THOUSAND FIRST DAY
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!
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!«
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
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.
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.
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