TO EACH OTHER
with sailor’s knots indeed, which can easily be untied
if pulled from the right point
like leaping germs, maybe
sometimes on an out-of-tune piano
allegro ma non troppo
sometimes at full speed from the edge of a cliff
to the bottom
with colorful laundry lines
without moving away from our neighborhood
like moving continents
by small steps at a time
with the top button of a primary school uniform
look, for how long--
like two molting snakes:
each season, again
curiously in the dark
of a deep ocean
but also from habit
like morning coffee
like the rabbit’s scent
in the nose of a fox
like the fox’s steps
in the ear of a rabbit
mixing the fear that a bomb
could explode any minute
with the worry that there might not be
enough milk for the coffee
like a gravestone
and someone washing that gravestone carefully
no matter what happens
who knows, maybe because we watched a revolution
turning into a counter-revolution together
saving our belief
not to die of thirst
with the fear of
with the voice of
my skin rubbing against your skin
drying the lactic acid piling up on our patience
in the sun
with the puppet strings
that we hold ourselves
to each other
you and me
Translated by Tara Skurtu
AM I TO YOU?
Am I far away to you? Not much
Bus plus ferry plus tram
I am forbidden to you. Don’t exaggerate
Whenever I look in your eyes
The other end of a recently dug tunnel
I am child to you, let it be
I like to be a nuisance when I’m with you
I am anxious to you, I know
I make a fuss sometimes, Miss
I am inclined to you, don’t move
Like one wave merging into another wave
I am night and day to you
The wicked fox of hesitation
I am wistful to you
We haven’t met each other too late, have we?
I am maybe trouble to you
Will you manage to start again from zero?
I am a blank white paper to you
The smell of a newly sharpened pencil
I am now to you
The enthusiasm of a watch that’s just been repaired
I am afterwards to you, always to you, you to you
I am ‘let’s go’ to you
Are you sure?
I am a basic question put
Translated by Robyn Marsack
Efe Duyan (b. 1981, İstanbul) is a poet and architect .
He has been invited to several workshops, poetry readings and international organizations since 2009, including Turkish Poetry Evenings in Copenhagen, Word-Express Project (series of poetry readings in several Balkan Countries), Edinburgh Book Festival, London Book Fair, Berlin Poetry Festival, Lodeve Poetry Festival, Riga Poetry Days, Malta İnizjamed Poetry Festival, Transylvania Poetry Poetry Festival, Palabra En El Mundo in Venice, Sofia Poetics Festival, Chisinau Poetry Festival, Enemies Project & European Poetry Night in Britain, Shaar Poetry Festival in Israel, Sidi Bou Said Poetry Festival in Tunisia, Venice Dropping Seeds Project, European Poetry Biennale in Brasov, Swiss PEN's Day of Writers in Prison Meeting in Geneva, Goran's Spring Festival in Croatia, Felix Poetry Festival in Antwerp, Writer’s Month Reading Series in Slovakia, Czechia, Poland and Ukraine, Mexico City Poetry Festival, and Divan: Berlin-İstanbul Project.
Some of his poems have been translated into Bosnian, Czech, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, Greek, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Kurdish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Rumanian, Macedonian, Maltese, Occitan, Polish, Slovenian, Slovakian, Spanish, Swedish, Ukrainian and Welsh.
His translation works in poetry include poetry collections of Radu Vancu (Romania), Matthias Göritz (Germany) and Lloyd Schwartz (USA).
He worked in the editorial committees of literature magazines Nikbinlik (2000-2005) and Sanat Cephesi (2006-2010). He co-created poetry workshops with British, French, Italian, Israeli, Bulgarian, German, Swedish, Dutch, Japanese poets; and acted as co-director of Istanbul Offline Poetry Festival, Turkish American Poetry Days and Gaziantep International Poetry Festival.
His critical essay The Construction of Characters in Nâzım Hikmet’s Poetry was published in 2008. He edited a contemporary poetry anthology Bir Benden Bir O’ndan (2010) and is a member of the editorial board of the acclaimed literature magazine Offline Istanbul.
His poetry collections are Sıkça Sorulan Sorular (Frequently Asked Questions, 2016), Tek Şiirlik Aşklar (One Poem Stands, 2012) and Takas (Swap, 2006).
He is currently teaching history of architecture at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul.