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Zlatko Pranjic

Morning in democracy

First morning in democracy
it rains just like yesterday
radio voice celebrates
peoples' will to stay at home
their desire to go to cinema
French, Spanish, Polish
movies everywhere
it promises
popcorn free of charge

first morning in democracy
it rains just like yesterday
out of the window
brave bourgeois youth
prepares for the battle;
cleaning backyards for elderly citizens

first morning in democracy
it rains
ministry of umbrellas
overwhelmed by demands
(enemies shout for joy
it's not clear yet whether
they should be prosecuted)

first morning in democracy
struggling to wake up

Unlike Bukowski

Being Sarajevo's poet living in Soho
makes me puke

with the generosity of state
after two bottles of cheap vodka
and a fistful of prescribed drugs
I am a legitimate bastard

only now I bow my forehead
I throw my mind
into dark nothingness
of a stinky sink

Being Sarajevo's poet living in Soho
makes me puke
with the generosity of state
unlike Bukowski


That is all crap Zlaya
she said - her eyes ahead
her boredom plays its way
she cross' her legs...
and stretch her arms
her polished nails await...

my words are dread
my obsessed mind...
my reason
she call it blind

she said; I reject...
it's bullshit
it's only in your head

I laugh...

she does not mind
she almost...
she almost cries
oh, it's just air
it's moist...
and night, so long
she has to go
(my throat is dry
she does not let me buy
another drink)

and at the end
with her immaculate voice
she said;
in my opinion you are Mad J...

Don't feed the dog

on the front door
of an important embassy
a new letter reads:
no refugees are taken in
no queuing after midnight Please

our little dog
cocker spaniel
is seriously ill

strict silence !!
don't breathe !!!
fresh air
for our precious breed
is in great need

your stomach growling
upsets Them - Indeed

and for once
let's make it clear
it would be appreciated
if you could simply

P. S.
(don't feed The Dog)

-What do you want

What do you want from me
you reason-telling-never
you sentenced to life story teller
you word-obsessed
you someone else
you sentence dweller

what do you want

…from me




Zlatko Pranjic, a Bosnian poet and playwright, studied philosophy at Sarajevo University, worked as a journalist for various papers and magazines. He was arrested in 1993 by a nationalist state faction during the civil war and the same year taken under protection by the UN and evacuated to Britain. He is one of the founders of Theatre With Accent.

The poems here are part of a forthcoming collection, entitled "Broken English"