from quenching their peaceful thirst.
    Yet I tell you, you’ve never seen a wolf,
    my little one.
    How odd, in this big city.
    Whence your fear of the wolf?

  6. Thanks to all the writers who made our evening a wonderfull one.
    Thanks to Besnik Mustafaj, Agron Tufa, Manjola Brahaj, Lulzim Haziri, Ana Kove, Alban Tartari and all those who were presented with their poetry.
    Thanks to Elvana Zaimi who organized this sweety evening.
    Thanks to Kelmend Karuni who made these moments remakable.
    And thanks to all those who will atend these kinda evenings!
    A big hug for all of you that will warm all the expecting winter evenings.

  7. Ndryshimin, cifti Tufa, per nje bote me poezi dhe me te mire, e filluan nje vit me pare; ashtu, ndoshta me hapa te vegjel, por te sigurt dhe kembengules. Sot, ne ora 19.oo, tek E7E, une pashe, me shume poete, degjova me shume poezi, ish zgjeruar gjeografia e pjesmarresve; madje ishte zgjeruar dhe Oda ku lexoheshin poezite, gati trefish me e madhe se ajo e vitit te kaluar…..e megjithate s’gjetem vend. Pashe ndryshimin e madh te atij ndryshimi te para nje viti, qe ndoshta shume syresh mund te ishin dhe skeptike.

    Urime, urime, dhe vetem urime ciftit Tufa, si nismetare dhe oraganizatore, bashkepuntoreve dhe dashamiresve te tyre!

  8. Ndryshimi, ka filluar nje vit me pare, nga cifti Tufa, para nje viti.; ashtu me hapa te vegjel ndoshta por te sigurt dhe kembengules. Ndoshta disa syresh mund te ishin dhe skeptike. Por sot, ne ora 19.oo, tek E7E, une njoha me shume poete, degjova me shume pezi, ishte zgjeruar gjeografia e poezise; madje ishte zgjeruar dhe Oda ku lexohej poezia. Megjithse trefish me e madhe se ajo e vitit te kaluar, nuk gjetem vende. Pergezime nismetareve dhe organizatoreve te kesaj ngjarjeje, Agroni dhe Elvanes! Pergezime bashkepuntoreve te tyre dhe dashamiresve te poezise.

    Urime dhe suksese!

  9. Ndryshimi, ka filluar nje vit me pare, nga cifti Tufa, para nje viti.; ashtu me hapa te vegjel ndoshta, por te sigurt dhe kembengules. Ndoshta disa syresh mund te ishin dhe skeptike. Por sot, ne ora 19.oo, tek E7E, une njoha me shume poete, degjova me shume pezi, ishte zgjeruar gjeografia e poezise; madje ishte zgjeruar dhe Oda ku lexohej poezia. Megjithse trefish me e madhe se ajo e vitit te kaluar, nuk gjetem vende. Pergezime nismetareve dhe organizatoreve te kesaj ngjarjeje, Agronit dhe Elvanes! Pergezime bashkepuntoreve te tyre dhe dashamiresve te poezise.

    Urime dhe suksese!

  10. Dear Elvana and Agron,
    Thank you very much for bringing life to Albanian culture in general and Albanian poetry in particular. You are a good model of what intellectuals should do in these difficult crisis times.
    I was very honored and pleased to be part of this initiative.
    Best regards,
    Alban Tartari MA

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