Lives Journal 14

Ivo Antich

 

ARMATOLOS

(Two triptychs)

 

THOUSAND FIRST DAY

(Triptych)

 

PILGRIMS

 

Hadji Ibrahim, son of Abdullah,

died on the way to Mecca; Hadji

Suleiman, the son of Hadji Ibrahim, died

on the way to Mecca; Hadji Osman,

son of Hadji Suleiman, died on

the way to Mecca; Hadji Muhammad, son

of Hadji Osman, died on the way

to Mecca; Hadji Khalil, son of Hadji

Muhammad, died in Mecca. Eternal rest

to their tormented souls!

 

 

 

ARTISTS

 

To the sultan Rasim came the poet

Nashid. He hits the ground with his forehead before

the Mighty. Being the sultan's favorite

poet, he decided to beg mercy

for a friend, the poet Nazim.

The sultan's face raises much

hope; he smiles kindly

and quickly promises a pardon.

When Nashid departs, the sultan

orders: »Throw him also among the cobras!«

 

 

BEGGARS

 

The young man made a bargain which

promised wealth. As he was very happy,

he gifted the beggar. But this one

said: »Thank you, young man. But

remember: after a bright day it comes

a dark night.« – After a while, the young man

found that he had been deceived. He became

impoverished and joined the beggar.

This one said: »After a dark night

it comes a bright day: only a beggar is happy.«

 

 

 

STRANGE BOTTOM MADE OF JUTE

(Triptych)

 

ARMATOLOS, DEATHCRAWLER

 

On wet asphalt reflections of lights.

As a shark slides a vehicle

around the city bottom. Stage scenery of empty

skyscrapers screens the night. Rain

was coming down for three days, last year maybe.

A ship of fog is approaching on the river. From

old streets stink. At the broken down

semaphore stripes of zebra or tiger.

A pale stranger in the glass of the shop window,

of unknown faith, guardian of the roads, gorges.

 

 

 

WHALE, TALE

 

Only in the great seas it is sufficient space

for it. It ploughs the distant fields, from

gray waves are rising jets of water.

Hunters follow it, axes and

saws are waiting for it. No one else

is upset by the divine phallus

with its severed anger. Alien among

creatures in the sea, among creatures on land.

The beach is a passage: swim to the dune

and turn yourself to nothing, to the home, to the bottom.

 

 

 

OPHISAURUS, ORTHOCLAS

 

Syntagma. Son of tamga, of magma, magus of changes,

of names. Snake-lizard. Naked island, orthoclase

split up. A spark in a dream of dust. Diamond

on the serpent's forehead. Shield of the night, forged

of stars. Helmet of the sun, coined of

liquid earth. Anywhere the sky,

beton, jute of sails, sacks. The swamp bull.

October buran. Bands of grandfathers.

Ether into the ground. The fist beaten into the cry. Break,

pogrom. Mating leap, slaughter. Alienism of dog, of dream, of bottom.

 

 

 

Rasim, Nashid, Nazim – Arab. prop. names, meanings: Painter, Poet, Poet.

armatolos – aka martoloz, Turkish from Modern Greek (h)armatolós = armed man; pl. armatoloi – an irregular Turkish army in the Balkans, mainly from the 15th to the 18th ct., a frontier »territorial defense« and partly a gendarmerie composed of natives, initially mostly Christians, with the task of guarding roads and gorges and as scouts, some as pedestrians, others as horsemen (the latter also in war campaigns, especially in invasions into neighboring Venetian and Austrian territories); paid volunteers, got a piece of loot, tax exempt; in the course of time, more and more insecure, some went to Venice and Austria to fight against Turkish armatoloi, consequently replaced by Muslims, and abolished by the sultan in 1721; the remnants have become bandits, but the specialty in Greece in the beginning of 19th ct. at the time of the struggle for independence as folk heroes; Macedonian poet Grigor Prlichev wrote in Modern Greek the epic Armatolos (1860); Slovenian mentions – in the 16th ct. P. Trubar: »Turks and armatoloi«; in the 18th ct. G. Vorenc: »a martalos, who steals, buys, and sells men; in the Kostel dialect: mtvoloz (robber, idler, loafer, haiduk, outlaw etc.); Mrtoláz (person in Levstik's Travelling – unfinished high school student, soldier, bohemian-drunken tailor).

snake-lizard – akin to Russian zheltopuzik (sheltopusik); aka blavor (from Romanian balaur = dragon), a species of blindworm, snake-like legless lizard (Ophisaurus = snake-lizard), i. e. Balkan glass lizard, a significant habitat type between Istria and the mouth of the Danube to Turkey covers the same area as that of ​​armatoloi.

(note by a.)

 

Translated from Slovenian by author

 

 

Slovenian (gajica)

Slovenian (bohorichica)