The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Jana Putrle Srdić’s “Anything Could Happen”

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Air Cage

Translated by Barbara Jursa

All children on wheels have gotten helmets,
and trenches have been dug around the tracks
so we can’t cross them, which destroyed our
collective memory of walking on rails.

There’s a program, scribbled with yellow
chalk on a blackboard: activities in nature.
Young sparrows don’t kill themselves
when they fall out of a nest, sometimes
they just get eaten. Short but sweet.

This country isn’t right for us, we’re shaking our heads,
it rains too many days per year. All the bad
poems I read are like always having sex with the same
person, thoughts unwillingly wandering elsewhere
and yearning for something to nail them

to this moment.

The words are cut grass, calming, if you lay down,
even ants will politely avoid you.

And what are the chances that a swaying jogger
stops right above your head, eclipsing the sun
with her smoothly shaved legs?

No, this isn’t the right geographical latitude,
we’re shaking our heads, we need to stand on our
heads, stroll on the streets of Kampala, Nagpur,
Kuala Lumpur, where parrots fall from nests.

We need to shift from activities to nature.
Change our desires. The world is ripening into
a golden ball, all times are apocalyptic
and every moment now our cages will shatter.

This selection comes from Jana Putrle Srdić’s book Anything Could Happen, translated by Barbara Jursa and available from A Midsummer Night’s Press. Purchase your copy here!

Jana Putrle Srdić (1975, Ljubljana) is a poet, art film reviewer, and translator of poetry who lives in Ljubljana, where she works as a visual art producer. She has published three collections of poems to date, and also translates poetry from English, Russian, and Serbian, including collections by Robert Hass, Sapphire, Ana Ristović, and other authors.

Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.

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