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Best of Irish Poetry 2010
Editor: Matthew Sweeney
Songs of Earth and Light
Barbara Korun poems translated by Theo Dorgan
Done Dating DJs
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
Winner, 2008 Fool for Poetry Competition
Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes
Munster Literature Centre
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Nora Nadjarian comes from Cyprus. She is the author of three collections of poetry and a book of short stories, Ledra Street. Her work has won prizes and been commended in various international competitions, including the Féile Filíochta International Poetry Competition in 2005. Nora’s fiction has appeared in publications in the UK, the USA, India, Israel and elsewhere. A chapbook of her short stories is forthcoming from Folded Word (USA) in 2011.
La Dolce Vita
There was a museum hush hush in the living room. My mother said “Butterflies break, you know,” and then “Do you remember Auschwitz?” and finally, before another long silence: “Don’t you etcetera me!”
There was a pain in my throat, like a lodged sweet. When she came out with “La Dolce Vita!” it sounded like a treasure she’d dug up, but I carried on staring at the same page, same line in my book. She finally muttered: “Sew your dreams together and see what happens.”
In a dream, my mother and I are hugging each other. I can smell her hair and body odour and stale perfume as I pour out my soul in sobs onto her face, her neck, her shoulders. “I didn’t tell you things I meant to. I kept things from you. I’m ashamed I didn’t love you until you made no sense.”
And my heart is beating erratically, like long, strange, jumpy words out of context. In-cur-able, in-comp-re-hen-sible. I can feel the butterfly breaking, scraps of its dead wings shrivelling in the wind, ideas gone, found, gone. The unimaginable sadness of forgetting, the bitter sweet.
In another dream, my mother tells me a secret about her youth and asks me to live with it. When I look at her, her face is mine. We’re sitting in a living room I’ve never seen before, and she’s sewing syllables together: Ausch-witz. Et-ce-te-ra. La Dol-ce Vi-ta. I am not yet born. The story has not begun, but this is its beginning. I know it, I know it in my heart.
©2010 Nora Nadjarian
Nora Nadjarian's blog
Review of Ledra Street at the Short Review
'Blue Pear': Nadjarian story in Metazen