Miodrag Kojadinović has undergraduate degrees from Serbia and Canada, postgraduate ones from Serbia, Holland, the US, and Hungary, and has worked at universities/colleges in Norway, Mainland China, Serbia, and Macau.
His writing in a wide range of genres has been published in nine languages in Canada, Serbia, the US, France, Russia, England, Holland, Spain, Slovenia, India, Scotland, Macau, Mainland China, Croatia, Australia, Germany, and Montenegro. He has also edited two books, translated five, exhibited photos in galleries and had them published in journals and online, and appeared in three documentaries (of which one about himself as a globetrotter, seeking a place under the Sun).
Sticks & Stones May (Day) or May Not
It is Sunday afternoon
and the balcony door is, of course, ajar
muffled children’s voices waft in by the lace curtains
the air is salty and warm
a gull screeches beyond the Moorish jalousie
in the deep and quiet blue,
around the young man’s ankle
the plaster mould is heavy
in tall flamingo pink glasses
at the table on a small square
ice cubes quickly melt
into an emerald greenness
of the lime juice,
in the room across the street
the radio plays a romantic tune
a woman in a little black dress walks in
sketching her route with an ebony cigarette-holder
wavy ringlets rise to the ceiling,
in the olive grove
behind the chapel on the hill
a sailor and a town youth lie
in the yellowish grass
oh, so tender and lustful an embrace
cicadas wings rustle in the still air;
I am this late August early afternoon
in Athens, Saõ Cristobal, Casablanca
in Haifa, Torremolinos, Genoa
in Alexandria and the Bay of Cattaro
in a room overlooking the port
in the nineteen-seventies,
while you step out of the shadow
into a clearing in the jungle
your shiny teenage muscle
tightly squeezes the napalm thrower
your shiny boot a hammer
to crush the depravity of weakness
your heart a frightened pigeon
your mind a tiger’s roar
OR BE KILLED!
Never did we speak the same tongue
I was always your enemy
the lazy delight
a doorstep to perversity
weakness of a refined
yet simple joy,
it was only just you killed me that day
it was so boyishly noble of you
you did it for America and the God Save!
for Rule Britannia
and the Brotherhood and Unity of Workers and Peasants,
you were so disarmingly cute and sexy
(if I may observe)
that I almost fell in love
mirror of the body I dreamt for myself
and also the real victim.
Published in Front magazine of the Western Front Artist Lodge (Vancouver) in the January/February 1996 issue and in Serbian translation (by the author) in Kulturtreger biannual journal (Belgrade, May 1998). Reprinted in Assaracus #10 anthology series (Sibling Rivalry Press), Spring 2013
Now the beautiful boys …
Now the beautiful boys are no longer. A man
in a plastic orange cloak has piled empty
soft drink cans on a black sheet. Sand whirls,
carried on the wind’s wings.
The grey of the sea dissipates in the mist,
a ketchup-stain-like sun is low on the horizon.
Gulls cry somewhere in the milky skies.
Where have you gone to, knights of gymnasiums?
Your sweat smelled of tanning lotions and algæ,
your bronzed lithe bodies sprinkled
with tinsel jewel droplets.
It was nice to feel the wet fleece
while I petted your heads.
Two reed umbrellas need repairing,
holes gape inquisitively up.
The country I was born in is being torn apart,
civil war has swallowed
its first swallows
of a promised spring of freedom.
The deserted beach is so indifferent,
Bygone is the tornado bunch of carnival in-hoppers;
the tired host takes his shot of scotch
before starting to wipe the mess up.
Up you fly, silken kite of persistence,
crutch of ersatz-hope.
Here comes Lady Godiva on a mule.
– Which part is nude bathing? – asks she.
Crests of the waves arrive from afar
to scatter on the Checkpoint Neptune.
La playa está abandonada.
The beautiful boys are no longer.
Poetry in this post: © Miodrag Kojadinović
Published with the permission of Miodrag Kojadinović