Yesim Agaoglu

Yesim Agaoglu
Yesim Agaoglu was born in Istanbul. She took her undergraduate degree from Istanbul University in Art History and Archaeology, then a Master’s in Radio, TV and Cinema. Her poems have appeared in various anthologies, and her published books of poetry have been translated into many languages. She frequently participates in international literary and poetry festivals, as well as gaining recognition internationally as a contemporary artist.
Nihal Yeginobali is one of the most esteemed translators in Turkey. Born in Manisa, Turkey, in 1927, she was educated in the American College for Girls in Istanbul, then went abroad to take her university degree in American Literature at the State University of New York (SUNY). She has translated classical English novels as well as short stories into Turkish. She is also the author of a great many novels, becoming a best seller for those written under the pseudonym “Vincent Ewing,” whose true identity she later revealed.
my tongue licks
my tongue slithers along nocturnal streets.
slides around licking nooks and corners
wherever it moves
licks people sometimes
ah, but that’s the danger
my tongue hears the sound of a horn
lick first the horn then the black man’s mouth
then a guitar amply electrified
a punk’s head, green
lick the wino slouching on the corner
lick the night
hard, as though to bring on the dawn
my tongue has turned soot black
and at long last it’s you it licks as hard as it can
and suddenly we look and it’s already dawn
dressed in time
she took off everything that was on her
stark naked her body
save for the watch on her arm
jet-black wrist watch
so she donned that wrist watch, dressed her self up in time
like putting on a black cloak
the year was the space quarter, the season winter
the day tuesday
life lived on the spur of the moment as always
the watch works ticking on
her body works ticking on, forever alert
time, ever so abstract
now melted, dripping
as in dali’s painting
and where the hands of the watch meet
is her most punctual spot now.
i wrapped myself up in your clothes while you were gone
i kept opening your closet and wearing everything that’s yours
i cut my hair short like yours too
you’d think i was you if you saw me
you’ve left your smile behind
your smile like a thin water melon slice
if you knew, how becoming i found it on me
i also put on the mustache you’d left behind
that dead-fly mustache of yours
i walked with your umbrella when it rained
i became soaked to death under your umbrella
i understand you better now

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