The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®

 

Marko Pogačar

Translated by Andrea Jurjević

Archdiocese Chronicles

 

The season retreats. the winds strengthen, the dampness lifts
waves on the plastic kitchen floor.

it’s time for the last register, of wandering in the suburban
woods with dogs, long weekends, books

forgotten in woven summer handbags,
passages never fully digested. I don’t have dogs,

and some books I just don’t get. I grumble and
discuss them with smarter friends.

near the season’s end while the snow still squats in its sack
there is one bar in Zagreb, and we lean into it.

then that glacier sets off, damp and hot from our elbows,
and flattens the gas station with the sky.

the time of broken teeths, body soft as a turd.
I know I can’t say teeths, still I don’t know what to do with myself.

the horizon shrinks, afternoons become unbearable.
leaves, a carpaccio of memories, pass into a universal earth archive.

naked branches comb the stars, trams sorely squirm,
in silence. black nights for hearts, in the mornings southern eclipse.

I feel cashier windows tremble, tow trucks left in the grass;
holidays of former countries hum. somewhere there’s still blood.

 

 

 

Kaptolska Kronika

Sezona izmiče. vjetrovi jačaju, vlaga podiže
valove na plastičnom podu kuhinje.

vrijeme je posljednjih popisa, vršljanja prigradskim
šumama s psima, dugih vikenda, knjiga

zaboravljenih u ljetnim pletenim torbama,
pasusa nikad dokraja svarenih. nemam pse,

a neke knjige nikako ne razumijem. gunđam i
raspravljam ih s pametnijim prijateljima.

jedan je šank u gradu Zagrebu, potkraj sezone dok
snijeg još čuči u svojoj vreći, i mi ga glačamo.

zatim taj glečer krene, mokar i vruć od naših laktova,
i sravni benzinsku stanicu s nebom.

vrijeme slomljenih zubiju, tijelo mekano kao drek.
znam da se ne kaže zubiju, a ipak ne znam što bih sa sobom.

obzor se sužava, popodneva postaju neizdrživa.
lišće, carpaccio sjećanja, prelazi u univerzalni arhiv zemlje.

gole grane češljaju zvijezde, tramvaji mučno migolje,
no to se ne čuje. crne noći za srca, jutrima južna pomrčina.

osjećam kako podrhtavaju šalteri, šleperi napušteni u travi;
šume praznici bivših država. negdje još ima krvi.

 

 

Marko Pogačar

Translated by Andrea Jurjević

Saturday, Ruin

 

The day breaks and the sky falls
like a rotten pear
under the table.

worms crawl out
like waiters.

and unpaid tabs
lie one inside the other.

Maria enters, I say, hey Maria,
and she shows her teeth.

from now on she squats and stops, squats
and stops, she decided
to carry her scent differently.

I lean toward pigs:
press meat into white meat
I close my eyes and see—

a hairy night sits on it all.

 

 

 

Subota, Rasap

Svane i nebo padne
kao trula kruška
pod stol.

crvi se razmile
kao konobari.

i neplaćeni računi
legnu jedan u drugi.

uđe Marija, ja kažem Marijo,
a ona pokaže zube.

odsada čuči i čeka, čuči
i čeka, odlučila je
da drugačije nosi svoj miris.

ja se priklonim svinjama:
pritisnem meso o bijelo meso
i sklopim oči i vidim–

na sve sjedne čupava noć.

 

 

 

MARKO POGAčAR was born in 1984 in Split, Yugoslavia. His publications include four poetry collections, four books of essays, and a short story collection. He edited the Young Croatian Lyric anthology (2014). He was a fellow at Civitella Ranieri, Literarische Colloquium Berlin, Récollets-Paris, Passa Porta, Milo Dor, Brandenburger Tor, Internationales Haus der Autoren Graz, and Krokodil Beograd fellowships, among others. His work has received Croatian and international praise, and has been translated to over thirty languages. Slovene poet Tomaž Šalamun wrote, 'Marko Pogačar is a miracle; it’s not fully clear where he emerged from and how – it’s just obvious that he is here among us, central.' Pogačar resides in Vienna as a freelance author.

 

 

ANDREA JURJEVIć, a native of Croatia, is the author of Small Crimes, winner of the 2015 Philip Levine Prize. Her poems, as well as her translations of contemporary Croatian poetry, have appeared in journals such as Epoch, TriQuarterly, Best New Poets, The Missouri Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. Her translation of Mamasafari (and other things) from Croatian will be published by lavender Ink / Diálogos in 2018.

 

 

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