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
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”
like a clumsy surgeon
“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)
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!
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
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
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”
“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
she is the only one that remains unaffected by bombs
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
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
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
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
“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
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.”
“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
“here there should be a plate reading
Balkans, neonatal ward
the ‘90s children,
were all born
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”
“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