Poetry by Deniz Durukan – in Trafika Europe Corner II.11 by Andrew Singer

Deniz Durukan (born in Istanbul, 1966) has published several volumes of poetry in Turkish, and numerous works on literature and music. She has served as editor of Pul Biber, a monthly periodical of culture and arts. Her work is scarcely known in English language.

The following three poems by Deniz Durukan have been translated from Turkish by Asli U. Bahadirli-Talbott.

And please check out our latest issue free online – Trafika Europe 16: Turkish Delight – packed with hundreds of pages of new Turkish fiction and poetry in English translation!


put yourself to my temple 

here is the budding of the spring
buds exploded, a meaning fell onto the rose
a sense, I am at a point when the wind
becomes years likening hairy flies
where empty corncobs
are wrinkled and tossed

spring is coming, slip into my lap
I am lonely as kittens with sharp teeth
lifeless as a bag of bullets
let's surrender to choppy wild weeds
stare at each other as steaming hot loaves of bread
like women experiencing the awakening of their manhood

if it doesn't happen, let's be quiet
just like the high and mighty bird owners, slim
I am drawing a road without side/other paths

wake me up from my slumber
dreams similar to single spreads
watching yourself in the mirror laying on your side
just like the thawing of a frozen piece of meat

what you reap shapes your life
what you see is what you take with you
just like the queen kissing the frog

Listen and put me to your temple,
Pull the trigger, tie your horse…
there is no connection between the deaths
and costumes in pistachio green

if cinderella jumps off the tale

lay down on the ground
I will hand you my favorite weapon
protect yourself, yes
all can change hands
even dreams
and suddenly an elephant will come out of your room
forty tons in weight
do you have the dynamite
are you into an explosion
to scare the wits out of this life
tell me did the sultan kick the bucket
and the century-old clown of his
is he holding his little joke

Ah, Ahmet! keep the lines open
I am hailing from the spring of 68, give me the fuel
give me the fuel, and the lighter
I am going to burn my lace undies
inside the empty concert hall
the clerk will greet you
the one playing the same part in every movie
the one who is the dead one of this home turf
the one unquietly pissing onto consciousness
that's it, did you recognize
the other me
throwing
glass slippers
while falling into life from a fairy tale

to all the girls of this land
do not leave your slippers at the gate of the palace

nine layers sıdıka one part 
(twenty-one years later)


we slept on orange crates for a whole year
a whole year on orange crates with Mr. Pitt 
we slept, and he didn't know
and he didn't ask
later we got rid of the orange crates
and an old bed
I drew water from the well
so I could build my fathers kingdom only to destroy

only to destroy
fed it with goats milk, cheese and honey
and sometimes we fried flour
at those times I covered the well
Waited and once more Mr. Pitt didn't know 
did not lift the cover
we passed the wells and toppled the buckets
I was precisely twenty-one years old
I was precisely twenty-one years old
that is to say at an age when I could be mean to kings
to great men and women and supervened oracles
I was tight-lipped
I got beautified thrice one after the other one 
one after the other one I grew, I blossomed
then suddenly winter came
then suddenly winter came
my bones wrapped with meat 
my meat become obvious
once the lights were off
once it was dark
all sheep and cows and goats
were dedicated to the king
the king was living at the bottom of the street
with marble steps
with marble glances
as it was with all the kings, he was ready to be crumbled down 
as it was with all the kings, ready to be deceived 
I broke thru the gates
my fathers the mudbrick kingdom on my back
I came
I, the nine layered sıdıka

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Read ELNet’s Trafika Europe Corner II.1, Trafika Europe Corner II.2, Trafika Europe Corner II.3, Trafika Europe Corner II.4, Trafika Europe Corner II.5Trafika Europe Corner II.6, Trafika Europe Corner II.7, Trafika Europe Corner II.8, Trafika Europe Corner II.9 and Trafika Europe Corner II.10.

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