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.