DEATH (Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1953)

Where was the body found?
Who found the dead body?
Was the dead body dead when found?
How was the dead body found?

Who was the dead body?

Who was the father or daughter or brother
Or uncle or sister or mother or son
Of the dead and abandoned body?

Was the body dead when abandoned?
Was the body abandoned?
By whom had it been abandoned?

Was the dead body naked or dressed for a journey?

What made you declare the dead body dead?
Did you declare the dead body dead?
How well did you know the dead body?
How did you know the body was dead?

Did you wash the dead body
Did you close both its eyes
Did you bury the body
Did you leave it abandoned
Did you kiss the dead body

Harold Pinter, 1997


IF ONLY OUT OF VANITY

If only out of vanity
I have wondered what kind of woman I will be
when I am well past the summer of my raging youth
Will I still be raising revolutionary flags
and making impassioned speeches
that stir up anger in the hearts of pseudo-liberals
dressed in navy-blue conservative wear

In those years when I am grateful
I still have a good sturdy bladder
that does not leak undigested prune juice
onto diapers—no longer adorable
will I be more grateful for that
than for any forward movement in any current political cause
and will it have been worth it then
Will it have been worth the long hours
of not sleeping
that produced little more than reams
of badly written verses that catapulted me into literary spasms
but did not even whet the appetite
of the three O’ clock crowd
in the least respected of the New York poetry cafes

Will I wish then that I had taken that job working at the bank
or the one to watch that old lady drool
all over her soft boiled eggs
as she tells me how she was a raving beauty in the sixties
how she could have had any man she wanted
but she chose the one least likely to succeed
and that’s why when the son of a bitch died
she had to move into this place
because it was government subsidized

Will I tell my young attendant
how slender I was then
and paint for her pictures
of the young me more beautiful than I ever was
if only to make her forget the shriveled paper skin
the stained but even dental plates
and the faint smell of urine that tends to linger
in places built especially for revolutionaries
whose causes have been won
or forgotten

Will I still be lesbian then
or will the church or family finally convince me
to marry some man with a smaller dick
than the one my woman uses to afford me
violent and multiple orgasms

Will the staff smile at me
humor my eccentricities to my face
but laugh at me in their private resting rooms
saying she must have been something in her day

Most days I don’t know what I will be like then
but everyday—I know what I want to be now
I want to be that voice that makes Guilani
so scared he hires two (butch) black bodyguards

I want to write the poem
that The New York Times cannot print
because it might start some kind of black or lesbian
or even a white revolution

I want to go to secret meetings and under the guise
of female friendship I want to bed the women
of those young and eager revolutionaries
with too much zeal for their cause
and too little passion for the women
who follow them from city to city
all the while waiting in separate rooms

I want to be forty years old
and weigh three hundred pounds
and ride a motorcycle in the wintertime
with four hell raising children
and a one hundred ten pound female lover
who writes poetry about my life
and my children and loves me
like no one has ever loved me before

I want to be the girl your parents will use
as a bad example of a lady

I want to be the dyke who likes to fuck men

I want to be the politician who never lies

I want to be the girl who never cries

I want to go down in history
in a chapter marked miscellaneous
because the writers could find
no other way to categorize me
In this world where classification is key
I want to erase the straight lines
So I can be me

Staceyann Chin, 2010


KOLIKO JE JEDAN?

Kol’ko je trideset osam puta šes’?
A kol’ko je trideset pet puta pet?
Kol’ko je trideset osam puta šes’, gospođo?

I ako ne znaš koliko je trideset osam puta šest,
a ne znaš ni koliko je trideset pet puta pet,
morao bi znat’ da je trideset osam puta šest,
veće nego trideset pet puta pet,
inače ti džabe računica.

Kol’ko je jedan posto kamate mesečno na godišnjem nivou?
Ako misliš da je to dvanaest posto…
(Meni je jedna cura kad sam bio mlad rekla:
“Ne šišam te dva posto!”
Međutim, posle jedno dvadeset godina,
to vam izađe na sto posto,
pa vi sad vidite šta vam je procentni račun.)

Koliko je dva i dva?
Ako ne znaš da je to pet!
Ako ne znaš da je to šest!
Ako ne znaš da je to trideset šest!
Ako ne znaš da je to tri ‘iljade četristo trideset šest!
Ako ne znaš da je to četiri miliona četristo pedeset šest ‘iljada dvesto trideset šest!
Na Švajcarski račun!
Pa još svaki mesec osamsto ‘iljada!
Nemoj da se kandiduješ.

Nauka je zadnjih dve ‘iljade godina mnogo napredovala,
ali niko još nije odgovorio na pitanje:
koliko je jedan?
Jel’ to malo?
Jel’ to mnogo?
Gospođice, jel’ jedan malo?
Druže, jel’ jedan mnogo?
Koliko je jedan?

Antonije Pušić, 2011


And it’s old and old it’s sad and old it’s sad and weary I go back to you, my cold father, my cold mad father, my cold mad feary father, till the near sight of the mere size of him, the moyles and moyles of it, moananoaning, makes me seasilt saltsick and I rush, my only, into your arms. I see them rising! Save me from those therrble prongs! Two more. Onetwo moremens more. So. Avelaval. My leaves have drifted from me. All. But one clings still. I’ll bear it on me. To remind me of. Lff! So soft this morning, ours. Yes. Carry me along, taddy, like you done through the toy fair! If I seen him bearing down on me now under whitespread wings like he’d come from Arkangels, I sink I’d die down over his feet, humbly dumbly, only to washup. Yes, tid. There’s where. First. We pass through grass behush the bush to. Whish! A gull. Gulls. Far calls. Coming, far! End here. Us then. Finn, again! Take. Bussoftlhee, mememormee! Till thousendsthee. Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a lone a last a loved a long the

James Joyce, 1939