Dimitar Anakiev, “Zašto sam Jugosloven?” XXZ Magazin, 12/20/2018 [pdf]
Note: Inexpert, nonpoetic translation by yours truly with the help of Google Translate.
Why am I a Yugoslav?
Because my balcony reaches into the neighboring state Because I got tired of defending my attitudes in cafes Because they trained us like monkeys Because I can’t tolerate cozying up to local authorities Because in the small Balkan states I can hardly breathe Because they packed us into small boxes, tied the rope, and prepared us for commercial use Because confectionary democracy which is long expired rules Because want us to bind us in a chain of shopping malls, gas stations, and military bases Because egoism is sold as a supreme philosophy Because the current state of affairs only works for bureaucrats, politicians, policemen, and customs officials Because thousands of people had to die and nothing changed Because bureaucrats without visions introduce visas Because they connect us to everyone except to ourselves Because everyone is silent and I’m afraid that people no longer live on this planet Because all resistance is impossible and all my friends will say I’m crazy when they read this poem Because Yugoslavia is the only opposition to the Thousand-Year Reich Because Einstein, Picasso, Ginsberg, Handke, and Cankar were all Yugoslavs Because there are people who believe that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West Because I have to write haiku to survive Because Pentagon bombs Belgrade, Tripoli, Moscow, Tokyo, Berlin, and Honolulu Because I easily wrote a drama about something I wasn’t interested in Because the drama has been discovered and the poems won’t be read Because it’s easier to be a cretin than a man Because my mother is a Turk, father a Frenchman, wife a Czech, sister an Englishwoman, daughter a Russian, and dog a Pekinese Because my balcony reaches into the neighboring state Because I got tired of defending my attitudes in cafes Because they trained us like monkeys Because I can’t tolerate cozying up to local authorities Because I can’t go to a dentist without a VISA card Because cows are crazy and people think they’re smart Because it took me ten years to write all of this Because the chief meat-eaters have become vegetarians Because idiots can’t reject the yoke of the nation Because poets and writers do not see beyond their nose Because everything became money Because everyone lies That’s why…
* The title of “Why Am I a Yugoslav” invokes the title of the song Tomaža Šalamuna “Why Am I a Fascist”
Featured image CC-BY-SA Mike Stenhouse.