During his period of residency in Prishtina, Radmila Petrovic, Serbian writer, participated in the literary
festival polip. The texts we are publishing were read by her in this festival.



I Have No One With Whom I Can Spit Toothpaste At Turns Into The Sink


he has a career
an apartment of eighty square meters
and a jaw from a razor commercial


he loves girls, talks subtly
he’s not interested in me


and yet I am a girl
so to speak
a natural born girl!
not too feminine


once a woman
strayed into our village and asked me
hey boy, where can I
turn the car around


afterwards Dad pulled her out
from a ravine with his tractor
and asked what got into you
to send her there


he has a girlfriend and looks at her
as if before his very eyes is dying
the last living


when he meets me he always asks
I write poems
because the pit bulls in the park
don’t seem happy, I say



The Curse of the Woods

does as animals never came near the households
we would see them when we headed uphill
to pick rosehips for jam

one summer while mowing a meadow
Father accidentally mowed a fawn
the mountain wailed at sunset

ever since that day I have always
walked in front of the mower
moved rabbit kits out of the way
catapulted snakes with a pitchfork

ever since that day I have carried the curse of the woods

your doelike heart sees yellow hunting dogs
in my eyes
my fingers feel like blades of a mower

You can’t do this anymore, you said

Mother put my legs out with the hay
this morning
for the cows



Forest, Plow, Primrose

I feel the souls of female
who suffered at men’s

they clung to me when
I left for Belgrade
and now they won’t go home either

they say to me: slice them like aspic!

with a look or
a kitchen knife?
or the penknife I carry in my pocket?

I will, just not this one
especially not this one! they order me

of all I could have been in the world
I was just a woman, says
in the countryside, we never thought
much of dogs
and being a woman was worse than being a dog

your great-grandfather was like a spring
says Dobrosava, cold and
we slept in a brandy vat
when he brought me to this house
he hanged me like a cat that ate all the chickens

and all that was because of the brandy

strength, don’t let yourself be

get out of my poems!
you too only wanted sons
who later smashed your

you learned nothing from misery,
old women
it was all in vain



Translated from the Serbian by Jovanka Kalaba and edited by Ellen Elias-Bursać