(Skopje, 1974) is a poet, story teller, essayist, literary critic and
translator. He works as a full professor at the Department of General and
Comparative Literature at the Blaže Koneski
Faculty of Philology in Skopje. He is the author of the following works of
poetry: Sea Moon (2003), Hidden Poems (2005), And Water and Earth and Fire and Air (2006),
Quartets (2010), Hurry Up and Wait (2011), Before and After the Dance (2012), Real Water (2014), Inner Mountains (2016) and Dream
and Awake Poems (2017). He has published three collections of haibuns: An Echo of Waves (2009), Cat in the Mist (2016) and Sky Without Stars (2016), as well as one poetry book for children Dum spiro spero
His poetry has been translated and published in twenty different languages. He is a winner of the following literary awards:
“Brothers Miladinovci” (for poetry), “Nova Makedonija” (for short fiction) and
“Dimitar Mitrev” (for literary criticism).
When you’re gone, I suddenly turn into a sunflower without the sun,
In a book without letters, home without doors, rain without drops,
A double bass with no strings, a tricycle without the front wheel,
A clock without hands, a verse without an ancient metric foot,
Into chocolate without the cocoa, a city with no boulevard,
A giraffe without a neck, an orchestra with no conductor,
A condor without feathers, a street without a footway,
Into a sculpture with neither a head nor a pedestal.
When you’re gone, I’m a nut without the kernel,
A bee without a drop of honey, or a selfish
Little cricket that’s misplaced its violin.
And when I’m with you, I’m merely
A man who conceals so readily
the things he used to be.
Inspired by a black
and white photograph
from the Museum of
Photography in Paris
He probably never
liked to have his picture taken
(or maybe he’s hiding
behind the camera)
is also missing
She probably got tired
of posing without her husband
(or maybe she’s in the kitchen
or in front of a mirror)
are also missing
The son could be in the army
or lives with his in-laws,
the daughter could be
living somewhere overseas
is also missing
(He has, probably, long ago
departed from this world)
that’s why the grandmother
holds the old
just like mothers
hold their baby
or kids hold
My wife with eyes full of water to drink in prisons
Lost in a labyrinth of stalls
at a huge Beijing street market
I thought of the taxi driver’s wise words
God probably made
this World, but all else
is made in China!
“And sold at this market” –
I thought, gazing at the mountains
of luxury goods fakes
that can be bought here
for a handful of yuans. I happened
to grab a meadow green
alpinist jacket by a world famous
brand. To convince me
to buy it on the cheap
and as a proof that it’s waterproof,
the lady behind the stall spilled
her glass of water all over the jacket.
Couple of drops hit me on the forehead,
The rest slid gracefully on the floor.
The water is real! – she pointed.
I bought the jacket which has served me since
not only for mountain treks. I wear it
at events where I have to brave mountains
of empty flattery and pats on the back.
I wear it when surrounded by false prophets
and preacher that teach us daily:
Hate the whole world, especially
thy neighbour, cause certainly
they hate you much more!
I wear this fake jacket as a bulletproof
vest against the barrage of lies.
I wear it when I watch the news.
I wear it as a living reminder
that many things are indeed fake,
but you are real like the water that I drink.
(Translated from Macedonian: Milan Damjanoski)