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A lost civilisation of toast crumbs

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The city of Pierrots [Turkish version (PDF)]

Your hope is the tendency to heal
in the voice-strings of a bird that cannot chirp
Come let's climb this slope again
Be fearful of those dancers wearing masks again
so that when we hug each other they can be
smashed to smithereens
and so only hope can remain:
a naked tree in the corner of the path
a light that never turns off
a meow of a cat and a door of a cottage
opening up to another city

Then you burst out with joy and
we are sent back 50 years into the past
Look! The spirits of Camille, Virginia and
Sylvia clang like laments diffusing into the
cosmos from the vortex of light
This is the moment where Forugh said:
'let us believe in the beginning of the cold season'*
Kamyar was playing hide and seek waiting
behind the couch so his mother can come
and find him      — ready or not, here I come!
shouts a polar bear in Alaska
compassionately running towards her baby bear ...
Russia is dreaming of future nuclear weapons
yet America already toasted the victory

In spite of everything that's happening
we keep walking
and here we come      — that tiny door!
we read the sign in the entrance:

Welcome to the city of Pierrots
You will be loved properly for the first time
in your life: Are you ready?

We sigh. Then suddenly a bird falls from
the sky      screaming like a kicked out guest
it hits the ground and goes quiet with a
not-to-be-spoken death.

Elif Sezen

*Forugh Farrokhzad's line derived from her poem 'Let us believe in the beginning of the cold season' that was published in A Lonely Woman, ed. Michael C. Hillmann, pp. 126-128, Mage Publishers, 1987.

Brought to you by Pepsi

The ice-blocks quiver in their glass,
melting into the Pepsi,
chinking softly against one another in the fizz
before they vanish.

The phone rings, the fridge hums and your
sweet heart beats.
For what and whom do the other bells toll?
In between this mysterious toil,
the advertisements and diversions,
the electric shocks, the grand sky and
the fabulous lives of others
stretch out before us,
Clementine and Winston, Penelope and Odysseus, Jane and the chimps, Marilyn and the camera, Nietzsche and some grey matter.

Taken all together we are
everything, separated by nothing
but a few thousand hours
a few million metres.
The shaking hand,
is not alone.

In time, everyone arrives,
to shake
and fizz
and chink.

Cecilia Condon


Cigarette smoke curls in the air

Cigarette smoke curls in the air
like the Buddha's eyelashes.
Dishes collect in the sink like a shipwreck.
Black ants trail
like a gang from changhi
like butter in honey.
A lost civilisation
of toast crumbs.

A north wind blows
like an exhausted prophet.

A poet's blood is worth bottling
he drags
on a cigarette
till nothing is left
but love's white ash

A thought
grows like ivy,
scratches the skin,
when the stars come out
they're like
fingertips that have been in the bath too long.

Peta Edmonds


Elif Sezen headshotElif Sezen is an Australian-Turkish interdisciplinary visual artist, bilingual writer and poet, completing a PhD in fine art at Monash University. Her translations of Ilya Kaminsky's poetry collection Dancing in Odessa will be published in Turkish by Artshop Press late 2013. 


Cecilia Condon headshotCecilia Condon is a Melbourne based writer and actor. She works at the Wheeler Centre for The Emerging Writers' Festival and blogs at shmockery.com.


Peta Edmonds headshotPeta Edmonds is studying a diploma in professional writing and editing. She came first in her novel writing class with a novel she is working on called Tramspotting.

Topic tags: poetry, Elif Sezen, Cecilia Condon, Peta Edmonds



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Existing comments

Well done elif sezen. I am sure you will get very far.

Nurper Goker | 03 November 2013  

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