BAŞ KABÎMÎZDA ON THE COVER Bhadauria Manish Singh Photo: Deepak
NAZAR LOOK Attitude and culture magazine of Dobrudja’s Crimean Tatars Tomrîğa Kîrîm Tatarlarîñ turuşmamuriyet meğmuwasî ISSN: 2069-5616 www.nazar-look.com email@example.com Constanta, Romania FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF BAŞ-NAŞIR Taner Murat EDITORS NAŞIRLER Emine Ómer Uyar Polat Jason Stocks COMPUTER GRAPHICS SAYAR SÎZGAĞÎSÎ Elif Abdul Hakaan Kalila (Hakan Calila) CREATIVE CONSULTANTS ESER KEÑEŞÇÍSÍ M. Islamov
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32 joe frey new york, usa Interview The Guardian - Karawul Structured Memories Copacetic Returning to Armitage Brainstorming 38 edmund spencer Travels in Circassia, Krim Tartary, &c. (VIII) 40 izzet gafar (gafarov) crimea Photoshop - Street in Alupka, Crimea 2 numan çelebíğihan(chelebidjihan) Ant etkenmen - I Have Sworn 4 taner murat scythia minor-little crimea Kókten sesler - Temúçin (XIV) 6 tom sheehan massachusetts, usa The Young Man Who Said He’d Never Eat Chocolate Again 10 bhadauria manish singh gujarat, india Interview Taboo Whirlpool of Past Geşmíşíñ burumî 18 sappho of eressos Without Warning 19 sumangalamata A Woman Well Set Free 20 svetlana kortchik new south wales, australia Interview Birthday Girl 30 abay qunanbayuli Book of Words (II)
CONTRIBUTORS MEMBALAR Deepak Joe Frey Izzet Gafar (Gafarov) Svetlana Kortchik Bhadauria Manish Singh QHA Tom Sheehan
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Ant etkenmen Ant etkenmen Tatarlarninñ yaralarîn sarmaga Ka-típ bolsîn ekí kardaş bírí-bírsín kórmesín? Onlar úşún ókínmesem, mugaymasam, yaşasam Kózlerímden akkan yaşlar derya-deñíz kan bolsîn. Ant etkenmen şo karangî ğurtka şawle sepmege, Ka-típ bolsîn bo zawallî kardaşlarîm íñlesín? Bonî kóríp buwsanmasam, mugaymasam, ğanmasam Ğúregímde kara kanlar kaynamasîn, kurusun. Ant etkenmen, sóz bergenmen millet úşún ólmege Bílíp, kóríp, milletímníñ kóz yaşlarîn sílmege. Bílmiy kórmiy, biñ yaşasam, kurultaylî han bolsam, Kene bír kún mezarğîlar kelír mení kómmege.
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I Have Sworn To dress the wounds of the Tatars, I have sworn, How could I let my poor brothers in decay? I who do not fight and struggle, do not mourn, Freeze the blood out of my heart, clot like clay. To light torches in my homeland, I have sworn, How could I bear exiled brothers, moved, displaced? I who do not feel in flesh sticking thorn, Bloody oceans in my eyes, shamed, disgraced. To Death, I have pledged, for people, gagged and bound, To involve in wiping teardrops of the slave. Unconcerned a thousand years, honored, crowned, Still the sextons will relay me to the grave. (Translated by Taner Murat)
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Kókten sesler - Temúçin (XIV) Kesím 27 Íş tamam Úyleríne yetíşíp meselení aka-íní arasînda kóríştíler. - Onday bolsa, şo îrknîñ ústúne túşúp erkeklígímízní kósteriyík! Men wuruşmaga ázírmen! dep bakîrdî Búgúnútay. - Ebet, ebet aydîñîz kardaşlar! - dedí obírlerí de. Obír kardaşlarîna karap sózlerín seslep turgan Belgúnútay şîktî: - Kardaşlarîm, bek gúzel amma sabîr etíñíz terakay, ağele etmeñíz! Erkeklík, ğígítlík sîrasî kelgende salînîr ortaga, boşka karîjlanmaz. Onlar da kîlîşka ğayga ğabîşîr. Bízní kóríp aşuwlanmazlar mî? Herkezníñ ğanî tatlîlîdîr. Mal-múlk dawasî aşîp kazadan óz kanîmîznî agîzdîrmayîk. Bonday sîralarda tertíp ğolî taa faydalîdîr. Alaysî bír-bírsíne karap: - Bonday bolsa neler yapağagîmîznî konîşayîk. Sen kalay kóresíñ bo íşní, aka? dep soradîlar. - Mína, kardaşlar, ne diymen men. Bodonğar tîpkî eskísí gibí onlarga barîp kîmîz íşer. Ğay, súmún yerlerín úyrenír, sîra kelse karîştîrîr. Aynîktan, sarhîştan kaber alîr. Bíz de yakîn tawnuñ íşínde ğaşînîp beklermíz. Bonday etsek az kan tógílír, keşe óttíríp şîkkanîmîz azayîr, kazadan akkan kan bolmaz. Ğúmlesí bo oylarga rast kelíp, akanîñ aytkanlarîn dogrî kóríp, saba-saba ğaylî súngúlí ğolga şîktîlar. Katlarîna bírkaş kîzmetşí de aldîlar. Ğolda herkezníñ akîlî sogîşmaga ílíşíp kalganşîk, Bodonğarnîñkîsî şo yeşíl kózlí sarî biykede. "Şoga bírşiy bolmasîn!" dep kaár ete. Artîna kaytkîsî da kele, tîpkî
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eskísíndiy "Aşine bolîp, wurup turmayîm, şonî!" dep níşan bîzîp aş kalgan sîralarda. Lákin "kaytkîm kele" men "kaytaman", bír tuwul. Şúndí katînda akasî alar bar, ístese de kayt-almaz. Gene, onîñ bútún oyî, túşúnğesí, góñílíne kíríp kalgan şo sarî biykeníñ kózlerínden ibaret. Bo meselení de, akasî alarîna ayt-almay. Ğesaret et-almay, dertín tóg-almay. Aydî, aytsîn desek te, ne aytağak ke? "Aka alarîm, aka alarîm! Mína, bíz barîp beğeriyatîrgan îrknîñ bír kîskaayaklîsîna karşîlîksîz kóz tagîp ğúremen" desín mí? Bolmaz. İmkáanî yok, imkáanî. Ne aytarlar diysíñ? "Súygeníñden karşîlîk al-almasañ taşlayğaksîñ, kîz kîtlîk mî? Ne kerek bar okadar ústúnde turup kúymege? Kara, bír súrúw kîz bar her yerde, tap sen de bír tanesín ózíñe!" değekler, taa. Yok, bonlarnî eşítkenşík taayí ğer ğarîlîp ğerge batsîn. Tokta, şo katkîldawnî saw atlasînlar da, soñra bír şáresí tabîlîr. Bayîrnî aşîp tóbesíne otîrayîk ta, soñra her şiy bolîr. Her bayîrnîñ bír şayîrî bardîr, her şayîrnîñ da bír bayîrî. Yeter ke bolgan yeríñní bílíp, şo yerden Kudayga duwa et. "Duwalarîmnî kabul et, Kudayîm, yardîmğîmîz bol! Yardîmîñnî tiyset, bízge de, şoga da!" dep, túşúnğelítúşúnğelí dúrkí şalmaga başladî: Onekí órdek arasînda Bírsí tek yeşíl başlî Ózíme yeşíl alîrman Órdegím yeşíl kózlí. Bírgún geşíp karaldîñdan Delí kartşagayîm man Taş kuymam amma başîña Kartşagay atağakman. Yeşíl kózíñní, ğalbarma Ğanîm kîdîra, ístiy Kobağaksîñ súrúwúñden Sen yeşíl başlî badiy.
www.tanermurat.com Ay búlbúlúm, ay búlbúlúm Ay yeşíl başlî órdek Senden kaber al-almasam Meñkí uşup keleğek. Kólge túşse kaşlarîña Yeşíl yakalî órdek Kartşagayîm, kaberímní Wurup kagîp bereğek. Kókten ğel wurganday bolsa Sarî kanatlî órdek Wakalama, ğîykîldama Şongîrîm bolsa kerek. Kartşagayîm kîyametní Koparsa da keşege
Kanat kakma, wurulursuñ Taldalan bír kóşege. Kartşagayîm uşup ketse Akîlî oynar, turmaz Kîbîrdasañ halekette Şîkkanî bellí bolmaz. Ğerde ğúrúp kanîñ toñsa Koyî yeşíllí órdek Ğatîp tursañ belíñ sînmaz Şongîr ka-tseñ túşeğek. Kólde ğaldap, buz túşkendiy Bolsa ğan ğúregíñe Mením atkan şagayîmdîr Ğabadan dalîp ğúrme. (dewamî keleğekke)
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The Young Man Who Said He’d Never Eat Chocolate Again Today it all came back. Once again, on another brilliant dawning, the Western Yetness still calling me, I woke with a toothache. A stupendous one! In half an hour, despite quick brushing, the stimulator poked here and there, gargling, all proving useless, the ache remained in force. It was, without a doubt, the chocolate again, or the mere thought of chocolate. I knew I was weak to most any candy, and to chocolate in particular, right from the beginning. Believe me, me being Paul Legatione himself, that I am so much more than all of this around me. And I remember, vividly at times, how it all started; my father walking away from us when I was six or seven and my mother, Delores, wanting as much time as she could get with her many subsequent men friends, seeing to it that I was judiciously bought off with candy and books. The Big Swap I could have called it. Those friends arrived in their turns, some staying for long spells, and some for random short visits. She must have spread the good word far and wide, though, for she had lots of friends calling on her. And the candy arrived with them, toted as part of their baggage, and the books. So frequently did they come that I grew up with them… the friends, the candy, the books. But tastes soon developed along with my character needs. As much as I could I declined the friendship of the men, often drawing back into a feigned facade, learning artistic ways of evasion, but I ate the candy meanwhile and read the books. Both, I swear, avariciously, relishing the sweet taste in my mouth, the sweet turn of a phrase giving me music, experiences moving in the back of my head. Of course, from that onslaught, my teeth went bad, but I read the
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books cover to cover, every word of every book, not that I was selective in the beginning, being reduced to strangers’ tastes. I could read a book while worrying a tooth or rooting at that sore member with my tongue, so that I’d get by the aspect of pain, molars my anathema, my digging spots. Slowly, though, I developed my own taste and preference in reading and made suggestions, dropped hints, left notes about the house boldly marked with book titles, or authors’ names that eventually began to crawl out of the narrowing selectivity in my mind. Joining the ranks, I guess you could say. By taking advantage of things, the library grew assiduously, and I learned a whole lot, absorbing all I read or reflected upon, every word, every sentence, every illustration. My mother, on such days, was the happiest mother around. And you can say what you want about that happy phrase. I suspected one time, like I had probably known all along, that she was sleeping with The Creole, a rather smooth but talkative man later speculation said must have come from James Lee Burke’s bayou country down at the end of the Mississippi. He seemed like a nice enough guy, with the subtle dominance an occasional man can master, slow and steady, most always in first gear, moving ahead, no woman’s piece or part deterring him. Even mother’s speech changed for that dalliance, evincing a flair for a soft, slow Louisiana drawl she employed for either pleasure or annoyance… I was never sure which. It was always pointed at me, me the subject and object in what I imagined as an admission of guilt, a clearing of the air. An atonement, perhaps, she had intellectually arranged. It made me think of Huckleberry Finn and how the old boy, Mark Twain himself, prefaced the whole vernacular flow of his novel with that perfect aside right up front. He just set the record straight for his readers, his critics, all that history coming down the line right at him and his marvelous creation, Huck and Jim on the river, a spell of time and its particular sounds. Of course, before The Creole suffered his
entertainment, she welcomed The Corsican, and The Hammer-Thrower and The Glutton and The Sword-Swallower. From the earliest I had reduced her many friends to short descriptors, each of them following one another like trail hounds after my father walked away that day. Obversely I’d bet to a man they called me The Candy Kid. Sometimes I thought about that dictate, how the word must have spread, about Delores and her kid with the good sweet tooth, and it made me sour to my stomach. I grew, though, while she entertained and my teeth went bad so many times I lost count. Visits to the dentist were horror shows I will remember into the pine box. But I had some innate abilities springing to light in spite of my mother and those dalliances, if I may call them that in polite terms. She bloomed with a man around, or men, did Delores. On other days, the slack days, such a difference came, a laundry sack of a woman… she’d become morose, depressed, near lifeless. There’d be no lipstick pressed upon her mouth, no care to dress, supper a poor substitute for the goodly fare; eggs for supper, fried eggs, quick eggs, or a bowl of dry packaged cereal, an old meal resurfaced, a rushed sandwich without pickle or condiment, her fast-food dictates at hand. Then came, for me, the red letter day if I may say so, when The Corsican, big as he was, massive at the shoulders, gently cupped her buttock one morning with his outsized hand. Early angled sun dropped bars through the narrow windows of the house. Those bars fell in slanting bands of joyous light across two walls of the kitchen and made the silverware glitter like coins in a till. A dark blue oil cloth on the table condoned a swift mirror of brightness. The room was a warm happy room at that exact moment. The Corsican and mother were just inside the kitchen door, caught up in bands of sunlight set about them like matting in a picture. In a memorial pose were the two of them. Then she leaned her head on his shoulder when he had cupped her rear in what appeared to me to be the ultimate signal of giving all one might have, right there or in the immediate future. The ultimate of promises. I saw it framed. I
wondered what her eyes they might have said, for I in her begin; the near appropriate commentary, behind a smile.
looked like then, what swear I heard the song mute tra-la-la making the notes that move
The Corsican was a big man with a huge smile and marshaled a look in his eye that could dwarf anyone less than noble or courageous. Hair as black as a night skyline showed his eyes and his teeth to great advantage, making him softer, and gentler I’d bet, to mother. Also, there was directness to his actions, which she loved in strong men; they knew their wants, they spoke their piece, they took their booty. Thus, this cupping day, starting at breakfast, was hers in celebration. The bloom was hers, and the candy was mine. I never fully knew what that dalliance really was, until some years later I met the daughter of a Buick Roadmaster owner, and encountered my first dalliance in the front seat of the Roadmaster hardtop before the engine of that magnificent machine was humming again, though her humming, and mine, went complete. If you want to know about me, how I was made and how I have come along the way, I’ll let you in on just about all of it. Where I learned it I don’t know, but it was in my mind and in the touch of my hands, primal, from the git-go. A gift clearly bestowed upon me. I understood things, contraptions, working parts, and their reasons for being, their methods of operation, what part did what job in the collected mission. Theory came easy, complex reads were simple tasks. Connections of all sorts found instant access in my thinking… schematics, plans, routines, processes. I saw it all and most immediately, a counterpart ingrained and open. Talent came, scads of it, like a flood or a bursting. Was all of it a trade-off? Was I driven there? Did I seek it out and dare not refuse it? Was I being recompensed for the role given me in life, and my mother’s? I’ll never know for sure, but today, in drop-dead certainty, I can hone a car to perfection (from tappet size to exhaust ratios and you can throw in all the kinds of theory you might
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advance), or a piano, or a guitar, sometimes so keenly at it that drivers or players exult at the zenith of their capacities. And with my ear I can make a harmonica nearly dance by itself, never mind an old piano awash in the universe, its old keys bouncing like a junk car’s shock absorbers. I do horns, computers, VCRs, washing machines, dryers, you name it. I am a player and a doer. I am special and I damn well know it and they do too, mother and her friends. Hadn’t that Ferrari and that old Strad peaked at my finger touch, humming alongside the universe itself, all that mellow music at the ear, all in tune with each other? I had it! I had it, every belly-pumping inch of it! Oh, what glorious humming I could accomplish! God, I’d often say, all of us should be so endowed. But, despite all the ready goodness, all the acceptance and praise, all the tumult of asskissing accolades, I kept saying I would not, damned if I would, eat chocolate again. I couldn’t afford it, so I kept saying it like prayers: Not a bite, bet on it! Not a Sky Bar chunk or a Tootsie Roll or the heavily-wrapped two dollar goodie she always brings home for me and a potential occasion. I’ll not close my teeth again on a Heath Bar or a Hershey or an Almond Joy. Bet on it! Bet on it! Bet on it! Include Snickers and Milky Way and Three Musketeers in the whole toothy arsenal of hits. I’ll read the books but I’ll swear off the candy stuff. I said it all the time and I relented all the time. I caved in. And so I learned about trade-offs. *** They caught us in Dockery’s Greenhouse, the 3 A.M. moon in the first quarter, the alarm ringing, us stupidly afoot and agape. I was eight years old. All of us kids had seen the chocolate bunny in the window; it had ridden its tongs and grips deep inside. I knew what the grace of chocolate was, that cocoa distinction, that dark softness on the palate, the lingering mouthful of richness, and I enticed them with the sweet promises. And, as vowed, I picked the lock on the
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back door of Dockery’s Greenhouse. It was a snap! And we hefted the chocolate bunny the night just before Easter was to come along, and suddenly there was Dockery himself and the cop on the beat standing in the doorway. There was an uproar, of course, but we were kids and got away with it. I could taste that chocolate bunny even as my mother whipped my butt. But she liked men and I liked chocolate. They came together. I never knew if perhaps Dockery or the patrolman had formed a union with her. I had my own reputation, I guess you could say. Not just precocious, but handy to the Nth degree. It did not take long to make that point, and to exact fair payment. When I was twelve I was doing a motor job on old Essering’s convertible engine with poured Babbitt bearings Essering didn’t even know existed. I blued them and scraped them and fine-combed those bearings and tuned all those parts and I made that car hum with a music it had not known in ten years. Out on the pike he swore it raced off at 80 miles an hour and he could hear the sacred humming in the seat of the pants. And he made my mother hum in his own turn, the old Dodge their transport. They rode off in that chariot for days on top of days and came back late. For weeks she was singing in the kitchen in the morning, and late at night. I remember the night I told myself I was a mechanic and she was a lover. There was one trade-off for you! Kid stuff that kids are made of. And before you know it, there’s a Buick Roadmaster being pushed into our garage at the side of the house. One of mother’s friends, The Carpenter, had squared the garage away for my use, put up shelving, a skylight, a bench fit for Edison himself. The Roadmaster daughter’s name was Amie; I think she came with the car. At least she was with it, it seemed, from Day One, sitting in the front seat, primping, exhaling, being smelled and inhaled above grease and oil flavors, and only fifteen years old in her burst of beauty. Once I caught her fondling herself, her eyes smoked with slow, dark combustion. Soon she was fondling
me. I was hanging the exhaust system under that old Buick Roadmaster while lying on my back, part of me under the car, part not. She straddled me, as if she could not have altered those actions in this lifetime. She showed me she wore nothing under her skirt. “I never wear underwear,” she said. It was an affirmation of destiny, the role in life, making one’s own claim on things to be. “Never. Never,” she repeated, half the world in her eyes. I was to remember that statement, that vision, every time I saw her again, and lots of others for that matter. That day we advanced upward to the fabric of the front seat, me straddled again, her knees against the back of the front seat. I suddenly knew I was different too. Another trade made. I guess I essentially began to measure things then. My gravitation to all of this. How important Don Quixote had become and Huckleberry Finn and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and a man named John LeCarre and the hilarious first part of Freaky Deaky by Elmore Leonard and Robideaux’s fisty friend Clete painted up by James Lee Burke. I guess I began to know my mother better too, the way I began to learn more about books and stories and the people that put them all together. When The Handshaker came in his turn, he brought nothing but himself. He asked for candy once in a while instead of bringing it, smiling at choice sweetness, thanking me cordially, but never overboard with his gratitude. The huge surprise was that he began to borrow books from me, read them quickly, asked my opinion on a number of books or authors, engaged in liquid conversations with me about where ideas might spring from, knew about Huck and Jim on the river, Mr. Timothy, Francie and Johnny Nolan down in old Brooklyn where the tree was growing. Interest walked with him on every corner. And my most avaricious mother, my oneroad, one-grained, one-mind, one-appetite mother must have sat up one day, suddenly like a light switch had been thrown in her darkness, and saw all that was about her. The Handshaker consistently made points. More than once he
ushered a newcomer from the front door, his voice authoritative, at times imperial. Nights full of April lilacs and daffodils he kept to his room in the back of the house, and if they had meetings they occurred when I was not about. One day, after a pretty bad toothache had ground itself from existence, he convinced me and her that I should have many of my upper teeth extracted. That it would be best for me, even at sixteen. He kept saying it was not a sin, that new intelligence about teeth and implants and such things were steadily improving, that my health should be protected from the invasion of poisons my poor teeth kept inviting. The transition among us was not noisy, but it was in motion. “You’ll smell better too,” he added one day later when we were sitting on the porch, both of us relaxing from a book, mother in the kitchen preparing a fish meal he had proposed. “That’s a gift in itself.” I had not entertained the thought of bad breath. The Roadmaster daughter had never said a word about that. Nor another car girl after the Roadmaster was driven away. That’s the night he told us about losing a son, how life ached for the longest time, and that a certain comfort had come upon him at our house he thought was no longer attainable. We were sitting on the porch again, one light burning above us, the lilacs with long hands touching us, the fireflies dancing at a distance, continuity expressing itself. I saw the affect on her, the way a curtain comes down on stage, makes separation, allows alterations. I remembered The Corsican’s huge hand on mother’s buttock, the sunlight on the walls, her yielding and signal gesture. Now silence was a gesture of its own. I heard her silence. I heard her acceptance. I heard eventual change inserting itself in our lives. I bid the chocolate adieu. ***
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Bhadauria Manish Singh is pursuing his doctorate on Indian English Poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra from J.J.T University. His writing is an insurgency against all the uneven grounds of society, which divide human from human. His poems and short stories raise few basic questions directly. As a writer he is just a neophyte. He has published his poems, literary research papers and short stories in many illustrated journals and magazines. He has also published his first compilation of poems called " World: Inner and Outer" in Dec.2012
TM: Manish Singh, why do you write? Bhadauria Manish Singh: For me writing is a communion that binds me with my surrounding. And it is something like an inner voice which echoes inside and a ripple produced in consciousness. It gives you a space to raise your voice. My writing is my one of the way to fight injustice, inequality and miseries that I see all around me. At least I can be voice of voiceless. And last but not the least I enjoy my writing and hope my readers too. TM: When did you realize wanted to write seriously?
Bhadauria Manish Singh: I was a student of science till high school and
English fascinated me as strongly as Chemistry and Physics. I used to write whole lot of speeches for my friends and teachers. And twice I wrote short plays for school functions. I chose literature at college; it made my parents and brother furious. But I have made up my mind. After being a student of literature, writers and poets took over Physical and Chemical equations. But it took a serious turn in 2011, when I started my PhD on Indian English Poetry. The moment I read poems of Jayanta Mahapatra- the great Indian Poet on whom I am pursuing my doctorate, I realized what I want. TM: Are you happiest reading or writing? Bhadauria Manish Singh: Frankly, I am happiest when I read. Writing gives immense satisfaction makes me happy and alive but here I must say, sometime the desire to write wakes me up midnight and drives me to the writing table. And blank sheet of paper stares me hard and I search for beginning. It is like peeping
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inside a room and feeling every object with inward eye, for hours I sit alone with my silence till an image, symbol or an idea, comes out of that realm. Reading is much pleasing; it is like standing in front of a master piece and finding suitable words to express. TM: What do you find challenging about writing?
Bhadauria Manish Singh: The most challenging task while writing is to keep balance between novelty and your roots, and to maintain equilibrium of uniqueness and familiarity. Readers always look for surprises. Other important thing is to maintain your aims and objectives. I strongly believe every mode of writing and art arises out of chaos; may be inside or outside so it must aim at restoring Peace, within and outside. Writing must have its own Sociological Perspective; it can’t survive in vacuum devoid of any medium. So it is important to have a medium; it may be your language, symbols and images or even themes that you choose. Writing without medium fails to grow and spread. TM: Poetry or prose? Bhadauria Manish Singh: It is just like choosing between Lover and Wife. I may sound bit filmy but this is the way it is. Both Prose and Poetry are like rivulets. Prose is soothing, calm and composed like gentle currents carrying life within. On the other hand Poetry is impetuous; it has its own rhythm and flow. It is tenderly wild, jumping over rocks, ready to drench and consume
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whatever comes in between. Prose is like wife’s care; matured and balanced. And Poetry is like beloved, always asking for new promises, forces you to go for new adventures and making you remain on your toes. I like both; I love steadiness and gentle currents of Prose as well as dancing jumping and brimming over flow of Poetry. Now I am not in a condition; actually I don’t want to reach a condition where I have to divorce my wife or cheat my beloved. TM: Inspiration or perspiration? Bhadauria Manish Singh: Perspiration is a subset of Inspiration. Inspiration is the velocity where as Perspiration is the mass; they unite to provide momentum, which does not allow you to become inert till, you reach the goal. Inspiration and Perspiration must go hand in hand, complimenting each other. TM: Who are your biggest creative influences? Bhadauria Manish Singh: My land holds the first place. India’s variegated culture and triangle of Religions, Traditions and Mysticism gives birth to a unique world within itself, a world having its own advantages and limitations; a world approaching to new gates of transformations but still searching behind its own roots. I can say it is like a multi spiced dish having all sorts of flavors viz. sweet, bitter, salty and spicy. My wife has remained a true companion all the time, her support and advices have a big role to play. Lastly poet like Jayanta Mahapatra, who has devoted a major portion of his life in voicing the
crushed voices of my nation, influences me a lot. These all forces combine to guide and brighten my way. TM: Describe your writing routine. Bhadauria Manish Singh: It is like a thirst, I mean to say…It does not have any fixed routine. Every poem and Story comes like a desire. It grabs hand and keeps on knocking the door of heart till it opens. Every desire takes a form of words; growing on naked sheet of papers. I don’t have any fixed routine of writing, but mostly I write early morning or late night as a bigger part of working hours is devoted to my on going doctorate at present. TM: How would you describe the ambiance of your workspace? Bhadauria Manish Singh: To be able to write you need calm and composed settings, and I am fortunate to have these essentials at my workspace. Being a teacher I am always open to new ideas derived from my students. And my most of the colleagues are in their later fifties; their experiences help me in great deal. And they have seen the greatest transitional period of my nation. They have seen India before and after 1947. They have experienced the pain of partition, they have seen communal fanaticism. Their experience and support gives me a new zeal. Talking to them is like reading a whole new chapter in to history of my land. TM: What is the best advice you have been given as a writer? Bhadauria Manish Singh:
It is yet to
come…may be you can give me the one. But my mother use to tell,” To be a writer you have to be true to yourself and honest to your readers.” TM: Is your work process fast or slow? Bhadauria Manish Singh: I like Rabbit’s velocity and Tortoise’s perseverance. I maintain a moderate speed for my work and try to give my hundred percent every time. TM: How many evaluations does your work go through before you are satisfied with it? Bhadauria Manish Singh: I evaluate my work thrice personally then share it with my wife and few very close friends who are also my true critics. So actually my work gets evaluated more than five times and criticized from my side till it reaches to publisher. TM: Do you admire your own work? Bhadauria Manish Singh: Yes I do, but before being an admirer I want to become a true critic of my own works. TM: Do you meet with a writing group or exchange work with other writers? Bhadauria Manish Singh: We don’t have any writer group at Ahmedabad but I do share it with my dear ones. My brother and most of the close friends are true lovers of literature. They don’t write but they are my first readers, they always come up with reviews and suggestions.
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TM: Tell us about "World: Inner and Outer", your poetry collection.
In all this collection has 46 Poems, it is published in 2012 by Cyberwit India.
Bhadauria Manish Singh: “World: inner and Outer” carries two pen images of our world; inside and outside. Here the outside world becomes the common aspect between me and my readers. And inner world becomes the world inside, for every sensitive heart that can feel and heal.
TM: When you are not writing, where would we most likely find you?
World Inner: The World inner portrays few integral moments of life. The poems in this section are like soliloquies of every heart that is entangled within it. It is the spectacle of every eye that can find charm and harm in all the colors of life. It is the happiness of being father, a gentle smile which lifts cheek when remembering a past or even a tear which skips through eye, an incomplete desire, a compromise, few bitter sips of repentance or even the sermon of some hidden and untold love story. It also becomes questions that one wants to ask. Sometimes it is the cry of hope and at the same time a yard stick of conscience.
Bhadauria Manish Singh: Besides writing I have a great liking for sports. You can find me at play ground or you can even find me at gym now as my wife use to say, I am getting over weight now. TM: Picture Ahmedabad in three words. Bhadauria Manish Singh: Ahmedabad = Divinity+ Sublimity + Vivacity TM: What are you working on now? Bhadauria Manish Singh: Right now I am working on my thesis and on a new collection of poems called “Corridors of Heart.”
World Outer: The poems in this section are my upheaval against the present situation of our society. It is an insurgency against all the uneven grounds; it is an outburst of every human who feels convoluted and suffocated in such scheme of things. These poems put forth few burning questions like Caste and Sex discrimination, so called Honour Killings, corruption, Homeless Elders and Youth crushed under the load of expectations. All these questions crave for answers.
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Taboo Flickering school master, calipers, limits of mouth, to narrate taboo… “Reproduction science.”
Shame grows, in scarlet textures of faces. And female eyes dig grounds, to grave their consciousness.
Adrenal shots, lit up fire in boys’ corner, and spread blush, in their teenage armpits.
Popping hearts, saturate thoughts with curiosity. Though flow of questions, dies at insulator lips.
Spines of old taboo, tranquilize interactive teacher. And inert; vocabulary, hastens the topic.
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Whirlpool of Past Strong gust of moments, arise from the hearth of memories, and melts the solid present, in whirlpool of hot air on my back. Virtual images of past, question my real and inverted world, where rays of my loneliness, intersect to form diminished chambers. All bodily windows open, to form few bright shadows in darkness, to hurt tired and fluttering eyes, with vapor of released moisture. My own fugitive past, calls me out like that crippled beggar, who opens his fingerless palms. And indifference quickens my legs. Reaching a familiar corner, I turn back and wonder… “I could have earned million blessings, with a single throw of hot coin in my palm.” But reasoning overlaps, “A rupee might have made him adhesive.” And I may be a victim, in another whirlpool phase of life.
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Geşmíşíñ burumî Kuwetlí esne esmesí esleríñ oşagîndan şîgîp kawuy şúndúgí zamannî íríter arkamdakî sîğak hawa burumnuñ íşínde. Geşmíşíñ iktimaliy kóríntílerí uşun dúniyamnî suwallaylar ğañgîzlîgîmnîñ kúntayaklarî kesíşíp tar otaklar kurarlar. Bútún kewde penğírelerí aşîlîp karañgîda aydîn kólgelerí atarlar, kaygîlî we yorgîn kózlerímní ğarap kutulgan rutubet buwî man. Óz kaşak geşmíşím bír topal tílenşídiy mení şakîrar aşîp parmaksîz kollarîn meraksîzlîktan ayaklarîmnî hîzlandîrar. Yetíşíp tanîgan bír kóşege Arkaga aylanîp túşúnúp kalaman… "Miliyonlarğa sewap kazanîr edím atîp kîzgîn bír pul kolîma" Amma túşúnğeler úst-ústke kele, "Bír pul onî ğabîştîruwğî eter edí" Hem men belkí sáde bír esírmen yaşamnîñ başka bír burumunda. (Translated by Taner Murat)
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Without Warning Without warning as a whirlwind swoops on an oak Love shakes my heart
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A Woman Well Set Free At last free, at last I am a woman free! No more tied to the kitchen, stained amid the stained pots, no more bound to the husband who thought me less than the shade he wove with his hands. No more anger, no more hunger, I sit now in the shade of my own tree. Meditating thus, I am happy, serene.
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new south wales, australia
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Svetlana's short stories have appeared or are about to appear in Magination, Alt Hist, Gold Dust, Dayly Flash 2013: 365 Days of Flash, Inwood Indiana Press Anthology 'Harvest Time', Spark Creative Anthology, 94 Creations and on Alfie Dog. She was the winner of Historical Novel Society Autumn 2012 Short Fiction competition, and one of her stories has also been on the Commendations List of Aesthetica Creative Works Competition 2010.
Interview TM: Svetlana, you are born in Tomsk. Tell me where is your heart, in Australia or in Siberia. Svetlana Kortchik: Although I miss my family and friends in Russia, Australia is definitely home. It was love at first sight when I moved here with my mum at 16, and now I couldn’t live anywhere else. I enjoy travelling but I miss Australia terribly when I’m away and it’s always great to come back home. TM: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Svetlana Kortchik: I wanted to be so many things when I was a child. A gymnastics coach because I did rhythmic gymnastics for ten years when I was growing up. A dog trainer because I loved dogs. And a Napoleonic historian. I am studying Napoleonic history at University at the moment, so maybe one of these dreams will come true one day.
TM: Do you have other writers or artists in your family? Svetlana Kortchik: My grandmother told me recently that her father wrote lots of poetry. Unfortunately, none of his poems survived, and I’ve never read them. TM: Are you happiest reading or writing? Svetlana Kortchik: I love both equally and most of my free time is spent reading or writing. A good story can transport you to another world, whether you are reading or writing it. I don’t think it’s possible to be a writer without doing lots and lots of reading. TM: Did you ever ask yourself, "Why am I writing?" Svetlana Kortchik: All the time. But I’ve been writing since I was very young and it has become such a big part of my life that if I don’t write for a long time, I feel like something is missing. I guess I’m writing because it makes me happy.
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TM: When did you first consider yourself a writer? Svetlana Kortchik: Iâ€™ve been writing for many years but only started showing my work to others and getting it published very recently. I think it was when I got my first publication that I started taking my writing more seriously. TM: What is your biggest challenge in your creativity? Svetlana Kortchik: Finding time to write has been the biggest challenge so far with full time job, University and other commitments. TM: What is your workday like? Svetlana Kortchik: At the moment I am taking some time off work, which means that I can concentrate on my writing. Itâ€™s been great and I am trying to make the most of it before I go back to work and write as much as possible. And if Iâ€™m not writing, I am usually spending time with friends, studying, driving to the beach, reading or practicing martial arts.
Svetlana Kortchik: Definitely! TM: Do you think it is important for writers to be socially active? Svetlana Kortchik: It is very important to get out there and experience life because personal experience is where the inspiration to write usually comes from. TM: What is freedom? Svetlana Kortchik: Freedom is having all the time in the world to do the things you love. TM: Tell me something about you that your bio does not include. Svetlana Kortchik: I am a dog person who lives with two cats. TM: What are your next projects? Svetlana Kortchik: I am writing as much as I can and thinking about doing my PhD.
TM: What is the best compliment you have ever received regarding your writing? Svetlana Kortchik: The best compliment was from my mum when she said that one of my stories has made her cry. TM: Are you an optimistic person?
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Birthday Girl Fourteen Cautious rays of early morning sun penetrated through the closely drawn curtains, playing on the beige walls of her bedroom before finally resting on her sleeping face. Laura woke up with a start and sat up in bed, her heart skipping with eager anticipation. Today was her birthday but that wasn’t why she was happy. She didn’t really get excited about her birthdays, she wasn’t a kid anymore. Although she had to admit that, as the suffocating July night turned into a misty London morning, she felt like a kid again. This year, her parents promised her something she’s been dreaming of for as long as she could remember. On this day of her fourteenth birthday, she was finally going to get a kitten. Although it was much too early, there was no way she could go back to sleep. Groggily she walked down the corridor and paused outside her parents’ bedroom. She considered waking them but decided against it. Her mum looked so tired these days, so unusually thin and gaunt, her eyes dark and withdrawn as if she hadn’t slept for weeks. She probably needed her rest. And it was going to be an eventful day, with the long awaited trip to Guildford to choose the kitten in the morning and then a party for all her friends in the afternoon. Just thinking about it made her smile with exhilaration. When she heard her parents’ voices, she was already walking back to her room. Surprised, she stopped in her tracks. Normally she wouldn’t dream of overhearing what her parents were talking about but it sounded as if
they were arguing, and her alarmed curiosity outweighed the slight guilt she felt as she listened to the adult conversation that wasn’t meant for her. For some inexplicable reason her heart was suddenly beating fast as if in premonition of some important and unexpected event. The truth was that she’d never heard her parents argue. All through her childhood, she saw her mother and father hold hands and look at each other with such unrestrained adoration that in her innocent fascination she wondered whether she would ever find someone who would love her that much, to the exclusion of everything and everyone around. She remembered her mum laughing a lot, chatting cheerfully and singing out of tune while she cooked their family dinners and packed sandwiches for her to take to school. It made Laura feel tranquil and contentedly secure. Now, however, her mother’s voice was anything but cheerful. Instead, it was angry and hoarse as if she was trying to hold back tears. “What do you mean, you are in love with someone else?” she demanded accusingly. Heavy, oppressive silence followed, only occasionally interrupted by her mother’s sobs. “I’m sorry, Jane. What do you want me to say? These things happen.” Her father sounded dejected and apologetic. “How long? How long has it been going on?” whispered her mum and Laura had to lean closer to make out the words that barely reached her through the thin wooden door. She shook slightly, not only from the shock of her father’s painful revelation but also from a peculiar curiosity at glimpsing a part of the mysterious adult world, curiosity that was both frightening and exhilarating at the same time. “It started two years ago.” She heard her father get up and pace heavily up and down her parents’ spacious room. “Two years? You’ve been lying to me, to us for two years?” Hearing the stunned heartbreak in her mother’s voice, Laura
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suddenly felt dizzy and leaned against the wall. “You know we haven’t been getting along. We drifted apart a long time ago. These things…” “Don’t tell me that these things happen. Stop making excuses,” Jane interrupted him tersely, raising her voice. “We’ve been drifting apart because you turned our marriage, our family, our whole life into a sham. Two years!” “Keep your voice down, Jane. You’ll wake Laura.” “How dare you mention Laura? Have you even thought of her? What will this do to her?” “She’s not a child. She’ll understand. She doesn’t need a father anymore.” “She’s thirteen,” said Jane, her voice firm and forceful again, as if the unbearable absurdity of her husband’s words had a sobering effect on her. “Fourteen today. And once she gets this kitten, she won’t even notice that I’m gone.”
was that from that moment on something in her life had irrevocably, irreversibly changed. *** When she awoke two hours later, her mum was in the kitchen and her dad was gone. Jane had curlers in her hair and her eyes were red and swollen. She zoomed around their tiny kitchen with lightning speed, cutting ingredients for the salad, stirring the simmering sauce on the stove and mixing sugar and flour for the cake. Her hand slipped and she knocked over the pan, bright red sauce leaking all over the floor and looking slightly alarming on their spotless taupe tiles. Jane buried her head in her hands and sighed. She looked done with her day. “Hey, mum,” said Laura brightly, surveying the disconcerting mess of their normally flawless kitchen. “Do you need a hand?” “I’m ok, sweetie.” Jane smiled, stealthily wiping the tears off her face and hoping that Laura wouldn’t notice. “It’s your birthday and I am not letting you do anything today.”
“What kitten? I can’t handle a kitten right now. I can’t deal with it!” Jane started sobbing again and, not able to take it anymore, Laura made her way back to the soothing security of her own room.
“But I enjoy helping you.” Laura picked up the almost empty pot and put it in the sink, filling it with water and rubbing the sticky sauce stains with a brown sponge. “Where is dad?”
Trembling despite the suffocating heat, she got under the blanket, blocking the outside world with a pillow. As she hugged her worn out old teddy bear to herself as tightly as she possibly could, she tried to analyse what just happened. There, in her room, surrounded by the reassuring familiarity of all the things that she knew since she was a child, she went over her parents’ words time and time again but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t understand the full meaning, the implications of it all. What she did understand, however, as she watched the early morning shadows dissolve and give way to hazy British sunshine,
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“You know your father. He had to go to “Work? It’s Saturday. Aren’t we going to pick up the kitten?” Laura tried to muster as much enthusiasm as she could but her smile was forced and her eyes were cautious. A cloud of anxiety passed over Jane’s face and she looked away. “I don’t know if this is a good time for a kitten, dear,” she said wearily. “Mum, you promised.” Jane didn’t answer, pretending to fix the hems of her old grey apron that had come loose. “I heard what
dad told you this morning. I couldn’t sleep and I heard,” Laura whispered.
dad’s voice was dropping in and out. “Happy birthday!”
As if in shock, Jane leaned on the kitchen counter, tears streaming down her face.
“Dad, where are you?” Laura said reproachfully, taking the phone into her bedroom and closing the door behind her, shutting out the noise and excitement of the party. “Aren’t you coming home for my birthday?”
Seeing her mum’s sorrow, Laura felt a sudden apprehensive fear, an odd unsettling sensation that she tried to ignore. “Mum, what does it mean? Is it very bad?” Jane held her daughter close and Laura felt her hands shake. “Yes,” Jane said after a long silence. “Yes, it’s very bad.” “Is dad leaving us? What is going to happen?” The thought of her father moving out to live somewhere else and, what was even more incomprehensible, with someone else, was at once preposterous and disturbing. Nothing in her safe and happy childhood had prepared her for this hollow feeling of emptiness and loss. She sighed as she sensed her mother’s tears on the bare skin of her shoulders. “I don’t know, baby. I don’t know anything.” “He is coming back for my party though, isn’t he?” Laura whispered hopefully. “Of course he is. He wouldn’t miss it.” Jane tried to sound confident but her voice trembled. *** The party was in full swing and her friends were having a great time, giggling, gossiping and chatting about shopping and boys. The phone rang as Laura was getting ready to blow out her fourteen candles on the giant chocolate cake that her mum baked for her the night before. “It’s your father,” said Jane, passing her the phone. “Hey, baby!” The line was bad and her
“I’m just held up at work. I’ll be there in an hour.” He sounded just like his usual self, happy, optimistic and up-beat but there was something different in his voice, too. He was distant and distracted as if he had something else on his mind. “Work, really? You couldn’t come up with a better excuse?” Her throat contracted with sudden tears. “What are you talking about, baby? My phone is breaking up, I can hardly hear you.” “You are with her, aren’t you? You are missing my party so you could be with her?” Laura shook with painful disdain, a burning jealousy making her eyes tingle. There was a long silence on the other end. “Dad, are you there?” she whispered. When he finally answered, he sounded guarded and a little angry. “Did your mother put you up to this? I can’t believe she told you.” “No one told me. I heard you. I heard you tell mum that you are leaving us,” she sobbed. His anger evaporated, just like his earlier cheerfulness. Now he sounded tired and cagey. “I’m not leaving you. I’m leaving your mother. It’s different.” “Different how?” she screamed in confused frustration. “It’s my birthday, dad, and you’re not even here. You couldn’t wait till after my birthday to have this conversation?” “Listen, I have to go now. I’ll be home in an hour and we’ll talk. It will be ok.”
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“Well, guess what, you are right! I’m old enough not to need my father anymore.” Angrily she threw the phone in the corner and collapsed on her bed, weeping silently into her pillow. She stayed there for a long time, staring into space, while outside her friends celebrated her birthday, their happy and excited voices drowned by the deafening rap music that she loved. *** It was after midnight and all the guests had left a long time ago. Seeing the lights in her parents’ bedroom, she knocked and entered. Her mother was crouched on the window sill, gloomily watching the dimly lit street outside. “Mum, what are you doing?” Laura blinked in surprise. “Nothing, dear.” Jane sounded casual but her eyes were dull from recent tears. Nevertheless, Laura thought that her mum looked stunning in the dark blue evening dress that she was still wearing. She lost a lot of weight recently and the dress suited her perfectly. “I thought I heard a car downstairs and was just checking to see if it was your father coming home.” “He’s not coming home, mum,” Laura said miserably, sitting on her parents’ king size bed. “Of course he is. Sooner or later he’ll realise that he made a mistake and he’ll come back. We are a family.” Jane threw one last look out the window and sighed. Reluctantly, she climbed down and sat next to Laura. “Mum, are you ok? Do you want anything? I could make some chamomile tea, it will calm you down.” Jane shook her head forlornly. “No,” she said quietly. “No, thank you. But maybe you could talk to your father, ask him to come home?”
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“I’m fourteen, mum. He’s not going to listen to me.” They were silent for a while, then Laura got up and hugged her mother. “Try to get some sleep. It’s late.” Jane looked suddenly scared in the eerie light of her little bedside lamp. “Can you stay here for a bit?” she whispered. “I can’t stand being alone.” “Of course,” Laura said reassuringly, stroking her mother’s arm. “Don’t worry, mum. I’ll look after you. We’ll get through this.”
Fifteen “What are you doing for your birthday this year?” asked Laura’s best friend Julie, absentmindedly flicking through a fashion magazine. “Nothing,” said Laura, idly inspecting the empty schoolyard. “Birthdays are lame.” “You have to do something. We can invite some people over to my place. It will be fun.” Laura shrugged. “Yeah, ok. Whatever.” “We should get going. History is about to start,” said Julie, reapplying her lipstick and combing her hair so that it looked even bigger than before. While Laura was most comfortable in her favourite jeans and a t-shirt, Julie liked to look feminine. Her idea of feminine was six inch heels and tiny skirts that barely covered her plump hips. “You know what, I can’t be bothered today. I’m going home.” As she watched her classmates walk by, Laura felt disheartened and apathetic. “But you hardly ever go to school
anymore.” Picking up her backpack, Julie looked at her friend with concern.
brashly, attempting to push past the woman and into the living room.
“What are you, my mother?” snapped Laura. “I’ve got stuff to do, ok? I’ll see you later.”
“Who do you think you are, budging in here like this?” The blonde squared her shoulders threateningly, blocking Laura’s way.
*** Laura leaned against a thick tree trunk, watching the white two-storey building across the road. It was an ordinary townhouse, identical to the ones on either side of it, except that the front porch was overflowing with flowers and her father’s car was parked outside. Through the kitchen window she could make out a tall blonde woman clearing the dishes and cutting vegetables for dinner. Gingerly she crossed the road and rang the bell. When the door opened a few seconds later, she found herself face to face with the woman she’d never met but continuously thought about. Laura studied her sulkily, her appraising eyes scanning the woman’s figure up and down. She was very young, not even in her thirties yet but Jane was so much more beautiful, Laura thought. The blonde was wearing a designer suit as if she just got home from work and her long hair was tied back into a bun, making her appear even taller than she actually was. She looked nothing like Laura imagined. She certainly didn’t look like someone who was capable of breaking up a family. She didn’t look predatory. Perplexed, Laura continued to stare without saying a word. “Can I help you?” said the woman, her eyes clouding with surprised recognition. “I’m here to see my father,” Laura stammered. For a fleeting moment a shadow of bewildered uneasiness ran over the woman’s face but it was quickly gone and Laura wondered if she had imagined it. “He’s not home right now and you shouldn’t be here.” “I’ll wait for him then,” said Laura
“I’m his daughter. Who are you? And what do you think you’re doing with my father? He’s got a family, you know.” Stunned by her own audacity, Laura raised her voice and an elderly neighbour lounging in his front yard looked up at them with undisguised curiosity and enthusiasm of someone who was considerably bored with his afternoon. “Get out of here before I call the cops. You think I don’t notice you every night watching us from outside like some kind of stalker?” Her pretty face convulsed in anger. “I’m not going anywhere. Today is my birthday and I haven’t seen my father in weeks.” Laura tried one more time to get past the blonde and into the house but the woman pushed her and managed to close and lock the door behind her. She was surprisingly strong for someone so slim. Shaking in anger, Laura clasped her fists helplessly. Crossing the road, she picked up a rock and threw it at the kitchen window which shattered with a loud bang. It felt so liberating that she picked up another rock and threw it at the bedroom window. Stealing one last glance at her father’s new home, she turned around and ran as fast as she could. *** When she got home from Julie’s, it was two AM. With a sudden dismay she realised that her mum was waiting up for her. Slightly shivering in the cool breeze, Jane was sitting on the porch in a worn out brown cardigan and her favourite slippers. There was a cup of tea in front of her and her face looked grey with worry. “Mum, what are you doing up? It’s late,” Laura murmured, instantly feeling guilty. She didn’t mean to upset her mum and add to the
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perpetual stress that her life had become.
felt the familiar pain inside her subside a little.
“Where have you been?” Jane shouted, her momentary relief giving way to anger. “I was worried sick. I’ve been trying to call you all night.”
“I don’t know, baby. But we certainly don’t do that by throwing rocks at your father’s windows.” Jane stroked Laura’s head, her eyes twinkling. “Come to the kitchen. I baked a carrot cake, your favourite. We can celebrate your birthday, just the two of us.”
“I was at Julie’s. My phone battery is dead.” She tried to squeeze her way past her mum. “I’m just going to bed. I’m tired.” “You are tired?” Jane grabbed her by the shoulder and, shaking her like a puppy, marched her into the living room. “Do you have any idea what time it is? You are out of control.” “I’m sorry, mum. I lost track of time.” Feeling six years old again, she squeezed her eyes in childish fear. If dad was still here, she thought, he would calm mum down like he always did. She shuddered. “Your school called today. You have the worst attendance record in your entire year. I work two jobs just to make the ends meet and I have no time to watch you. When are you going to grow up?” Jane looked at her intently and Laura lowered her head. The bitter disappointment in her mother’s eyes was too much to bear. “I grew up a year ago, mum. When you didn’t even try to get dad back.” Gasping, Jane stepped back as if from a slap. “It’s so easy for you,” Laura continued, ignoring the shocked pain on her mother’s face. “You act as if nothing happened. Well, I can’t do this anymore,” she raised her voice, burying her head in her hands. “I don’t know how to handle this emptiness inside me.”
Sixteen When his car pulled up in the driveway, Laura and Julie were on the porch chatting and enjoying fresh strawberries that Jane bought for them at Portobello market that morning. Julie just braided Laura’s hair and they both looked at their reflections in the mirror, giggling and making funny faces. They stopped abruptly when they heard the car door slam and saw Laura’s dad walk slowly towards them. “I’ll be right back, Jules,” said Laura and ran down the stairs to meet him. “What are you doing here, dad?” she asked sternly, suddenly out of breath. “Looking for you.” He smiled, trying to hide the reproach in his eyes. “I’ve been calling you for weeks but you never returned my calls.” “I’ve been busy. I’m trying to concentrate on school and gymnastics. We have nationals next week.” She looked into his face, and her heart skipped a beat at its painful familiarity. “You’ve been avoiding me,” he said quietly.
Jane watched her without saying a word, the expression on her face softer, no longer angry. Finally, she wrapped her arms around Laura’s shaking body and held her tight. “Your dad moved on with his life,” she said quietly. “We need to do the same.”
“It still hurts, ok?” she cried, staring at him with contempt. “It hurts every time I hear a song that reminds me of that time two years ago when you walked out on us and every time mum wears the perfume she used to wear back then. I am just trying to move on with my life.”
“How do we do that, mum? How do we move on?” Relaxing in her mother’s arms, she
“You can’t move on with your life by shutting me out. I’m still your father.” He took
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her hand and she stepped back cautiously, pulling away. “I wish you remembered that two years ago when you left us.” She struggled to keep her voice even. “I left your mother. I never left you.” “You were never around!” she shouted. “You are never around,” she said a little quieter. “You are not a child anymore. You don’t need me as much. You’ll have a family of your own soon,” he said, trying to sound reassuring but sounding pleading instead. “Yeah, right. As if I could trust someone after what you did to us. And I was only fourteen, dad!” She shook her head in disbelief. “I miss you. I want my daughter back.” He took her hand again and this time she didn’t pull it back. “I want my father back, too. I want the father who taught me how to play football, who took me camping, who read to me when I couldn’t sleep. But he’s gone,” she said, feeling the protective wall of resentment that she’d been building against him for so long slowly melting away. “I’m right here, baby. I’m not going anywhere. Can I take you out for your birthday? Unless you have other plans.” “I don’t have plans. I don’t celebrate my birthdays anymore.” Wanting to appear older and in control, she suddenly wished that her hair wasn’t plaited into silly childish braids. “Really? Since when?” he asked. “Since I was fourteen,” she said, her voice bitter.
“Ok, dad. But mum and I, we are leaving next month. We are moving to Paris. She’s getting married and I want to go to University there.” He didn’t speak for a long time, watching her in remorseful fascination. She was so much taller than he remembered, almost as tall as him. “That’s good,” he said finally. “Good for you. A new beginning.” “Yes,” beginning.”
“I have something for you. It’s in the front seat of the car, have a look.” “What is it, dad?” she said as she walked around the car, unable to hide her excited curiosity. It’s been a while since she received a present from her father. She opened the door and looked inside a tattered cardboard box that took up the whole seat. The box was filled with old shredded newspaper. “A kitten?” she exclaimed in incredulity, picking up what looked like a tiny orange ball and hugging it tightly to herself. “I can’t believe it! Mum will never allow it.” “I’ve already spoken to your mother. And I’m sure you can take him to Paris with you.” “Oh daddy, thank you!” she squealed in delight and threw herself into her father’s arms. Looking up at him, she was shocked to see silent tears running down her father’s cheeks. She wiped her own tears off her face, inhaling his familiar scent that instantly reminded her of so many joyful times that they shared together over the years when she was still a carefree little girl and he was still the centre of her world. Smiling, she hugged him again. ***
He sighed sadly and said, “I’ll pick you up at six. We’ll talk. I want to spend some time with you.”
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Book of Words (II) WORD FOUR
Observant people long ago noted that foolish laughter resembles drunkenness. Now, drunkenness leads to misbehavior; a conversation with a soak gives one a headache. Anyone who constantly indulges in senseless merriment ignores his conscience, neglects his affairs and commits unforgivable blunders, for which he can expect to be punished, if not in this world, then in the next. He who is inclined to meditation is always prudent and reasonable in his actions in this world and in the face of death. Prudence in thought and deed is the keystone of well-being. But does this mean that we should always be downcast? Should our souls know only melancholy, no joy and mirth? Not at all. I am not saying that we should be sorrowful without cause, but that we should stop and think about our heedless, carefree ways and repent, forsaking them for some useful occupation. It is not senseless merriment that heals the soul, but beneficial and rational work. Only the weak in spirit will withdraw into themselves, abandon
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themselves to bitter thoughts, without finding the least consolation. If you laugh at the stupidities of a fool, do so not rejoicing in his foolishness, but with a feeling of righteous anger. Such laughter should not be indulged in too often, for it is bitter. When you see someone who leads a good life, whose kind deeds are worthy of emulation, laugh with a glad heart, with sincere joy. A good example teaches humility and restraint, keeping one from wrong-doing and drunkenness. Not all laughter deserves approbation. There is also a kind of laughter that does not come from the heart, that God-given vessel, but bursts out in hollow peals just for the sake of forced jollity. Man comes crying into this world and departs it in sorrow. Between these two events, without fully comprehending the value and uniqueness of the life bestowed upon him, he will burn it up thoughtlessly, squander it in petty quarrels and miserable wrangles, and never know true happiness. He will pause to think only when the sands of life are running out. Only then will he realize that no treasure on earth can prolong his life even for a single day. To live by lies, deceit and begging is the lot of good-for-nothing rogues. Put
your faith in the Lord, and trust in your own powers and abilities. Even the hardest earth will yield good crops to honest and selfless toi
Sorrow darkens the soul, chills the body, numbs the will, and then bursts forth in words or tears. I have seen people praying; «Oh, Allah, make me as carefree as a babe! » They imagine themselves to be sufferers, oppressed by cares and misfortunes, as though they had more sense than infants. As to their cares and concern, these can be judged from the proverbs: «If you will live no longer than noon, make provision for the whole day»; «Even his father becomes a stranger to a beggar»; «Cattle for the Kazakh is flesh of his flesh»; «A rich man has a countenance full of light, a poor man — as hard as stone»; «The dzighit and the wolf will find their food along the way»; «The herds of exalted men are left to the care of others, except when such men have nothing better to do»; «The hand that takes also gives»; «He who has managed to get rich is always in the right»; «If you can't rely on the bey, don't count on God either»; «If you are famished, gallop to the place of a funeral
feast»; «Beware of a lake with no shallows and of a people that knows no mercy». Such proverbs are legion. Now, what do they tell us? It is not learning and knowledge, nor peace and justice, that the Kazakh holds dear — his sole concern is how to get rich. So he will twist and turn to cajole some of their riches from other people, and if he does not succeed, he will see the whole world as his enemy. He will have no scruples about fleecing even his own father. It is not customary among us to censure those who gain possession of livestock by trickery, lies, pillage or other crimes. So, in what way does their mind differ from that of a child? Children are afraid of the blazing hearth, while adults have no fear even of the fires of hell. When they feel ashamed, children would like the earth to swallow them up, but adults know no shame at all. Is it this that makes them superior to children? If we will not give them what we own, if we refuse to let them ruin us and do not descend to their level, they will turn their back on us. Is this the people whom we should love with all our heart? (to be continued)
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new york, usa
Joe has been writing poetry for more than twenty years. His work has been featured in The Poet's Art, Avocet, Westward Quarterly, Chronogram, among others. He has five self published books of poetry and is working on a sixth collection.
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Joe Frey: Definitely writing - especially when it’s flowing and accepted elsewhere and when not under the spell of the awful writer’s block drought!
TM: Joe, how do you know when poetry is your calling?
TM: Rhyme or free verse?
Joe Frey: When I can’t stop reading it or writing it! I like to think that I understand it, appreciate it and truly respect it. It is the art of language and the language of art. TM: Describe poetry in 20 characters or less. Joe Frey: My poem “Brainstorming” pretty much sums it up in few words, for me! TM: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Joe Frey: writer.
A truck driver first, then a
TM: Did you ever ask yourself, "Why am I writing?" Joe Frey: I ask myself all the time. Especially when I get rejected or writer’s block. But I know it’s just a short-lived phase, writer’s block getting the best of me. I usually allow it Victory, I will close up my notebook or close out the file on my computer, bow my head and walk away. TM: Do you have other writers or artists in your family? Joe Frey: My 14 yr old daughter loves to write and my 16 yr old daughter loves to draw. Aside from that, no one else in my family can spell pentameter. TM: Are writing?
Joe Frey: Free verse lately. TM: Is title important for your work? Joe Frey: Yes it is. I never used to think so. I remember just slapping titles on things I wrote just to have something completed and never really going back to the title to change or modify even if I’ve made several revisions to the work itself. Nowadays it’s a challenge sometimes to come up with a great title for a piece. There are times I write around an inspiration from a title, whether a single compelling word or a few words. Then there are times I write a piece then go back later to title it. A strange process for me at times, but I guess as a writer that fits the means and I am completely satisfied with that. TM: How much of a poem do you write before making the decision to throw it out? Joe Frey: If I really hate it that much, then as soon as I realize it’s no good I’ll trash it. Usually though, I might save it as a ‘snippet’ if I think it shows potential for future use. I do that much more often that trashing my material. TM: How many evaluations does the poem go through before you are satisfied with it? Joe Frey: Sometimes just one evaluation, sometimes twenty…it varies. TM:
How would you describe the
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ambiance of your workspace? Joe Frey: No noise or disruptions for me. I know some writers like some background noise like music playing softly or maybe the tv is on, but I don’t like to work like that, I write my best in complete and utter silence – to each their own. TM: Is there a time of day or night when you have energy that is more creative? Joe Frey: My creative juices seem to flow more at night time. As I already mentioned above, it is the most quiet in my house at night, the kids are in bed, the wife is settling down and my dog, Ruby, usually lays at my feet downstairs in the basement that I’ve built and designed as my writing space/area. This also gets me in the writing mood – it’s the ambience. Ruby is resting her head on her paws looking up at me with one eye as I type away transferring my notes from my notebooks to the computer. TM: Tell me something about you that your bio does not include. Joe Frey: The fact that I have spoken to one of my favorite poets, the former US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins on the phone. He had returned a phone call of mine I placed inquiring about a project he was working on. He returned my call while on his cell phone, driving home, I imagine, after a nice, fancy dinner with his wife. That was a pinch-me-moment!
NYC. Painting in bathrooms, on my hands and knees, in used bathrooms reaching behind toilets to paint the wall. I’m a germ-a-phobe, that job didn’t last too long! TM: Are you an optimistic person? Joe Frey: Yes, the glass is usually halffull for me. TM: What is the best place to have lunch with a writer in Poughkeepsie, New York? Joe Frey: Panera Bread across from the Poughkeepsie Galleria on Route 9. They have an awesome “Big Kid” grilled cheese and delicious iced green tea – plus a wifi hot spot! The next time you’re in town give me a call and we’ll meet for lunch – my treat! TM: How important do you feel it is for a poet to embrace modern technologies? Joe Frey: Very important if they are to utilize available technological resources to help promote themselves and their writing. To broaden the brain capacities as writers, then one must accept the concept of modern technologies as that keeps it all moving, moving forward – after all, this is the information age! TM: Tell us the title of your next book. Joe Frey: Starving Artist – just about done with it.
TM: What is the worst job you have ever had? Joe Frey: Working with a commercial Painting Contracting company. Remodeling businesses, offices and big buildings in
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Sculpted Sarcophagus Poised in fine marble Impressively stoic –
Ğontîlgan tabît Deñklík tapkan inğe mermer taşînda Inanîlmaz metanetínde -
The watchtower sentinel Perches unflinching at his Colossal post
Kule karawulî tím-tík otîra koğaman makamînda
With bush hammer limbs The acrolith preserves Death in all its meaning
Şókíş azalarî man Akrolit saklay Ólímní bútún añlamlarî man
While he is viewed In such deceptive Elegance
Bo arada o kórílíp Şonday aldatuwğî letafette
He is here Only to be appreciated By the living
Onîñ mínda tabîlmasî sáde tírílerníñ kîsmetíne
He continues to remind us, In all our meaning, We are
Akîlîmîzga akele beríp, Bútún añlamlarîmîz man, Tírílígímízní. (Translated by Taner Murat)
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Structured Memories Its existence spoiled from abandonment, this home sits wedged in the skin of the land like a splinter with ramshackle sides and a peeling rooftop. Dilapidated doors, hallway carpets worn thin – toy-dropped dents on the bedroom hardwood speak of a home at one time teeming with life. How desolate and lamenting these halls now seem; scary with silence – homesick cries saturate these walls of children grown and gone. Like a 45 record found on the closet floor, I’d like to hear the history of this home by sticking a needle in the grooves of the partial vinyl siding: a dirge proclaiming its glorified memories.
Copacetic Look, here he is – The charlatan, idle on the couch The one who asked, in all the weight of the world: What keeps helium tanks from floating away? The balloons of our minds swelling with repose - And he doesn’t even look like a poet
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Returning to Armitage I woke late on a seemingly slow Saturday to a rather warmer than norm October morning. I grasped the cord and hoist the barrier. Like the crumbling Berlin wall, the shade draws an explosion of sunlight in to my bedroom and splashes across the bed sheets. I slid my baggy shorts on over my cast; pulled my loose jersey T-shirt over my balding head; peed; splashed sleep from my face; poured some orange juice and finally came to the couch under the window in the living room with Armitageâ€™s newest collection. In a sudden jolly-as-a-thrush protest, I looked up from my book: a bluejay perched in the Japanese maple, across the Indian summer lawn, began talking to the robin on the phone wire. The robin to the sparrow roosting in the Dogwood attempted to translate the chirps, chinks and whistles. Peering through my window out into their world, I noticed each bird and their eccentric onlookers separated in a windowpane partition democracy and I was relieved to know that segregation is not prejudiced to the human race alone; that they too have separation issues and I returned to Armitage.
Brainstorming Swathing me in a scarf of smoke The literary fabric Of poetry and its pages Continuously intoxicate
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Travels in Circassia, Krim Tartary, &c. (VIII) Another and still greater mischief of which Hungary has to complain, is, that she is overrun with a poor and proud nobility, the bane of every country burdened with them. Whatever change may have the effect of depriving these of their prerogatives, provokes a body of malcontents sufficiently numerous, and gifted with sufficient mind, to break down the mounds and dykes which dam in the tide of revolutionary fury. In order to explain the presence of this overwhelming proportion of noble families, we must refer to the precarious situation of the house of Habsburg during the reign of Maria Theresa; who, desirous of encouraging the bravery of the Hungarians, gave a patent of nobility to every man who had killed his enemy in battle. This being hereditary in the whole of the children, we find, as a consequence, that almost every second man we meet is a noble. Several of the wealthy magnats have established the law of primogeniture in their families, by which means their rank and influence are properly supported : but unfortunately this practice is not general, the estate being usually divided in equal proportions among the children ; hence the swarms of pauper nobles, at once proud, indolent, ignorant, and rapacious, whose crimes fearfully swell the catalogue of offences against law and morality. With respect to the remedy for this evil, various conflicting opinions are entertained. It is, however, intended to confer upon the inferior nobiUty the blessings of a better system of education, with the intention of preparing them for the important changes about to be effected. By a wise foresight, every amelioration in the intellectual condition of the great mass of the
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people is proceeded in with the greatest care and caution, it being apprehended, that should the veil which shrouds their real condition from their view be prematurely withdrawn, a sanguinary revolution might be the consequence. But to return to the privileges of the nobility. I understand that a measure will be introduced next year to the diet, for the purpose of abrogating their right to be exclusively the proprietors of land, and which my friends informed me will be warmly supported by all the enlightened patricians of Hungary. Should this pass into a law, it will certainly have the effect of encouraging the rich mercantile classes and foreigners to purchase landed property, and of giving an impetus to agriculture and commerce. The education of the inferior nobility and peasants also, if persisted in, will, it is to be hoped, have the effect of rendering the eradication of whatever diseases may exist in the body politic practicable, without the interposition of violent remedies. In pointing out the evils in the administration of Hungary, I must not forget to mention that, in common with the other provinces of the Austrian empire, she is subjected to the same isolating system which that jealous government invariably establishes in all her dependencies. Hence, it is only with the greatest difficulty that the natural products of this most fertile country can find an outlet ; while, for her domestic consumption, she is doomed to be inundated with the ill-fabricated and high-priced manufactures of Austria. The only excursion I made in the vicinity of Pest was to the Balaton lake and the mineral bath Fured. The latter is denominated, from the peculiar nature of its waters, the Pyrmont of Hungary ; and as it is only twenty leagues distant, I would recommend every traveller, who may be an admirer of beautiful scenery, to visit it. The invalid, also, who may be in search of health, will there meet with every accommodation, hotels, medical attendants, &c. He will likewise have the satisfaction of finding that no very heavy demands
are made upon his purse ; while good society, a theatre, and assembly rooms, w^ill effectually secure him from -the intrusion of ennui. To this we may add, that being situated on the shores of the Balaton lake, in the midst of a rural, undulating country, laid out in promenades, the pedestrian may enjoy without fatigue the most charming prospects over the vast expanse of water and distant landscape. The most popular pilgrimage in the environs of the bath, is to the romantic islet Tihany, in the Balaton lake, containing a pretty little village, and a monastery belonging to a community of monks. The whole of their little territory, about three leagues in circumference, is completely surrounded by a chain of rocks, where they have their own forests, pastures, corn-fields, and vineyards. It was formerly strongly fortified, and the remains of the walls, castle, and watchtower still exist; but the most interesting objects in the little fairy island, are the caverns which the monks of the middle ages ingeniously constructed, for the purpose of protecting themselves and their property against the frequent devastations of the Turks. The Balaton lake, termed, on account of its length, (upwards of twenty leagues,) the Sea of Hungary, deserves a visit from the traveller, were it for nothing else than to feast upon the rare and delicious fish called the/ogas, (a species of 2)erca lucioperca,) which, I believe, is only found in this lake, and frequently weigh as much as twenty pounds. The banks are not more interesting to the tourist than the geologist; for on the northern side, towards Keszthely, we find an isolated rock, composed of stupendous masses of basalt, evidently an extinct volcano ; which, from the singularity of its situation in the midst of a plain, seems as if it had fallen from the heavens, since the neighbouring rocks, composed of limestone, present a continuous range. The sand found on the shore is principally composed of iron ore and soda ; this explains the circumstance of the water being slightly
impregnated with mineral ; and singular enough, notwithstanding the lake is usually of a crystal clearness, yet it invariably becomes turbid on the approach of a storm. It is also said to ebb and flow ; and though I did not remain long enough in its vicinity to determine the fact by personal observation, yet I certainly noticed that the water at one time became singularly agitated and increased in volume, even when there was not the slightest wind that could produce such an effect. In addition to the excellent fish I- have already mentioned, the cyprinus culpratus and clupea alburniis are found here : in appearance they are not unlike our sword-fish, and their visits periodical, like the herring ; they are taken in vast quantities, and when potted, or dried, form an extensive article of commerce, being much prized for their fine flavour. The helix' vivi para are also inhabitants of this lake, and cray-fish are taken in such numbers at the mouth of the Szala, as to afford a plentiful supply to all the restaurants of Vienna and Pest, where they are much valued by the fastidious gourmands. In some parts of the lake the banks are composed of curious fossil shells, among which there is one called by the peasants " goats' -feet." This appellation owes its origin to an old legend of Hungary, to the effect that her great king and patron, St. Stephen, at one time a fugitive, wandered along the banks of the lake ; and being entirely destitute of resources, applied to a rich landed proprietor in the vicinity for hospitality, who inhumanly drove him from his door. The saint, violently incensed, cursed the churlish landholder, and all that belonged to him; when immediately pestilence swept away his cattle, fire consumed his houses, disease destroyed his family, and a dreadful hurricane hurled his numerous flocks of goats from the steep sides of the rocks into the lake : and that this wonderful legend should not want confirmation, their petrified hoofs are constantly being thrown up in the form of shells! (to be continued)
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izzet gafar (gafarov)
Photoshop - Street in Alupka, Crimea
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Qul Sharif Mosque in Kazan