Kristen D. Scott is a nominee of the Pushcart Prize in poetry for five works from her 2014 collection OPIATE. She is an award-winning essayist for her work on Federico Garcia Lorca and his books the Divan del Tamarit, Poet of the Deep Song, and essay, “The Duende.”
She has published in several Anthologies, newspapers, and ezines, including the San Diego Poetry Annuals, Nomos Review, Perigee, Alesbuyia, and published two poetry collection from Garden Oak Press; LIAISONS (2012) and OPIATE (2014). She has also been translated into Arabic, Turkish, Albanian, among other languages.
Scott is currently the Editor-In-Chief, founder, and web designer
of KNOT Magazine, holds an MFA in Creative Writing, MA in English Literature, and is progressing with her Ph.D in Global Education and Comparative Literature.
She resides on the Riviera in Türkiye.
Bu Akşam, Ben Yaşlıyım
(This Evening, I am Old)
It is 10:30 in Türkiye’s evening,
and I am old
as ancient as the heads of Nemrut,
giant stone slabs
some turned on their sides,
too old to hold up their heavy
blobs. Vacant, faceless, Voiceless.
But, there are too many voices
deforming the night-sea
each 5 star hotel
playing their own
shit mix melodies, pleasing maddening
crowds. Where’s Bülent Ersoy I wonder?
Murat Boz? Hende Yener?
And, people are walking by barking
some white, some blackberry, some
Russian hoochie-coochies with no panties,
click-clacking spiked red stilettos,
Then, I hear, “iyi akşamlar” echoing from
wrought iron gates, wafting up to my
marble balcony. It is Hikmet, my
landlord, whistling a fond good evening
smiling a rare smile, vanishing
through a darkened alcove.
And, I feel it.
I feel the darkness
Like a worn-out Muslim man drinking
çay and eating çiğ köfte
with no front teeth —
tonight I have no teeth.
but I hear —
the noise of grapevines
nestled Gardner Snakes up my balcony
the sound of freshly laundered panties
between orange blossoms and
whispering pomegranate trees
but what I do not hear,
is your voice and that terrifies me.
You are as silent as the Grave. And, in
side I am screaming
shouting from the hillsides of Izmir
all the way to the badem groves of Datça
Bu akşam, I am so old
crawling on my knees a penitent bitch
Today I am not afraid of the north wind blowing from Rhodes
or the tremors strike at midday
and, I am not afraid of the man with crooked smile and dirty
hair, or the gang of strangers yelling on a darkened street-corner
the waves crash at my feet and the tides howl my name
but I do not fear them, I do not flinch
As I walk past fields of mint, hyacinth and jasmine
I do not remember their smells, even
while crushing them between my fingertips,
I do not recall
nor the names of the faceless men who smile and call out my name
the same ones that shout as I pass by every afternoon,
but, knowing soon
I must leave you
the Sunday of your smile, the way you squint your eyes when
you laugh, say nothing and at the same time everything
for me, you are ten thousand suns blazing
night’s moon silvers behind your eyes
like me the wolves are jealous and mourn their loss, and I will
see no one
hear no one
smell no one
taste no one
because you are my senses
so let the north wind blow
darkness cover over every lit -path
and sea’s waves crash like too many violent spring storms
fading for you,
are my sole disasters
She walked by the familiar old stone market.
It was not an easy walk, too much fucking snow,
white flakes blinded, made all friends strangers.
She couldn’t recognize herself
in scratched plexiglass and sale signs:
cucumbers 5 for 2.00
yellow Yukon’s 10lbs for 3.00.
Where was the roka, ayran, fresh fish and pekmezi?
Her lover among these isles of frozen food,
fields of frozen ground-this avalanche!
She turned, placed 5 lira into chubby pink palm.
The clerk thought her crazy.
She read her thyroid protruded eyes,
so she smiled, replaced the lira with five Washingtons,
left, trudged through cold empty streets,
tucked the gold coin
into the red lace of her bra,
kept it warm as a puppy,
the simple reminders of him.
Peek inside her window
and you will see a lamp
of silver –
10,000 fireflies dancing
inside its center
around spun gold archways,
lined with springs of myrtle
of Khulna wearing
rubies from Kuala Lumpur
dancing over sunset beams
in her hallways
red. warm. verdant.
her naked, wrapped inside of him
distance between us
climbs further and further
upwards, beyond aspens,
evergreens, spruces, pines,
currents of Rio Colorado
sweep away those
who are asleep, unaware
of its terrible power
that rages through bends, ravines,
and mountain passes –
so, it is the same with lovers
what seems as peaceful as
a stony brook was all along
this raging jagged river
cutting its way through
creating its own destinations
along aspens –
through mountain pines,
thrusting us where it wishes