Arian Leka / Tirana (Albania) Arian Leka, born in 1966, studied Music in his place of birth, Durrës and Albanian Language and Literature in Tirana. He writes poems, short stories, novels and children’s literature and has translated the works of the Italian Nobel prize winners Eugenio Montale and Salvatore Quasimodo into Albanian. Some of his previous 14 books and parts of his works have been translated into Italian, English, German, French, Romanian, Bulgarian and Croatian. In 2004 he founded the International Poetry and Literature Festival, POETEKA, and since then has been the Chief Editor of the literary journal of the same name. Arian Leka has received several grants and prizes at home and abroad, including the prize of the Albanian Culture Ministry, which is one of the most highly regarded awards in Albania.
with me lives that mocking soul all soundless,
without deeds and gestures, at the waters’ edge,
hidden behind the verdure like stillness after death,
in me you live, mocking soul swearing at time,
and at the disposable ideas of my parents
tired of illusions,
I stretch my hand out fondly and feel no more than nature,
not the firm hand of man,
I reach out and touch only nature,
the wildest sensation of loneliness,
And still they trust sun bakes sweet loaves of clay bread,
strength dwindles, the mind steams off, smokes,
the sensation vomits
because of the reek of the human statue on the eve;
while it’s reborn in april
and I do not fear much the highlander’s rhapsodic white clod,
while it appears naïve within me, –
…lute…, clarinet…, drone…
the mortarboard placed overhead
woolen condom for the brain
fills me with dread, scares me to death, that alone.
The province hushes, the doors shut
with my soul’s accordion, hark
the twilight drains out like salt, the salt
on eucalyptus bark and the shoulders of loaders in harbor.
The flies of memory murmur the glory,
together with the wait,
the children regurgitate it in classrooms.
May mothers rot!
Who with the spoons of insanity sate
them of forefathers who freely wrote,
on water, on sand and slate.
But I who was born to elsewhere decline,
in tongue, as says my old friend,
am pining, and ruined by a renaissance line:
in Durrës, ‘only sunset is grand’ – superb.