Brane Mozetic
Mozetic-foto nathalie gassel1
Photo by Nathalie Gassel
Some works in translation by Brane Mozetic: French:
Obsedenost / Obsession, Aleph-Ed. Genevieve Pastre, Ljubljana-Paris 1991. Italian: Parole che bruciano / Besede, ki zgejo, Mobydick, Faenza 2002. English: Butterflies, Spuyten Duyvil Press, New York 2004. German: Schattenengel, Passagen Verlag, Wien 2004. Spanish: Poemas por los suenos muertos, CEDMA, Malaga 2004.

Visit Brane Mozetic.

Brane Mozetic (1958) is a poet, writer, translator and editor who graduated in comparative literature from the University of Ljubljana. Since 1990, Mozetic has edited the gay magazine Revolver, and more recently has been director of the Centre of Slovenian Literature, an organisation promoting Slovenian writing abroad. He has published ten collections of poems and three fiction books, and has been awarded the City of Ljubljana Poetry Prize and the European Poetry Prize-Falgwe. His poems are translated into several languages and he has translated a number of French authors into Slovenian (Rimbaud, Genet, Foucault, Maalouf, Brossard, Daoust, Cliff).

A poem in three parts about life in Ljubljana.
Translated by Elizabet Zargi and Timothy Liu.


They wouldn´t give anything to help me
survive. No faith nor a hope
to repent, beg, be redeemed. No love
to scatter about. So I´d go on
crashing into things, begging for attention,
tenderness, arms
to embrace me. They didn´t give
me old traditions, customs, all the days
alike and I don´t anticipate any
specifically. They gave me the ability
to experience pain at the turn of a page, to deal
with it at the same time. With clenched
lips. They gave a rude preciseness
which blows up every so often, causing me
to topple down. They gave me a world
in which I´m staggering and which
I can´t feel. I can only see a crowd of
people who´ve put on t-shirts
that say: I´m nobody. Who are you?
We meet in the street, at work, the cinema,
in bars. We talk, ask, answer. And it
hurts us. But we don´t know any better.


Dear Ana, Ljubljana is a nightmare. The first
thought that comes to your mind is to cut
your wrists, to tie a noose, or to leap
from a building. You´d have to be constantly drunk or stoned to take it. Friends aren´t friends, acquaintances aren´t acquaintances, lovers aren´t lovers, a mother isn´t a mother, a father isn´t a father, a wife isn´t a wife, the ground isn´t the ground, all hovers in the never ending emptiness, hallucinations, ghosts, freaks, water isn´t water and air isn´t air, fire isn´t fire.
Dear Ana, your city is the end of the world
without any form of hope, there´s vegetating, there is torment, there is a pinching in your stomach, a concentration of all the negative forces doing everything in their power to make an idiot out of you, an invalid. Ljubljana, the sweet sounding snake that wraps itself around your body, softly, with feeling, so you run out of air and can´t get rid of her, always follows you, slithers after you so colourful and un-dangerous. Disappear, plunge into the swamp, return to the mud, save us.


I don´t understand why everything is so wrong. Let´s say it´s 7am and I´m driving home from an all night party and I´m stopped by two cops who haven´t finished school yet, walking over like a couple of cowboys, accusing me of everything so I can only wonder what I´m doing in this country as I step on the gas and drive off. My ex-wife calls hysterically, asks why I´ve been harassing, stalking, spying on her all these years, I should just find myself a woman, there are enough of them, that I should just stop, stop, stop. The guy begs me to hate him, turns away, then pushes me, keeps on playing me songs like Depression In the Eyes and Nice Day For Death. I don´t understand what he wants to tell me. When I retreat to be among people, a mixture of downers, uppers and alcohol pulls me like
a whirlwind down to where I am constantly nervous and can´t calm down. I live in the most stressful town in the world. I try to pull myself together, but my hands are shaking. I get scared and they shake even more. I think about where I could escape to, what place I´d hide. It seems to me more and more that my life is nothing but strung-out dreams of escape.

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