i’ve had a mustache and a beard for seven years
i nibble at my mustache and toy with my beard
i’ve been in this world for twenty-seven years, minus two days
today is september 10th, my beard is long, i’ve a mustache
the tea steams up, the pen has ink, the table on four legs
there is contentment and cruelty everywhere
four walls, many commas, some smelly sweat around
minus two days, i’ve been in this world for twenty-seven years
i am hair and beard,
tea and rage i am in this world
sadness, diffidence, selfishness i am
still in this world.
minus two, twenty-seven
why doesn’t the world resemble me
the world: i washed my face at night
as to save face
i woke up in the morning, undried.
the world keeps opening my eyes
the smell and the sound keep opening my eyes
whether i dress in white or black
i seem weak against the world
the black on my face with my beard and mustache
oh, the world! burn your spirit in mine.
not with a bang but with a whimper
five calls for prayer, eight istanbuls, three ankaras.
bıyığım ve sakalım var yedi yıldır
bıyığımı yiyor, sakalımı karıştırıyorum
ben dünyadayım iki gün eksik yirmi yedi yıldır
eylülün onu bugün sakalım uzun, bıyığım var
çayın dumanı, kalemin mürekkebi, masanın dört ayağı var
dört bir yanda ferah ve zulüm
dört duvar, çok virgül, biraz ter kokusu var etrafta,
iki gün eksik, yirmi yedi yıldır bu dünyada ben
ben bu dünyada saç ve sakal
çay ve öfke ben bu dünyada
üzgünlük, mahcubiyet, bencillik ben
hâlâ bu dünyada.
iki eksik yirmi yedi
bana benzese ya bu dünya
dünya: gece yüzümü yıkadım
yüzüm tutsun diye ona
sabaha uyandım, kurumamış
gözümü aça aça dünya,
aça aça gözümü koku ve ses
beyaz da giysem, siyah da
gözüne zayıf gözüktüğüm dünya
yüzümdeki siyahlar sakalım ve bıyığımla
vay dünya. canıma yansan a.
gürültüyle değil fısıltıyla
beş ezan, sekiz istanbul, üç ankara.
Born in Diyarbakır and originally from Kızıltepe, Mehmet Said Aydın is a Kurdish poet and editor. He studied Turkish Language and Literature at Bilkent University and has published three books of poetry: Kusurlu Bahçe [Tainted Garden] (160. Kilometre, 2011), Sokağın Zoru [Rocks of Streets] (Everest, 2014), and Lokman Kasidesi [Qasida of Lokman] (Everest, 2019). His autobiographical narrative, Dedemin Definesi [My Grandfather’s Treasure] (Edebi Şeyler, 2018), was published in a trilingual edition and is prepared to be published in English by Pinsapo Press. Kusurlu Bahçe received the Arkadaş Z. Özger First Book Special Award, and translated into French (Le Jardin Manqué, Kontr, 2017). He co-wrote two pocketbooks of gastronomy on rakı, and translated three books from Turkish to Kurdish and various poems from Kurdish to Turkish. He worked as a columnist at newspapers, such as BirGün, Evrensel Pazar, and Gazete Duvar. He currently lives in Istanbul.
Öykü Tekten is a poet, translator, and editor living between Granada and New York. She is also a founding member of Pinsapo, an art and publishing experience with a particular focus on work in and about translation, as well as a contributing editor and archivist with Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative. Her work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets, Words Without Borders, SAND Journal, Jadaliyya, the Markaz Review, Oversound Poetry, StatOrec, and Gazete Duvar, among other places.