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Bosnia. Separation, Cartea Romaneasca Publishing House, Bucharest 2014.

*

a break up is a separation war.

between the former Yugoslavia and the former female within me.

my separation is my moth-eaten country.

everything we won through our separatist battles.

bosnia is a property division. 6 letters, just like the 6 states of the former Yugoslavia.

this is what I have to bear in mind. everything we could be –belongs to the former.

everything belongs to the former.

 

*

do you have your helmet on you?

for a separation you need a helmet, elbow pads and kneecaps

you can immediately craft

a shield out of any item for intimate use

you start defending yourself because you’re starting to attack

don’t come here without a helmet

 

*

during those times, gavrilo princip was a hero

then

he got tired

and they turned him into a zealous killer

this happens to each and every one of us

after a breakup

*

we are a bunch of vampires.

we suck everything we can out of our misfortunes.

you award us and you caress our heads

we have been sucking and sucking for twenty years

for two hundred years

we are just like an alfresco museum

a museum of misfortunes

you are the guides

you point our misfortunes on the map

and then we clap

but we still cannot caress each other’s heads

and no one knows where it started and where it ended

this vampire movie

in a Europe with neatly cut nails

we represent that land that

bites its nails to the flesh

that bites its borders to the flesh

besides nationalism, all we have left are the cemeteries

where we lay one on top of the other

“my country filled with glory

my country eaten by moths

my country born out of phobias

my country left without toys”

 

 

victimization is

like a clumsy surgeon

that mutilates

your healthiest

organ.

 

*

“No one offers a word the exact same meaning as someone else does, and this difference, be it ever so small, vibrates, like a ripple in water, throughout the entire language.

That’s why every understanding is always, at the same time, a misunderstanding, every concurrence in thought and feeling is, at the same time, a divergence.”

 

(Wilhelm von Humboldt, On the Diversity of Human Language Construction and its Influence on the Mental Development of the Human Species)

 

Masha

 

Its something porn about all this.

Its like a business. With tears and blood.

Really,… I hate to talk about it.

I mean, what can I say?

That everything is fucked up?

 

But yes, you are right.

This whole thing makes Angela Jolie come to Bosnia

and raise money for our tears.

And she takes pictures with that black scarf on her head.

Don’t you think it looks great on her?

We are the newest tattoo of her right shoulder.

 

Oh, dear Lara Croft, the mother of my nation in pain!

Adopt me!

Donate something for me. some big bags with cat food

And put all my clichés on the big screens

Show the whole world

All the black signs on my nose

Be brave with my cowardice

Make a porn with my pain

Help me

 

These guys really don’t get it?

Bosnia was fashionable only in the 90s

Oh, wait! Those guys are obsessed by the vintage stuff

By the age-old hatred between nations

The clash of civilizations for dummies

All those consumers of well-processed genocides

The are the only ones who taste our drama nowadays

And take us under their wings

 

They come here as the new landlords of our tears

The owners of ”The Land of Honey and Blood”….

It’s pathetic, don’t you think?

They come here like in a sort of ‘second hand store’

With nationalist movements from the 19th century

They think its cool this Kino Bosna

 

We don’t.

 

 

Hatidza

 

“in ‘96

I was working at a local radio station

I liked the fact

that sometimes I was the only one there

in the sound room

meddling with the buttons

I used to turn down the bass

then up again

you know that when you turn up the bass

your ears are ringing

and the speaker shudders slowly

and you can feel the vibration in your chest

it was more of a reflex of mine, I think,

to meddle with those buttons, to feel like I had control over that bass

control without any remorse

at least war has thought me something”

 

Zahida

“I am waiting for the fear besides me to come

and speak on my behalf at the courthouse

let’s postpone it just a little bit more

I am begging you, your honour,

these sentences are beyond any understanding anyway

it’s like a dream that I do not remember anymore

what can I say?

but it’s weird

that I do not always remember it quite the same

it’s like an amnesia that comes back with the same clarity

the mass graves resemble the greenhouses

my dream is a habitual offender, isn’t it?

only he who knows how to hug

knows how to torment

look, this city is full of

death propaganda

she is the only one that remains unaffected by bombs

– fear

along with the alphabet, have also thought me about grudges

in three dialects

I have three amnesias

what should I use in my statement?

wouldn’t it have been better for us to paint

than to talk?

wouldn’t it have been better for us to stick to

those cave paintings?

Forgive me, but this is the International Tribunal of Oblivion from Hague

we are mute, they are all deaf

language is the only thing anyone fears

like a child sitting in a dark room from Srebrenica

whom fear isolates from reality

and gags

it’s the International Tribunal of Oblivion from Hague

that’s how I called it”

 

The things that are out of sight are out of mind

 

“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.”

 

Carl Gustav Jung

the things that are out of sight

are uncountable, aren’t they?

only the things that we write are countable

when you are in a wheelchair no one is counting you

when you are in a wheelchair you are like an unspoken word

attempts do not turn up during the headcount

in order to exist, you have to be there for the headcount

they are the sum of all the attempts

that do not turn up during the headcount

during sleep, it’s like the wheelchair matter again

you exist, but at the same time you don’t

if you are asleep, no one counts you

to be written down you need to be seen

to be seen you need to be counted

to be counted you need to be awake

and to stand up on your own two feet

one genocide, two genocides, three genocides

etc.

etc.

etc.

when the line is drawn

there are only numbers

those who turn up during the headcount

are not in a wheelchair, but on their own feet

the outcome of the headcount

is below the line

the rest are just failed attempts

those don’t matter

below the line

nothing

is approximated

below the line everything turns up during the headcount

the ones that don’t have a number are being accommodated

in the missing persons’ hotel

 

 

a separation is like a final countdown

 

before disarming a bomb

when the bet is already lost

and everything is just a cheap game of language and inertia

– relativism is like the disbelief of an intellectual subject –

in order to love the Balkans you need to be a bit of a relativist, I was told,

and you especially have to combine a thoroughly done documentation with a precise method of interpretation.

Identity has always been the biggest calamity of all. You are either in the centre of the world or nowhere.

This is what we do. We open identity factories. Multinationals that produce identities at a fast pace. We increase production century after century.

relativism is like when you want to quit smoking and during the first few days you go a little crazy. everything is confusing. everything has a certain tobacco smell. everything around you torments you. and you know that’s not good, but you start smoking again. you want to believe in something healthy, but only your disease is keeping you healthy.

the love for the Balkans is like an addiction. it means that you

have self-esteem issues, I was told,

here lies the centre of postmodernism

here lies the relativism in its pure form

when everything has multiple perspective / everything kills

 

*

“Kastrati. the Albanian player… oh… Kosovar… whatever, his parents have Albanian roots, and he was born in Oslo, by then his parents had already emigrated from Bosnia. Only he knows what he is.”

Cristi Mocanu, sports commentator

 

 

Senada

 

“I am a marionette. I have a voice which you can hear in the evening

within the walls of this apartment.

we don’t always play

but I am always a marionette.

I appear within the wall. they called me senada.

they are playing, I am not

I am just a toy.

the suds, immediately after he exits the bathroom

and washes his hands.

when he exists the bathroom my voice pierces the wall

in the darkness, my voice helps me see

those warm suds left on the soap

as if they are small, white flowers that sprung from his skin.

it’s dark and I am playing inside with those suds

they call out my name through the house they laugh out loud they are noisy

so as not to be frightened by their manhood

they are afraid of their weapons

they shout

senada

se na da

see naa daa

their voice is not standing still

it goes in and out the walls like a lunatic

I stand still am unafraid why should I be afraid

I am not playing

I am a wall

and after he finishes the bottles of wine

fear becomes horror

one by one they start coming out from under my skirt.

their hands are not dirty

I don’t make a sound

they came out one by one

they were not dirty, they were noisy

senada is not my name anymore, it’s their name

I keep my eyes closed I see in the dark

filth cannot be seen in the dark

I no longer have skin

but under my skirt I have everything that remained out of this damn war

suds that smell like skin but without the skin.

they were calling my name and they were covering my face.

it was no longer my name it was their name now

the last one turned on the light.

go to the bathroom and wash up, he shouted.

I am but a marionette I have nothing to wash with.

the faucet is not working, I don’t have the power to open it

where does water come from? I can’t touch the faucet

there is no soap here, either, just some rags scattered on the floor

I am wiping. I am leaking. I am wiping. I am leaking.

if only I knew their names. I could touch their faces.

I am playing with the switch. turning it on and off. I am wiping I am leaking.

turning it on and off.

the voices went silent.

senada got upset, he says. oops, watch out, senada got upset.

when I come here, I go into the bathroom, only in the bathroom,

I don’t know the other rooms.

I always come in after he washes his hands and turns off the light

I come in to watch the suds

and I see the big white towels. the soap

the smell of his clean skin within the walls of house Karaman.

it’s not noisy anymore.

they changed that rusty faucet now

now there’s a button on which you press lightly for water to come out.

where does the water come from?

when he comes out from under my skirt he turns on the light

and the carpet is full of red stains

go clean yourself up, you’re filthy

I can’t touch the faucet I am trembling

«yesterday, during the Bihac raid we killed like 30 people

and it still wasn’t this messy» he says

«this Seneda is bleeding like a platoon» he says

there’s no soap

the water running from the faucet is rusty.

I stuffed some rags inside for it to stop

«it’s like we cut her throat under that skirt, really now »

if I had skin my name would be senada I would carry their name

if I had blood I would wipe it off with this white towel.

he would know that senada is once again here, in the bathroom because he would see the dirty towel

I am a marionette with blood in its veins.

I turn on the water every night and he comes in to turn off the faucet.

I want to play, I came back here, in Foča,

where my body remained, where my name is inside the wall

he shouldn’t be frightened, I cannot touch him

he wants to fix the faucet, he call me senada all through the house

first, he called in the plumbers

then they had him admitted. and now he keeps calling my name. senadaaa.

I am watching the suds. I stayed here.

the forensics wrote down my weight

my height, my hair colour

they registered me in their papers

they smeared their peace with my name.”

Elmina

“EU came here

to sanitize us

there’s no smoke without a fire

we added to many ingredients

the food got burned on the stove

you came here to wash our dishes

– the mass graves

you are wearing surgical gloves

after the siege

here, in the city, for every man there were 5-6 women

those who didn’t die

can now choose as many women as they want

appetizer main course dessert

you displayed Bosnia on the storefront

you put moth balls you set up mouse traps

you took a lot of pictures

my chest is like a duster

do you think you can pedal with three pairs of legs?

our history is like a teacup

that spills over the borders

leaks on the carpet

on TV you can hear screaming and gunshots

when the bone breaks you use a prosthesis

you wrap it in three layers of bandages with fears

you came to teach us how to walk

you hold our hands

you push us around

the refugees are the patriots in No man’s land1

teach me how to walk towards you again, europe

open you heart to me

like a refugee camp under the starry sky

I first erased the borders with a rubber, then I used a blade

the teacup spilled right here in front of us

then, I used a ruler to outline

the new rules over the new borders

you use a prosthesis and you wait for the bone to weld itself back

you wait for the body to regain its balance

the map needs to stand on two feet

stick my visa on my forehead

the slaughter-house is not closed yet”

 

memories from ’92-‘95

I am like a pack

of mad dogs

aimlessly running at 3 a.m.

wanting to catch a little girl

by her red ribbons

every time you remember this

the little girl bleeds once more

 

Tatjana

 

“here there should be a plate reading

Balkans, neonatal ward

we,

the ‘90s children,

were all born

prematurely

here, inside the incubators improvised

by the UN troops

we breathe artificially

using your money

we drink formula

mixed with gun powder

Blue Helmets dropped us

when we cried

and the mother EU, who cuts our life support

without even blinking”

 

Kriegswitwe

 

“the failure of these women to achieve closure, either not knowing if their husbands and children were dead or – if they knew they were dead – not knowing where their bodies were located”

 

UNDP Report on Excavation in Bosnian Mass Graves

 

I am in an asylum for war widows.

here, the mildew is a source of comfort.

it lays above us. it doesn’t peel off.

we are slowly practising on the walls.

the nurses are bringing in the injured on gurneys, one after the other.

we mourn them, we patch them up,

then we make the cross sign on their chest,

our translucent kiss.

and we empty the shelves where everything is rotting.

we stack them there

it’s like a library that we take care of

and we spray them with perfume.

the mildew is brightening the walls.

it’s like a lamp.

the war has been unfolding for a few years now,

the injured are coming in great numbers

we are part-time workers

with only one cheek.

we never turn the other one.

we keep it like a spare bed.

I am a war widow

that sweats and writes.

Sylvia, my roommate,

is playing with matches

she is burning her womb

she is absentmindedly burning the lily between her thighs.

she has 2 children, 2 labia.

I can cry on command,

at times for her, at times for me,

everything is black and shiny.

when they will bring you here on a gurney,

the mildew will encompass my glands.

my lips will look as if plaster casted.

I am the widow of a charred lily.

Sylvia laughs and crops me.

it lays above us. it doesn’t peel off.

we are slowly practicing on the walls.

 

*

“A divorce by mutual consent cannot take place at the civil status or at the notary if the two spouses do not agree on the name the wife is going to carry after the divorce.”

Once the divorce is finalized, the spouses can ask the judge to make a decision regarding the property division or they can ask for it subsequently through a separate request.

The way in which the division of common goods will take place can be decided by the spouses by mutual consent or can be decided by a judge after delivering the required evidence.

The goods included in the property division:

movable property and landed property gained by the spouses during their marriage.

The 3% fee deduced from the value of the goods included in the property division, including the lawyer’s fee if the spouses decided to use a lawyer’s services, unless spouses can benefit from the official judicial aid according to the GEO 51/2008.

The 3% stamp fee can be redeemed, on demand, if the spouses sign a mediation agreement through which they settle the means for divisioning the common goods.

The value of the goods included in the property division is settled between the spouses/the ex-spouses by mutual consent. The advantage of doing this by mutual consent is that they can avoid the expenses for the professional evaluator and they can avoid the prolongation of the settlement of the property division. Using the value settled for all the goods included in the property division the 3% stamp fee is deduced. If the two parties do not agree with the value of the goods included in the property division, the judge will appeal for a professional evaluator that will settle their value.  The Family Code, Art. 31


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