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The Immense Stage

by Asli OMUR

for a yellow place
(For Sariyer)

The greatest cile concerning my memory
Of all I remember
Yet with all its calculations, prove the sadness is correct
And this is more than a human condition
I can sit here far away from the watermelon calls
Lofting like a black sun above a Sariyer tea hour
There are lovers and children and I recoil in the tense fog
Thinking of the future
The past never did do me any good
Anxiety is the first sin
I know it must be
I'm the most sinful person I know
A small huddle of girls
Speak of sex
Who knows where they learned to speak of such things
I smell rose water cologne that reminds me of winter
The Arabesque singer singing behind another lover
Sitting inside a Taxi as it rocks back and forth down streets
As old as Ottomans
There is alot I cannot pronounce
In my own country
Among my own
I stood humble on that immense stage
Like the dancer upstairs
Wrapping her ankles for the next performance
This is the superb swallow
At the end of an exhausted Friday
Where the gypsy ladies wrap their shoulders
Their heels go click
Against the cobbled stones littered with cigarettes
Scattered trash, and homeless cats licking the old milk form their paws,
a wall of graffiti serves as their ghetto sky line
And men with large eyebrows,
Mustache and a Turkish limp
Sip the end of a nameless cigarette
And disappear into the shallow pulse of nightfall
There are a dozen loves
And a dozen roses shaking in the two bitter hands of
Elveda! diliyorlar
There are a dozen men tracing and predicting
The eruption of pleasure
beneath the virgins eyes
Between her thighs
A dozen curses, A dozen hips
Sway, culminating
like the thunder before the drizzle
And suddenly when the imam turns off the lights
In this endless city
I choose instead to lie my head down near
The window where two drunks
Shout to me in the blue glow of dusk
inside the depth of my lightest sleep
And I undo my mind
Unwind it like the pink ribbon
Around the dancers ankle
the blue ribbon from her hair
And all the players
Around a tavla game
Return to that immense stage
For one last bow


A Sezen Aksu song, a holiday in Ayvalik,
and an Italian evening

There are some things we do not notice when we should
After school, walking to the post box
A spray of water, feels like warm rain from the gray rooftop
Of my earth
Every ones terrace doors open wide
Dogs stare, like children, at me from their windows
As I walk by
I see my reflection
I keep walking, I keep thinking
A million thoughts walking in my head
Maybe running
I look lost, I seem preoccupied, I know
My furrowed eyebrows, unkissed cheeks
Damp from the straying water, layering, coating the
I smell the bushes, the trees, endless old men,
It all makes me hungry
I am starving for something that is not edible
I feel my mouth glands water at the corners
Of my cherried lips
And I hear Besiktas noises, and I can taste Raki
On my gums

I feel the sweat of one, as our armpits touched
And our waists lied atop one another
As we rolled our weights into one another
And I struggled to breathe and believe  
I was being loved

I can feel the release of a child from my ribs
But I have never experienced labour
I taste the salts from ones body
How we rolled ourselves into one anothers’ mouths
I swallow
My skin turns from its snowflake glow
Into this bloody battle
As long as I danced in the mirror
I saw my reflection spun like a web
Into creation and I can always feel what it felt to be
7 years old
the years were not on my side
but I have these thoughts
to follow beside me
as I walk to the post box after school
and everything is silent enough for me to think
that some people spend their whole lives alive
but never living

Like a photograph on the wall

Your scent stuck to the walls and I opened the door

To air you out of this place
And yet still do I smell all your pride
Heavy like water soaking bed sheets
A room with no windows
a tiny prison cell  
Requesting your presence
Resisting my own
You felt my skin here at this corner
your fingers nervous vessels fumbling
To unbutton me in front of the world
And I let you do it
And I let you do it
And I let you do it

Biography of Asli OMUR

E-mail: asliomur7@hotmail.com

This issue is dedicated to the Peace Process of SRI LANKA & prominent Turkish author Yasar KEMAL

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