A Long Homecoming: a new poem by Igor Klikovac

Igor Klikovac

Igor Klikovac


Twenty two blackbirds moving together

across the scorched grass like an unknown language

in a stranger’s mouth, connected by something wholly

extraneous, incalculable. What would someone

who understands these things say, is this a dream

of distant places you crave, or something

that’s already happened, long ago, while you, again,

looked somewhere else? Remember: that little boy

who, tiptoeing next to a seaside telescope,

when the eyelids on the other side lift, is still

hearing the coin falling through the stiff guts,

picturing its pirouetting while it cries click-clack.

And afterwards recalls forever only the father

saying look, look, and the lump of green iron

smelling of door handles.

(Translated by Igor Klikovac and John McAuliffe)

Igor Klikovac is a Bosnian poet living in London where he works as a journalist. Stockholm Syndrome, a selection from his third collection, translated by Klikovac and McAuliffe, is just out from Smith|Doorstop.