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28 April 2013

Things in Light Poetry Series 2013: Murat Nemet-Nejat

Samantha Anne Carrillo

The penultimate installment of TiL's 2013 Poetry Series features the work of poet, translator and essayist Murat Nemet-Nejat, who was among writers who recently read and celebrated 21 years of Word Thursdays readings at Poet's House, NYC. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Nemet-Nejat has resided in the United States since 1959. He sent us this sublime work from his home in New Jersey. It is an adaptation/translation of a Turkish poem written by Küçük İskender.


I bought you a lamp shade today
just the tip of my mind baltimore
or an open doored green Chevrolet,
registered a masterpiece
sacrifice is the tape you play
waywards towards the shore
all around us angelhoods, in blood cleaning
at each other’s throats, hanging on each others’ calls

I wrote you a letter today,
more than trivialities,
talking of roses
the anxiety of turning into a rose
can’t you remember I bitched,
left and right cigarettes lit, burnt out
each drag starts with “my love, “
no more, fragments fragments
of paper soul
rocks of cocaine bliss
a winter piece came into me
with your drip of blood within
we went
sacrificing today
my wrist still sweet and flowing
a temporal drip
a love chat not talked about
bodies abused
feisty squirrels meeting on a limb
the lips, the lips trembling
the glowworm which hits nothing and disappears
the wonder phantasma which hit my mind and disappeared
our love
pieces of soul and love which hit and disappeared
the hand of the teen cutesy god which appears and moves on my white and wet forehead
in the middle of my life the first time I came, parisreaming of dying
oh, readjust slowly my wet forelock,
I bought you a lamp shade today, wrote you a letter,
to you, I say... a lamp shade and letter
for you I died today no one else
That green Chevy, open doors
in your cassette sacrifice by Elton, Elton John
on my palm a pink alliance ring
fragments, of fog and bliss which hit and disappear,
yours and mine collected we anted
into time
and you and I thinking we are a mere thing
fretting on the fact
like a feather, approaching you
like a feather touching and startling you
then ebbing away…

k. Iskender
translated by Murat Nemet-Nejat

Murat Nemet-Nejat is the author of The Peripheral Space of Photography (Green Integer Press, 2004), the memoir/essay “Istanbul Noir” in Istanbul: Metamorphoses In an Imperial City (Talisman Press, 2011), and the poem "The Spiritual Life of Replicants" (Talisman House, 2011). Poet, translator and essayist, Nemet-Nejat also edited and largely translated Eda: An  Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry  (Talisman House, 2004), translated Orhan Veli, I, Orhan Veli (Hanging Loose Press, 1989), Ece Ayhan, A Blind Cat Black and Orthodoxies (Sun and Moon Press, 1997), and Seyhan Erözçelik, Rosestrikes and Coffee Grinds (Talisman House, 2010). Ece Ayhan’s A Blind Cat Black and Orthodoxies will be republished by Green Integer Press in 2013. His translation of Birhan Keskin’s poem "Y’ol" will be published by The Imprint Press in 2013.

Samantha Anne Carrillo / a fifth-wave feminist from the fourth estate | a burqueña | a ladyboss | a writer + editor

I am a fifth-wave feminist and a reluctant member⸺hey, Groucho knew whereof he quipped⸺of both the fourth estate and the gig economy. I am an Albuquerque-based freelance writer, editor and social media marketing and branding+PR consultant. I remain an observant ’90s riot grrrl and a devout practitioner of halfhearted yoga posturing and zen and the art of the sentence diagram.


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