Poems by Mitko Gogov / Translation from Macedonian language: Aleksandar Mitovski


Poems by Mitko Gogov



The Forgotten Retort between Two Gazes


And so we role-play clockmaker and time

Both with hammers aimed at mutiny’s head

And a clock is a bigger bastard than both man and everlasting sun

As we forget burnt words and human dust


Ugly tongues and nasty minds

They drag the lent of the soul


The inner voice doesn’t (ever) go out,

Like angels’ dander or hell’s gasoline it just booms

Skip the small lightning bolts

Twist the lowest mountains

The force of forever would, like a mother to her son,


And barely ever


In the rood of our heads

Like snails

We hide our true home

Not realizing that the slime of our soul

Leaves traces of disquiet in our sleep


We keep the stars in our hands,

Why is it when we throw them

They strike like heavenly boulders?


Stones have learned to resound

Yet our dulled hearing needs to wake up!


Both fire and abyss alike

Are eternal

Just like our pensive, darling souls

Just like a shard in marbles, when our bell breaks

We are of piercing glass, yet

Troubled as the soul remembers

But knows not to reciprocate


We’re birds that have decided to build their own cage,

We sing of the freedom we’ve created

But the space in which we act is

Barely as large as our wingspan is


Be the river that desires to break through the cold

And the ice of the mountain whose home is winter


We all want to see the whole

We all want to be a part of someone’s whole

We want to add to the whole, bid for it,

Increase it, make it rich



Cripple it without realizing


As we don’t grasp we’re nothing but cutouts

A squareon a Rubik’s cubepersevering, searching for its match

On the other side of the cube

We’re seemingly moving in a circle

Rolling all over the globe like a stolen bobbin of yarn

From grandma’s old chest.


We leave our people like

Forgotten church bells in our soul

Though we’d like their thoughts to echo

But you’d only hear the blood of your words

And angels pacing on the cobblestone road

Leaving without making a sound,

With a touch ingrained in us like a scar from child’s play

Like a mother’s hand holding a teaspoon of soup

Like a father’s lesson of how to chop kindling

Without losing a finger


We cut and we carve, but the truth can’t be carved,

Because, if we do, it will carve us back

And bury us six feet under

Even though we never brewed enough coffee

Even though we never leaped over enough bonfires

Even though we lied when we said that spirits came but we summoned witches

And the fairies choose our shadows as their mates

No, our shadows, like us, would rather hide in verses

And battle quietly for their hidden lives.


We’d rather be snow: white, clean, untarnished,

But you can’t keep snow in a jar, it won’t sit still,

Neither will love

Trapped, lonely, not shown, framed.


Love floats alone in a frame, like a cross-stitch

Of a woman spinning yarn as her wool is coming to an end.


Let’s make our minds ascent in a global fire

And resurrect the enchanted souls.


A forgotten retort between two gases



Please leave me

Leave my

Predicaments be


It’s not the time in which

The soil on its own and

By its own volition

Did turn over

And roll over


We all move,

Twist, roll over,

As we live we do not remember

Or notice,

While we’re dead

‘we do not eavesdrop

As others gossip about us’


Probably all spine issues are gone.


Leave the world be, darling,


It is not a part of you

Can’t you see in your naiveté, how,

Through your breath of lunacy they pass you by

They skip right over you

They won’t even cough anymore?

Leave the trams, darling,

In them fewer wishes are travelling these days


Towards you,

Inside you,

Next to you,

No more hands reaching out

No more raised voices


– we drown in our own outcry


We hope that hope as our last refuge

Will pay our debts

Will turn off the light

And in the end


Just like us all

Will leave

And go


To hell.



Translation from Macedonian language: Aleksandar Mitovski



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