Nevena Borisova was born in 1987 in Bulgaria. Her first poetry book “Slow portraits” won the National Poetry Prize “South Spring” and the National Competition “Young Voices”. Her second poetry book “Time Duration” was published in 2016.
Nevena is creator and co-editor of the online page for contemporary poetry “Archipelago” and her Master’s degree thesis was focused on the work and life of the Bulgarian poet Alexander Vutimski.
Nevena has been awarded with different poetry awards.
Her poems have been translated in Arabic, Indian, Slovak and English.
How would you write if you are not sincere,
said the poet and sipped his glass.
Its bottom glistens and the evening floats towards
its unending recurrence, sheds its endless metaphors
as if they were golden scales.
I would have told him about childhood,
about the unread books, empty days,
about an erstwhile yearning of him, lamentably short by the way,
about the cockroach in the lodging, and about the fear of my mediocrity.
about my brother who is growing old.
An evening dawn descends upon my brow, but
it is still dark.
I sip my glass and remain silent.
SOLILOQUY BENEATH A SKY
I hide my gaze.
I wrap it in my coat as if papyrus.
Why should one know my saddness,
settling in a lake, headed
for a non-existent bottom?
The sky and I maintain a distant relationship:
it sends me lightning every now and then,
burns hot above my head and smites it
with captious rain.
Misfortune – someone close to me explained –
is all but rare in the world;
and sometimes God forsakes us.
And, if He is absent now and then, does He exist,
I ask – and a crowd of priests casts a reproachful look at me.
They start assuring me, and they worry
about my words the way they’d be concerned about
some deformed little child.
And they will say
that there’s a purpose to it all – to sorrow,
to the crimson spears of vanity and power,
to the rising pitchforks of poverty as well.
Today I drink to explanations
that we are ill and there’s no cure.
And then I roam the cave-like streets
akin a bat that wants to be a dove.
Through frosty breath I seek
a whispering bush,
a star to shine above me,
or a condescending smile.
‘Take care not to slip and fall.’
‘Is there such a danger’, he asked and I said, ‘Yes,
there always is.’
The lime trees down below, all boiling with the summer,
pour onto the asphalt,
and the air prophesies itself in plenty.
My dress, a scarlet Chinese lantern, rises and falls,
lit up by thoughts peculiarly bright.
Who now would dare blow them out?
This evening is light-blue.
And the stars wander about
like sanatorium patients who have been lying sick –
they breathe in deeply from the sky,
the cracking of their joints resounds like a bell.
One of them has always appeared to me
brighter and bigger.
like a pin holding the sky together;
it has always been there, whenever
I have looked for it.
On an evening like this
my hopes also wake up --
five-pointed as they are, the stars dance like barbarians.
My wounds sleep restlessly amidst the clouds.
And I am me, with my exact outlines.
From this day on, throughout years unfathomable,
the foreheads of the stars will read that
the deep sky can
Without blood, without pulse,
deep in thought, philosophizing
over a plate of peanuts.
hovering in space
and in time.
Living through their
in a tragic way.
Inhabiting the intersection point
of the fourth dimension
and the sixty-first second.
Kill them – the miserably enamoured,
who otherwise die way too slowly…
The streets strut their joy,
the buildings stand on tiptoe.
Today is an important day.
And people stand in the windows--
today is an important day because
everyone has stopped thinking
only of themselves.
To a few men who write
There falls the summer with a heavenly roar.
“Emilia”, Georgi Rupchev
The damned glorious summer
is rolling down the hill, but you
are climbing up somewhere with your glasses and words,
listening to the murmur of the roar.
metaphors jump on the table and dance –
stray cats freezing to their places like walls.
maybe one of you is dearer to me,
but you may all be strangers.
Nearby landscapes are nondescript but
furrowed and are someone’s face in the morning,
while tables, benches, streets are but circus ropes –
a triteness that warns us.
is it possible that, against all expectations,
storylines and words repeat themselves?
The golden ratios have been rationalised.
Worshippers along steep alleys and slanting words,
I sometimes think – we shall be gone in silence,
on benches we shall sleep in our dreams, but in our narrow beds indeed.
We shall grow petty-minded.
I can be cruel in my fear,
I could say – Your wives shall wreck you each and every time
because you wreck them.
Yet worry not – let the metaphors dance.
Before we sink in it,
at least one of us shall summarise the tragedy.
He lives by some river
And often looks at himself in it,
As if in a mother’s tender eyes, or
In a shining mirror of his own.
Compares the pebbles to his spots.
Sometimes mocks but sometimes feels pity
for the legless fish. Once it’s dark,
Extends his tongue towards the stars,
Licks nearby objects with his keen eyesight
Is a salamander’s life a happy one?
Neither he, nor the river knows.
Nor does the rain that wants to see
If the black or the yellow spots
Shall win the game of chess played on his thick skin.
This shall perhaps be known
From the amount of venom
It has been gathering in its glands,
Which he will exude
Should someone step on him.
If he’s lucky, he will turn back and
Will strain every muscle to get to the river.
© Nevena Borissova, Author
© Translated from the Bulgarian by Valentin Krustev and Richard Harteis
© Edited by Stefan Stefanov – Cheeseus
To a few men who write – translated by Stefan Stefanov – Cheeseus