O tučnjavama: John McCarthy

March 7, 2018

 

Krajem veljače i početkom ožujka 2018. u svratištu ZVONA i NARI boravio je američki pjesnik John McCarthy. Donosimo vam dvostruku premijeru: prvi prijevod na hrvatski jezik njegovih dviju do sada još neobjavljenih pjesama pisanih na engleskom jeziku.

 

John McCarthy, writer-in-residence of ZiN for Februrary of 2018, is a poet currently living in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of Ghost County (MG Press, 2016) and the editor of the anthology [Ex]tinguished & [Ex]tinct (Twelve Winters Press, 2014). John's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best New Poets 2015, Copper Nickel, Redivider, and Sycamore Review, among many others. He is the 2016 winner of The Pinch Literary Award in Poetry. John is also the managing editor of Quiddity International Literary Journal and public-radio program. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry, from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. In the past, John has received writing residencies from creative centers in Iceland and France.

The two poems you're about to read have not been published yet elsewhere. We're bringing their first translation into Croatian too.

 

 

O tučnjavama

 

Boga mi – bilo je to kao da je netko ubacio zapaljenu šibicu

u moju lubanju i pretvorio mi glavu u sirovu peć.

 

Bio sam ranjen onako kako dijete može raniti samo njegova majka,

 

ti dani bez majke sastojali su se od dječaka koji bi moj mozak pretvarali

u plave iskre kada bi se njihove šake sastale s mojom bradom.

 

Nekoga bismo izdaleka možda prenuli, kao nož

 

naglo otvoren. Većinu vremena, na neravnom tlu,

razmjenjivali bismo aperkate i krošee pa se prestrašeno povlačili.

 

Nikad me nisu nokautirali. Ne – ni jednom.

 

Stvarno, Boga mi, vid bi mi se ponekad toliko suzio

da sam mislio da ću se ugasiti. Poslije bismo si pomagali da ustanemo,

 

otrli prašinu jedan s drugoga, moji prijatelji i ja, i razgovarali o tome kakav je osjećaj -

 

stisnuti nekome ruku nakon što je on dobar dio vremena

htio i pokušavao povrijediti nas. Imam mnogo različitih imena

 

za taj osjećaj. Ponekad milost. Ponekad sve je ovo

 

nužno. Ponekad jednog ćemo dana svi biti voljeni, ali ne još. Istina je,

nisam nikada bio dobar u dijeljenju udaraca ili ciljanju

 

ili eskiviranju. Samo nisam želio biti sam.

 

Bilo je zabavno stajati ondje zbunjeno

i pustiti Boga da odgovori na onaj surovi način na koji nam voli dodirivati tijela.

 

 

On Fighting

 

Honest to God—it felt like someone dropped lit matches

inside my skull, turned my head into a tinderbox, a raw thing.

 

I had been hurt the way a child can only be hurt by his mother,

 

and those motherless days were made of boys that turned my brain

into blue sparks when they’d connect their fists to my chin.

 

From a distance we might have appeared as startling as a knife

 

abruptly flipped open. Most of the time, on uneven ground,

we’d throw hooks and haymakers then back-peddle scared.

 

I never got knocked out. No—not once.

 

But honest to God, my vision got so small and narrow sometimes

I thought I was going to shut off. Afterwards, we’d help each other up,

 

dust each other off, my friends and I, and talk about what it felt like—

 

to shake someone’s hand after they had spent a good deal of time

wanting and trying to hurt us. I have a lot of different names

 

for what to call that feeling. Sometimes mercy. Sometimes all of this

 

is necessary. Sometimes one day we will all be loved but not yet. Truth is,

I was never that good at slipping punches or finding angles

 

or pivoting out of the way. I just didn’t want to be alone.

 

It was fun to stand there flat-footed

and let God answer in that hard way he likes to touch a body.

 

 

 

Ista stara priča

 

Sva sprejom ispisana imena na napuštenom silosu -

nisu bila naša. Bilo je doba žetve a pod nebom

glas jeseni zvučao je kao kamenje bačeno na njegov zid -

žalopojka. U tvom koraku bio je trzaj dok smo hodali

kroz pšenicu tražeći gdje bismo mogli biti sami. Vjetar se

dizao kao i uvijek kada pripovijedam ovu priču,

bilo mi je kao da s probušenom gumom čekam uz poljski put

daleko od svuda. U tim trenucima znam

točno što želim i što ne želim. Ili jedno ili drugo.

Ovdje se nema što raditi, rekla si. Kimnuo sam,

ali nisam siguran što sam mislio tim kimanjem. Slušali smo

kako se okreće vjetrokaz. Zvučalo je kao hrđa. Ili je to bila kapija

što se otvarala i zatvarala udarajući o svoj zasun. Nisam znao

da pušiš, ali si ti ugasila cigaretu u prašini

pa odbacila opušak. Vrtio sam češer po rukama.

Znaš kako to ide. Činilo se poznato. A onda se promijenilo.

 

 

Same Old Story

 

All the names spray-painted at the base of the abandoned silo—

they weren’t ours. It was harvest season and beneath the sky

the tenor of fall sounded like rocks thrown at its side—

a dirge. There was a hitch in your step as we walked

through the wheatgrass looking for a spot to be alone. The wind

was picking up like it always does when telling this story,

and it felt like having a flat tire on the side of a dirt road

a long way from anywhere. In those moments I know

exactly what I want or what I don’t want. One or the other.

There’s nothing to do around here, you said. I nodded,

but I’m not really sure what I meant by nodding. We listened

to a weathervane sway. It sounded like rust. Or it was a gate

opening and closing, slamming its lift-latch. I didn’t know

you smoked, but you stubbed a cigarette out in the dirt

and flicked it away. I was spinning a pinecone in my hands.

You know how it goes. It felt familiar. Then it changed.

 

 

 

 

 

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